sprawling golf greens and several individually decorated areas for
dining including the intimate cocktail lounge, which comes alive
every weekend when the popular Darvey Traylor Duo entertains for
Happy news is the recent appointment of innovative sous chef Chris
Grodach who has brought to the fore his own distinctive take on
rustic American fare inspired by cultural cuisines from across the
country. Arriving directly from his tenure at The Loft, Montage's
beautiful fourth floor restaurant, Grodach's impressive background
began with formal training at the prestigious Culinary Institute of
America at Hyde Park, New York. He then worked diligently with noted
chef Josiah Citrin at Santa Monica's famed Melisse restaurant and
continued to hone his impressive skills with Thomas Keller at the
highly acclaimed French Laundry in Napa Valley.
Grodach's menu features a dozen appetizers at $4 to $12, almost as
many entrees, $18 to $26, plus seven delectable desserts, $7 each.
His innovative approach to authentic American recipes first shows up
in the menu's creamy tomato soup. Rather than jazzing up the flavor
with complex herbs, a little topping of chopped Dungeness crab with
yellow tomato and fried basil imbues a deliciously simple contrast.
If you are blessed to taste the delicate amuse bouche he sometimes
proffers, you will savor tiny slivers of salmon sided with dabs of
avocado and crunchy veggie bits in a savory trickle of mango orange
puree. Tender calamari is deep fried to an extraordinarily crunchy
finish and presented with sauces of marinara, buttermilk and chipotle
aioli. Crab strewn cakes combine sweet corn relish, cilantro
vinaigrette and baby herb salad. Plump ahi is seared to rare
perfection under a peppery crust and the popular homemade seasoned
potato chips sprinkled with bleu cheese seem to be even more thinly
sliced now than remembered.
Taste and texture contrast are something of a hallmark with this
talented young chef. Per se, the delectably thick pork loin chop is
grilled to a tender pink finish and heaped with the tartness of