Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, June 18, 2011

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 Mountain Views News Saturday, June 18, 2011 

Happy Father’s Day

It has been said, that there is no substitute 
for time. Only through its passage can many 
of life’s experiences be fully understood. This 
Fathers Day I reflect back on a lesson of life 
and a Father that has ceased to teach and 
comfort me. I would like to invite you along 
for a single night with a man that has left 
this Earthy place but dwells eternally within 
my heart. The article below was written and 
published before his passing.


My entire life has been an eight course meal. 
In my late teens I had the distinguished 
position of bagger at the local supermarket, 
and later with references, I was able to move 
to Jurgensen’s Gourmet Grocery. There I was 
to learn about fine wines, exotic cheeses and 
my kryptonite, dry aged beef. I guess it all 
started there because at twenty-three I was 
pretentious about food. For many years I 
thought that was where it all started for me, 
there in those markets, but I have come to 
realize that I was wrong. For some in life it 
is the famous baseball player; or possibly a 
religious figure, for others it is a musical 
master or the profound artist. How many 
times in life, if ever do you get a chance to 
sit with those that inspire and challenge life 
with a depth of wisdom? For most they will 
never get the opportunity. I can claim one 
prize in this life; I have had the opportunity 
to observe, speak with and lastly follow in the 
footsteps of one person that holds that place 
for me. They have been labeled “The greatest 
generation” for a reason. Each day another 
from that stratum of America, “slowly goes 
into the night.”

Many of you know that my Father Elmer Dills 
was on TV and radio for twenty-eight years 
here in Los Angeles. I had the opportunity 
to dine and share with my mentor a few 
weeks ago. I have been out with my Father 
at least five hundred times but as a fine wine, 
wisdom increases in its depth and flavor as 
it ages. 

On this night our adventure took us to 
Madeleines(since closed) in Pasadena. 
Seems that my Dad is a regular there and 
lately he’s been a little under the weather. I 
have heard him say nothing but praise of this 
place, so it’s off to Madelienes. 

“Table for three, please,” on this evening 
we have, my daughter Lauren (the budding 
Critic), Pops and Me. Whenever I see 
courteous, well behaved children; I know 
their parents are invariably going to be 
respectful people. Likewise whenever I get a 
compliment, I know it goes beyond just me. 
As we sit to dine, there is no call for attention 
and gratification, just a smooth easy in being 
in his court. As we talk, I am struck that there 
is no air of condemnation but rather one of 
deep respect for the people that more often 
than not get it right in this business. My 
Dad the legendary restaurant critic doesn’t 
even ask what the ingredients of the dishes 
are as he orders. He doesn’t request to see 
the sommelier. Is he a restaurant critic, I am 
waiting for a sign? It is just as natural as going 
to dinner with a group of friends, I think.

Madeleines is/was located on Green St. at 
the bottom of an office building there are 
many different rooms, much like a Victorian 
house, there is a patio, a bar, and a large 
dining room. We sat overlooking the patio 
with a fireplace that added a perfect touch of 
ambience. The restaurant is quietly attractive, 
cozy and well spaced. You feel a little smarter 
here, knowing that Albert Einstein often 
slept upstairs while he was visiting Cal Tech. 

We began with a cheese plate ($9), nice but it 
could have used less nuts and more of cheese 
and crackers. My Dad is a creature of habit, 
just like many of us. He orders the Rack of 
Lamb, “I just loved it,” just like a young kid 
would say. The waiter was kind enough to 
have it cut for him. Daughter Lauren ordered 
the Pork Chops and gave it two training 
thumbs up. Now that is a compliment. 
Not sure if high heels work in this business 
though, as you never know when you may 
encounter a chef that feels you have leveled 
capricious discourse with your pen on the 
one hand and possess a frying pan in the 
other. She will discover soon enough why I 
wear running shoes and a sport coat.

I order the Spencer Steak, of course I am the 
difficult one, so once we get the steak the way 
I wanted it cooked, it vanishes quickly. 

Back to Dad, the waiter asks, “How was the 
meal” and I know 99% of you when asked 
would give the response, “Fine, Thank You.” 
Nope, the restaurant critic said, “The lamb 
chops were great!!!” “And the dessert was?” 
A shrugged of the shoulders told it all. 
That is the honesty and passion that got me 
involved in this business. Today, I still work 
at a restaurant to keep up on the trends and 
I even get a crazy dream that I may own one 
someday. You can be sure he will be one of 
the first to give a thumbs up or a shrug of the 
shoulders if I do. 

Happy Fathers Day – I would never trade 
sitting across the table from you for anything.

This was a re-print and may just run it every 
year at this time just to remind you and all 
to hold these special days near your heart. 
Hope to see you all at the Grand Opening of 
Vons on the 29th of June.

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills

Early Risers Special 9:00 am- 10:00am $28.00 | Adults: $36.00 Children (Under 10): $14.00Children (Under 3): FreeFor Reservations Call: (626) 294-0034Located inside the Embassy Suites Hotel | 211 E. Huntington Drive, Arcadia Ca 91006Carving StationCarved Baron of Beef and Ham 
Omelette StationOmelettes Cooked To OrderBreakfast StationEggs Benedict, French Toast, Bacon, Sausage, Waffles, 
Cheese Blintzes, and Much more!
EntreesRibs, BBQ Chicken, Chuck Wagon Style Baked Beans, 
Rice, Mashed Potatoes, Charbroiled Steaks, Chorizo, Corn 
on the Cob, Corn Bread, Fresh Seasonal Vegetables & 
Much More!
Seafood StationMussels, Shrimp and more!
Salad StationAssorted Cheese and CrackersAssorted Salads and Fresh FruitDessert StationAssorted Cakes & Flans!
Beverage StationOrange, Apple, Cranberry Juice, 
Coffee and Hot TeaIt’s Father Day Sunday June 19th, 2011 (9am-3pm)
Come Join us at Capistrano’s Restaurant for a Western Style 
Father’s Day Beer And Champagne Brunch To Celebrate the Special man in you life
Introducing: SIERRA BISTRO

Sierra Madre Public Library440 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
Sierra Madre, CA626.355.7186Sierra Madre Families are invited to theChildren’s LibraryFamily Pizza PartyFundraiserSaturday, June 25th from 3 – 6 p. m.
Pizza . Silent Auction . Storytelling . Face paintingFun for the whole family!
RSVP to Meegan Tosh, Youth Services Librarian626.355.4672or
Owner Bill May and Chef Sean Roache “cut the ribbon” at the Grand Opening of Sierra Bistro 
Wednesday night. The Bistro is located at 120 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre and 
is open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. At the Ribbon Cutting, sponsored by the Sierra 
Madre Chamber of Commerce, the restaurant showcased delectable items from its food and 
wine menus.

 The Sierra Bistro also accommodates dogs outside and has a complete menu for our four 
legged friends that includes such treats as “Who Let The Dogs Out” (hot dogs); Bow Wow 
Chicken and What’s Up Dog (kibble) for those who don’t eat table food. There is a list of 
Doggie No-No’s so that doggie diners do not disturb or offend their two legged friends.

Photo by Bill Coburn

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: