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October 8, 2004, Volume 4 Number 41


Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

This week's restaurant review is about the $12 'Biz" Lunch Special I had at the Hotel Belvedere's Feeregalo Italian Restaurant. This "Biz" Lunch Special is just one of a variety of leisure and dining activities being advertised by the Leo Palace Resort as part of their One Year Anniversary Celebration. If you are a golfer, it's a "no-brainer". There's no where else on the planet offering a deal as sweet as the "1-1-1" Hotel special, which includes a One Night Stay at the Hotel Belvedere or B-wing Condo, One Dinner for Two and Breakfast the next day for Two, and One Bowling Game for Two. Leo Palace has world-class golf courses (there's a $40 green fee for an Afternoon Special) as well as bowling in a 20-lane state of art Bowling Alley for $5/game, Billiards, Karaoke, and a Sports Bar. All of these are being offered to local residents at reduced prices, with some offers expiring on Dec. 29.

The dining options at the Hotel Belvedere are impressive, with all outlets running specials. These include the Asian Table Ten's "Men-Men" Noodle Fair, The Iki "Nabe" Fair (iron pot cooking in broth), and Feeregalo Wine Buffet. Additionally, the Lago Cafe Restaurant is promoting a "Bravo" Sunday Brunch for $28 with all you can drink wine, beer, champagne and soft drinks plus one FREE game of bowling! This is an excellent opportunity for residents to make a trip to the Leo Palace Resort, which they describe as a "Paradise City" that "Awaits You at the Hills". I encourage everyone to take a journey to the Leo Palace Resort and accept their invitation to enjoy a wide range of offers. I am sure you'll be as impressed as I am with their new facilities and the hospitality extended during this anniversary celebration.

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

P.S. A memorial service for Executive Chef Jeff Hill is scheduled for Thursday, October 21 at the Outrigger's Kanton Tasi, from 10am until Noon.

In Today's Issue:

  • Pastries In Paradise - October 16, Hilton's Marianas Ballroom
  • Around the Island - Islander Terrace Oktoberfest, La Brasserie Seafood Friday
  • Pacific Grill's Savory Mahi & Other Great Eats
  • "Elegance of Napa" Experience at Hilton Gets Raves
  • Sam Choy's Team Attends Wine & Food Festival with Celebrity Chefs
  • Feeregalo's "Biz" Lunch Specials - Economy Fare to First Class Dining

Pastries In Paradise - October 16, Hilton's Marianas Ballroom

We are all looking forward to a terrific turnout at the annual Pastries in Paradise 2004 Event next Saturday at the Hilton's Marianas Ballroom. The popular Lend-A-Hand Charity Fundraiser is expected to draw hundreds of attendees who will sample dessert creations prepared by the island's top pastry chefs. A variety of beverages will also be available, including specialty coffees, teas, soft drinks, and juices. It will be interesting to see what the new Bailey's dessert entries will be for their annual Bailey's Irish Cream Dessert Challenge. Everyone will have the opportunity to cast a ballot and vote for their favorite desserts. Entertainment will be provided by Fried Bananas, with tickets available at the PDN and Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association office. Tickets can also be purchased at the door, which will open at 6pm.

Around the Island - Islander Terrace Oktoberfest, La Brasserie Seafood Friday

The Islander Terrace celebrates Oktoberfest with Executive Chef Christophe Durliat serving specialty German cuisine and desserts at the German Epicure Night this coming Saturday, October 9 from 6pm-9pm for $34/person.

I don't think enough people are aware of the variety of seafood choices that are available at the Holiday Inn's La Brasserie's Seafood Friday Night Buffet. I know folks who come just to get plate loads of the Malaysian Chili Crab, which is a spicy, flavorful favorite that's been a big hit among residents. The price is quite reasonable, too, at $23.99 (+sc). You can drink all the Heineken you want, as well. I was particularly impressed with some of Executive Chef Sean Tweten's fish preparations, which included Seafood Linguini with Vegetables, Almond Stuffed Atlantic Salmon, Mahi Mahi in Ginger Sauce, and a Mixed Seafood Curry. I also liked the seafood salad with olives and capers. So, if you've not yet been to La Brasserie for their Seafood Buffet, it is worth your while just to try new and different ways to enjoy our bounty from the seas.

Pacific Grill's Savory Mahi & Other Great Eats

I'd be remiss if I didn't share a special treat I enjoyed the other night. I was tipped off by some Pacific Grill fans to try their Mahi-Mahi dinner ($9.99). This is a 10 oz fillet that comes out beautifully grilled and sweetly succulent. The seasoning they use complements the fish and doesn't over-power. The mahi is served on a green bed of lettuce which is centered on a fresh-baked pie shell crown. I opted for steamed vegetables over rice or baked potato. A ramekin of tartar sauce made everything complete.

I will have to return for Pacific Grill's Mahi again, and will try their Mahi Burger during lunch ($7.99 for six oz,) which I've also heard good things about from diners. If you like Quesadillas, you won't believe your eyes when you order theirs ($7.99 cheese, $2 for chicken added and $3 for shrimp). It's truly a 12" flour tortilla filled with Monterey Jack and Cheddar Cheese. It's folded over and must be about an inch thick! It's too much cheese for me to eat at one sitting, however cheese fanatics won't be disappointed. Aside from appealing char-grilled steaks, Pacific Grill serves a mean Salisbury Steak ($12.99) with Two 10 oz patties. Though they don't want me to make a big deal of their burgers, they ARE a big deal! Just take a look a picture of their Famous Double Decker on the front page of GuamDiner.com. If you are a vegetarian, don't fret because it's not only about meat here - they have daily vegetarian lunch specials, Call 647-6336 to see what's cooking for lunch.

"Elegance of Napa" Experience at Hilton Gets Raves

Last week's "Elegance of Napa" Wine Experience Dinner was everything it promised; "An evening of harmonic pairing of exquisite cuisine and the elegant taste of Napa Valley vineyards." The event was hosted by Beringer's Amanda Whiteland, who capably navigated diners through a simple yet cogent wine seminar that was one of the best I've attended on Guam.

Chef de Cuisine Eddie Chien had just returned from his JATA tour in Tokyo and served us a Chilled Rock Lobster and Thai Mango Salad drizzled with Balsamic that paired nicely with the dry lemon lime tastes of Beringer's Sauvignon Blanc. There was an exquisite Kabayaki of fresh Sea Bream w/braised Bamboo Shoots that was matched with the slightly spiced citrus vanilla flavors of Beringer Founders' Estate Chardonnay (all wines served were of the Founders' Estate label.) For me,the main entree was the highlight - a scrumptious Charbroiled Filet Mignon with Foie Gras Gratinate with Blackberry Demi-Glace and Truffle-infused Mashed Potatoes, paired with a splendidly rich, deep, herbed, minty-chocolate flavors of Beringer's Cabernet Sauvignon.

The ladies at my table (and others in the room) might have begged to differ with me on their favorite dish, opting instead for dessert, which was a decadent warm Peach-infused Chocolate Ganache mellowed by the delicate cherry, plum, light-spiced nuances of the Merlot it was paired with. I thought there was enough chocolate on that single plate to feed the whole table! (The other wine choice was a sweeter, fruitier White Zinfandel). Sponsored by IWS, I felt it was a well-executed, enlightening wine dinner. I regret that I missed Amanda's Wolf Blass dinner held a week early at OHG, since I surely would have enjoyed her enthusiastic sharing of wine knowledge. What I really desire is to get a bottle of Beringer's Clear Lake Zinfandel, a classic that I learned to enjoy years ago. Kudos to both the staff at Roy's and IWS for a memorable evening.

Sam Choy's Guam Team Attends Wine & Food Festival with Celebrity Chefs

MCA member and Sam Choy's Guam Executive Chef Peter Duenas along with General Manager Frank Toves recently traveled to the 22nd Annual American Wine & Food Festival held on October 2 at Universal Studio Backlot in Universal City, California to assist Chef Sam Choy in this prestigious culinary event. The event is a collaboration between celebrity Master Chef & restaurateur Wolfgang Puck and renowned restaurant designer Barbara Lazaroff, to raise funds to support their Meals-On-Wheels program. Joining Puck was a list of super-star chefs, including Puck's pals from the Food Network, Mario Batali and Bobby Flay, as well as Laurent Gras of San Francisco's Fifth Floor (winner of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chef for 2003), Alan Wong, Susan Spicer, Rocco Dispirito, Nobu Matsuhisa, Todd English, Norman van Aken, Mark Miller, Nancy Silverton, and Sam Choy. We don't have particulars nor pix of this event to share, however we do know that Chef Peter and Frank both helped in preparing meals and dishes that were served to the 1,500 assembled guests, who forked out $300 a person for tickets to the Festival. Now that's some kind of festival!!

Feeregalo's "Biz" Lunch Specials - Economy Fare to First Class Dining

The Feeregalo Italian Restaurant in the Leo Palace Resort's flagship Hotel Belvedere is offering a "Biz" Lunch Special Menu for $12 (inclusive) every week until November 30. For those who have not been to Feeregalo you need to follow Nike's motto and "Just Do It"! Not only is it an affordable opportunity to eat a quality meal in a relatively opulent environment, but it is also a way for you to really gain an appreciation for the extraordinary architectural developments that have been constructed in the middle of our island.

The impression one gets on entering Feeregalo is that you are in a fine dining restaurant in which no expense has been spared to provide a haute cuisine dining experience. This investment in luxurious accouterments is matched by the culinary expertise demonstrated by a long-time resident of Guam, Grand Master Chef Fujigaya (formerly of Dai Ichi's legendary Le Claret French Restaurant), who oversees the gastronomic efforts at Feeregalo and the Belvedere's other outlets. Fujigaya-san was honored just last month in Japan with an Escoffier Award, placing him in the upper echelons of world chefdom. Fujigaya's vision has elevated the menu beyond Italian to encompass traditional French classics, creating a Euro-dining experience. Classical guitar music plays gently in the background and the garden view is great for solitary reflection.

The Set Menu course for the day of my review was "Cinq" (five in French), and featured two choices, a Beef Stew Miroton or a Sauteed Norwegian Salmon with Vegetable Mayonnaise Sauce as the main entrees, to be joined by a Spicy Salad with Boiled Egg and your choice of Bread or Steamed Rice. I opted for the Salmon and was soon brought a glass of iced tea by my well-dressed waiter, Wilfred. The choice of bread or rice is a crucial one, and I strongly suggest you try the bread as no one has ever won awards for steamed rice. The bread basket delivered by Wilfred had slices of warmed French bread and 2 dinner rolls. The crust on the French bread was "magnifique" and the crumb was marvelous! It had to be one of the best, if not the best, French bread I've had in a hotel restaurant. Long-time Guam residents will back me up on this since they know about the quality of bread and desserts produced by Pastry Chef & baker Owikawa-san, formerly of Guam's Dai Ichi. Every day folks would line up at Le Creole to purchase Owikawa's breads and pastries that were baked fresh daily. (GuamDiner.com staff note: Owikawa-san's French bread is unrivaled and we are delighted to share the news that he is baking again - his baquettes would be at the Le Creole counter at just before noon and gone by 1pm without fail.)

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