DAKOTA at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
A Sexy New Room with Sensational Steaks
by Bonnie Carroll
Dakota is the dazzling new dining room in the newly renovated Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, located at 7000 Hollywood, is the brain child of talented restaurant entrepreneur Tim Goodell, and continues to be a favorite destination of locals and visiting tourists. It was really quite amazing to find a room that I have always considered to be beyond any hope of style recovery that had been transformed,not only into a spectacularly tasteful dining venue, but also a tempting rendezvous with an ambiance that was attracting a crowd, including the now entertainment set.
The menu is sweetly original and features the creations of talented Executive Chef Mc Donald. His dishes include fabulous variations on old standards, like a sophisticated version of a wedge saladwithblue cheese, but also some stand out items showcasing boldnewflavors and plate presentations that were unexpectedand totally pleasing.The steaks and standing rib at Dakota were cooked to perfection,and the bevy of small sauce dishesfor dipping are a brilliant, as well as delicious touch.The hangar steak with cauliflower is outstanding, and chef Mc Donald has provided me with the recipe toshare with you, which appears at the bottom of this page.
I would recommend all of the appetizers, and especially the shrimp cocktail, whichcomes with huge shrimps, sitting gracefully on a bed of lettuce, accompanied by a memorable 'finger-licking-good' cocktail sauce.The desserts are also masterpieces, and will make any sweet sinner feel satisfied.
The restaurant staff are young, eager and hoping to be discovered, but the attention to detail is excellent, and the service prompt. I stopped to talk with the assistant chef, a darling Irish girl who really enjoys her work, and obviously loves food. She shared her enthusiasm about the work she was doing at the hotel that recently celebrated its 75th anniversary.
The entire renovation of the hotel is such a welcome change, and as I strolled around to see the new Library Bar, which appears to be a perfect place to meet friends for a drink or hold a pre-dinner business meeting, I was completely enamored by the attractive face lift that has been given to this historic old girl. After all, not only is this spot currently a preferred meeting place for entertainment moguls and corporate giants, but in 1929 it was the home of the Academy Awards, and has been a home-away-from-home for countless great motion picture stars since it opened stylish doors nearly a century ago.
Another interesting little side visit is the Tropicana pool area to the west of the hotel, where a fifties style décor welcomes invited visitors to sit by the softly lit pool and sip a martini or after dinner cordial to the sounds old Hollywood favorites. It's a very good feeling when nostalgia meets the moment with ease, and these are the good old days at Dakota in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
SICILIAN ADVENTURE IN ROME
Flavors from the Island of Sicily Please Roman Citizens and Visitors
by Bonnie Carroll
I usually say 'When in Rome' stick with everything Roman, but on my latest culinary quest in Roma I was introduced to Sicilia Al Tappe, Ristorante Siciliano, a wonderful local venue, with a patio surrounded by flowering plants, that was filled with people having funand enjoying fabulous food.My host, a Roman attorney named Isabella D'Angelo,and some of her friends invited me to join them to experience a place that only the Roman local frequent, and when we arrived I knew it was true...I was the only non-Italian speaking person there.
The owner is a charming man who makes lots of jokes and is a 'host with the most' when it comes to making people feel welcome and enticing guests with his evening specials. We ate family style and I was happy to taste the many dishes offered at Sicilia al Tappe. My favorite was a carpaccio in oil with lemon, served with a warm bread. It was the best ever! We also enjoyed several wonderful pasta dishes, and shared deserts.
The ristorante is located at Via Garibaldi in Rome, telephone 06 58 33 5490, and their web address is www.siciliainboccaweb.com. Mangia Bene!!
SAN DIEGO BAY WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES STAR-STUDDED LINE UP OF COOKING AND WINE TASTING CLASSES
Southern California’s Largest Wine & Food Festival Features 15 Classes by Award-Winning Chefs, Winemakers, Master Sommeliers and Local Culinary Stars
Life is good for gourmands and enophiles attending this year’s San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival November 8-12. Festival producers announced today their line up of celebrity chefs, winemakers, master sommeliers and local culinary stars set to teach in 15 savory cooking and wine tasting classes. “This year’s festival blends top-notch wine and culinary talent in classes designed for both the novice wine and food enthusiast as well as the more experienced home chef and serious wine collector,” said Michelle Metter, the Festival’s co-producer. “We have brought together masters of their craft in both the culinary and enology fields to provide Festival attendees with an exceptional range of classes from which to choose.” Some of the chefs and winemakers joining this year’s festival include:
In 2004, Chef Gavin Kaysen of El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn was named “Best Chef” critics choice in San Diego Magazine, as well as “Hottest Young Rising Star” by Riveria Magazine. Most recently, Kaysen won the Finals of the Bocuse d’Or competition and will now go on to represent the United States at the Bocuse d’Or 2007 in Lyon, France. Kaysen will take attendees through the wonderful benefits of Sous-Vide cuisine during his class at this year’s Festival.
Napa Valley winemakers and representatives unite on a panel discussion of the region’s distinct AVAs. Panel members include Mike Grgich of Grgich Hill Winery, Jac Cole of Spring Mountain, Marketta Fourmeaux of Chateau Potelle, Diana Snowden of Snowden Winery, Gianni Paoletti of Paoletti Winery, Florencia Palmaz of Palmaz Winery, and Beth Thompson of Trefethan Winery.
Chef David Lawrence, author of Boy Eats World, is a master at making gourmet food simple for the home chef. Lawrence’s fun and upbeat classes at this year’s Festival include “A Private Chef Cooks Simple Gourmet” and “Cocktails & Hors d’ oeuvres To Die For”.
Master Sommelier Joseph Spellman is Director of Education for Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Napa Valley. He has worked in wine for 25 years, principally as a sommelier, in Chicago’s top restaurant cellars. He is a frequent instructor and examiner in the Court of Master Sommeliers, and has been recently elected Chairman of the American Chapter of the Court. Serious wine enthusiasts will enjoy classes moderated by Spellman including “Napa Valley AVA Panel Discussion” and “Master Sommelier Blind Tasting”.
Winner of 7 Emmy awards for his San Diego based cooking show titled “Sam The Cooking Guy”, Chef Sam Zien brings a refreshing and “regular persons” approach to making terrific dishes for his audience. With a cookbook due out in 2007, Sam The Cooking Guy, is an exciting addition to this year’s Festival. His class, “Happily South of the Border” will teach guests how to make mouth-watering cuisine such as Mexican Bruchetta, Shrimp Tacos, Chicken Enchiladas, Halibut with Salsa Cream, and Toasted Pound Cake with Mango. Wine and cooking classes held during the five-day festival take place on Thursday, November 9 and Friday, November 10 at three locations throughout San Diego. Following is a complete list of this year’s class line-up:
Thursday, November 9
Spice Up Your Holiday with A Southwest Thanksgiving by Chef Vikki Nulman, Owner of Sol Café in Santa Fe, NM. Class will be held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. $55 per person.
Debunking the Myth of the Perfect Pairing ?by John Alonge, wine expert/owner San Diego Wine & Culinary Center. Class will be held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. $45 per person.
International Tour of Sparkling Wines? by Deborah D. Lazear, CSW, CIM. Class will be held at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. $45 per person.
Ole! Tour de Spanish Wines & Tapas by Sommelier Tracy Wallace of The Wine Encounter. Class will be held at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. $55 per person.
Perfect Paella Preparation by Executive Chef Gary Thompson of Viejas Casino. Class will be held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. $45 per person.
Pinot Noir California Style by Parris Driggers, Sommelier. Class will be held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.? $45 per person.- Cocktails And Hors d’ oeuvres To Die For by Chef Dave Lawrence author of Boy Eats World. Class will be held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. $55 per person.
Friday, November 10
A Private Chef Cooks Simple Gourmet by Chef Dave Lawrence author of Boy Eats World. Class will be held at Macy’s School of Cooking in Mission Valley from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.? $60 per person.
Autumn Harvest by Chef Augie Saucedo, Chef de Cuisine at The Shores Restaurant in La Jolla. Class will be held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. $55 per person.
Napa Cabernet Tasting & Panel Discussion by Master Sommelier Joseph Spellman and Panel of Napa Valley Winemakers. Class will be held at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. $55 per person.-
Simply Sensational Syrah Tasting?by Kerry Damskey, Winemaker. Class will be held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. $55 per person.
Paso Robles Taste Tour by Panel of Paso Robles Winemakers. Class will be held at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina from 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. $55 per person. Sous-Vide Cuisine by Chef Gavin Kaysen, Chef de Cuisine, El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn. Class will be held at Macy’s School of Cooking in Mission Valley from 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. $60 per person.-
Happily South of the Border by Sam the Cooking Guy. Class will be held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. $55 per person.
Master Sommelier Blind Tasting?by Master Sommelier Joseph Spellman. Class will be held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. $75 per person.
Space for each class is limited and may be reserved by visiting the Festival website at www.worldofwineevents.com or calling 619-342-7337. Tickets must be reserved in advance, as classes will sell out. Individuals must be 21 and older to attend.