Watertable in the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach echoes the resort’s Andalusian decor.
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Birth Announcements: June 2014

Juliet Glass - June 2014

The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa shuttered its signature dining spot, The Californian, and reopened it as Watertable, with a new design and a seasonal menu. Seating 275, the restaurant showcases jawdropping Pacific Coast views. Hand-painted tiles, communal tables, and one-of-a-kind furniture pieces complement the resort’s Andalusian decor. Two Hyatt veterans were recruited to spearhead the culinary overhaul: exec chef Manfred Lassahn and director of f&b Jon Benson. Apps ($8 to $14): twice-fried potato cakes with truffle dip, chives, and cracked pepper; herb-grilled lamb chops with sweet onion/chorizo/potato hash. Mains ($19 to $38): Watertable burger with cambazola fondue and bacon lardons; diver scallops with lemon butter sauce, dressed watercress, sturgeon roe, and cold smoked tomato. Desserts ($9): lemon tart with blueberry compote and dehydrated meringue; latte crème brûlée with chocolate crisp and berries.

In April, Philadelphia-based restaurateurs Jim Caiola and David Salama of The Emerald Green Group reopened the iconic Tavern on the Green, dormant since 2009. The lengthy renovation preserved the Victorian elegance of the semi-circular building and reduced the overall size, though it still seats a whopping 410 guests indoors. Executive chef Katy Sparks (of Quilty’s and more recently of Katy Sparks Culinary Consulting) runs the kitchen, where the heat of hearth ovens, planchas, and grills kisses many dishes. Apps ($12 to $26): lightly grilled red endive salad with caramelized anchovies, roasted garlic, buttermilk, and Parmesan; wood-roasted Maine mussels with almonds, garlic, and red chile/thyme bread crumbs. Mains ($18 to $54): marinated Vermont quail a la plancha with creamy white grits, homemade chorizo, and wood-roasted grapes; prime New York strip steak with braised leeks and patatas bravas. Desserts ($11 to $16): red velvet cake with roasted red beets, cocoa nibs, and cardamom; spring Pavlova with matcha green tea curd, macerated organic strawberries and rhubarb, and chantilly cream.

Beautique debuted at 8 West 58th Street, the 125 seat brainchild of Frank Roberts (formerly general manager of Rose Bar) and executive chef Craig Hopson, recently of Le Cirque. Inspired by Coco Chanel’s Paris abode, the interior is romantic and opulent throughout, with a black, high-gloss bar, and velvet banquette seating. Apps ($14 to $19): Waldorf salad with smoked trout; wild Burgundy escargots with farro, chanterelles, pancetta, and whiskey. Mains ($29 to $39): confit king salmon with cucumber, buttermilk vinaigrette, potato, and dill; red snapper with melted leeks and walnut granola. Desserts ($12): mango/Greek yogurt panna cotta with angel food cake and mango sorbet; praline mousse roulade financier tuile with brown butter/almond ice cream.

Todd Winer, former culinary director of Metropolitan Restaurant Group, and George Lewis, owner of the now-shuttered Foundation Lounge, teamed up to open the 170 seat rustic Pastoral (345 Congress Street). Armed with certification by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, Winer focuses on Neapolitan pizzas with scratch ingredients. Apps ($6 to $13): octopus with parsley, chickpeas, saffron, and orange; arugula/frisée salad with fennel, egg, and smoked pancetta. Mains ($12 to $28): pizza with cured anchovies, goat’s milk cheese, olives, roasted red peppers, and kale; hanger steak with ash-roasted leeks, potatoes, and goat’s milk butter. Desserts ($6 to $8): Nutella pizzetta with confectioners’ sugar; buttermilk chocolate chip cookies.

Edited by Juliet Glass. Send news to JulietGlass@gmail.com.