Show 302, December 15, 2018: Valentino Ristorante, Santa Monica

Valentino Santa MonicaAfter an incredible 46-year run Piero Selvaggio’s trendsetting Valentino Ristorante will serve its last dinner on New Year’s Eve.

Valentino is one of the pioneers of modern Italian food in Los Angeles. Valentino also is properly credited with introducing premium Italian wines as part of a deep cellar along with polished, unfussy wine service.

Many talented chefs with very successful restaurants of their own polished their skills earlier in their careers in the Valentino kitchen. This includes James Beard Award-winning Chef Luciano Pellegrini, Angelo Auriana (Factory Kitchen) and Steve Samson (Rossoblu and Sotto.)

Piero launches a new restaurant on the Bay (Mariner’s Mile) in Newport Beach (Louie’s) early in the New Year with El Cholo Proprietor Ron Salisbury. We’ll report on it.

Our own West Coast Prime Meats Meathead, Terry Hanks, along with Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio share some engaging memories.

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Show 300, December 1, 2018: Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 20th Anniversary, Stephen Blevins, Director of Wines

Steven BlevinsTwenty years ago Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar launched at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It’s been a huge success. As they have branched over the years to include 70 domestic restaurants a signature for them has become their carefully curated wine program. Each Fleming’s has a part of their wine list with the hand-picked selections of that location’s Operating Partner.

Two highly experienced restaurateurs had a vision of designing a steakhouse that would deliver a stylish and contemporary dining experience. Fleming’s was created from this vision by Paul Fleming, founder of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, and Bill Allen III, a leading restaurant and hospitality executive.

Our guest with the well-traveled corkscrew is Stephen Blevins, Fleming’s Director of Wines who was previously the Operating Partner at the Flagship Newport Beach Fleming’s.

Stephen’s passion project has been securing for Fleming’s celebrated winemaker Dave Phinney’s new release, 8 Years in the Desert by Orin Swift. It’s a California Red Bland of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and small percentages of other red varietals. Of course there is a story.

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Show 296, November 3, 2018: 15th Annual Hot Stove Dinner Series at Cannery Seafood of the Pacific, Newport Beach

Colby ReedyAs we bid farewell to the 2018 MLB season diehard baseball fan and Cannery Seafood of the Pacific and El Cholo restaurants owner Ron Salisbury is in the on-deck circle, preparing for his series of dinners with baseball greats that takes the field on November 6th.

The 15th annual Hot Stove League Dinner Series, named for the long winter months of the offseason when baseball fans gather around hot stoves to discuss their favorite teams and players, is being co-sponsored by Cannery Seafood of the Pacific and Angels Chairman Dennis Kuhl. The unique four-part dinner series, which runs through February 2019, allows fans to get their baseball fix during the offseason. Each dinner includes a cocktail meet-and-greet with a special guest speaker, an intimate three-course dinner with wine pairings, followed by the guest speaker sharing his or her favorite baseball stories and life experiences. Angels Chairman Dennis Kuhl is the MC.

Leading off this year’s series will be sportswriter Jane Leavy on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon will bat second on Thursday, Dec. 6, followed by former Manager Dusty Baker on Tuesday, Jan. 8th. Batting cleanup and closing the season will be former player and broadcaster Ron Fairly on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019.

Ron Salisbury estimates that the Hot Stove dinners have raised more than $180,000 to benefit the Angels Baseball Foundation’s youth programs.

Colby Reedy, the Associate General Manager at The Cannery, joins us with all the details.

For Tickets & more info please contact GM Alyssa McDiarmid @ The Cannery – 949.566.0060.

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Show 293, October 6, 2018: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio of Santa Monica’s Valentino, Planeta wines of Sicily

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaPiero Selvaggio of Valentino, Santa Monica fame is one of the pioneers of Italian fine-dining in Los Angeles. He also has been one of the visionaries introducing the premium wines of Sicily to the United States. Piero joins us to talk about the noble Nero d’Avola grape grown in Sicily and Sicily’s Planeta wines.

“We travelled through Sicily as on a great wine continent, establishing our estates in five different areas from west to east, seeking our interpretation of them through research into indigenous varieties, including those by now forgotten, and into the suitability of the different terroirs to welcome international varieties as well. We planned to eventually build around each territory a comprehensive system of experience composed of hospitality, cooking, nature and culture. On these elements the history of our company has always been based. This instinct for the future, together with our curiosity to see the world and compare ourselves with it, has guided our choices.”

After an incredible run of 46 years Piero will be closing Valentino this year after celebrating New Year’s Eve. In early 2019 he will be launching Louie’s on the waterfront in Newport Beach. It’s an upscale Italian steakhouse in tribute to Olympian Louis Zamperini. We’ll keep you posted…

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Show 278, June 23, 2018: Brett Karas, Operating Partner / General Manager, Lido Bottle Works, Newport Beach

Breet KarasLido Bottle Works is a craft beer, wine, bottle shop and public house owned by Newport Beach natives located at Newport Beach’s Lido Marina Village. Enjoy a wide array of carefully collected and selected small batch beers, wines by the bottle and glass, and a tapas style menu of small bites, tasty offerings and delicious California coastal cuisine from Chef Amy Lebrun.

Lido Bottle Works is focused on offering locally sourced and sustainable ingredients in a stylish yet casual environment for locals and visitors alike. On the menu are winemaker and brewer events, an art gallery, live music, and more.

Lido also serves a Saturday and Sunday Brunch. A house specialty is Chorizo Hash with fingerling potato, a poached egg and Poblano Hollandaise. Indoor and covered patio seating with a bay view available.

“Join us for a revelatory culinary experience of cooking, eating, and adventure. At Lido Bottle Works we believe people, food, and drink should be ‘Genuinely Good Together.’ Our unique dishes are prepared for our friends and family using local and sustainable ingredients perfectly paired with specialty craft beer, wine, and cocktails.”

Brett Karas, Operating Partner/General Manager is our guest.

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Show 264, March 10, 2018: JC Clow, Founding Managing Partner, The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar

Andy Harris, Andrew Gruel and JC Clow of the Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar at the SoCal Restaurant Show 5th AnniversaryThe Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar has opened its third Southern California location at San Diego’s Westfield UTC in La Jolla. The Winery Restaurant La Jolla provides guests with the same rich experience as its Orange County locations at The District in Tustin and overlooking the marina in Newport Beach.

In the coming weeks, The Winery will also open a separate 1,300-square-foot wine bar within Westfield UTC, called The Wine Bar by The Winery, meant to provide a rich experience at a casual pace, perfect for enjoying a glass of wine or tasting flight and small bite.

“At The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, we pride ourselves on really focusing on our guest experience. Our third location now open in La Jolla provides the same level of service, with highly skilled Chefs orchestrating a warm and passionate menu created by our award-winning Chef Yvon Goetz, and a team of Certified Sommeliers to oversee an incredible wine program,” explained JC Clow, Founding Partner of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. “It’s exciting to join a group of retailers that are among the best in their respective fields. We anticipate endless possibilities, with something to suit every palate.”

Managing Partner JC Clow is our hospitable guide.

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Show 253, December 23, 2017: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea

Russ BendelWe know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach.

Named for a genus of trees that flourish in warm and tropical regions, Olea gives Bendel’s award-winning Napa and Sonoma wine country concepts at Vine, in San Clemente, and Ironwood, in Laguna Hills, a European accent with extensive wine selections from Italy, France and Spain.

Chef-Partner Jared Cook has created a menu of modern California cuisine that perfectly complements the “global wine country” approach the Bendel team has taken at Olea.

“Olea represents the continued progression we have created with our other two wine country-inspired cuisine restaurants,” Bendel said. The restaurant is Bendel’s largest, seating 130 guests, and like the other two locations is open for dinner nightly.

Cook has created new dishes exclusively for Olea, including blue crab baked oysters with champagne tarragon butter); terrine of duck liver, bacon and bourbon; wild-caught Pacific Blue Nose sea bass; herb-roasted prime beef cheek stroganoff with house-made rosemary pappardelle; Pacific Northwest filet mignon with black truffle and blue crab Béarnaise; and seasonal apple and pear cobbler with oatmeal crumble and cardamom ice cream.

Also on the menu at Olea are Vine/Ironwood crowd-pleasers such as Meyer lemon & honey duck wings and jumbo lump blue crab with roasted heirloom beets.

Olea’s interior is Tuscany wine country meets California Cuisine. An eclectic blend of timeless natural backgrounds includes antique French white oak floors, Black Mountain ledge-stone, black walnut millwork complemented with contemporary decorative lighting, and clean soffit lines and a warm taupe color palette.

Dining areas are divided with sculptures instead of walls, made from natural tree branches on steel bases that lend privacy. The completely weatherproofed dining patio has a parkway setting with swagger light fixtures and citrus trees and herbs in large planters. Two olea (olive) trees flank the entrance of the restaurant.

A focal point of Olea, which totals 3,647 square feet, is a custom-made captain’s table in the wine room that can seat 10.  The captain’s table is surrounded by working wine storage and wine displays, artwork and beautiful lighting fixtures.

Olea is located at The Walk, 2001 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660, by Kéan Coffee. Reservations are accepted on OpenTable, or by calling 949-287-6807. There is self-parking in a newly-constructed 300-car parking structure adjacent to the restaurant.

Russ Bendel tempts us what’s on the menu.

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Show 253, December 23, 2017: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Continues…

Russ BendelWe know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach.

“It’s great to return to the community where my business partners and I began our careers,” said Bendel, a graduate of The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona who spent nine years at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at Newport Center / Fashion Island before striking out on his own.

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Show 244, October 14, 2017: JC Clow, Founding Managing Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Andy Harris, Andrew Gruel and JC Clow of the Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar at the SoCal Restaurant Show 5th AnniversaryOver the past decade at The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Partners JC Clow, William Lewis and Chef Yvon Goetz have created quite a stir by successfully pairing contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. They are also noted for their deep and carefully curated wine cellars. Located at The District in Tustin and on the Bay in Newport Beach, The Winery was named “Restaurant of the Year” by the Orange County Concierge Association in its first year in business.

The 3rd location of The Winery Restaurant will launch before year’s end in La Jolla in the lavishly renovated Westfield UTC. The restaurant menu will focus on contemporary California regional cuisine at its finest, with Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz directing a team that delivers a culinary experience straight from the Wine Country.

At The Winery La Jolla, Chef Goetz’s menu will feature wild game and USDA Prime Steaks, as well as Pacific Rim flavorings, such as fresh line-caught Opah, Mong Chong, Ono & Mahi Mahi flown in daily from Hawaii.  Tying the expansive wine list into the menu, Chef Goetz will feature numerous wine-infused ingredients into many of his signature dishes.

“At The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, we pride ourselves on really focusing on our guest experience. Our third location to open in La Jolla will have the same level of service, with highly skilled Chefs to orchestrate a warm and passionate menu created by our award-winning Chef Yvon Goetz, and a team of Certified Sommeliers to oversee an incredible wine program,” explained JC Clow, Founding Partner of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. “It’s exciting to join a group of retailers that are among the best in their respective fields. We anticipate endless possibilities, with something to suit every palate.”

Restaurateur and Managing Partner JC Clow is our guest.

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Show 240, September 9, 2017: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa’s “Battle of the Taquileros” Part Two

Ivan CalderonWith locations in Newport Beach and Irvine, California, Taco Rosa is the upscale, full-service sister restaurant to Taco Mesa. Chef Ivan Calderon’s award-winning menu utilizes sustainable ingredients and artisanal spices brought to life through authentic and contemporary cooking techniques.

Presenting the very best dishes and beverages from a variety of regions throughout Mexico, Taco Rosa takes their commitment to authenticity and sustainability one step further by using GMO-free masa for their corn products and tortillas. For more information, visit the Taco Rosa website.

Ivan Rogelio Calderon is the founder of Taco Mesa, Taco Rosa, and Taco Mesa Tortillería Orgánica & Café. As a third-generation restaurateur, Calderon began his career in the restaurant industry at El Torito Grill as a bus boy in Marina del Rey and as he worked his way through college began to move upward within the company, eventually earning himself a role in management. As a manager, he made it his mission to elevate El Torito’s operating standards. He helped lead the chain in opening several locations across the United States, eventually earning a position as regional manager.

In 1992, he opened the original Taco Mesa in Costa Mesa which garnered him recognition for bringing healthy and authentic, quick-service Mexican cuisine to Orange County. The Taco Mesa brand has expanded to include four locations in Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, Orange (which he re-opened as his new tortilleria), and Foothill Ranch.

Calderon’s newest concept,Taco Mesa Tortillería Orgánica & Café, produces GMO-free corn masa for all his locations and will soon offer GMO-free tortillas to retailers and other restaurants.

 

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