Chef Paul Ragan’s cookin’ up a little somethin’ somethin’ in the foothills of Altadena and it’s got a whole lotta soul. Filing my first scout report, “At AltaEats, seafood paella and a duck egg for your duck hash,” on the Los Angeles Times‘ Daily Dish. Bon appetit.
Archive for the 'New American' Category
The moment The Astronomer and I landed in Seattle, we hailed a cab and high-tailed it to The Corson Building for dinner. We usually take a train from the airport into the city, but we didn’t want to waste any precious time since we only had #2DaysinSeattle.
Here in a stone building on an industrial stretch of Georgetown, about five miles from downtown Seattle, Chef Matt Dillon serves wonderfully rustic fare using locally sourced ingredients prepared with Northwest flare. Previously, Chef Dillon was named the James Beard Award winner in the Northwest category in 2012 and Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chef in 2007.
My friend Jessica recommended this restaurant to me years ago, but I never made my way here until this most recent jaunt.
While Saturday and Sunday evenings are communal affairs with multi-course pre-fixe menus, the restaurant serves a “small, hand-written menu inspired by the writings and philosophies of Angelo Pellegrini” on Friday nights.
According to Wikipedia, Angelo Pellegrini was “an author of books about the pleasures of growing and making your own food and wine, and about the Italian immigrant experience. He was also a professor of English Literature at the University of Washington.” How cool is that?
I sipped two glasses of wine with dinner, one light and white and the other full bodied and red, while The Astronomer chose an Indian lager. He was initially entranced by the hints of honey in each sip, but ultimately decided that the beer tasted too watered down.
The residents of Beachwood Canyon are incredibly lucky to have a place like Beachwood Cafe to drop into for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The space couldn’t be any more adorable, while the cooking is thoughtful and satisfying.
Owner Patti Peck took over the former Village Coffee Shop last March and, along with Chef Minh Phan, converted the one-time greasy spoon into a cozy neighborhood spot serving farm-to-table fare. The Astronomer and I, along with a gaggle of girlfriends, dined at Beachwood Cafe on an uncharacteristically rainy Friday night. The damp weather demanded just the sort of hearty fare that Chef Minh executes superbly well.
Previously, Chef Minh (left) attended Le Cordon Bleu, served as the Pastry Chef at Axe in Venice, and spent time in the kitchens of Gotham Tavern in Portland and the Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon. That’s our friend-in-common Diep Tran on the right.
To start, we sipped sparking wine cocktails accented with pink peppercorns and star anise.
Chef Miles Thompson, who launched The Vagrancy Project last summer, has found a permanent home in Echo Park in the building formerly occupied by Allston Yacht Club. During his twice-a-week pop-up in this very space, the former executive sous chef at Son of a Gun dazzled diners with creative and beautifully plated fare like John Dory with boba, miso, and shiitake and chorizo with grapefruit and Robiola on toast.
While the culinary residency was short lived, it managed to catch the attention of Allston Yacht Club’s owners Bill DiDonna and Charles Kelly. Allumette is a joint venture between the two seasoned restauranteurs and the young chef. Consider this pop-up completely permanent.
Allumette’s forward-thinking menu is comprised of two dozen small and thoughtful plates that fall under the categories of “Vegetable,” “Pasta,” “Fish,” “Shellfish,” “Meat,” “For Two,” and “Dessert.” Diners are encouraged to either indulge in the Chef’s tasting menu or select 4 to 6 dishes to create their own tasting experience.
I, along with my dining companions Darin, Pat, and Christina, decided to go the family-style route in order to taste as much of the menu as possible. In certain instances where a dish was literally a bite or two, we doubled, tripled, or quadrupled our order as needed.
Before diving into the food, we sampled a few cocktails crafted by Serena Herrick. I selected the “Smoking Gun” ($11), a super-strong brew comprised of Vida mezcal, Cynar, and Calisaya. Since The Astronomer wasn’t around to tow me home safely, I kept my sips to a minimum.
Our final full day in New York was dedicated to exploring the burgeoning borough of Brooklyn. We started the day in Bushwick, “arguably the coolest place on the planet” and home to the much buzzed about restaurant Roberta’s.
Here at this cruddy shack located a short walk from the L train, Chef Carlo Mirarchi makes some of the most beautiful pies around. Born in Queens, raised in Long Island, and educated at NYU, Chef Mirachi is a self-taught cook with a knack for foods that comfort and flavors that pop. Roberta’s takes no regular reservations, which wasn’t an issue for us since we dined here for lunch on a Monday afternoon.
Prior to opening the restaurant, Chef Mirachi and his team traveled to Italy to apprentice with a pizzaiolo. While in Italy, they also procured this flashy red wood-burning oven from a bankrupt pizzeria and had it brought back and assembled in Brooklyn.