The Compound is a large old building with the sign on Canyon Road, but you have to walk/drive down a little ways. The adobe structure is made up of several rooms with one room having a wavy plaster ceiling and another having squares of different colors. (One of the fun features is the painted snake that runs over the waves of plaster.) The walls hold lots of art and press coverage for this long running restaurant that opened over 50 years ago. Chef/Owner Mark Kiffin has run the place almost 20 years and won the James Beard Best Chef in the Southwest award in 2005. Music is in the background, the lighting is lowered and the white clothed tables are widely spaced. Bench seating is around some of the walls which is opposite the comfortable chairs on the other side of the table. Service was excellent with good pacing. The menu is all a la carte.
Bread service was a warm doughy roll with whipped butter. The roll had a great interior with a mildly crispy exterior. It was delicious.
Pork Terrine was a house pressed pork terrine served with crispy pigs feet, whole grain mustard, fig jam and garlic aioli. It was a large plate with lots of textures. The cracklings were really good and the wonderful selection of toppings really amped up the terrine. A yummy plate.
Endive, watercress and Asian pear salad was dressed with a local cider-Spanish sherry combination. It had lots of crisp, fresh endive mixed with tasty, sweet pear in a good dressing. It was a healthy portion.
Braised beet salad contained frisee and Camembert in Croute with a smoked bacon vinaigrette and toasted pinon. The salad had several colors of beets that were all sweet and tasty. The cheese in a crust added a bit of crisp as did a few sprigs of frisee. It was a great combination of flavors – really good.
A Bibb lettuce salad came with bacon and tomato and was another really great starter. The vinaigrette had just the right sharpness to incorporate the ingredients.
Seared Diver Sea Scallops were served with a chestnut gnocchi, wild mushroom veloute, fresh chanterelles, Hedgehog and Yellowfoots mushrooms. The scallops were cooked perfectly and the wonderful selection of mushrooms made this a terrific dish.
Forever Braised Lamb Shank was served with celery root puree, roasted carrots and leeks and then covered with a reduced braising jus. It was a generous dish with crispy and tender parts. The root vegetables were all delicious. A good dish.
Black Pepper-Coriander seared duck breast was served with orange lentils, sweet potato and edamame, caramelized bok choy and organic plums, duck jus and hot mustard. The duck was cooked perfectly and went well with the hot mustard. Sweet potatoes and lentils were topped with bread crumbs. It was nicely saucy and a good plate.
Lobster Arrabiata was served with a slow roasted tomato-caper sauce and served on house made saffron fettuccini and crispy calamari. It was 2 lobster tails that were nicely cooked. The calamari tentacles were crisped to a wonderful crunch and slices of the plain squid were mixed into the dish. There was a ton of flavor in the sauce but if I had to pick I’d take the duck or scallops.
For dessert we tried the daily selection of sorbets/ice cream and cookies. The flavors were blackberry and raspberry and they were really intensely flavored. The cookie was buttery.
We also tried the Apple Tart Tartin which contained caramelized apples and vanilla bean in a puff pastry with candied cashews and apple cider ice cream. Some crumbles were underneath the ice cream. The crispy crust on the tar was buttery and sweet. Some of the apples were a tad firm to cut but the flavor was lovely. A very good dessert.