Thursday, September 3, 2009

Restaurants with a view

Open Table announced its list of the top 50 restaurants with a view, and Chart House seems to have a corner on the views. Good thing, that - although their food is passable, I've had much better meals elsewhere. Ditto for Moonshadows in Malibu. But Skates in Berkeley (photo by Alison Osborne, at left) and Scoma in Sausilito are worth the trip.

Anyone have anything good to say about any other of these?

A Caprice Kitchen – Tiburon, Calif.
Alize at the Top of the Palms Casino Resort – Las Vegas
Beachcomber Cafe - Crystal Cove – Newport Coast, Calif.
Bertrand at Mister A's – San Diego
Chart House Restaurant, Cardiff – Cardiff, Calif.
Chart House Restaurant, Dana Point – Dana Point, Calif.
Chart House Restaurant, Longboat Key – Longboat Key, Fla.
Chart House Restaurant, Malibu – Malibu, Calif.
Chart House Restaurant, Monterey – Monterey, Calif.
Chart House Restaurant, Newport – Newport, Ky.
Chart House Restaurant, Portland – Portland, Ore.
Chart House Restaurant, Tower of the Americas – San Antonio
Chart House Restaurant, Weehawken – Weehawken, N.J.
Cite – Chicago
Coach Insignia – Detroit
Different Pointe of View – Phoenix
Edgewood Restaurant – Stateline, Nev.
Eiffel Tower – Las Vegas
elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain – Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck – Dallas
Franciscan Crab Restaurant – San Francisco
Highlawn Pavilion – West Orange, N.J.
Island Prime – San Diego
McClintock's – Tucson, Ariz.
Miramar Beach Restaurant – Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Monterey Bay Fish Grotto – Pittsburgh
Moonshadows – Malibu, Calif.
Nick’s Cove – Marshall, Calif.
Orange Hill Restaurant – Orange, Calif.
Pacific’s Edge Restaurant – Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.
Peaks Restaurant – Palm Springs, Calif.
Peohe's, Coronado Waterfront Restaurant – Coronado, Calif.
Pier W – Lakewood, Ohio
Portland City Grill – Portland, Ore.
Republic of Texas Bar & Grill – Corpus Christi, Texas
River Cafe – Brooklyn, N.Y.
Scoma’s Sausalito – Sausalito, Calif.
Severn Inn – Annapolis, Md.
Six Seven Restaurant & Lounge – Seattle
Skates on the Bay – Berkeley, Calif.
The Marine Room – La Jolla, Calif.
The Plantation House – Kapalua, Hawaii.
The Sky Room – Long Beach, Calif.
The Spinnaker – Sausalito, Calif.
The Steakhouse at Azul La Jolla – La Jolla, Calif.
Top of the Hub – Boston
Top of the Riverfront, Millennium Hotel – St. Louis
West Restaurant and Lounge – Los Angeles
X2O Xaviars on the Hudson – Yonkers, N.Y.
Yamashiro – Hollywood, Calif.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Slow food for Labor Day

Labor Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the end of summer proper with friends and family. But if you're wondering how to make the food special this year, here's a hint: Take it slow.
As in slow food.

Slow Food USA is offering a petition at its site for people to sign. And it's organizing about 300 demonstrations across the United States on Labor Day to talk about serving real food in schools rather than the mostly processed items dished up each school day to about 30 million kids, 1 in 5 who are classified as obese.

"It will be a picnic, a potluck and a virtual march on Washington," said Josh Viertel (above), president of Slow Food USA in a statement. "It will be a day when American shares food it believes in and demands real food for our children."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tavern on the Green under new management

Did I mention the incredible crab cakes I tested out of the Tavern on the Green cookbook? My tongue is still smiling, but I didn't see the restaurant's news until today. The Central Park landmark will be run for the next 20 years by Dean Poll, the city's Department of Parks & Recreation said Friday.

Poll, who also operates the Central Park Boathouse restaurant, won the contract in a bidding process that at one point included the Brennan family of New Orleans. The Tavern on the Green was run for more than 35 years by the LeRoy family. The iconic restaurant opened in 1934. The LeRoy family still owns the intellectual property associated with the restaurant, including its name, and the intellectual property reportedly has been appraised at around $19 million.

The LeRoy family plans to open a Tavern on the Green restaurant in San Francisco, but a spokeswoman offered no details about the project.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Spice tips

  • When possible, grind whole spices in a grinder or mortar & pestle just prior to using. Toasting whole spices in a dry skillet over medium heat before grinding will bring out even more flavor. Be careful not to burn.
  • Buy only as much spice as you need from a store that sells spices in bulk. Its much cheaper than the little bottles from the grocery store, and they won't go bad on you.
  • When using fresh herbs such as dill, chives, parsley, etc., hold them together in small bunches or put in a cup, and snip with kitchen scissors. It is a lot faster this way, and you'll find the herbs will be light and fluffy, not bruised and wet as they often get when chopped.
  • Make your own celery flakes. Just cut and wash the leaves from the celery stalks; place them in the oven on low heat or in the hot sun until thoroughly dry. Crumble and store in an air-tight container. Use in soups or add a kick to tuna sandwiches.
  • Never heat pesto sauce in the microwave- the basil will turn black and taste bitter, and the Parmesan will clump.
  • Store freshly cut basil on your kitchen counter in a glass with the water level covering only the stems. Change the water occasionally. It will keep for weeks this way, even develop roots! Basil hates to be cold, so NEVER put it in the refrigerator. Also, regular cutting encourages new growth and healthier plants.