Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, April 21, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page A-9



 Mountain Views News Saturday, April 21, 2012 


The story of King Midas told of a kind man who ruled his kingdom fairly. One day, while 
walking in his garden, he saw an elderly satyr asleep in the flowers. Taking pity on the old 
fellow, King Midas let him go without punishment. When the god Dionysus heard about it, he 
rewarded King Midas by granting him one 
wish. The king thought for only a second 
and then said “I wish for everything I 
touch to turn to gold”. And so it was.

I met Gregg Smith some 25 years ago 
when he turned Perkin’s restaurant into 
the Parkway Grill. A few years later it 
was an old florist shop called Jonkers 
that he turned into the Arroyo Chop 
House. He raised his hand again and 
turned Monahan’s into Smitty’s. Before I 
tell you about my recent visit to Cheval 
Blanc for Sunday Brunch, let’s get a quick 
history lesson on how brunch came to 
settle into our lives. The term “Brunch” is 
a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch, said to have originated in Britain in the late 1890’s. 
This writer’s feeling is that Brunch was a great way to soften the sting for the partygoer of the 
night before, without compelling them to endure the early rays of morning light. The term 
should dovetail with “let’s gather when we stir from our comas and revive ourselves with the 
medicine of Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas”.

Cheval Blanc has added Sunday Brunch to 
their parade of fantastic Cheval Blanc choices. 
A warm pastry and bread basket at 11 in the 
morning? You bet !!! Accompany that with a cold glass of Roederer Estate Bubbly, and this 
guy felt like he just stepped into the French Quarter. After all, this is a French Restaurant. 
Now this is where my job gets tricky. One man can only eat so much, so I’d better select 
wisely. After a few bites of the brioche toast with raspberry jam I decided on the Charcuterie 
which included cured ham, and those tiny pickles that everyone loves, with Artisan Terrine 
(cheese for you Americans). My dad always taught 
me to never fill up on the bread when doing a Sunday 
Brunch. So, I was half smart enough to only get half 
full. As I mentioned before, we must do Brunch, I 
must order the Saumon Fume Eggs Benedict. Yes, 
Benedict was a traitor but this was my first French 
Brunch. I was looking for something unique and this 
was it. When they poured the warm béarnaise sauce 
on top of the poached egg I was in heaven. Well, the 
first bite was Heaven and the second was Nirvana, 
and it was the perfect time for another glass of bubbly 
($13 a glass for what I consider top notch California 
Wine). In fact, there were several wines on the list 
that I considered good values, including a full bottle 
of Domaine Chandon for $31 and a Magnum of Robert Mondavi for $150. Hey it’s Brunch, 
live a little, you have to go to work tomorrow. Many of you want your eggs a certain way and, 
as my gal at Starbucks says, no problem. I recommend the Petit Filet and Eggs with the black 
truffle hollandaise sauce. 

As of this writing there were five desserts offered and I opted for the Crème Brulee. It takes 
a few minutes to make, but is worth the wait. Please indulge me to jump back to the bar, 
knowing that many of you like a Bloody Mary to jumpstart your morning. I had opted for 
the bubbly, but I witnessed the bartender making a Bloody Mary for the ages. I can’t reveal 
the recipe, but it is one the best Bloody Mary’s I have ever had: free pour of Vodka, very little 
tomato juice, and an epic flavor. The restaurant is spacious with white linen tablecloths, and 
still that same big bar and beautiful stained glass windows from the days of Club 41. 

Located in central Old Pasadena. 41 S. De Lacey Ave. (626) 577-4141

All I can say is Magnifico !!!

Please listen to my “Food Show”, Dining with Dills this Sunday Night on KABC Radio 790 
AM. My email address is

Spinach & Mushroom 
Smothered Chicken 


•3 cups fresh baby spinach

•1-3/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

•3 green onions, sliced

•2 tablespoons chopped pecans

•1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil

•4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)

•1/2 teaspoon rotisserie chicken seasoning

•2 slices reduced-fat provolone cheese, halved


•In a large skillet, saute the spinach, mushrooms, onions and pecans in oil until 
mushrooms are tender. Set aside and keep warm.

 • Sprinkle chicken with seasoning. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper 
towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack.

 • Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 4-5 
minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 170°.

 • Top with cheese. Cover and grill 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. 
To serve, top each chicken breast with reserved spinach mixture. Yield: 4 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills

Do not forget your mother or grandmother on 
Mother’s DayMake your reservation now for the Four Seasons Tea Room75 N. Baldwin Ave., Sierra Madre, CA 91024 
RSVP (626) 355-0045
OpenTues - Sat11am - 4pmSundays 
open forgroups 
of 20 
or morePrivate SpaceAvailable 
for Bridal & 
Baby Showers, 
LimitedSpace Limited

Join us Friday evening, May 4, to find out – with tequila cocktails by Nobleza Tequila and 
wine flights offered by Phantom Rivers Winery, accompanied by appetizers from Claud & 
Company Catering and the Peacock Café. Not to mention our Beer for Books booth, where 
all proceeds will go toward new books for the Arboretum Library.

Live music by the Big Band Theory will be the perfect backdrop for enjoying a stroll through 
our garden sculpture exhibit, Earth Dreams: Beyond the Sculptural Landscape, where you 
will have an opportunity to meet the eight featured artists. You will see amazing art installations, 
such as LadyBugs by Patrick E. (above).

The fun continues on Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6, with plenty of kids’ activities, live entertainment 
throughout the day, food trucks, guided tours through our beautiful gardens, 
and much more!

There is a fantastic lineup of educational Q&A sessions from top garden experts. These forums 
feature topics on everything from bee-keeping and backyard chickens, maximizing 
your edible garden production to drought-friendly ornamental landscaping.

And don’t forget your shopping opportunities! Our Marketplace will have over 50 vendors 
with a full array of garden accessories, and over 25 Plant Vendors & Societies offering unique 
plants and great information. Our Arboretum Gift Shop will be offering special discounts on 
all merchandise as well. 

GROW! will also be the first opportunity to see our newly designed Garden for All Seasons 
– a demonstration garden of cutting-edge water harvesting techniques and urban homesteading