My brother Tony has two boats which he sails on Lake Wallenpaupack in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. One evening he drove his craft to a is a delightful. lake-adjacent dining spot called The Boat House. Not your usual tourist trap, this attractive, sprawling facility attracts lots of locals, who getaway houses on the lake, along with savvy foodies who did their homework before vacationing in this splendid resort area.
We docked about 6 p.m. and strolled in to the bar. It’s a casual spot where many folk come by boat and dress the part. The Diva sipped her usual Chard while Tony nursed a Manhattan.
While each course pleased the palate, a pecan encrusted Basa (only $18) topped with peach and apricot glaze was over-the-top excellent, good enough to fly back from Los Angeles for an encore. Tony raved over his fried shrimp. On other occasions we ordered the steaks, which are done to perfection, especially the 14 ounce rib eye that’s $35.
All entrees are served with salad and choice of baked potato, mashed potato, rice, French fries—all quite tasty, too. Other entrée choices include soups, pastas crab cakes, chicken and other good dishes all reasonably-priced for us out-of-towners used to stiffer prices, but maybe slightly high for the Pocs.
A little backstory:
The lakeside facility, once a a tiny ice cream stand circa 1950s-60s, that attracted visitors to Lake Wallenpaupack. In the late 1970s, New Yorker Jack Rose bought the property and built a restaurant called Sunset Grove. It was rustic with tables made out of tree trunks. It fast became a popular spot for families who went for all three meals.
Then in 1998 the Kiesendahl family, owners of Woodloch, an award winning resort, took over the property, remodeled the restaurant and turned it into the Boat House Restaurant. Today it rules the Poconos as one of the most popular eateries of all times.
The Boat House is located at 141 Route 507 in Hawley, Pennsylvania. For reservations (foodies heading to the area, must go there) call (570) 226-5027 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information visit the comprehensive website at www.the-boathouse-restaurant.com.
It’s that time of year when foodies get to sample top restaurants in Los Angeles for reduced prices thanks to dineLARestaurant Week which runs through July 26 for its summer 2013 session.
Three course price fixed meals are just $15 to $45 depending on where to go, obviously the more exclusive the place the higher the price. And it’s all good. Check it out…
Chef Mavro (he’s the one in his mother’s arm in the photo and whom the restaurant is named after)is one of the top chefs in all the islands, and some say the best ( in the arms of his Mom as she walks on the boulevard in Marseilles with his older brother in tow.
I agree having had numerous meals fussed over by the amiable Greek with the French accent himself). The restaurant is cozy and romantic (bring your dad or a date for mom if she’s single).
Call 808-944-4714 for reservations or http://email@example.com.
On Friday, May 10, Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12th, pastry Chef Elizabeth Dippong (she’s as amazing as Mavro) will do a special Mother’s Day celebration dessert Namelaka Lemongrass for these three nights. If you can’t join be and live in Ohau,call them for a Chef Mavro Mother’s Day Gift Certificate that she can enjoy whenever she wants.
Flexible menus start at only $85 for a four-course Mother’s Day menu that features: Asparagus Declinaison of white asparagus kanten flavored with sarriette, green asparagus purée, sea asparagus tempura, ponzu sauce, asparagus étuvée, serrano ham on house bread stick; Steamed Onaga, ratatouille, zucchini ribbons, essence of basil, and jus; Pasture-Raised Pork Loin accented with espelette, pineapple glaze, braised & roasted shank Fricassée of Hamakua Hon Shimeji Mushroom, salsify, sumida watercress; and the special Mother’s Day dessert Namelaka – Lemongrass.
You can also choose the restaurant’s 6-course or Grand Tasting menus. You Dining Diva and Richard eat up the Spicy Ahi and Wagyu Beef, since the Diva’s allergic to shellfish she can’t have the Keahole Lobster dishes but they really are very popular options.
Hey foodies in or heading to Oahu, there’s just two more weeks left to feast on fresh Perigord truffles flown in from France and to enjoy some of your winter menu favorites at Chef Mavro, Hawaii’s top best restaurant and chef.
Popular Winter Recipes - only two more weeks
Peterson’s Upland Farm Egg, truffle “osmose,” potato mousseline
chervil, serrano ham ribbons
Yuzu confit big island abalone, honomu hearts of palm salad with granny smith apple, kahuku corn, grapes, shiso, yuzu, ume coulis
on the left: Truffled Egg wine pairing jean-marc brocard 2010 chablis 1er cru “vaulorent”
“white flowers, citrus & honey notes with a rich texture”
on the right: Abalone Heart of Palm “sommelier selection”
kubota manju, junmai daiginjo sake, niigata
“exquisitely smooth & silky with hints of cedar, wet stone & orange blossom”
Sautéed Hudson Valley Foie Gras, balsamic glaze, bed of savoy cabbage mission fig poached in sweet wine, toasted portuguese sweet bread wine pairing:
château roumieu-lacoste, 2009 sauternes
“intense fig & apricot, delicate sweetness”
Call (808) 944-4714 or connect with Chef Mavro for candid back stories about the cooking competitions he judges, advanced training he offers at culinary schools, snapshots from Mondays when the restaurant is closed when he’s out and about, and last week a movie review of…
From the Burger Lounge on Sunset Blvd., in West Hollywood.
Lovin’ Spoonful is easy. Rarely does Los Angeles boast a genuine neighborhood restaurant better than Frank Foley’s Southern-influenced Studio City local hang.
Whether it’s whiskeys or draft beers at the bar or chef Victor Calderon’s delicious take on Southern cooking at a table (and there are communal tables too, appropriate for a restaurant where the hospitality vibe dominates), the food at this joint is exceptional.
Frank’s a Georgia boy who’s been hankering for the food he left back home since he arrived in town. So when Henry’s Hat went belly up, he pounced. Spoonful has only been open a few months and it’s already favored by a crowd that tends to be young (but not too young) and working in the “industry,” as they say in these parts.
The physical layout hasn’t changed. What has is the décor, now studded with hanging lamps made from spirits bottles and elaborate chandeliers, with a pressed tin ceiling and a vintage fainting couch or two. “It’s like Rhett Butler’s smoking lounge,” observed a server. And Southern-centric slogans are painted on the walls. A favorite: The South is the place where Macaroni & Cheese is a vegetable, chicken is fried and tomatoes are green.
Chef actually downplays the richness usually associated with Southern fare. Here, the creamy grits come under Cajun Gulf shrimp, the slow-roasted short ribs rest on sweet potato polenta and the pan seared red snapper arrives on a bed black-eyed pea succotash.
These are exceptional, but the appetizers—and the show-stopping pecan pie—may be even better. Fried green tomatoes are moist, crunchy and tangy; braised pork belly is lean, flavorful and comes with a most unusual peeled soft boiled egg with a delicate maple-flavored crust (what a wonderful variation on bacon and eggs this is); pulled pork sliders with four house-made barbecue sauces are authentic without being greasy. Frank’s considering offering a sampler plate of the best appetizers, and we should all encourage him to do so.
Spoonful’s terrific food and drink far are probably better than needs be. There aren’t many saloons around where you can get a perfectly made Sazerac into which a compressed ice ball the size of a decent snowball has been plunked and a pan-baked, nut-rich, not too sweet pecan pie.
Prices are moderate and there’s a 5-6 p.m. happy hour. Live blues and bluegrass music are planned. Spoonful is located at 3413 Cahuenga Boulevard West, directly across from LA Fitness, 323-512-4800.
We went to the launch party of Patron and Tacos up on the roof at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel last Wednesday. The weekly offering is held Friday, Saturday and Sundays night until the end of October (starting at 5 p.m.) and is definitely worth doing for the $35 tab that comes with four delicious, gormet tacos plus one Patron cocktail. Read about it here: http://www.examiner.com/review/tacos-and-patron-tequila-prove-winning-combo-at-the-posh-peninsula-beverly-hills
Chef Mavro talks about the Hana Hou “Greatest Hits” Menu
- starting tonight Tuesday, August 28th
For one month only. Chef Mavro , the Dining Diva’s favorite Hawaiian chef, is cooking guest favorites from the past. The master of meals is featuring sland Snapper Baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust; Goat Cheese with
one-minute strawberry jam; and much more. See complete menu here.
Chef Mavro changes the menu every season. Chef has been proceeding this way since the opening of his first restaurant in Provence, La Presqu’ile, in 1978. Our menu is seasonal featuring the freshest local ingredients found the same morning in the market and always using the latest trends and techniques such as fusion, nouvelle, molecular, etc.
Says Chef Mavro, “Since I never look back to old recipes and start every season totally from scratch, some guests arrive, open the menu and ask “what happened to that wonderful dish that I enjoyed before?” I answer: “mais oui, I know…but please try our newest creations.” Before you leave I check back and you say “wow now I have new favorites! But still I loved so much your Snapper baked in a Hawaiian salt crust, your Lobster Chorizo Puff, and so on.” Can’t let go. And I’m honored! So, every year in September at the end of Summer, just before the Autumn menu while we’re waiting for the fresh Burgundy truffles, we cook for you a Hana Hou Menu – the Greatest Hits! Please check the 6-course Hana Hou – Greatest Hits Menu to see what’s going on starting tonight. Of course we are also offering our 3-course, 4-course and grand tasting menus.
Chef Mavro talks about the Hana Hou “Greatest Hits” Menu
- starting tonight Tuesday, August 28th
For one month only. Chef Mavro is cooking guest favorites from the past!
Yes we’re talking Island Snapper Baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust; Goat Cheese with
one-minute strawberry jam; and much more. See the complete menu here.
Meli Melo Local summer vegetables of the day watercress, chick pea fritters, sea asparagus, eggplant tahini, black garlic Wine Pairing: Domaine Huet, 2010 Vouvray Sec “Le Haut Lieu” “chenin blanc with a kiss of honey & a rich palate; full of acidity” Photo Credit: Justin Morizono ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Island Snapper Baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust – GQ Magazine Top 10 Recipes of the year Wine Pairing: Grgich Hills Estate, Fume Blanc, 2010 Napa Valley “full-bodied, flavors of grapefruit & lemongrass” Photo Credit: John De Mello Tomato-Ogo-Fines Herbes Sauce …OK I’ve made over 80,000 but I’ll make another 80,000 if you ask for it! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Keahole Lobster Kahuku Cream Corn Chorizo Puff Wine Pairing: Domaine Long-Depaquit, 2010 Chablis 1er cru “Vaillons” “impressive chablis; pure, gorgeous fruit layered with the most delicate honeysuckle & floral qualities” or rare wine selection Domaine des Comtes Lafon, 2009 Meursault “Clos de la Barre” “opulent, mineral-driven, intense & earthy; from one of meursault’s legendary vineyards (less than 5 acres)” Photo Credit: Justin Morizono Which part is your favorite? My popular creamy corn recipe, the spicy chorizo, or the delicious lobster from Keahole on the Big Island? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Maui fresh goat cheese, one-minute frankie’s nursery fresh green peppercorn strawberry jam, island arugula Wine Pairing: Cocchi, Barolo Chinato “licorice, bitter aromas with sweet red fruit & intense nutmeg & cinnamon” Photo Credit: Justin Morizono ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ oh yes…lilikoi malasadas toujours! And updated by our rising star Pastry Chef Lynette Malasada – Urfa Biber trio of malasadas, fresh lilikoi “déclinaison” of curd, chiboust, and ice cream greek yogurt parfait, candied pistachio, urfa biber peppercorn sauce Wine Pairing: Malvira, Birbet, Italy “red wine made from the brachetto grape with a slight sparkle & notes of fresh plums & berries”
Call 808-944-4714′ email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Located five minutes from Waikiki at 1969 S. King Street, Honolulu, Chef Mavro is closed Mondays. If you’re in Hawaii or are heading there, be sure plan on dining there. It’s a culinary experience you’ll never forget and you will want to go back for more.
Dan Tana’s, www.dantanasrestaurant.com, is located at 9071 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, 310-275-9444, reservations are a must. Valet parking is available and advised as on street parking is limited and metered.
http://www.examiner.com/article/get-ready-to-rock-tonight-as-the-sunset-strip-music-festival-opens-with-the-door and if you like what your read, please subscribe to the page. Thank you.
A few years ago my husband Richard and I went an assignment, tailored made for the Dining Diva, to Oregon. The task was to find fine wines as well as check out some B&Bs and a llama farm.Of course our favorite part was the wine thing. We visited many vineyards and tasting rooms and discovered Sokol Blosser. It was love at first sip and we brought some home. Alas it was all gone until a friend sent us a gift selection.The first to open was the Pinot Noir, which as suggested by said friend, we enjoyed on a hot, sunny afternoon by our pool. Simply delicious to every last drop.Let me share a little of the wine company’s philosophy: Where does great Pinot Noir grow? Where intellect and intuition meet. Where instinct and a meticulous nature commingle. Pinot Noir isn’t a grape for every place, nor for every winery. It doesn’t allow for cutting corners or letting the details slide. It reveals all, about vineyard,
vintage, winemaking technique – ultimately, about one’s willingness to engage it
in lifelong study.
For more than 35 years – since before there was an Oregon “wine industry” – the Sokol Blosser family have been learning about Pinot Noir, about how it best grows on their small parcel in the Dundee Hills, and what it takes to capture the brilliance of the fruit and the essence of the land. This resolute quest for excellence is also expressed in their environmentally
friendly winemaking techniques, a core value for Sokol Blosser ever since the
first vines were planted in 1971.
At Sokol Blosser, growing grapes organically and embracing sustainability in all winery operations is a way of life. It’s no mere coincidence, however, that over the years such practices have the happy consequence of enhancing the excellence of their Pinot Noir.
In addition to the official recognition given to Sokol Blosser’s environmental practices, its wines have consistently won recognition for their quality. Being good to the earth – farming, buying and building through the
lens of The Natural Step – is really about paying attention to and respecting the details.
If you want to unearth some mighty fine wines and have fun doing it, think the Oregon trail. And while you’re at it stop in and say hi to the Sokol Blossers for us.
PO Box 399
5000 NE Sokol Blosser Lane
Dundee, OR 97115
Phone: 503-864-2282 Toll Free: 800-582-6668
We love our Friday lunches at the Palm on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood seated in our favorite booth #7 sipping mighty fine wine and devouring a three course Business Person’s lunch that’s just a little over $25 each (wine’s extra).
We take the super-licious, New York-style cheesecake home, it’s included in the price, too. We ate it last night, boy is it fantastically rich and tasty. Reminds me of home (NY).
The Dining Diva has never been big on foie gras, I just don’t like the taste, even after sampling it in some of the finest French restaurants of the world.Alas, Richard, my main man, doesn’t feel the same, he loves the rich, fat-filled stuff, so we had a sort of farewell party to foie gras the other night at LA’s spiffy Gordon Ramasy at the London West Hollywood.
Chef sent out what would be the last foie gras served in California after June 30, 2012.
|New unlimited small plates Border Brunch is now available Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Border Grill Santa Monica…For the low price of $29.99 you can select from an smorgasboard of mouthwatering small plates, featuring Yucatan Egg Benedict, Bacon Jalapeño PBJ, Chorizo and Egg Taco, Coconut French Toast, Huevos Rancheros, Machaca Chilaquiles, and many more. Add bottomless mimosas for only $6, or upgrade to one of Border Grill’s tasty specialty cocktails like a Ginger Pomegranate Margarita, refreshing Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita, or spicy Bloody Maria. Call 310.451.1655 or click here for reservationsand find out why variety is the spice of life, and brunch, at Border Grill.Want to spend the afternoon on a foodie dream date with the hottest chefs and mixologists in Los Angeles? Join Mary and Susan at Taste of the Nation on Sunday, June 10, 2012 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The Lot in West Hollywood and experience L.A.’s top culinary talent, including Picca, ink.sack, Ray’s and Stark Bar, Umami Burger, Black Market, Tavern, STREET, Blue Cow Kitchen, Night + Market, Scoops, Short Cake, Father’s Office, Harvard & Stone, Neat, Brewery Ommegang, Craftsman Brewing, and the list goes on and on and on. Border Grill is excited to partner with Alaska Seafood and Cacique cheese–with each contributing $10,000 to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. So get your taste buds ready for some wild, sustainable Alaska Halibut Veracruzano with jalapeño, tomato, olive, oregano, and white wine garlic broth, as well as a Squash Blossom Quesadilla, featuring a dynamic trio of manchego, panela, and cotija cheeses by Cacique.
Click here for tickets and more info.
Though it’s been open for six years now, the Coupa Cage is somewhat of a well-kept secret in Bev Hills, a few doors down on Canon from the always-bustling Wolfgang’s Steakhouse (no relation to Puck).
Now, however, new energy has been infused into the family-owned operation by vivacious Camelia Coupal who grew up in Venezuela but went to Stanford University like her siblings. The Stanford connection is key since Coupa’s first U.S. store opened in Palo Alto a few doors down from Facebook’s first office.
The restaurant was known for its coffee–the family roasts its own java from local sources in Venezuela and ships it to the U.S–and the original Facebookers bought their joe there. (“The Social Network” movie accurately depicted Facebookers with Coupa containers.) Needless to say, this Coupa Cafe’s coffee, a hearty, dark roast, is miraculous. We went to Coupa Café last night and sampled a variety of Venezuelan dishes, which tend to be heavy on cheese and pastry-type crust.
The Cachapas were fresh corn griddle pancakes with a dollop of queso de mano, a typical Venezuelan fresh cheese, on top. Asado Negro was slowly cooked beef served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, mesclun greens and goat cheese. Polvorosa de Pollo tucked shredded chicken inside a crumble pie crust. Unlike other Latin American styles, Venezuelan food isn’t overly spicy but some dishes tend toward sweetness, which is an acquired taste outside the dessert course. For dessert, we shared delicious Tres Leches, an amped-up version of the Latin American standby of cake soaked in three kinds of milk (condensed usually being one, though Cecelia said the famil
y recipe is a secret).
Coupa’s famous coffee would have been the perfect ending, but instead we brought a bag of beans home. This is the only restaurant in the world outside Venezuela where you can enjoy the nation’s shade grown, handpicked, sun-dried, fair trade organic single estate Arabica coffee beans. That’s because the country’s current regime does not allow the export green beans. We ground and brewed it this morning and it was kick-ass fantastic. Coupa Café was conceived by the Coupal family in the late 1980s as a result of the desire to revive the tradition of the excellent quality Venezuelan coffee that was lost during the oil boom years. They opened the Arabica Coffee Company, the roasting company of Coupa Café, in Caracas, Venezuela in 1990. Coupa Café opened its doors in Palo Alto, California in 2004, followed by a location two years later in Beverly Hills.
There are a total of 6 locations, most of them on Stanford’s campus. Coupa Café Beverly Hills is located at 419 North Canon Drive – Beverly Hills, 310-385-0420. It’s open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a nightly happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m.
Steak doesn’t get much better than this which the Dining Diva devoured last night, with the help of her husband of course (that’s Richard) at BLT on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood (for those who know, it’s the former Le Dome).
With a side of sensational mushrooms and a bottle of Lewis Chardonnay, it was all great.
Great place for a Valentine’s Day dinner too, but don’t expect quiet, this place roars with carnivores.
BLT at Sunset Plaza
After superb many lunches (and dinners) at Spago, a whole bunch enjoyed especially during the bi-annual DineLARestaurant Week, we had a major misfire yesterday at Wolfgang Puck’s Beverly Hills haunt of the rich and famous.
OMG, the Thai chicken salad was abominable. Abominable I tell you. Granted it’s only $19 but it has always tasted great, with Asian spices and peanuts and fresh ingredients. This one had most red and white cabbage, a few sickly strands of lettuce and NO flavor.
Richar’d price fixed, dineLA lunch was a cut better but n0t nearly as good as other times. The salmon was good, not great. The dessert trio was pretty awesome though.
Me thinks Wolfie’s spending too much time as his new restaurant at the recently reopened Hotel Bel Air (www.hotelbelair.com) and not enough time quality controlling his golden egg in Beverly Hills. Should you read this Mr. Puck, your presence is needed.
Spago was jam packed with the usual Friday lunch crowd, and as always, new faces of tourists. The service was good. And in deference to the chefs, when I complained to the manager about the salad (he stopped by the table and asked how things were so I had to tell the truth), he took it off the tab. Quite galantly at that, never said a word just wasn’t on the bill when Richard paid.
Still there is no excuse for a misfire at Spago. Wolfie, you need to be there more often………………………………………………….
Okay, the Diva does eat at Chipotle once in awhile. In fact the last time were in New York staying at the Palace Hotel, we walked down the street up and picked up some Mexican food to go and ate it in our suite with some wine and beer (the former for the Diva). We had been eating out a lot and it was just so cool to take out food into a lavish suite.
Anyhow the fast food chain that dishes out some darn good south of the border fare is having a Super Bowl special I thought I’d pass on, here goes:
Chipotle Mexican Grill will be serving its customers burritos for half the price and none of the ad spend. Through its upcoming February 5 promotion, “The Super Big Internationally Televised Professional Football Bowl Game Half Price Party in a Box,” Chipotle is offering a half-price deal for those who use the Burritos by the Box ordering option found on www.Chipotle.com on Sunday, February 5, 2012.
Chipotle is famous for its irreverent style and genuine interaction with customers to build loyalty. Using its social media channels, website, and in-store posters that allude to the nation’s largest sporting event but do not name it, Chipotle is encouraging customers to make it a party by ordering six or more burritos using the Burritos by the Box order form, all the while end-running the advertising hoopla that has become such a big part of pro football’s biggest game.
“Chipotle has never been one to follow the crowd when it comes to the food we serve or the way we market our restaurants,” said Chris Arnold, communications director at Chipotle. “We’re more interested in making great tasting food from the best ingredients we can find in a way that is affordable and accessible to everyone.”
To participate in the “The Super Big Internationally Televised Professional Football Bowl Game Half Price Party in a Box” promotion, Chipotle customers can log onto www.Chipotle.com and download a Burritos by the Box order form from the nearest Chipotle location. The order form allows customers to identify how many chicken, steak, carnitas, barbacoa or vegetarian burritos they would like to order. The burritos come packed in a box with handles for easy transportation, along with sides of sour cream, chips, medium tomatillo-green chili salsa and freshly made guacamole.
This offer is only available Sunday, February 5, 2012 on orders of six burritos or more. For orders of 50 burritos or more, please allow at least 24 hours notice prior to pick up. The maximum order accepted is 100 burritos.
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. A similarly focused people culture, with an emphasis on identifying and empowering top performing employees, enables us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,100 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.
The vegan fare is fantastic. The artistic ambiance brings out your inner muse at this semi-funk cafe on Santa Monic Blvd. in Hollywood where your Dining Diva dined last night with Richard, of course.
My rice bowl with grilled and garlicky tofu was amazing, washed down with two $5 glasses of house Chardonnay (it was happy hour which runs until 7Pm, we ate early because we were headed to see a play Pulp Shakespeare (a parody of Pulp Fiction done in Shakespearan speak which was more like a Shakespearean tragedy to me. It’s at a local, little theater called Footlights).
Cafe Muse, 6547 Santa Monica Blvd., 323-464-6873 and they have free WiFi!
Your Dining Diva had lunch at TheBlvd at the Four Seasons on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly HIlls yesterday. While the occasion was pleasant, seeing a friend and celebrating a birthday, the service exceptional, the prices were shocking.
I mean please $8 for an iced tea just because it’s called an “Arnold Palmer”. A $5 charge to split our $27 Greek Salad (and a small one at that) and 14 bucks for tomato soup.
Sure the restaurant is lovely and all decked out for the holidays and our service was excellent, but how can even the Four Seasons get off charging that much. And we won’t even go near wine (a glass of a good one was a staggering $25!).
What a meal at Pinot Bistro on Ventura Blvd., in Studio City, California…we went on Sunday as part of the DineLARestaurantWeek promo where you get three course meals for nearly half the going rate at more than 300 restaurants from LA to Orange County.
Kraft and Paula Deen’s Real Women of Philadelphia online community have shared some of their favorite quick and easy recipes with Philadelphia Cream Cheese to cook a delicious meal in less than 30 minutes.
Quick and easy recipes include:
· Santa Fe Chicken Tacos With Avocado Cream · Hidden Veggie Garlic and Bacon Pasta · Easy Chicken Flautas · Cheesy Beef and Potatoes More delicious and easy-to-prepare dishes like these are featured on Paula Deen and Kraft Foods’ online community – Real Women of Philadelphia and in their cookbook Real Women of Philadelphia: The Cookbook which can be purchased online at http://www.Lulu.com.
Aloha! If you’re planning a trip to Waikiki, Hawaii in the near future, make plans to go to the Dining Diva’s favorite restaurantL: Chef Mavro. Here is his story:
”We’re bringing back some of our “Greatest Hits” recipes to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hawaii Regional Cuisine,” Chef Mavro. Check out six-course “Greatest Hits” Menu Reserve your Table 24/7 in this letter… “Greatest Hits” Menu Starts Aug. 30 Wine Spectator “Best French Chefs in America” Letter from Chef Mavro – his HRC story “Greatest Hits” menu starts Tuesday, August 30, ends September 25th Day Boat Snapper Baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust, served tableside Fans of Chef Mavro’s Day Boat Snapper baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust will be thrilled to hear that this original recipe will be the centerpiece of a “Greatest Hits” menu starting Tuesday, August 30 and ending a short time later on Sunday, September 25.
Snapper Baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust, Ogo-Fines Herbes-Tomato was created by Mavro in 1989 and selected by award-winning food writer Alan Richman for his GQ magazine “Ten Best Recipes of the Year.” It is served tableside with the fragrance of rosemary wafting up as the salt crust is opened to reveal the fish. “We’re bringing back some of our most famous farm-to-table recipes to mark the 20th anniversary of Hawaii Regional Cuisine,” comments Mavro.
Let the arguing begin on which recipe is THE favorite! Some would swear by Ahi Tartare & Caviar, others the Keahole Lobster Risotto, and still others the more recent Big Island Goat Cheese Mousse, arugula with Mavro’s new one-minute strawberry jam. The new beef recipe became an instant hit and who can dine at Chef Mavro without being tempted by the famous Lilikoi Malasadas? Photo Credit: John De Mello Check here for all the details and of course the exciting new wine pairings.
Menu prices remain the same with the six-course “Greatest Hits” at $128, the three-course at $75 and the four-course at $85. **Menus are flexible and recipes can be moved from one menu to another. September 2011 issue Most important French chefs working in America ~
Wine Spectator magazine recognizes Chef Mavro among the eleven most important French chefs working in America – others include Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud, Pierre Gagnaire, Eric Ripert & Joel Robuchon The September 2011 issue of Wine Spectator Magazine honors Chef Mavro as one of the eleven “most important French chefs working in America today” noting that “They all work at the top of their field, and each brings the mastery of French technique to the tastes and bounty of North America.” The magazine describes “Chef Mavro restaurant in Honolulu is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the United States.” “I’m excited for Hawaii to be on the Wine Spectator map and to be one of the chosen eleven! My cuisine combines French technique and a passion for wine pairing with Hawaii’s regional influences,” comments Mavro. In addition to Chef Mavro, the other chefs in this select group are: New York – Alain Ducasse, Adour; Daniel Boulud, Daniel, and Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin; Philadelphia – Georges Perrier, Le Bec-Fin; in Chicago Jean Joho, Everest; Las Vegas – Pierre Gagnaire, Twist, Joel Robuchon, Joel Robuchon Restaurant, and Guy Savoy, Restaurant Guy Savoy; San Francisco – Hubert Keller, Fleur de Lys; and Pasadena – David Feau, The Royce at the Langham. Chef Mavro is often rated with these and other top chefs including the current Gayot “2011 Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S.” where his restaurant is the only winner in Hawaii in the company of The French Laundry and Gary Danko in California; Per Se, Jean Georges, Le Bernadin and Eleven Madison Park in New York; Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas; and Alinea and Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. Chef Mavro restaurant also holds Gayot’s only Three Toques 18/20 rating in Hawaii and the American Automobile Association Five Diamond award. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lilikoi Malasadas, guava coulis, pineapple coconut ice cream ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Letter from Chef Mavro – a founding member tells his story of Hawaii Regional Cuisine (HRC) On a beautiful Sunday in 1991 Shep Gordon, a famous Hollywood agent, invited some Hawaii chefs for a party in his beach house in Maui. He might have had something in mind, because he invited also some farmers, growers and Hawaii Department of Agriculture authorities. Even Roger Vergé (Le Moulin de Mougins in France) flew in at Shep’s invitation. We had a fantastic time cooking and eating together. I was asked to prepare a bouillabaisse the signature dish of my birthplace Marseilles. I was pretty nervous because I knew Roger from my time in France and he’s a tough critic. As usual this recipe takes hours of careful attention to all the details. When Roger tasted my dish and declared it was as good as Chez Tétou on the Cote d’Azur (the bouillabaisse temple) my heart leaped out of my chest! A big moment in my life. At the end of the day we all realized that something big was going on! We were putting down the first stone of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine edifice. There were twelve of us (alphabetically): Sam Choy, Roger Dikon, Mark Ellman, Beverly Gannon, Jean Marie Josselin, Peter Merriman, Amy Ferguson Ota, Philippe Padovani, Gary Strehl, Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, & me. We are very different by ethnicity, style and technique but we have the same goal. Cooking from the local market with local influences.
A few weeks after; our next gathering to visits farmers & grower on the Big Island concluded with a meeting where we decided to create HRC and to publish a cook book.
The rest is History… We worked closely with local farmers to get all the ingredients which were missing in Hawaii such as haricot verts, fresh herbs, asparagus, mushrooms, vanilla, sea asparagus, baby greens, baby vegetables, organic produce… I was the first customer of Kurt & Pam Hirabara. They grow baby greens in Waimea on the Big Island. I found the quality very similar to the quality of baby greens and baby vegetables I was using in Provence from the farmers in Marseille and upcountry Nice. I remember Kurt sent a bouquet of fresh chervil to my kitchen to convince me of the quality of his production. Say no more! I was ready to buy everything. The exciting Honolulu fish auction!
How many times have I taken journalists and others to meet Brooks Takenaka, general manager, and see the most beautiful fish handled with so much care from the fishing boat to the auction to my tables. And the months I spent producing the vertical fish tasting with the State’s Ocean Resources Division to build a market for lesser known species. A big part of the story.
David & Barbara Sumida didn’t need me to promote their watercress. They were already producing more than 80% of the watercress consumed in Hawaii. I remember their father Masaru who used to say “in life do only one thing but do it great!” This is what he did, watercress and only watercress; but by far the best watercress in the world! I promoted fresh water Kahuku blue prawns.
My friend Brent Burkott who was running a prawn farm in Kahuku had to deliver every day (including Sunday) the prawns alive to the restaurant. Since the flesh life of prawns is very short; he had to transport the prawns alive in a running tank on the back of his truck. The prawns were cooked a la minute and served basically alive. Brent had to physically fight with thieves who tried to steal the crustaceans from his ponds. He was working on his aqua farm with the same conviction and love as we cook. I promoted the first beans of Hawaiian Vanilla produced by my friend Jim Reddicopp. Jim moved on from a successful travel tour agency career to grow vanilla on the Big Island. He relocated with his wife and children from Honolulu to the Hamakua coast in the middle of nowhere. He grows from his property an outstanding quality of vanilla. His hard work, motivation and determination are legendary and I am very proud to be associated with the start of his venture. We share the same passion with our farmers, we speak the same language; only the freshest.
Ma’o Farm, Hawaii Island Goat Dairy, Hamakua Heritage Mushrooms, North Shore Big Wave and WOW Farm tomatoes, and over the years so many others each very important but too many to name here. I always say to my cooks, “I buy only the best ingredients for you! Please don’t kill them!” HRC revolutionized the Hawaii restaurant scene. We buy local and promote the products of our farmers, growers and fishermen. We created a new market, boutique farms are flourishing, farmer markets are opening everywhere, locals and visitors have developed an appreciation for Hawaii’s fresh ingredients.
Chef Mavro, 1969 S. King St., Honolulu, just outside Waikiki, 808) 944-4714 : email@example.com,
Read the full story here: http://www.examiner.com/travel-diva-in-los-angeles/street-smarts
Lots of celebs go and have been to this place that’s open 24 hour 7 days and began as a family run delicatessen and restaurant in 1931 in Boyle Heights and moved to Fairfax in 1948. The restaurant is now run by multi generations of the Canter family.
Last year Canter’s Deli launched Canter’s Truck (www.canterstruck.com) serving the deli’s famous sandwiches and baked goods all around the Los Angeles area. The truck schedule and locations can be found on Facebook or Twitter at @canterstruck.
HUNGRY? WE’RE ALWAYS OPEN
The Diva gives it 5 stars. Please read the full review at: http://www.examiner.com/travel-diva-in-los-angeles/fig-olive-brings-back-the-golden-age-of-dining-los-angeles-review-slides
The Diva’s finally goijng to Fig & Olive, the hot spot just off LA’s trendy Melrose Avenue on Melrose Place, that everybody is raving about. I know, it’s taken me awhile, but hey I have lots of restaurants and places to cover.
The restaurant, which open in March, is loated at 84900 Melrose Place, check out the yummy sounding menu: www.figandolive.com.
This is the first West Coast location of the acclaimed New York-based FIG & OLIVE kitchen and tasting bar. Situated within an expansive 8,000-square-foot, split-level space on the corner of Melrose Place and La Cienega Boulevard
in West Hollywood, Executive Chef Pascal Lorange will introduce a menu of refined elegance with classic flavors and the highest quality of ingredients inspired by the Riviera and coastal regions of the Mediterranean.
The Asian-influenced menu at this classically-decorated WeHo restaurant stages an operetta of flavors from a fabulous vegan tofu sprinkled with sesame seeds to prefectly prepared fish .
Here’s a few items to chew over:
Pan Seared Scallops 24
edamame, pea tendrils, yuzu orange beurre blanc
Miso Glazed Salmon 23
shiitake basmati rice, bok choi, spinach sauce
Seared Pepper Crusted Ahi Steak 25
wasabi potato purée, soy ginger sauce
Roasted Free Range Chicken Breast 19
haricot verts, fingerling potatoes, smoked bacon, basil butter sauce
Sesame Tofu Steak 15
garlic broccolini, steamed brown rice, lemon soy sauce
Berkshire Pork Chop 23
garnet yam purée, sautéed brussels sprouts, apple cider jus
Herb Marinated Hanger Steak 21
garlic mashed potatoes, glazed green beans, balsamic steak sauce
Grilled Angus New York Strip 30
herbed shoestring fries, arugula salad, blue cheese butter
Filet Mignon MP
ask your server for today’s set
S I D E S
steamed brown rice 3
herbed or spicy fries 6
bacon cheddar au gratin potato 6
garlic, wasabi or yam purée 6
sautéed spinach, green beans or broccolini 6
grilled or steamed asparagus 6
four cheese mac n cheese 8
H O U S E M A D E D E S S E R T S
Darcy’s Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake
valrhona chocolate sauce, vanilla bean ice cream
bittersweet chocolate mousse, whipped cream, shaved chocolate
Warm Blueberry Crostata
meyer lemon ice cream
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
poached rhubarb, strawberries, black pepper tuile
There’s a nightly happy hour (5 PM to 7:30 PM) with half off on fun bites and sandwiches and drinks; and on Monday’s it’s half off on all wine.
Draft Sapporo | Anchor Porter | Franziskaner Hefe Weisse ~ $4
House Red | White Wine | Red Sangria ~ $5
Well Drinks ~ $5 Sky Infusions ~ $5
S I G N A T U R E C O C K T A I L S
La Bohème Infusion
Café La Bohème’s signature specialty drink, made with premium infused vodkas,
and our secret mix of fresh fruit juices.
French Pear Martini
Grey Goose La Poire and St Germain liqueur shaken and topped
with a dash of champagne. Voila!
Ketel 1 Oranje vodka, melon & mango liqueurs, a splash each of
orange and lime juice, shaken and served up.
Santa Monica Sidecar
Our top shelf Sidecar combines Remy Martin VSOP Cognac, Cointreau,
fresh lemon juice and sugar, shaken and served up.
A tropical take on a Cuban staple! Caribbean light rum with natural simple syrup,
fresh limes, fresh mint, and mango puree with a splash of soda water.
Ciroc Coconut vodka with a splash of Chambord Liqueur and pineapple juice,
served chilled up and you’re on your way to the Islands!
Love Potion # 9
Godiva chocolate raspberry vodka, muddled fresh
(If you haven’t joined Open Table do it now, it’s free and you get credit back and top tables in town).
Wolfie will have a signature restaurant called guess what? “Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air–how original, and he’ll be carefully controlling room service and all the in-house F&B. Can you say, “designer pizza”? After all, it’s the Italian pies that put the chef on the map when he opened the original Spago in West Hollywood many moons ago.
As any informed foodie knows that spot’s long gone, replaced by Spago Beverly Hills–probably one of the most successful of Wolfie’s empire and ginormously popular with super stars, moguls, mavens and visitors who venture there in hopes of seeing stars.
Table aren’t as hard to score as they once were thanks to the recession. There’s was a time when you could only get in at hours like 6 PM unless of course you were somebody or knew what name to drop. Spago’s worth the money though, it’s consistently excellent. I go there often, especially since said recession when it’s easier to get a table. We’ve even managed to get a primo booth a few times. Saw a lot of celebs, too. Contrary to popular belief they actually eat the food. Even anorexics can’t resist it.
Anyhow dear readers, just thought you’d like to know about this culinary developement. I can’t wait for Hotel Bel-Air to reopen. We’ve enjoyed many good meals and overnights there and hope to do so once again.
For more information check out my column at: http://www.examiner.com/travel-diva-in-los-angeles/wolfgang-puck-takes-his-toque-to-the-hotel-bel-air
LA has many claims to fame, the least of which is being home of some of the country’s most expensive parking lots. It’s not unusual to shell out anywhere from $10 to $20 and more for the privilege of having a valet whisk your car off to some remote spot on the street– or Lord knows where– while you have drinks or dinner at your favorite restaurant.
Which is what makes Asia de Cuba’s summer special all that more appealing. The restaurant, located in Mondrian Hotel on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood is kicking off the season with “Out of Office Fridays” that include not only $5 valet parkig, but an equal number of bucks for drinks and snacks on Friday afternoons from 1 PM to 4 PM.
Out of Office Fridays Menu highlights include tangy tuna pica, crunchy crab croquetas, yummy lobster Shiitake potstickers, and signature Mojitos to wash it all down. To add to your summer fun the restaurant is also offering a special Sunday Brunch for $39.50 from 10 AM to 3 PM designed to delight your senses with pastries, Asia de Cuba’s classic brunch entrees, and a decadent dessert buffet boasting their Cuban Opera cake, carrot cake and various cheese cakes to name a few. And to quench your thirst there’s bottomless Sake Sangria – a summertime cocktail loaded with fresh fruit (image below), or for the more traditional taste, endless Bloody Marys and Mimosas.
The brains behind the bistro, Jean Francois Meteigner relocated and reinvented his west LA restaurant, La Cachette Bistro in 2009. The results were phenom. People seemed to prefer the fare in Santa Monia which is lighter, Frenchier and well, bistroish.
I love it for lunch, but it’s also great for happy hour when he serves French Tapas– small plates of Heavenly Bites including Dates stuffed with Gorgonzola with Crispy Prosciutto, Foie Gras with Polenta, Swordfish Belly with Wasabi and Dark Chocolate & Caviar Truffles with Crème Fraiche.
The bar buzzes by night on the enclosed patio as locals saunter in after a day at the office, beach, bicycling on the strand and all those things that Santa Monia denizens do.
The restaurant is located at 1733 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica…a stone’s throw from the beach.
Cleo at the Redbury offers a feast for foodies and scenesters
Cleo at the Redbury Hotel–a chimerical spot named after, you guessed it, Cleopatra, greets guests with a large photo of Theda Bara fom the 1917 eponymous movie. You will see from the slide show all the other pictures that line the walls.
The joint jumps with a youthful vibe fueled by specialty drinks and copious portions of Middle Eastern food served family-style at the tables.
Our hosts selected the menu and every bite was delicious from the “mezzes” to the flatbreads and seafood. A hummus with Tahini cucumbers and yogurt prepared the taste buds for platters of chicken and beef kebabs, lamb, hangar steak fish, flatbreads, salads, and desserts—all great.
The menu choices are dizzying and relatively inexpensive with grilled tuna or daurade going for $15, flatbreads served with mushroom and gruyere for just $13, cous cous for $11, hanger steak for just $15 and wines offered from $8 to $12 a glass, but fairly high by the bottle with many in the $30 and $45 range.
There’s also cocktails bottled and draft beers and specialty drinks like Cleo kiss (Tanqueray gin, crushed cucumber, pomegranate juice, lime and a splash of Martini and Rossi Prosecco and a Medusa’s Bite (Hennessy Cognac, Domaine Canton, crushed Conchord grapes, lemon and Ginger Ale).
Cleo’s definitely youth-driven but everybody’s welcomed by an efficient and friendly staff and fun barkeeps. It’s the perfect night out for locals, tourists and to take out-of-town visitors for a taste of hip and happening Hollywood.
Cleo at the Redbury, 1717 Vine, Hollywood, 323-962-1717, www.cleorestaurant.com
Pinot Noir lovers spoke out loud and clear at the 9th Annual Pinot Noir Summit. In an unmistakable statement of preference, they embraced wines of elegance and varietal authenticity rather than burly Syrah-like Pinots, the muscular Pinot Noirs made popular by a few influential reviewers and their publications.
Over 350 adventurous Pinot Noir lovers, seeking true splendor in the glass, experienced and evaluated 64 luscious Pinot Noirs in a blind tasting at the Pinot Noir Summit on February 26, 2011 at the Hilton San Francisco. The award-winning wines were selected by a professional panel in a series of blind tastings from a field of 367 wines. The wines at the Pinot Noir Summit represented the best of the best from this year’s Pinot Noir Shootout.
In a distinctly different format and atmosphere from other wine-tasting events, attendees blind taste the wines and pit their palates against the expert judging panel. The wines are divided into 2 groups of 32 wines each. Comparative results: White Group – Purple Group
The Shootout is the only competition where the judges’ conclusions are put to the test by an unbiased panel of wine lovers. All results and comments are gender specific.
9th Annual Pinot Summit Results:
Bouchaine 2008 Estate Pinot Noir, Napa Valley-Carneros
McIntyre 2008 Estate Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands
DaVine Cellars 2007 Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains
Steele 2008 Bien Nacido Vineyards Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County
Leveroni 2009 Seven Oaks Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Valley
Portalupi 2008 Russell Family Ranch Pinot Noir, Paso Robles
Shootout Panel Results:
Chamisal 2008 Estate Pinot Noir San Luis Obispo, Edna Valley
Lucienne 2007 Lone Oak Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands
Expression 39 2009 Annahal Vineyard Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley
Woodworth 2008 Estate Pinot Noir, Temecula Valley
Mueller 2008 Emily’s Cuvee Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Coghlan 2009 Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills
Fess Parker 2008 Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County
Women delegates at the Pinot Noir Summit selected Pinots viewed as silky, elegant, velvety, and well-balanced by the female judges, wines displaying finesse over structure.
Comments and scores by gender at AFFAIRS of the VINE by March 26th
Oceania Cruises new 65,000-ton, 1, 250 passenger Marina serves food fit for a diva. In all my years of cruising I’ve rarely found food as consistently delicious as I did on a 15-day Panama Canal Cruise on t his remarkable ship.
There are actually 10 dining venues to choose from: the Grand Dining Room, Red Ginger, Jacques, Toscana, Polo Grill, Terrace Cafe, Waves, Prive, La Reserve and room service. All but Prive and La Reserve are free. Prive costs $1000 for a table of 10 and La Reserve has a $75 per person wine pairing free attached.
For more about the Diva’s Marina cruise go to: http://www.examiner.com/cruise-88-in-national/patti-pietschmann
Additional information on Oceania Cruises can be found at: www.oceaniacruises.com
The restaurant is hosting a parking lot party complete from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at 12229 Ventura Boulevard ijn Studio City, complete with traditional lion dance, red paper lanterns, and Chinese drummers. The event will be open to the public, providing guests with complimentary tray passed appetizers and beverages by Tsingtao Beer.
As a parting gift, each guest will receive customary red envelopes with $8 in Chi Bucks to be used on their next visit.
The restaurant will remain open during the event, allowing guests to stop in for dinner before or after the festival.
We love the place, and hadn’t been back in awhile. When we heard Peel was participating in Dine LA Restaurant Week we checked out the menu on line and made a rez on Open Table.
I did the grilled Tai snapper which is shown above and is out of this world-it was all dreamy good, I’m talking tasty, good.
Our waitress was a delight, but the wine list stymied me. I have a penchant for California Chards and the list is largely Italian selections of which we know very little. I ordered a Puglia Rose Guappo that was $9, it was okay. Richard had the Soave for $10, small pours, too. But the food made up for the lapse. Still would hae been nice to wash it all down with a good wine.
When it’s not Restaurant Week, this place can be get pretty pricey, so I highly recommend getting off your duff and making a rez since there are only a few days left, this session ends tomorrow, Jan. 28 with the second week going from January 30-Feb. 4. As mentioned three course dinners are $34 and three course lunches $22.
dineLArestaurant officially launched last night at the Sofitel Hotel with chefs, sponsors and folks from LAInc The Convention and Visitors Bureau on hand to promote the foodie event that begins this Sunday, January 23.
Nearly 300 restaurants created menus that are priced at $16, $22 or $28 for lunch and $26,$34 or $44 for dinner. The event actually runs in two segments, Jan. 23-28, and Jan. 30-Feb. 4.
Chef Kerry Simon (Simon’s at the Sofitel) pictured above who created the hors d’oeuvres for last night’s party.
It was a fun night and a good promo for the culinary excursion of the year.