Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, February 2, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 9



 Mountain Views News Saturday, February 2, 2013 


You remember the story of King Midas; he was 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 Perkins restaurant into the Parkway Grill, a few 
years later what was a florist shop “Jonkers” he turned it into the Arroyo Chop House. Monahan’s is 
now Smitty’s and the story of the Midas Touch has Gregg Smith as a bi line when you read this fabled 
story because Gregg certainly has the Midas touch, 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 be.. The term “Brunch” 
is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch, it was said to originated in Britain in the late 1890’s, to be 
fashionable to this day, we, say we must brunch sometime, this writers feeling is Brunch was a great 
way to party the night before, without committing to an early morning breakfast, the term should be 
an acronym, for let’s meet and eat once we awaken from our hangovers. I digress, since it was too early 
for tea, it was the perfect time to get the day going with a bloody mary or a mimosa. 

Cheval Blanc has added Sunday Brunch to their 
prestigious line up with a fantastic array of morning 
food and a window look at lunch. A warm pastry 
and bread basket at 11 in the morning you bet!!! 
Accompanied by a cold glass of Rorderer Estate 
Bubbly, this guy felt 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 pick wisely, Spoiler Alert!!! 
I did !! After a few bites of the brioche toast with raspberry jam I decided on the Charcuterie, which 
included Cured Ham, those little tiny pickles that everyone loves and Artisan terrine (cheese for you 
Americans), my dad always taught me, never fill up on the bread when doing a Sunday Brunch. So , I was 
smart enough to only get half full, As I mentioned before, we must do Brunch, well you must order the 
Saumon Fume Eggs Benedict, yes Benedict was a trader but maybe this was my first French Brunch, I was 
looking for something 
unique and this is it, 
when they poured 
the warm béarnaise 
sauce on top of the 
poached egg I was 
in heaven, no the 
first bite was Heaven 
and the second was 
Nirvana, it was time 
for another glass of 
bubbly and at $13 
a glass for what I 
consider top notch 
California Wine one 
could afford it, 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 Brunch, live a little you have to go to work on Monday enjoy yourself. Many of you want your 
eggs a certain way, as my gal at Starbucks says No problem !!! I recommend the Petit Filet and Eggs, 
eggs anyway way you want them with the black truffle hollandaise sauce. 

As of this writing there were five desserts offered and I opted for the Crème Burlee, but of course, 
it takes a few minutes more to make, but well worth it. Please indulge me to jump back to the bar, 
many of you like a bloody mary to jump start your morning , I opted for the bubbly , but I witnedd 
the bartender making a Bloody Mary for the ages, I won’t and can’t give you the recipe but is one the 
best Bloody marys I have ever had, free pour of Vodka, very little tomato juice, but it was epic. The 
restaurant is spacious with white lined and still that same big bar and beautiful stained glass windows 
from the days of Club 41. Located in central Old Pasadena. All I can say Magnifico !!!

Cheval Blanc 41 De Lacey Ave. Pasadena (626) 577-4141

Listen to My Food show, Dining with Dills on 790 AM KABC 5 PM Sunday evenings





To braise the beef: 

4 pounds flank steak 

EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling 

Salt and pepper 

About 2 quarts water 

A handful of cilantro (for a bright flavor) or flat leaf parsley (for a grassy flavor)

 2 to 3 sprigs fresh oregano 

1 large onion, root attached, peeled and quartered 

A few ribs of celery, coarsely chopped 

2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped 

4 large cloves of garlic, crushed 

2 large fresh bay leaves 

For the Sauce: 

2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

3 medium bell peppers, green, red and yellow, seeded and chopped 

1 large red onion, chopped 

4 cloves garlic, chopped 

1 Fresno (red, fruity hot chili) or jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped 

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, half a palmful 

1 sprig fresh oregano, finely chopped 

Salt and pepper 

A small handful of cilantro or parsley, finely chopped 

1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives, chopped 

About 3 tablespoons tomato paste 

1 can 15 ounces crushed or diced tomatoes 


Very thinly sliced red onions dressed in lime juice and seasoned with salt and pepper

 Drained pickled sliced jalapenos 


Dress meat with oil, salt and pepper. Brown the meat over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add 
water, cilantro or parsley, oregano, onion, celery, carrots, garlic and bay. Bring to a boil then reduce 
heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off heat and let rest for half an hour.


Remove meat to shallow platter and shred with forks, cover and reserve. Strain the braising liquids 
and return to pot, reduce over medium high heat about 30 minutes more.


Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Heat EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, in a deep sauté pan over medium-high 
heat. Add peppers, onions, garlic and chili pepper to oil, and season with cumin, oregano, salt and 
pepper, and cook to soften 8-10 minutes. Add in cilantro or parsley, olives, tomato paste, stir a minute 
then deglaze with reduced braising liquid and stir in tomatoes to combine.


Slide in shredded beef and simmer a few minutes more to allow beef to soak in sauce. 

Serve with rolls or tortillas for a party snack or serve with rice and beans as a meal. Top beef with red 
onions dressed with lime and pickled jalapeños for garnish.

Serves 8 *Recipe courtesy Rachel Ray

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills

Be prepared for a big SGV style celebration 
starting New Year's Eve Saturday, February 9 as 
we usher in the Year of the Snake. If you were 
born in 1953, 1965, 1977 or 2001 you were born 
under the snake sign and 2013 will be a significant 
year for you.


People born during the year of the snake are 
good in financial matters and business negotiations. 
This clever calculating creature is quick to 
spot new opportunities and has the skills to act 
on them.


The Chinese New Year or "Spring Festival" is 
steeped in traditions. Food plays a central role 
in the celebrations with the most important meal 
being the Family Reunion Dinner on New Year's 
Eve. Families come together for a lavish multi-
course supper. If you don't have the time to plan 
and cook such a meal, no need to panic. Many 
Chinese restaurants offer Reunion Dinner Packages 
so families can enjoy the tradition with less 
fuss. The SGV is home to the best Chinese restaurants 
in the United States. 


Instead of champaign, the "Jiaozi" dumpling plays 
the center role because its shape resembles a gold 
nugget and represents prosperity. We have so 
many choices for good dumplings - Flavor Garden 
in Alhambra, Fortune Dumpling in Monterey 
Park, Little Taipei in Arcadia and Shang 
Ming in San Gabriel - to name just a few.


Gifts are also an important part of the New Year 
celebration. Children receive red packets containing 
new currency. Red is the color of new 
years and you'll see paper-cutouts and lanterns 
adorning stores and restaurants. 


If you are fortunate enough to be invited to participate 
in a celebration, be sure to take your 
hostess a gift of mandarin oranges or "nian gao" 
(Chinese New Year's cake). Eating a piece of this 
sweet rice flour cake is thought to improve your 
luck for the year. No time to bake? Not a problem 
in the SGV. Happy Bakery, Cathy Bakery and Kee 
Wah Bakery, all in the City of San Gabriel, will be 
glad to bake for you.


A great way to join in the New Year's fun is to 
attend one of the festivals and parades being held 
in several SGV cities. Plan a trip to Monterey 
Park on either February 2 or 3. You'll find the 
New Year's festival on Garvey Avenue between 
Garfield and Alhambra. Enjoy the booths with 
unique gifts and food. There will be lion and 
dragon dancers with loud drums and cymbals to 
evict evil spirits and a large fun zone for children.


The City of Alhambra's celebration is February 16 
on Valley Blvd. between Garfield and Almansor. 
More than 250 booths will be open from 10 am to 
5 pm. There is fun, games and food for everyone. 
I am sure you can count on hearing at least a few 
firecrackers signifying good luck.


For those of you who just can't imagine any New 
Year celebration without champaign, I have it on 
good authority that dumplings and Champaign 
go very well together. 


Gung Hay Fat Choy - Best wishes and congratulations. 
Have a prosperous and good year.

Written by Cynthia Kurtz, President San Gabriel 
Valley Economic Partnership and originally printed 
in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.



The Sierra Madre Farmer’s Market hours have changed to 3:00pm through 7:00pm every Wednesday 
in fall and winter. Vendors include Dry Dock which has fresh and wild caught fish, Rustic 
Loaf with artisan breads, Cutie Pie with fresh pies and much more!

For those interested in being a vendor contact Melissa Farwell with Raw Inspirations at 818-591-
8161 ext. 806.

Happy Valentine’s DayCelebrate Love and Friendship in the perfect cup of tea. In a romantic, peaceful setting.
RSVP (626) 355-004575 N. Baldwin Ave., Sierra Madre, CA 91024 
OpenTues - Sat11am - 4pmSundays 
open forgroups 
of 20 
or morePrivate SpaceAvailable 
for Bridal & 
Baby Showers,