I’ve had the pleasure of vacationing in Greece on several occasions. And among the most memorable things about it was the pristine freshness of the fishermen’s catch. It didn’t smell like fish; it smelled like the ocean. That was the “driver” when I created THE OCEANAIRE SEAFOOD ROOM– that and the utter simplicity of the Greeks’ preparations: simply grilled or broiled, or quickly sautéed. Read more →
JOE’S STONE CRAB is a Miami Beach institution – a national icon, even. It’s been around for over 100 years, and is one of the highest grossing restaurants in America, rumored to bring in more than $30 million annually – despite being closed during Miami’s four hot summer months. Read more →
Joanne and I recently drove down to Chicago to visit her brother. We stayed downtown in Madison on our first night and stayed there again on our way back to Minneapolis; a great way to break up a drive and revisit two of our favorite restaurants in Madison: L’ETOILE and RARE STEAKHOUSE, both downtown, right on Capitol Square.
My partner, Pete, just got back from visiting in-laws in Sicily and I was reminded of my visits to the island and how I enjoyed being there. I write this now because if any of you are contemplating a trip to Italy, this is an ideal time to take in Sicily: The tourists are gone and the weather is perfect. Read more →
I have a lot of respect for chain restaurants. I also have a lot of envy, too – because they have such a big advantage over us independents, particularly in advertising.
You can’t get through the day without being bombarded on TV with countless commercials. And some are pretty good. “Crabfest” at Red Lobster, Olive Garden’s “When you’re here, you’re family,” even the “Grand Slam” ads from Denny’s. Read more →
It’s said that fish and chips originated in northern England during the mid-1800s, when Spanish Jews first brought fried fish to the British Isles and, coincidentally, deep-fried potato became an established food item.
Back in the early 1980s when Pete and I were preparing to open Pronto Ristorante, we figured it would be a good idea to learn more about Italian cuisine. So we signed up for an “Italian immersion cooking school” taught by the legendary Marcella Hazan in Bologna, Italy.
Phil with Marcella Hazan in Bologna, Italy
Every day, we would start out bright and early by going to the central market, where under Marcella’s guidance we would select the best seasonal produce, cheese and meats for the daily meal, and finally head off to the pasta maker. Read more →