We paid a long-overdue visit to friends in Long Beach, and after a gabfest at their home, we headed downtown for a bite of lunch. French fare always hits the spot, so I was happy to visit Crème de la Crepe, a delightful little restaurant — and perhaps our own little food tribute to the recent tragedy in Paris.
This appears to be a small local chain. The Long Beach one is light, airy and has French literary quotes stenciled on the ceiling. Yellow appears to be the theme color, carried out with yellow cloth napkins and a yellow rose on each table. I am generally not a fan of chains, but I would not be unhappy if someone from Colorado would buy a franchise. One reason: at least at lunch, the fresh mixed salad with an authentically French salad dressing, not the bottled orange glop, that came with each dish four of us ordered.
Price check: None to add. The menu is not on-line, and since I assumed it would be, I didn’t take notes.
The restaurant is at 400 East First Street, Long Beach, CA; 562-437-2222.
My husband and I spent several hours at the Planes of Fame museum, whose collection largely consists of World War II era aircraft. (My post and some pix are at http://bit.ly/1PGg0CT) The museum is on the north side of Chino Airport, in the transition zone between agricultural and suburban southern California.
Right down the street is Flo’s Airport Café, a throwback eatery specializing in enormous portions of traditional American fare — with a few stir-fries and salads thrown in to communicate modern-ness. We ate there to continue the back-in-the-day theme.
The 10th annual First Bite Boulder again presents foodies with the delicious dilemma: which of 40 or so area restaurants to visit for a prix-fixe dinner. Five of us gathered yesterday evening at Bacco Trattoria & Mozzarella Bar in North Boulder. Wine? Of course. The menu? With a choice of two of four first courses, two of five main courses and two desserts, we just selected two of each course among the five of us. I like Bacco’s food a lot. My one wish is that it were less noisy.
I generally try not to eat anyplace predictably uninteresting, but today was an exception. As we were driving south of Broadway in Boulder to go for a sunny-day hike, I suddenly got hankering for spicy Chinese food. The power of suggestion was great, and my husband bought into it.
But we had miles to hike before we ate. On the way back, we were ravenous, so we pulled into the Base-Mar shopping center, where May-Wah has been located ever since it came into my consciousness. It is located in a strip mall, so I had few expectations of interesting fare and have always avoided it. My expectations were met. When we arrived, a single woman at one table was finishing her meal, and one fellow was waiting for his take-out order. One table was left to be cleared. It still took quite some time to have our order taken and then for our food to be brought out
When bringing a hot dish to a potluck, I like to make something unfussy that doesn’t need to be cut with knife, can travel without falling apart and doesn’t need to be reheated in the hostess’ oven. For a potluck last night, I improvised a spin on Maple-Glazed Carrots. I didn’t measure (as I wrote, “unfussy” was a criterion), so I’m estimating quantities here. If you make it, you can change the seasonings, sprinkle with parsley or make any other modifications you wish.
3 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/3 cup real maple syrup
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup water*
2 Tbsp. mild chili powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans
*If you buy packaged carrots to avoid the step of peeling, use the water in the package.
In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except chili powder and pecans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered. Stir occasionally for about 15 minutes. Add chili powder during the last stir. The goal is for the liquid to thicken and glaze the carrots. (If the carrots are tender before the liquid has thickened, uncover and increase heat to medium-high.) Stir in the chopped pecans.
Kelly Whitaker’s Basta and Cart-Driver celebrate Sockeye Week.
Chefs Collaborative, a group of influential chefs dedicated to promoting sustainable, natural food sources. The group has declared this to be Sockeye Restaurant Week through November 15. Restaurants and other businesses across the country are featuring wild sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay, Alaska, on their menus. No, sockeye isn’t fresh in November, but it was flash-frozen and is just about as good.
Bristol Bay is the world’s largest sockeye fishery. Today, it is celebrated by no less that President Barack Obama, a supporter of Bristol Bay’s pristine nature, who took action to protect the ecosystem and the fishing community. His actions assure that it will remain a sustainable and productive fishery. Until then, there was a long and ugly threat from the proposed development of the Pebble Mine, a porphyry, copper, gold, and molybdenum operation that would have put Bristol Bay and its population of all five types of salmon at risk if the mine were developed and its waste containment were to fail. Think of the Gold King mine mess near Silverton last August and the far worse situation in Brazil right now, where two burst mining dams have already cost 28 lives, safe drinking water and numerous small villages. Imagine that crap spilling into Bristol Bay. Fortunately, the mine project didn’t come to pass, and now, let’s think about delicious salmon again.
Chefs Collaborative member Kelly Whitaker is hosting two sockeye specials at Cart-Driver (Denver) and Basta (Boulder). Cart-Driver is replacing its popular tuna mousse with sockeye mousse, and Basta is they are extending Sockeye Restaurant Week into First Bite Boulder with a sockeye special.
Museum restaurant pairs menu with Wyeth exhibition.
“Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio” is a ground-breaking exhibition at the Denver Art Museum from today through February 7. Executive chef Austin Cueto of Palettes, the contemporary restaurant on the first floor of the museum’s North Building, has crafted a three-course prix fixe menu inspired by specific works in the show.
The Wyeths lived and worked in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, in the lovely Brandywine Country, and on the Maine Coast. Some of the dishes (notably lobster and pumpkin bisque, and cod) instantly bring Maine to mind. Too bad that fiddleheads are not in season now.
Claire Walter's Colorado-oriented but not Colorado-exclusive blog about restaurants, food and wine events, recipes and related news. For address of any restaurant, click on the Zomato icon at the end of the post.