Open since 1937, the Buckeye Roadhouse is a Marin County landmark. The patrons here are quintessential Mill Valley — an eclectic mix of sharply dressed business men, hikers still in their hoodies, and perfectly coiffed young families. But no matter their attire, they’re all there to enjoy the consistently fabulous food that the Buckeye offers.
The dining room is both formal and rustic, with elegant white tablecloths, rich wood paneling, and a grand river-rock fireplace as the focal point. The main room is almost always full to capacity and because of this, can get a little too loud to carry on a quiet conversation. If you’re looking for a more intimate setting, ask to be seated upstairs where the ski-lodge ambiance carries through but the noise from the bustling downstairs doesn’t.
Before you dig into the food, whet your appetite with one of the Buckeye’s Roadhouse Cocktails. The cucumber gimlet is a refreshing blend of house-infused vodka, elderflower liqueur, lime, and a champagne float. For something a little sweeter, go with the raspberry lemon drop — a sugary blend of lemon-infused vodka, combier, lemon juice, a float of chambord, and a pink sugared rim. Or stick with a classic and order their perfected Roadhouse Rum Sidecar.
Every complete meal at the Buckeye should start with an order of Oysters Bingo — a house favorite. The briny oysters are topped with spinach, cream, garlic, and cheese and baked until golden brown and bubbly. Even non-oyster enthusiasts won’t be able to get enough of this rich dish. For some lighter starting fare, try the organic “Bolinas Greens” with avocado, cilantro, and lime vinaigrette or their creative take on the classic Caesar salad — the Brutus, served with ground red chiles for a spicy kick.
It’s hard to pick a main course off the enticing menu, and it’s rare you’ll make a wrong choice, but the stars are the meat dishes. The steaks are some of the best in the area, cooked perfectly to temperature and accompanied by such succulent sides as blue cheese fritters, roasted tomato balsamic reduction, or a Gruyère potato gratin. The large smoker that can be seen through the dining room window creates such masterpieces as the baby back ribs served with sweet corn on the cob and creamy coleslaw or the duck two ways, with grilled nectarines and a mushroom-goat cheese bread pudding.
Whatever you order, make sure to save at least a little room for dessert. Proudly touted as “Marin’s most beloved dessert” and featured on the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate, the S’more Pie is every bit as good as it’s hyped up to be. The crunchy graham cracker crust provides a perfect bed for the rich, melty chocolate chunks and homemade marshmallow fluff, toasted to golden perfection. It’s best to share this treat, as just a few bites will certainly provide the necessary sweet end to a likely decadent (and delicious) meal.
Nine Steakhouse - Not just steaks - 440 W. Randolph
Ive had this gift cert to Nine sitting around and my wife and I finally went last night.
There is NO exterior signage on the building indicating that the restaurant is located inside.
As one walks in the hostess stand is to ones left w/a 15 tall waterfall (water sliding down a 15x 4 vertical piece of stainless steel.) Stainless steel, dark black hard woods and black suede are common materials. The booths are all black suede. There a raised center section of ceiling with lights that change its color every 40 minutes or so. Music is jazz w/a strong beat. Lots of people wearing black here.
We were seeing a play later that night so we had dinner reservations for 5pm, right when they open. We showed up at 5 minutes to and were told we are not open yet. Not your even your bar? was my response, oh yeah, that is open. Nice welcoming atmosphere is what I was thinking :rolleyes:
We ordered two glasses of house white wine, one Riesling one Pinot Grigio. Riesling was horribly sweet, almost white Zinfandel (YUCK), Pinot grigio was good, thankfully wife was in a sweet wine mood and we switched.
At 10 after 5 a hostess asked if we would like to be seated. Now my second gripe. When one is done at the bar, I should simply be able to say put the drinks on our dinner bill of course no that can not happen at Nine, you have to close out your bar bill before being seated.
We were seated in one of the black suede booths near a window that allows views into the kitchen. However the booth is low and the windows high, so I could not very well view the chefs in action.
Nine calls itself a steakhouse and there are quite a few cuts of USDA Prime beef. If I had not had a steak in awhile I would have ordered the KC Strip Steak (KC Strip Steak is a NY strip w/the bone left in), however I had just grilled two nights earlier a USDA Prime, dry-aged Porterhouse, so I knew nothing that Nine could offer would be better than that. Thankfully Nine has PLENTY of other non-beef items. There are lots of seafood entrees.
I was not really drawn to an entrée my interest was held by all these wonderful sounding appetizers, so I decided to make a meal of various appetizers.
Wife started with the two cones, a phyllo like dough baked into an ice cream cone shape, served on a stand that held both cones vertically. One cone consisted of an Ahi tuna mixture and the other a Maine lobster mixture. Both were good but the Maine was the best.
I started with the fried rock shrimp w/two dipping sauces. The presentation is quite charming a takeout Chinese food white box is stuffed w/some white food paper that the rock shrimp are then put into. The portion size was huge! And the buggers were done perfectly. We both preferred the hot chili dipping sauce over the lame white/tarter/lemon sauce.
I was then served a bowl of black bean soup (pureed) w/ crème fresh drizzled and a few crisp tortilla strips on top. The earthy, spicy black bean soup combined w/the coolness of the crème fresh and crunch of the strips was quite delicious.
Wifes entrée was a long time favorite on the menu according to our server, the miso cod. Cod was cooked perfectly w/the sweet yet somewhat nutty taste of the miso glaze. Some sautéed mushrooms were a nice side. This is a very enjoyable dish.
I had an appetizer portion of Nines soft shell crabs. This was a terrible dish the crab was not crisp as a soft shell should be. The server mentioned that they deep fry their crabs instead of sautéing them. As stated it was terrible and when the server came back to inquire about how our meals were, we let her know the cod was great, the soft shell was very poor (and politely explained why).
For those interested I have a VERY VERY easy way to prepare soft shell crabs at home.
Either clean the crabs yourself or have your butcher do it. Lightly dust the crabs in a mixture of flour that has some black pepper in it. Sautee the crabs on a high temp w/some butter in a pan. This will be a very quick cooking process, maybe 3 minutes on the first side, two on the other. Remove crabs to paper towel. Deglaze pan w/juice of one lemon. Pour your deglazed sauce over the now plated crabs, serve promptly. Delicious.
I had also ordered the clams served on hot rocks. They could not produce the hot rock presentation so they served the clams in a pan w/rock salt. Clams were fresh/good, lightly breaded w/some garlic, presentation sucked and that is one of the things I was paying for at Nine.
The server had really talked up their choc chip cookies. We decided to split a serving of Smores for dessert. The graham crackers are already covered w/chocolate and there is a burner w/marshmallows that you place on the end of a water soaked chop stick. Get your marshmallow gooey on the stick and place on pre-chocolated graham cracker. Good, fun but very messy!
As a nice gesture, the server had the dessert taken off the bill due to the poor soft shell crab appetizer dish. Because the server had also talked up the choc chip cookies, she brought us a couple for free as well. They were good, warm, soft, buttery.
If I was entertaining clients who wanted a hipper atmosphere than most restaurants, I would choose Nine again w/out hesitation. We were glad we went to experience it, but probably wont be back to Nine anytime soon, not because it was not good, but just because there are too many other restaurants to try.
440 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 277-0207
Mon-Wed 11:30am-1:30pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm
Thu 11:30am-1:30pm, 5:30pm-11:30pm
Fri 11:30am-1:30pm, 5:30pm-12am, Sat 5:00pm-12am
e-article on Nine: (menu listed is not at all like current menu offered).
[Quote] Executive chef Michael Shrader says,"Expect simplicity with classic foundations and interesting flavor combinations. My goal is to create three or four harmonious elements on a plate, with a balance of taste, texture and eye appeal."
you can't go wrong with it – very pleasant place.
Great atmosphere and decor, the food is really good and the service is professional.
Best Restaurant in Marin County! – The Buckeye is a legend and deserves the accolades it continues to recieve. The ambience is cozy and upscale yet casual at the same time. The service is up to fine dining standards and very detailed. I had the loch duart salmon tartare which was delicious, but a small portion which left me wanting more. My date had the portobello mushroom tart with goat cheese and polenta which was a perfect combination of earthy, rich flavors. I had the corvina fish special which was perfectly light, fresh and savory with butternut squash and apples and my date had the petit fliet which was like butter!! The wine list is impressive also! I would highly reccomend NOT missing this place!
My favorite restaurant in Marin. One of my to 10 in the world! – There is nothing bad about the Buckeye, except that its busy and you need a reservation, unless your going to lunch. my personal favorites. oysters bingo. Broiled oysters w/ cheese and spinach topped w/ lemon. The onion rings that are served w/ the best mustard seed ketchup. The pan roasted artichoke, yum. and the skirt steak, followed by the world famous smores pie for desert. pure heaven!
It's a treat everytime – I've been going there for so many years and i still enjoy this snobby lodge-like ambiance. Great appetizers, meats, sides order as well as amazing offering of raw oysters and the house specialty, the oyster bingos! Not a great place to bring kids. You will have to wait before being seated as they are always packed. Take that as a good sign. It's worth the wait, not to mention that you'll be able to enjoy a great cocktail at the bar, and perhaps sneak in one of these oyster bingo while you wait.
Good, At Times Very Romantic For Two, . Very Good food and Drinks.. – I had a good time and the oysters bingo was a liked menu for my guests, also, pleasently quiet at times. .
Not what I expected. – I had heard great things about this place and was somewhat disappointed at the point of delivery. First off, our waitress was a complete snob (probably becasue we were all in are early 20s) and paid very little attention to us. The food was okay, my friends ribs were tough and the salad I had was soggy from mushroom juices. The atmosphere was, however, fabulous. The hunting lodge vibe worked well with the game/seafood oriented menu. Maybe I'll try it again in 10 years when they'll give me some respect.
This is one FANCY roadhouse – I went here with 3 others for a business lunch. The food was increadible! I ordered the lasagna to be safe, and it was NOT your typical lasagne. It was GOURMET. I didn't order a salad, not wanting to look like a pig, but then I realized everyone else ordered one. I had to watch my boss eat his warm spinach salad--baby spinach with sauteed mushrooms and a large piece of deep fried goat cheese on top. When he cut into it, the cheese just oozed all over the salad. I have not been able to stop thinking about this place. My only complaint was that I had to ask for an iced tea refill. The waitor said he'd be right back and came back several minutes later. The food took a long time to be served as well.
Buckeye - a good date – The Buckeye has some tasty food. I enjoyed my meal there, especially the butter lettuce salad. Wine list isn't bad either. I'd recommend it for a nice dinner with your family visiting from out of town, as well as for a nice date with someone starting to get special. Valet parking a plus. Definitely make a reservation.
A classic roadhouse in Mill Valley, complete with a roaring fireplace, bustling bar and upscale American cuisine. – In Short
This restaurant just off the freeway in Mill Valley has an open feeling, with high-peaked ceilings and large-paned windows. Dark-wood walls, a large stone fireplace and stuffed animal trophies add to the country ambience. The menu consists of classic American cuisine, much of which is cooked in a brick smokehouse in back. Dishes include barbecued baby back ribs, smoked Sonoma duck, maple mashed yams, cilantro garlic fries and S'more pie.
overall, great – The food and service have always been great when I've been there but expect the noise level here to be above average. Even with a reservation you won't be seated on time. I highly suggest the lamb shank. Upstairs seating offers zero ambiance.
Buckeye has had it's day – Fire up the motorbike Fonzi because this joint has jumped the shark. The Steaks are dry the ribs are underdone. The fish is uninspiring. Stick to cocktails in the cozy bar. The Oysters Bingo and the House salad are great the rest is lackluster.
Wake me up when my table is ready. – Went there with a friend Sunday afternoon. We had no reservations, but it was only 5:30. They told us the wait would be 20 minutes. but this was what the told everyone. After *45* minutes they took us out outside to sit. But there were no heating lamps (. ) and it was definitely cold, so we asked to sit inside. Surprise- it would be about 5 minutes until an indoor table was available. Another 30 minutes go by and we are finally seated. Food was surprisingly good, although a bit pricey. I have no complaints about our server. Only complaints were the long wait (caused by something beyond lingering customers) and the screaming dirty post-Stinson beach children who were running around.
Don't expect good service! – I arrived with my date for an early Saturday dinner. When we arrived, we were greeted well at with the parking valet. The wait was about 45 minutes (we did not have reservations). Our watier was rude, didn't make any eye contact when telling us the specials, and was fanning himself with the menus when taking our order. Furthermore, service was slow ONLY for our table, and our waiter acted most expeditiously only when we were ready to pay. After leaving a less than 15% tip, he had the nerve to ask what he had done to deserve such a small ammount, and when i informed him it was the poor service, he replied with a very snide comment. I wouldn't suggest Buckeye Roadhouse. The food is mediocre, and service is way under par for what you pay, not to mention you'd probably get better service at McDonalds. Seriously.
I love this place. – God, I love this restaurant. It's always fun, has a great buzz and the food is so tasty. Prices are great for what you get. The only complaint I have it's hard to get in sometimes. But after the movies it's usually fine.
Nice atmosphere – The dining environment is very nice but I am not so sure about the food. I wasn't too impressed with my entree but my dinner guests really enjoyed their meals. I also had the best dirty martini here. I raise my glass to the bartender.
Try the mac and cheese – Great food and ambience. Reservations recommended, although bar area is usually available.
Undeserved hype! – The night started off well: friendly bartender, quick seating (in the bar area, which was fine), but our food took over an hour, with limited explanation and no apology. I made one comment about the delay, with which the server agreed, adding that she had already spoken to the manager. She later returned and informed us that the manager had refused come over (he was "over it" as we were a "young couple sitting in the bar"). If we wrote a
- 2 cups white sugar
- ⅔ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups water
- 4 eggs
- ⅔ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup butter
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in top of a double boiler over simmering water stir well to prevent clumps. Gradually stir in 5 cups water. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened to gravy consistency, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
Beat eggs in a bowl until light and foamy. Pour in 1 cup of sugar mixture gradually, whisking vigorously to avoid curdling eggs. Whisk egg mixture into remaining sugar mixture gradually return to double boiler. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened to pudding consistency, 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk lemon juice and butter into pudding gradually. Cool in the refrigerator, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
How Does Gordon Ramsay Make Beef Wellington?
1. Shape each beef fillet tender piece by tightly wrapping it with three layers of film, place wrapped beef in the refrigerator overnight, or 24 hours. (this will set wellington shape)
2. Take the film off the beef fillet tender, then quickly sear in a skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil about 1 min on each side until browned and still rare in the center. The take out of the pan set aside, and let cool.
3. Finely chop the mushrooms and fry in a hot pan with a little olive oil, thyme leaves, and some seasoning. As the mushrooms start to give off their juices, continue cooking on high heat for 10 mins or until all the moisture has dissolved and you are left with a mushroom paste (duxelles). Now take the duxelles out of the pan and let cool.
4. Now Cut the puff pastry in half, Put on a floured surface, then roll all the piece into a large rectangle enclosed one of the tender beef fillets, then place in the refrigerator to chill.
5. Lay a large sheet of film on a work surface, place four slices of prosciutto di parma ham in the center, and overlap each piece slightly, creating a square. Spread about half the mushroom mixture (duxelles) equally over the prosciutto ham.
6. Now, season the beef tenders to taste with salt and pepper, then put the tenders on top of the mushroom (duxelles) covered prosciutto ham. Using the film, roll the prosciutto ham on top of the beef, roll, and tie the film tightly and evenly on each end shaped like a thick log. Do the same step with the other beef tender after done, chill both for a minimum time of 30 mins.
7. Remove from refrigerator and brush pastry dough with an egg wash. Then remove the beef tender film and wrap the puff pastry around each prosciutto ham wrapped beef tender. Trim the excess pastry, then brush the egg wash all over the puff pastry. Then cover with film and for a minimum time of 30 mins.
8. In The Meantime, start making the red wine sauce. Heat large pan on med heat the 2 tbsp. Olive oil and fry beef trimmings for about 3-4 mins until trimmings sides are browned. After mix in the sliced shallots and peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, and continue cooking for additional 5 minutes, stirring them frequently until the shallots turn a golden brown color.
9. Now Pour in the vinegar and let it boil for a couple of mins until nearly dry. Add wine let boil until nearly entirely reduced, add beef stock, bring a boil again, lower the heat, simmer for 1 hour, and eliminate any skin from the surface until you have the preferred texture. Straining the liquid through a fine sieve that is lined with muslin. Taste for seasoning, then set sauce aside.
10. Right before cooking the beef wellingtons, score the puff pastry lightly with a paring knife, brush the top of the wellingtons with the egg wash again. Place in oven and Bake at 395 F. for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown, then rest for 10 mins before carving and serving
11. In The Meantime, reheat the red wine sauce an accompaniment for beef wellington
Buckeye Roadhouse: Classics Done Right - Recipes
Fall and winter are the perfect seasons for sitting by the fire with a glass of bourbon (neat) and a good book. As spring and summer encroach upon our winter wardrobes and demand that wool overcoats be replaced with shorts and flip-flops, the time comes for new cocktails as well.
I love summer cocktails because they're fun and lighthearted they don't take themselves too seriously. While I love a great glass of whiskey, I desperately want something a bit less serious when summer weather comes around. Something that feels natural in your hand over a game of corn hole.
Summer cocktails are great and should be done right. With that in mind, here are some recipes for some old classics done right.
This cocktail is either done really right or really wrong. Use a good-grade tequila and fresh lime juice along with coarse, kosher salt.
2 oz. tequila
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. fresh lime juice
Coarse salt for the rim of the glass
Rub the rim of a chilled glass with lime juice and dip in salt. Add your liquor and other ingredients and shake with ice in your shaker. Strain and serve with a wedge of lime and maybe a few sprigs of mint for garnish.
Few things are as refreshing as mint. The mojito fits the bill if you're tired of mint juleps.
Muddle 2 ounces of lime juice with a bit of fine sugar. Add some mint leaves, making sure to mix them well. Fill your glass with crushed ice and add some rum. Top with club soda for some fizz.
3. Mai Tai
The classic drink for "sipping", the mai tai is ubiquitous as a summer cocktail.
2 oz. dark rum
1 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. curaçao
1/2 oz. simple syrup syrup
1/8 oz. orange or lime syrup
Shake everything with ice and pour unstrained in a tall glass. Serve with a little umbrella.
4. Pina Colada
If you like them, drink them. Take rum, coconut cream, fresh pineapple, and ice and blend together along with ice. Garnish with a cherry or more fresh pineapple. You can also add some pineapple juice if you want a more pronounced flavor.
5. Mint Julep
A personal favorite, this combo of Kentucky bourbon, mint, and sugar is a one-way ticket to leisure. Place the mint at the bottom of the cup and crush with ice and sugar, then pour a good bit of bourbon over top.
Lamb/Veal liver or kidneys?
I'm intrigued by these two offal items - after reading "Roast chicken and other stories" Would love to try somewhere locally - near Palo Alto would be ideal. Any ideas or leads?
That's a tough one. I've seen them occasionally on old-school French, Middle Eastern, and North African menus. Chinese restaurants often have pork liver and kidneys. Original Joe's in San Jose has calf's liver.
Incanto in SF. Order a Quinto Quarto and request them.
Offal discussion from last fall:
Clicking the will recommend this comment to others.
Jeanty at Jacks (and also Bistro Jeanty in Yountville) serves rognons de veau a la moutarde, the classic French preparation of veal kidneys. Buckeye Roadhouse in Mill Valley does a great calf's liver with bacon (recommend ordering it rare, or at least medium rare). I also think that Kokkari's "Grilled Spring Lamb Organ Meats" includes one, the other, or both. New Mandarin Islamic's "lamb stir fry" includes both lamb liver (overcooked) and kidney (pretty good). Sorry to have no recommendations further south.
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Oh yeah. I've had that dish at Jeanty @ Jack's, very good.
That grilled organ meats is new since the last time I went to Kokkari. I'll have to plan a trip back. I wonder if their sister restaurant in Palo Alto, Evvia, could make it by request?
200 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA 94111
Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131
Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant
3132 Vicente St, San Francisco, CA 94116
Jeanty At Jacks
615 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111
Some of us still fondly remember "the good old days" when restaurants and butcher shops routinely offered thick veal chops with the kidney attached. I still have a "low-end" cookbook from the late ླྀs that had a super recipe for the chop+kidney that was coated with an egg/parmesan cheese wash/batter and then fried. I spent a week last year (on a whim) trying to discover a butcher/wholesale meat purveyor who still sells it, but I struck out. A very few restaurants still offer veal kidneys from time to time (though not with an attached chop. Fortunately calves' liver is still readily available, but if you order it in a restaurant and ask for it rare/medium rare, the waiter (and usually the chef as well) stares at you like you're a drooling idiot and then brings you the liver medium-well done. This happened to me most recently at Mustard's Grill in Napa and I raised bloody hell. Half an hour later I got the liver prepared the way I ordered it and the restaurant comped me a glass of wine. Now I mostly fix the dish at home because I don't want to experience the trauma I routinely experience when ordering it at restaurants.
Thanks for the leads - I did find lamb heart, liver, and kidney kabobs at Rose Market in Mountain View - just with salt and pepper - they were a bit tough but that's probably because they were overcooked. Butcher said you could order them from their counter as well.
If you want to cook your own, go to a halal butcher.
thanks - rose market is halal
Cookbook of the Month
Dish of the Month
Weekly Menu Planning
11 Cheesy Classics, Done Better
Yes, we sure heart cheese. We’ve even dedicated entire articles to the perfect Tex-Mex classic queso dip and carbonara sauce, and in this issue we learn all about the perfect cheese fondue. Yet there are so many other cheesy dishes that deserve the spotlight, so we’ve asked several cheese experts, authors and bloggers to reveal the secrets behind their best versions of caseous classics.
Tia Keenan – Author ofMelt, Stretch & Sizzle
“Aligot is what happens when a copious amount of cheese melts into mashed potatoes, creating a luscious fondue-mash hybrid. My recipe doesn’t strictly adhere to tradition – no one from France would ever make aligot with mozzarella, jamais! – but sometimes it’s the destination not the journey, right? Mozzarella adds a stable, easy melt that’s insurance for whatever cheese you choose to use, guaranteeing the elastic pull that is aligot’s decadent calling card.”
Cheese expert Tia Keenan wrote Melt, Stretch & Sizzle to explore the transformative energy of heat applied to cheese – both what happens to the cheese and what happens to us: the lust, adoration, excitement and pleasure that melt inspires. [Photo: Noah Fecks]
Erika Kubick of Cheese, Sex, Death
“I love the dramatic decadence of a classic fondue, but sometimes I’m just too lazy and impatient to do that much work. That’s when I reach for a naturally gooey cheese, like the soft-ripened, bark-wrapped Harbison from Jasper Hill Farm Harbison, or for a more modest portion, St Albans from Vermont Creamery. Bake these guys at 325°F [165°C] for about 8 minutes, just until they feel soft and oozing under the rind like a water bed. Then, slice off the top and dip in some french fries. Serve with a little mustard and something effervescent to cut the richness – or add onto it with some crisp bacon for dipping!”
Erika Kubick preaches the curd word through Cheese Sex Death, America’s Sexiest Cheese Blog. Give her a follow to discover new cheeses, tantalizing pairing ideas, easy cheesy recipes, and classic cheese etiquette.
Cacio E Pepe Popcorn
Afrim Pristine, author ofFor The Love Of Cheese
“Pecorino romano is known as one of the world’s best cheeses, but it’s not as simple as you might think. If you were to walk into a cheese store and simply ask for a pecorino, it would be like walking into a car dealership and asking for a car. Just as a car salesperson would ask you what kind of car you want, your cheesemonger will ask what kind of pecorino you want, too. My recipe is easy and uses a type of pecorino that you’ll be able to find almost anywhere: pecorino romano. In Rome, they make the classic dish, cacio e pepe, with this cheese and freshly grated black pepper.”
Afrim Pristine is maître fromager of the Cheese Boutique in Toronto and recently published his first book, For The Love Of Cheese.
“The Champ” Grilled Cheese
Chef Eric Greenspan, author of The Great Grilled Cheese Book
“When I opened The Foundry on Melrose [in Los Angeles] in 2007, I wanted to do an accessible yet sophisticated restaurant that anyone could enjoy, a gateway drug to fine dining. When my manager suggested a cheese platter for our bar menu, I felt it sounded too fancy-schmancy. But everybody loves grilled cheese, right? So I took the stinky cheese, raisin-walnut bread, dried fruit and other accoutrements from a cheese plate and made a grilled cheese out of them, then added the short rib scraps for a more robust experience. It was a hit! The following year we entered the Grilled Cheese Invitational, which is like a mix between Burning Man and a cooking competition – and won. Next, it was featured on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate and in the New York Times. Now it’s one of the most popular things I serve.
“To elevate your grilled cheese sandwiches, I suggest making things ahead: keep in mind that many of the components can be prepared ahead of time. Braised or roasted meats can, and frankly should, be made in advance. Cook them for a meal the night before, saving the leftovers for a great next-day grilled cheese. Pickled items and preserves can be made ahead of time, too, and will keep in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.”
Eric is executive chef and owner of The Roof On Wilshire in LA and recently opened an incubator kitchen for delivery-only concepts. He recently wrote The Great Grilled Cheese Book.
Buckeye Roadhouse: Classics Done Right - Recipes
Dined here with family, there were 3 of us. We were seated in a corner booth upstairs. The booth is really, really comfortable. Our server was very good - warm, informative and attentive. I would have personally preferred for the entrees to have arrived a touch bit later than they did after we finished our appetizers, but that is just my own preference. Our server said the restaurant was willing to swap out the blue cheese dressing on the wedge salad with the Louis dressing - so glad I got it, it was amazing, I could eat that salad every day. The Louis dressing is the best I have had anywhere, it had a lighter and brighter taste to it and really goes nicely with the crunchy iceberg lettuce. Our entrees were quite good. The table ordered beef brisket, filet and petrale sole. We also ordered the onion rings which are really onion strings and were not really to our liking since they are more heavy on the batter and light on the onion. Overall a very nice meal with excellent service. Highly recommend the Louis dressing on the wedge.
Behind the Scenes at La Bruschetta: Italian Classics Done Right
If you go to La Bruschetta, don’t expect fancy, elaborate versions of Italian recipes. “We can tweak the recipes a little bit, we can adjust them to people’s taste,” says owner Angelo Peloni, a native of Genoa. “But the basic concepts of Italian cuisine are there.”
What you will find, instead, are well-executed classics, paying homage to Italy’s diverse culinary traditions. “I never wanted it to be labeled as a Southern Italian restaurant or a Northern Italian restaurant,” continues Peloni. “It’s an Italian restaurant, period.”
“Our customers love the ossobuco, which is typical of Milan. As anyone born and raised in Genoa, I am very proud of my pesto. But we do Southern specialties too, you know dishes from Sicily or Apulia.”
Behind the scenes at La Bruschetta
Owner Angelo Peloni opened La Bruschetta in 1984. Back then, people were not very familiar with authentic Italian cuisine. Even bruschetta, now ubiquitous in LA, was still a foreign concept. “We thought of serving people a complimentary appetizer while they were perusing the menu,” recalls Angelo. “The idea of serving bruschetta came naturally, but in fact it was something new in Los Angeles and people loved it.”
Peloni’s background isn’t limited to cooking. Back in Italy, he attended a culinary and hospitality school. “It’s not all about culinary expertise. When you run a restaurant, you need to lead people. But first, you need to get their permission in order to lead them.” Today, he can go in the kitchen and pick up the slack if needed, but he prefers to oversee his staff.
Water down that ossobuco with some Barolo (Photo: Raffaele Asquer)
La Bruschetta was neither the first nor the last of Peloni’s culinary enterprises. At the time, he already co-owned another restaurant in Westwood. A few years later, he would open a third one. However, La Bruschetta is the only restaurant that has stood the test of time. “I was too young to be able to delegate authority and I was trying to make everything myself,” he comments. Eventually, he decided to concentrate his energies on La Bruschetta.
The choice paid off. Over time, the restaurant has established itself as one of Westwood’s dining institutions. Besides receiving such awards as the “Ospitalita’ Italiana – Seal of Authenticity”, recognizing traditional Italian restaurants around the world, La Bruschetta has prepared perfectly al dente pasta for Hollywood celebrities. It even served as a filming location for Brad Pitt’s 2011 movie Moneyball, although that scene ended up on the cutting room floor.
Because it’s not just about the food, right? (Photo: Raffaele Asquer)
More importantly, though, customers keep coming back to La Bruschetta. “You see children coming in with their grandparents and their parents. You see them becoming young adults. And one day you see them bringing their own children.”
Classics Done Right At The Hinds Head
Eating a meal at The Hinds Head, a Michelin-starred pub in the pretty village of Bray just outside Maidenhead in Berkshire, is being treated to a taste of traditional British pub food elevated to the ranks of true gourmet fare—along with the experience of being surrounded by 500 years of history. Chef/owner Heston Blumenthal’s deft use of top quality locally-sourced ingredients is writing a new page in the history of a pub built in the sixteenth century and in which Queen Elizabeth II luncheoned on Scottish lobster cutlets and lamb with redcurrant jelly surrounded by friends and colleagues in 1963.
Today the menu is loyal to the pub’s fascinating and colorful history, with Blumenthal collaborating with the Tudor kitchen at Hampton Court Palace to bring classic British fare like hash of snails and oxtail and kidney pudding back onto the table. Fresh seafood lovers will appreciate the pan fried scallops with langoustine oil and the crab and cod lasagna with fresh greens and citrus, while classic British favorites like Scotch eggs and extra crispy triple-fried chips are comfort on a plate.
Despite the staunch ties to tradition, The Hinds Head’s cocktail list is anything but dull, and a creative and expansive wine list gathers some lovely varietals encompassing the best of the Old and New World. In a living, breathing, bustling museum of British cuisine and society, a new and delicious history is being written one plate and glass at a time.