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February 24, 2006, Volume 6 Number 8

Dear " Guam Food Guy" Reader,

I'm astonished at how rapidly this month has flown by! Valentine's love was in the air just as I was nearly airborne last Sunday in the Kites for Wishes Event where I played anchor and weight for huge Bear & Cat kites in center field! March is going to be chockful of activities celebrating Chamorro Month and then there's the UOGEF/MCA Chef's Cup Competition. There are a number of activities in which I'll be participating and it always brings home the point that I have way too much on my plate, and I don't just mean food! Yet that is how we live here on Guam - it's kind of like "fiesta living", where you go to life's buffet line and pile up a lot of everything on your plate!

March will also bring the opening of the Fiesta Resort Guam as well as the Samurai Seaport Steak & Seafood Restaurant, which is a concession at the Fiesta Resort. Of course there will be no shortage of food events and stories, so stay tuned to one of the busiest food activity months of the year.

Speaking of busy, this week's review is of Pietro, a new style Japanese-Italian restaurant that recently opened in Tumon's Acanta Mall, has a menu that will keep diners busy creating their own masterpiece entrees, whether they be pizzas or pasta dishes. Pietro Guam is a dining adventure that one must take with no pre-conceived ideas about the cuisine. As a culinary explorer, I can attest to Pietro's innovative approach to blending Italian with Japanese flavors as well as in creating a variety of fusion dishes that combine fresh vegetables and seafood, resulting in a unique taste. Enjoy!

Ken, The "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

"Bangers 'n' Mash" Farewell Party for the Laws

A culinary tradition from England was featured as the main entree for a special farewell gathering for Peter and Marlene Law, parents of Phil Law, who heads up G4S Security Services on Guam and Saipan. We gathered in Yigo last weekend for a "Bangers 'n' Mash" feast. This quintessentially British repast of sausage and mashed potatoes was reputedly served as a delicacy at the coronation of KIng James II (1685-1688). I'm sure that this modern version prepared by Phil Law was as good if not better than what was served to the King. Well done, Phil!

Girl Scout Cookies Available for Your Cookie Cravings

If you haven't yet picked up your favorite Girl Scout Cookies, don't fret, there are still plenty on hand at the Guam Girl Scout Center. For $4 a box, you can get stocked up on Thin Mints, Cartwheels, Peanut Butter Patties, Caramel DeLites, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Lemon Crisps, and the new Thanks-A-Lot Crunch Fudge-Coated Treats. Just call the Girl Scout Service Center at 646-5652 Tuesday through Friday, to arrange a time to pick up your cookies.

This Time Last Year - Highlights from the Guamdiner Newsletter

Feb 18, 2005 Vol 5 No 8

Restaurant Reviewed: A New Twist Pretzel Company - The Place for Great Dogs and Awesome Pretzels

Chef Durliat's International Cuisine Visits France's Alsace Region
Last Chance to See Artist Mark Dell'Isola's Abstract Painting
Marriott's Flavors of Japan and Mushrooms Galore Promotions

Around the Island - Sushi Tairyo Lunch, Lone Star's Stellar T-bone, UriJip

There are some new sushi treats being served at Sushi Tairyo in Tumon's Blue Lagoon Plaza. Imagine, deep fried soft-shell crab, on its own and even served in a hand-roll! Sushi Tairyo is a favorite hang-out for many who enjoy the wide variety of sushi items featured here at just $2 to $3 per plate all served in a smoke-free environment. Lunch and dinner here are highly recommended!

I had a fantastic T-Bone Steak at Lone Star this week! It was a 20 oz. Texas-sized piece considered to be two steaks in one! At $28.99, it was worth every bite. I ordered it medium and don't think it could have been cooked any better. Now that heavyweight steak contender Uncle Bob's is only a fond memory, we'll have to open up the field for competition! If you know of a remarkable steak dinner, please feel free to send in your recommendation. I surprised many of the servers and even impressed Lone Star owner, Brian Artero, with my ability to finish my steak right down to the bone! Good job, Lone Star!

Last week I succumbed to the cravings I had for Filipino food, but this week it was Korean. It just so happened that my craving was shared by some office staff so we trooped off to Urijip in Tamuning and ordered Kalbi, Broiled Fish, and Spicy Soup. It's still amazing to see the variety, quality, and portion sizes of panchan that are put out on the table. The barley tea is refreshing in the afternoon, though at night I enjoy a little Jinro or beer. It's hard to match Urijib for their fresh kimchi and great Kalbi.

Pietro - Unique Fusion of Italian and Japanese Brings New Tastes to Guam

Guam was ready for the Pietro taste long before Pietro Guam opened its doors. It started with the bottles of salad dressing with the cute little Italian guy holding up a plate of pasta singing his lungs out on the label. These dressings were sold at Pay-Less and other stores, literally flying off the shelves with their fresh, different taste.

Pietro Guam soft-opened just after Christmas in Tumon's Acanta Mall and had its official Grand Opening on Valentine's Day. Although many people have eaten at Pietro, some have been impressed while others may have left disappointed. All would probably agree that Pietro brings a different element and style of dining to Guam. The ambiance is modern, sleek, and without the old world clutter that sometimes adds atmosphere to Italian eateries. At Pietro, the focus and concentration is on the food. It's as though the food entrees themselves are the decorations and artwork for Pietro.

Pietro's walls of glass give the illusion that diners are showcased along with their food, so that passersby can see first-hand diner's reactions to Pietro's cuisine. I don't want to get into the debate about what is considered Italian food -I think the issue can be settled by taste. Pietro has its own unique taste. It's different from other Italian restaurants, but then again, it's not trying to be an Italian restaurant. Pietro is about imagination, and I have to give credit to Pietro's founders who opened their first restaurant in Fukuoka in December 1980. Since then, they have expanded by word of mouth advertising to 82 restaurants in Japan, four in Korea, and single locations in Honolulu, Shanghai, and on Guam.

Let's get to the food. The menu is a colorful, easy-to-read picture book that's a visual road map to a range of flavor destinations, starting with Salads and Appetizers and moving one to Special Pastas, Spaghettis, Pizzas, Gratins and Dorias. While some would be outraged that Spaghetti dishes at Pietro are garnished with nori others find this a refreshing change, appealing to the Asian love for that dark green weed of the sea, which happens to bring a lot of nutrition along with it!

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Buon appetito and Ita dake-masu!

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