Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

There’s definitely something to be said for the warmth of a cozy, family-owned neighborhood restaurant. A place where you can find hearty portions of soulful comfort food, prepared with care by the owner and served by an attentive staff. Here in Anchorage, Little Italy Restaurante has been filling that role by crafting traditional – and a few non-traditional – Greek and Italian dishes for 30 years.

Warm tones and lighting at Little Italy

Warm tones and lighting  provide a comfortable setting at Little Italy

In a town like Anchorage, where restaurants breeze in and out like the blustery Chinook winds, family-owned Little Italy’s longevity speaks volumes about camaraderie and customer loyalty. Guests appreciate the care owner Spiros Gialopsos and his staff put into the ample plates of food – and also the attentiveness of the staff under the guidance of P.J. in the front of the house.

This is a place to go to enjoy the types of food that you might be too intimidated to try cooking at home. For me, that means diving into a large appetizer of spanakopita made with fresh sautéed spinach dotted with tangy feta, seasoned with herbs and onions, then (more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I had the opportunity to dine at Le Cirque during a recent trip to Las Vegas. This New York City fine dining outpost is located in the lovely 5-star Bellagio Hotel and Resort, and is one of the cornerstones of the hotel’s dining experiences. My expectations for the restaurant were quite high, but both the floor staff and kitchen fully delivered with an amazing meal and a very memorable evening.

My recommendation is to definitely go with the Le Cirque dégustation menu rather than ordering a la carte, and certainly do opt for the lovely wine pairings. You will not be disappointed. Unlike some tasting menus, you will have an element of control in the selection of your dishes while still experiencing the full range of what the chef and his staff can create. The exemplary service from the wait staff and sommelier at Le Cirque is professional and attentive without feeling at all intrusive.

Amuse bouche - uni 'ice cream' with ginger-lemon grass gelee -- Le Cirque Restaurant

An amuse bouche of uni with caviar – Le Cirque

Although I ordered the snow crab as my starter, I was surprised when the waiter brought a lovely amuse bouche of uni with lemon grass gelée and a fennel puree. It was sublime, as was my actual starter of snow crab with turnip, apple, avocado and pomegranate.

Sautéed foie gras with pear confit – and a salty caramel sauce – did not disappoint. It was delicate and (more…)

Read Full Post »

ORSO Restaurant has weekly specials based on the owner’s philosophy, “a great bottle of wine doesn’t need to cost more than a dinner.” Each week they offer one case of wine at an incredible value that won’t break the bank. But like any great promotion, there’s a catch: There’s only one case – 12 bottles – and it’s first come, first served.

This week’s the Case of the Week takes you to Tuscany, quite fitting given ORSO’s culinary influences from the region.

Ruffino Chianti Superiore
2007
$19.95
 

The Sangiovese notes are dominated by violets and ripe cherries which are well integrated with the spicy scents of vanilla and, lightly, of cloves. On the finish the fruity sensations become riper and reveal elegantly toasted sentors of plum jam. Tasting profile: Very smooth, yet fresh and lively. The mature tannins are sustained by the harmonious fruity structure, where alcohol and acidity reach an ideal balance. The long aftertaste leaves notes of mature cherries.

Recommended ORSO Menu Pairings:
Antipasto, Grilled Ribeye, Osso Buco, Alaskan Salmon, or ORSO’s Traditional Chicken Parmesan
 
Varietal:
75% Sangiovese and 25% other red varieties admitted by Chianti Superiore code production (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Canaiolo).
 
 
 
 
Please visit ORSO soon to claim your wine special!
 

Read Full Post »

The best deal in Anchorage dining is the $39 3-course dinner at Simon & Seafort’s. This isn’t an ‘early-bird’ or tasting menu. Portions are full size and include some of Simon’s most popular dishes.
 
Start with their red king crab and artichoke dip, move on to rock salt roasted prime rib, finish with vanilla burnt cream — or enjoy your own combination from the selection of restaurant favorites. Simon’s special deal is available through March 31, so don’t miss out. Make your reservations today and take advantage of 4 star dining at 2 star prices.

Simon & Seafort's Restaurant March Trio Menu

Simon & Seafort’s March Trio (AKA “March Madness”) Menu: 

First Course

Oven Roasted Red King Crab and Artichoke Dip
Flash-Seared Teriyaki Tenderloins  (more…)

Read Full Post »

One of my favorite local appetizers is Sashimi Hali’imaile, a dish that explodes with flavors that are as vivid and crisp as the pleasing colors that meet the eye.

A bed of crisp greens and julienne vegetables provides the foundation for Napoleon-like layers of smoked salmon, crispy wontons and ahi, all topped with a dollop of caviar. Sesame seeds and capers dot the dish.

This appetizer may draw its inspiration from Hawaii, but it is the creation of the Danish-born Alaskan chef, Jens Hansen, owner of Jens’ Restaurant in Anchorage. A colorful, bright plate that bursts with flavor is just the ticket when winter lasts for 7 often dreary months. Locals who are unable to escape to Hawaii can instead sidle up to the bar in the bustling little bodega at Jens’, sip a glass of wine from the extensive list, and imagine a tropical paradise while savoring a bit of fresh sashimi.

Insider Tip: Timing is important. You don’t want to be in the middle of your meal and miss the tradition. Each night at precisely 10 PM the music switches to Eric Clapton’s “Layla” — and dancing is encouraged.

Sashimi Hali'imaile from Jens' Restaurant

Jens’ Restaurant
701 West 36th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
(907) 561-5367
Jens’ Restaurant Website

Jens' on Urbanspoon

Read Full Post »

It’s a chilly afternoon and this listless lady’s thoughts are turning to – of all things – cake. But not just any cake — I’m craving a luscious little bacon cheesecake from the Alaska Cake Studio. Yes, a cake of my very own. That is just what I need to cheer me up on this cold, windy winter day.

Bacon Cheesecake from Alaska Cake Studio

Alaska Cake Studio is a delicious spot to make a stop no matter the season or weather. During one of my Cake Studio visits the individual dessert items on display included a Madagascar Vanilla Mousse, my favorite Bacon Cheesecake, and a Mojito Truffle dessert. Cupcakes at the Alaska Cake Studio are offered in two flavors per day, and rotate on both a daily and monthly basis. Red Velvet, S’mores, and Strawberry Champagne cupcakes are popular with both visitors and locals alike.

Owner Will McDonald and his staff at Alaska Cake Studio have been bringing sweetness and light to Downtown Anchorage and 4th Avenue since December 2009. But why locate the shop on 4th Avenue, an area of town that has foot traffic but little in the way of parking? As it turns out, a storefront was just what he was looking for, as McDonald revealed during our conversation.

“You get people with the smell, the scent of baking,” he confided. “I wanted to bring something to Anchorage that we didn’t have … a shop with a warm, comforting feel where people can browse, sample pastries and cakes, or purchase specialty items.”

He’s quick to add, “It’s all about the cake. I believe the cake should stand alone — frosting is just an accessory.”

The warm and very inviting interior of the Alaska Cake Studio

There are many delectables available in addition to cakes made on the premises. You’ll also find a wide selection of gourmet sugars and pearls for decorating your own confections; specialty sugars such as Demerara, (more…)

Read Full Post »

Lavelle’s Bistro is pleased to present guest Chef Mimi Houston on Sunday, February 27th for a spectacular night of French fusion cuisine.

Chef Houston’s culinary aspirations took her to New York for training at the French Culinary Institute. While working under celebrated chefs such as Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Master Chef & Chocolatier Jacques Torres, Mimi further refined her signature style of Mediterranean and Southeast Asian Cuisine while incorporating strong, clean French flavors. 

Mimi’s love for cooking and food began as a young girl growing up in Vietnam. Between helping with the family dessert cart business and following her mother around the kitchen she developed a passion for cooking and (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »