Show 411, February 6, 2021: Restaurateur Donato Poto, Co-Owner of Providence and Connie & Ted’s Part Two

Donato Poto of Providence plus Connie and Ted's

For 16 years, Providence in Hollywood has elevated the standard of modern American seafood restaurants along with exemplary service. For Valentine’s Day Weekend (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) guests can experience Chef Michael Cimarusti’s award-winning cuisine for curbside takeaway. The extravagant Valentine’s feast (for 2) starts with Morro Bay Gold Oyster and Kaluga Caviar with Crème Fraiche and concludes with a Tarte au Chocolat with Pudwill Farms raspberries. For the decadent Valentine’s Day feast Chef Cimarusti has also created an entertaining, easy-to-follow video where he energetically walks the guest through the assembling and plating of the meal course-by-course.

Also on offer is the Valentine’s Day Edition of The Providence Pantry. If you already have your meal planned tantalizing gourmet enhancements are available. Think local, house-smoked black cod, black truffle brie, black truffle pasta kits, signature cocktails, and a special wine pairing chosen especially for the Valentine’s menu.

“Chef Cimarusti is completely dedicated to procuring the finest sustainable seafood—from regional coasts and international waters—and treats those ingredients with uncompromising respect and sophisticated technique. “First and foremost, what guides us here is sustainability,” Cimarusti says. “We use only wild-caught, sustainable products, mostly from American waters, and look to highlight their finest qualities.””

Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood Chef Michael’s and Donato’s (along with Craig Nickoloff’s) more casual, full-service Dinner House has reopened for outside patio dining. They are serving Dinner nightly Wednesday through Sunday.

Restaurateur, Co-Proprietor of Providence and graciously welcoming host Donato Poto continues with us to talk about Valentine’s Day at Providence, patio dining at sister restaurant Connie & Ted’s and look to the future when dine-in (inside) can return.

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Show 253, December 23, 2017: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl

Donato PotoGreatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Headed up by acclaimed L.A. restaurant Providence, Il Pesce Cucina is Eataly’s fish market-inspired restaurant. For more than a decade, the team led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto has worked to elevate the standards of modern American seafood restaurants. At Eataly, Providence highlights the delicious varieties of California’s wild fish in their menus. All of the fresh seafood is responsibly sourced, with a particular focus on wild-caught and raw options that promise to satisfy every taste.

For now tables (including patio seating with prime views of the Hollywood Hills and Century City) are available on a first-come, first-served basis; il Pesce Cucina does not accept reservations. If you’re going to be doing some shopping at Eataly a good tip is put your name in at il Pesce first.

“Providence, a restaurant with two Michelin stars, has defined a new standard of seafood cuisine in America. Led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and co-owner Donato Poto, this signature L.A. restaurant found its roots in the search for sustainable fish, wild caught and of the finest quality. Ingredients are treated with the greatest respect and technique, with the goal of bringing the freshest seafood flavors to your table. Eataly partners with Providence at Il Pesce Cucina because we believe in the same emphasis on ingredients and search for quality.”

We’ll get the full, mouthwatering briefing from Donato.

 

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Show 253, December 23, 2017: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Continues…

Donato PotoGreatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Named after the first film screened at The Theatre (now the beautifully restored Ace Theater (built as the flagship for United Artists Theaters) adjacent to the Ace Hotel) in 1927, Best Girl is Downtown Los Angeles’ local haunt featuring rotating, seasonal fare and classic favorites. Best Girl is in partnership with the inimitable Chef Michael Cimarusti and business partner Donato Poto, renowned for championing sustainable seafood and elevating impeccable service in a casual atmosphere.

A multi-nominee for a James Beard Award, Cimarusti’s critically acclaimed restaurants Providence and Connie and Ted’s have earned him two Michelin Stars and international recognition as an industry giant. Cape Seafood and Provisions, his seafaring market, offers sustainable, wild caught fish, prime cuts and grab-and-go dishes. Chef Cimarusti’s menu for Best Girl represents his favorite meals made at home for family and friends — inviting and simple, every dish is expertly crafted, wholly delicious and available every day.

The busy Ace Theater generates a lot of pre-theater dinner business for Best Girl. Donato’s tip is that things are calmer for a leisurely dining experience at 8:00 p.m. and thereafter.

We’ll continue the full briefing from Donato.

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Show 165, March 26, 2016: Ted Bassetti, General Manager, Cape Seafood and Provisions

Ted BassettiWhen industry veterans and partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Craig Nickoloff and Donato Poto collaborate on a food venture you expect nothing but the very best. This is the same team that created the uber-successful Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood.

Newly launched from this prominent culinary group is Cape Seafood and Provisions, a sustainable seafood market, on N. Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles.

Cape Seafood and Provisions aims to provide guests with sustainable wild-caught whole fish, and custom filets, in addition to a variety of prepared items including housemade stocks and sauces, and grab-and-go dishes such as chowder and lobster rolls. For those who prefer turf over surf, the shop will also carry natural and USDA Prime steaks and chops from West Coast Prime Meats (Brea, California), which also supplies product to Providence and Connie and Ted’s.

With Cape Seafood and Provisions, we look forward to sourcing the seafood people cook in their homes, and to further educate guests about what types of fish are safe to buy,” says Cimarusti. “If clients can’t find what they want in the shop, I will do my best to procure it within 48 hours,” he adds, provided it aligns with the shop’s sustainable prerequisites.

Cape Seafood and Provisions will offer the freshest seafood available from sustainable fisheries, sourced locally when possible. Daily selections may include sustainably caught whole, filleted, and portioned fish, East and West Coast oysters, live spot prawns, crabs, lobsters (when in season), clams and mussels, scallops, live uni (in season) and cleaned uni in trays, fresh and frozen shrimp and squid, and imported and domestic caviar.

The market will also sell a selection of “under-appreciated” species of fish, most notably California Groundfish such as Chuckleheads, Vermillion Snappers, Sheepshead, and Rock Cod, whose populations have recently been restored through fisheries management and Marine Protected Areas.

General Manager Ted Bassetti reels in all the fresh 411 for us.

 

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Show 157, January 30, 2016: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s, West Hollywood

Matthew de MarteSince partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. The impressive guest counts this popular restaurant continues to do two and one-half years later are the envy of the industry

New at Connie and Ted’s from Executive Chef Sam Baxter is a Weekend New England-style Seafood Brunch with freshly baked in-house breakfast breads and pastries. It’s served Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Pastry Chef Melissa McFail creates all the breakfast baked goods in-house. Highlights are Biscuit & Butter, Grilled Pullman Bread and Cinnamon Roll with nutmeg, orange zest and cream cheese icing.

A brunch highlight is the Nor’Easter Breakfast Sandwich. It’s Nueske’s bacon, egg, clam strips, Hook’s cheddar, tartar sauce, housemade English muffin and served with home fried potatoes.

Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte (a 3rd generation restaurant professional who hails from Chicago) provides all the tasty details.

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Show 149, December 5, 2015: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re really in the Holiday spirit on the “SoCal Restaurant Show” this week with intriguing libations and equal measures of Holiday cheer. Settle back and join us for two hours of the very best in food conversation.

Now an appetizing preview of Saturday’s high-energy and appropriately loaded show and not, with apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

It was only a matter of time…! Our friends at West Coast Prime Meats have published the perfect cookbook for the Holidays : West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes for the Home Kitchen. The volume includes enticing kitchen tested recipes for BIG meat, Poultry and Seafood from the best chefs in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii. In the spirit of the Holidays the proceeds benefit two important Veterans’ charities. Authors Craig and Amy Nickoloff join us.

The Museum of the America Cocktail is shaking it up once again with their provocative December 15th evening at Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles. The program is “Oh, James! Imbibing 007.” From aphrodisiacs to villain concoctions, free-flowing alcohol abounds in the James Bond books and movies. Food historian Linda Civitello (our guest) guides us on the path to getting our Bond on.

They always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th. The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017. This is the Olympics of the culinary arts. Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo is our guest.

The Five Crowns in Corona del Mar (part of the Lawry’s group of restaurants) is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year. In the grand English tradition fine, classic cocktails have been a hallmark in their rich history. A “Mad Bar Scientist” (Amber Billiard) is now creating the cocktails. Amber joins us to share some spirited Holiday cocktails.

What’s the dining out scene like in Old Havana and Cuba? Do locals eat in restaurants? Our next guest, Tori Klein, the Director of University of Nevada Las Vegas’s (UNLV) Foundation Events was just there. We’ll get an informed perspective from someone who really knows the restaurant business. It’s, unfortunately, a lot more primitive in Cuba than you know but the long-suffering Cuban people are remarkably resilient.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

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Show 149, December 5, 2015: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes For The Home Kitchen

Amy and Craig Nickoloff of West Coast Prime MeatsIt was only a matter of time…! Our friends at West Coast Prime Meats have published the perfect cookbook for the Holidays: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks: Professional Recipes for the Home Kitchen.

West Coast Prime Meats is the protein purveyor of choice to some of the top restaurants in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii.

The impressive volume includes enticing kitchen tested recipes for BIG Beef, Burgers, Pork, Lamb, Goat, Poultry and Seafood from the best chefs in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii. It’s an inspired Holiday gift for the home cook that you can feel good about giving.

In the spirit of the Holidays the proceeds benefit two important Veteran’s charities, The Wounded Warrior Project and The Gary Sinise Foundation. Five Dollars from the sale of each book ($25.00 retail price) goes to the benefiting charities.

West Coast Prime Meats Cooks is available through their Web site and Amazon.com.

Authors Craig and Amy Nickoloff join us.

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Show 149, December 5, 2015: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes For The Home Kitchen Continues…

Amy and Craig Nickoloff of West Coast Prime MeatsAuthors Craig and Amy Nickoloff continue...

You might say it was primed to happen …! Our friends at West Coast Prime Meats have published the perfect cookbook for the Holidays: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes for the Home Kitchen. In the spirit of the Holidays the proceeds benefit two important Veteran’s charities, The Wounded Warrior Project and The Gary Sinise Foundation. $5.00 from the sale of each book goes to the benefiting charities. Given what’s going on in the World these days It’s an appropriate time to remember our veterans.

Some of the top toques from prominent restaurants in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii have graciously contributed the tested recipes including ARC, Bourbon Steak, Connie & Ted’s, il Pastaio, The Musso & Frank Grill, N9NE Steak House, Loteria! Grill, Providence, Temecula Creek Inn, Valentino and Water Grill.

The book includes chef-created recipes for Beef, Burgers, Lamb, Goat, Poultry, Veal and Seafood. There are dozens of genuinely useful tips including instructions on how to debone a Leg of Lamb. The principals of West Coast Prime Meats know meat from years of practical experience and graciously share a lot of handy secrets with the reader.

From the Prologue

“For those nights when you’d rather let someone else do the cooking and clean-up, consider this your guide to some of the best restaurants in Southern California, Nevada, and Hawaii. We are honored to serve them and proud to support them.”

“There is one other group we stand behind : our men and women in the Armed Services. To help them, we will donate 100 percent of the profits from book sales [a guaranteed $5.00 per book] to assist our wounded veterans, through the Wounded Warrior Project and through the Gary Sinise Foundation. We encourage everyone to learn about these two worthy charities.”

West Coast Prime Meats Cooks is available through their website and Amazon.com.

 

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December 5: West Coast Prime Meats, Linda Civitello, Sebastien Silvestri, Five Crowns, Tori Klein

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes For The Home Kitchen Part One
Segment Three: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes For The Home Kitchen Part Two
Segment Four: MOTAC’s “Oh James! Imbibing 007”
Segment Five: Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, Las Vegas
Segment Six: “Mad Bar Scientist Amber” at Five Crowns and SideDoor, Corona del Mar
Segment Seven: Dining in Cuba, Tori Klein, Director UNLV Foundation Events Part One
Segment Eight: Dining in Cuba, Tori Klein, Director UNLV Foundation Events Part Two

We’re really in the Holiday spirit on the “SoCal Restaurant Show” this week with intriguing libations and lots more Holiday cheer. Settle back, relax and join us for two hours of the very best in food conversation.

Now an appetizing preview of Saturday’s high-energy and appropriately loaded show and not, with apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

It was only a matter of time…! Our friends at West Coast Prime Meats have published the perfect cookbook for the Holidays : West Coast Prime Meats Cooks: Professional Recipes for the Home Kitchen. The volume includes enticing kitchen tested recipes for BIG meat, Poultry and Seafood from the best chefs in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii. In the spirit of the Holidays the proceeds benefit two important Veterans’ charities. Authors Craig and Amy Nickoloff join us.

The Museum of the America Cocktail is uncorking it once again with their provocative December 15th evening at Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles. The program is “Oh, James! Imbibing 007.” From aphrodisiacs to villain concoctions, free-flowing alcohol abounds in the James Bond books and movies. Food historian Linda Civitello (our guest) guides us on the path to getting our Bond on.

They always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th. The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017. This is the Olympics of the culinary arts on the world stage. Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo, is our guest.

The Five Crowns in Corona del Mar (part of the proudly family-owned Lawry’s group of restaurants) is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year. In the grand English tradition fine, classic cocktails have been a hallmark in their rich history. A “Mad Bar Scientist” (Amber Billiard) is now creating the highly-regarded cocktails. Amber joins us to share some creative Holiday cocktails.

What’s the dining out scene like in Old Havana and Cuba? Do locals eat in restaurants? Our next guest, Tori Klein, the Director of University of Nevada Las Vegas’ (UNLV) Foundation Events was just there. We’ll get an informed perspective from someone who really knows the restaurant business. It’s, unfortunately, a lot more primitive in Cuba than you know.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Amy and Craig Nickoloff of West Coast Prime MeatsIt was only a matter of time…! Our friends at West Coast Prime Meats have published the perfect cookbook for the Holidays: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks: Professional Recipes for the Home Kitchen.

West Coast Prime Meats is the protein purveyor of choice to some of the top restaurants in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii.

West Coast Prime Meats is the protein purveyor of choice to some of the top restaurants in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii.

The volume includes enticing kitchen tested recipes for BIG meat, Poultry and Seafood from the best chefs in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii. In the spirit of the Holidays the proceeds benefit two important Veteran’s charities, The Wounded Warrior Project and The Gary Sinise Foundation.

Authors Craig and Amy Nickoloff join us.

Some of the top toques from prominent restaurants in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii have graciously contributed the tested recipes including ARC, Bourbon Steak, Connie & Ted’s, il Pastaio, The Musso & Frank Grill, N9NE Steak House, Loteria! Grill, Providence, Temecula Creek Inn, Valentino and Water Grill.

The book includes chef-created recipes for Beef, Burgers, Lamb, Goat, Poultry, Veal and Seafood. There are dozens of genuinely useful tips, too, including instructions on how to de-bone a Leg of Lamb. The principals of West Coast Prime Meats know meat from years of practical experience and graciously share a lot of handy secrets with the reader.

Linda CivitelloThe Museum of the America Cocktail is uncorking it once again with their provocative December 15th evening at Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles. The program is “Oh, James! Imbibing 007.”

From aphrodisiacs to villain concoctions, alcohol abounds in the James Bond books and movies. Dive into bitter, sweet, rocks, and neat with food historian Linda Civitello, author of Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People. Whether you like your martinis shaken, stirred, or dirty, come get your Bond on with The Museum of the American Cocktail and the evening’s Drinkmaster, Edwin Osegueda of Faith & Flower.

Admission includes gourmet appetizers and dessert.

Ms. Civitello has been on the faculty of culinary schools throughout Southern California, appeared on TV and radio, and cooks professionally. You can hear her audio tour about food and art at The Getty Museum.

Ultimo A Weekend ExcellenceThey always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th.

The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017. This is the Olympics of the culinary arts. For the first time ever Team USA (Philip Tessier) was awarded the Silver Medal at the Bocuse d’Or this year.

For the third year in a row, Ultimo will celebrate the romance of Italy with lavish feasts and exceptional experiences from an A-team of award-winning chefs as it unfolds around The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas.   Renowned culinary luminaries participating in the weekend will include Chefs Jérôme Bocuse, Daniel Boulud, Josiah Citrin, Shaun Hergatt, Gavin Kaysen, Thomas Keller, James Kent, Roland Passot, Philip Tessier, Ming Tsai, Richard Rosendale, and Dario Cecchini, the famed Chianti “Butcher of Panzano.”

“This will be, without a doubt, the most spectacular gathering of world-renowned chefs in Las Vegas,” said Sebastien Silvestri, vice president of food & beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo.  “For the culinary enthusiast, this will be a weekend to remember.”

This exceptional winter weekend will feature the return of The Venetian’s Grand Banquet, a landmark collaboration between several of the world’s best culinarians including Chefs Keller, Tessier, Hergatt and Tsai.

Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo is our guest.

Amber Billiard of the Five CrownsThe Five Crowns in Corona del Mar (part of the proudly family-owned Lawry’s group of restaurants) is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year. In the grand English tradition fine, classic cocktails have been a hallmark in their rich history. The libations at The Five Crowns remain top-shelf.

A “Mad Bar Scientist” (Amber Billiard) is now creating the cocktails. Amber joins us to share some creative Holiday cocktails.

She will be sharing her signature recipe for the Gin-based Sugar Plum Fairy.

Tori KleinWhat’s the dining out scene like in Old Havana and Cuba? Do locals eat in restaurants? Our next guest, Tori Klein, the Director of University of Nevada Las Vegas’s (UNLV) Foundation Events was just there. We’ll get an informed perspective from someone who really knows the restaurant business. It’s, unfortunately, a lot more primitive in Cuba than you know.

Locals can’t afford to even eat in the Government-owned establishments unless they have access to tourists and their American dollars. Privately owned restaurants need to buy their supplies on the black market due to shortages.

Tori Klein is the Director of University of Nevada Las Vegas’s (UNLV) Foundation Events.

The William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV is consistently ranked as one of the top college hospitality programs in the country. Their faculty members are internationally known experts. The programs mix the right amount of classroom and work experience. UNLV students are well prepared upon graduation to enter the job market, and the alumni are distinguishing themselves in their careers.

With more than 150,000 hotel rooms, Las Vegas is the ideal living laboratory for the study of hospitality in all its facets.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes For The Home Kitchen Part One
Segment Three: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes For The Home Kitchen Part Two
Segment Four: MOTAC’s “Oh James! Imbibing 007”
Segment Five: Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, Las Vegas
Segment Six: “Mad Bar Scientist Amber” at Five Crowns and SideDoor, Corona del Mar
Segment Seven: Dining in Cuba, Tori Klein, Director UNLV Foundation Events Part One
Segment Eight: Dining in Cuba, Tori Klein, Director UNLV Foundation Events Part Two

Show 132, July 25, 2015: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s

Matthew de MarteThe casual, seafood centric Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood has been a crowd-pleasing phenomenon since it opened its door two years ago.

Co-owner Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence) is one of the most respected seafood chefs in the country. Partner Donato Poto (Providence) has a long reputation as one of L.A.’s consummate hosts. He speaks three languages.

Partner Craig Nickoloff is a veteran restaurateur best known for founding the hugely successful Claim Jumper restaurants (which he sold at their peak of popularity.) Craig knows how to feed a crowd and give them every reason to return.

Executive Chef Sam Baxter began his career with Chef Michael Cimarusti at Water Grill. Chef Baxter looks to demonstrate that the freshest seafood needs only a light touch and the simplest of preparations to make outstanding food.

At any given time the busy oyster bar showcases some 16 to 24 varieties of fresh oysters.

Connie & Ted’s opening General Manager, Matthew De Marte is our guest to share a few secrets of their incredible success. He’s a veteran of Providence.

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