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Restaurants for special occasions (2)

Nalynn Dolan Caine ▼ | April 30, 2008
This week we visit four American restaurants that are bound by one thing - celebrities absolutely adore them.
Restaurants for special occasions
Restaurants for special occasionsThis week we visit four American restaurants that are bound by one thing - celebrities absolutely adore them.

Beverly Hills, California

Wolfgang Puck's empire rises from early 1980s and encompasses Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Wolfgang Puck Catering and Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. with central Puck's motto: Wolfgang’s Eat, Love, Live (WELL). Restaurants for special occasionsFor Beverly Hills Spago his owner Wolfgang Puck said that is the flagship of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. It was awarded with so many awards that it will last for too long to count them name by name, so we will mention just one of the James Beard Foundation, the Outstanding Service Award, 2005.

You will admit, without good service any meal is doomed to fiasco, no matter how delicious it is. On the other side, if chef has "bad chicken day" or what ever they call it in that profession, good service and smile can make it right. When talking about Spago that will not be the case. Restaurants for special occasionsTheir corporate chef took the obligation on his back to create Spago's imaginative seasonal menus and to pull the best from California's products and shape it in a delicious sculpture. People in Spago make art, they are the best and they are aware of that, guests enjoy. Their kitchen is in centre stage and a beautiful landscaped garden patio available through year is a Spago's "cream on the cake".

Mandarin Noodles with Sautéed Tenderloin and Vegetables Batty Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate Cookie Wings and Berry Sabayon Gratinee are just one small part of this menu delicious enough to visit Wolfgang Puck's Spago and enjoy in restaurant that promises the pleasure for all your senses.

New York

Restaurants for special occasionsSettled in the heart of midtown Manhattan, Michael’s New York is the perfect place for business meetings, including breakfasts, large and small celebrations, or pre-theatre dinners. Rarely some restaurant can win a heart on the first look, but Michael's captured our in a blink of an eye. If I bet, I will lose because I was sure that owner origins are somewhere in Mediterranean.

But, he is born and raised in Briarcliff Manor, New York, got education in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and trained in the business and art of gastronomy at the University of Colorado. From top to toe he is an absolute American. His work reflects hospitality, love, warmth, passion and humbleness rarely seen in cooking business.

Restaurants for special occasionsHis food encompass all the best from America heritage and all the best from Italian and France kitchen. His love of Hispanic and Asian foods and their respective cultures push his food to even higher levels, he admit, but we are already hooked. His cooking presents simplicity with none of the fussiness you may find in many fancy kitchens and that same basic principles he apply when they cook for 6 people in his own kitchen or for 150 in the restaurant. His philosophy of food, great service and joyful people in the perfect setting are the goal of Michael's and definition of best New Modern American Cooking.

California wines, American ingredients and, I would add, Mediterranean passion, Michael's is a restaurant with a gentle soul. Winner of numerous awards, on its menu Michael's offers 28 Day Dry-Aged Prime NY Steak, Roast Garlic Arugula Potato Purée, Grilled Onions, Grilled Jumbo Asparagus, Fresh Thyme, yummy.

Woodinville, Washington
The Herbfarm

Restaurants for special occasionsThe Herbfarm has long and very interesting story. All began not as a restaurant but as a herbal nursery in 1974, thanks to Lola Zimmerman's love for chives. Lola and Bill Zimmerman's son Ron Zimmerman and his wife Carrie Van Dyck converted a farm garage into a small restaurant and named it The Herbfarm in 1986. In January 1997, a fire destroyed the restaurant. Ron and Carrie believed that the building permits were "just a few more weeks away." Inspectors, consultants and others took a year while Ron and Carrie ran the restaurant from a large tent they built on the farm, taking the dishes each night to another city to wash.

Restaurants for special occasionsAfter four years and numerous obstacles new The Herbfarm building today includes pieces from the original farm and became one of America's most-celebrated dining events. Today this romantic restaurant serves Pacific Northwest nine-course menus. It rotates it every few weeks to catch the seasonal ingredients. The Herbfarm may praise itself with enormous collection of Oregon and Washington wines.

If you want to visit their Wine Cellar Open House you can visit them 50 minutes before each dinner seating or accept an invitation to visit The Herbfarm and outdoor garden tour which starts 30 minutes before dinner each evening. In The Herbfarm taste A Prelude in Sea: Paddlefish Caviar on Crisp Salmon Skin, Rosemary-Mussel Skewer with Cucumber Kimchi, Westcott Bay Oyster with Sorrel Sauce and 2001 Argyle Oregon Brut.

Los Angeles
The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel

Restaurants for special occasionsAlthough its glamour decor changed through the years The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel still attracts celebrities. Once, it was the inevitable place for Hollywood royalty and names like Marlene Dietrich, and today some other names visit it. Located on Sunset Boulevard in the centre of Beverly Hills, The Beverly Hills Hotel thanks to his location, is the perfect place to rest in the time of dinner or late supper and perfect for seating to early breakfast.

Business centre, Rodeo Drive, Century City and many of Hollywood studios are around the corner and when you seat relaxed busy life flows just few metres away.

Restaurants for special occasionsRegular guests consider it adorable, those who drop by have splitting opinions. Some will flatter with words like delicious, juicy meal, perfect cocktails and kindly service while others use words like unimaginative, no attention to details and slow. Changing of generations may be a reason to be disappointed or objective. Still, The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel is the place to see and to be seen. Lots of movies are filmed there: California Suite, American Gigolo, Hannah and Her Sisters, Anywhere but Here, not to mention the old one from 1952, The Bad and the Beautiful and many others.

And as long as jazz plays The Polo Lounge will have his audience. Taste Hazelnut Crusted Wild King Salmon, Bacon Braised Puy Lentils, Fresh Chickpeas and Heirloom Carrots and Orange Scented Jus.