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Guam Diner Newsletter, August 24, 2001, Volume 1, Number 9

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

By the time you read this, I should have just arrived in Houston, Texas, where I will be joining the Stewart/Tucker families to honor my mom's 75th birthday. "Toni" as many of you know her, was also "mom" to others besides her progeny and no doubt she would like to have all of her friends from Guam attend. The actual party event will be in Los Angeles, however, Texas is where she resides with my brother Carl and his family (a Continental Airlines family since Carl's wife, Michele, is a flight attendant). When our family first arrived on Guam in 1959 for a 2 1/2 year tour with the Air Force, our love affair with the island and people began. That's also about the time when Mom decided that out of five boys, I (#3) would be her kitchen helper and would eventually become the "cook" of the family. By no means am I a chef, however, I do like cooking and I do like to share my special dishes with friends and family. I want to pay tribute to Mom, to whom I owe much of what I've learned about cooking good food. Thanks for being here for me, Mom and for raising me to be the loving person I am today. For those of you who want to pass along a birthday greeting to Mom, here's her e-mail address: tonistew@yahoo.com.

She'll be delighted to hear from you!


In Today's Issue
  • And the winner is ...
  • Chinese Gourmet Cooking Contest - Sunday, August 26, Hyatt Regency Guam
  • La France Restaurant - Tumon's Newest Touch of Class
  • Capricciosa Ristorante Italiano - The People's Choice for Family-Style Italian Dining

And the winner is ...

We are pleased to announce that Eddie Cruz has been selected to fill in for the Guam Food Guy this week. We had many great responses and ended up having to draw a name because we couldn't decide. Eddie is a contractor by trade and isn't allergic to anything except poisons which shouldn't be a problem where we're eating! Eddie will be accompanied by a member of the guamdiner.com staff to dinner next week and will appear on the August 31st edition of the Jon Anderson Show on Newstalk K57 to talk about his dining experience. Stay tuned for Eddie's written review in next week's newsletter! Thanks to everyone that participated and to Newstalk K57 for being part of the fun.


Chinese Gourmet Cooking Contest - Sunday, August 26, Hyatt Regency Guam

Get your tickets ($25.00) today for the Chinese Gourmet Cooking Contest to be held this coming Sunday at 6:00 pm, in the Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Guam. This event is sponsored by the Chinese Merchants Association, with proceeds benefiting the Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteers Association. There will be about 100 dishes available for sampling. An auction for a BMW from Prestige Automobiles will be held and one of the door prizes will be a round-trip ticket to Taiwan via China Airlines. Over 70 amateur cooks (many of them housewives) will cook their unique creations for the competition, which has 3 categories - stir fry, vegetarian and dessert. Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy a variety of Chinese dishes representing the multi-ethnic regions of China, many of which are rarely available at local restaurants. The coordinator for this event is Alice Chou, owner of Victory Sporting Goods, who also introduced the Guam Food Guy to the Chuan Fu Chinese Restaurant last week. Tickets are available for purchase at American Printing, Victory Sporting Goods, China Arts and Genghis Khan Furniture store.


La France Restaurant - Tumon's Newest Touch of Class

If you've not had a chance to visit Tumon's La France Restaurant, located in the Outrigger Guam Resort on the Mezzanine Level, you are missing out on a refreshing, inspiring and empowering dining room experience in what I call "elevated elegance." It is quite apparent that a small fortune was expended to create an ambiance that seems more like the "waiting room" to Heaven, with its high ceiling, towering window-length beige drapes uniformly tied together in bundles, giving them a Greek or Roman pillar-like appearance. The turquoise colors and soft tones, with real palm trees and green plants places the diner in an "oasis" far from and above the maddening, hectic pace of life outside of La France. Can this place really be this good?

Although La France has been open now for over 3 months, during which time I've been asked numerous times to review it by many readers, most of whom spoke highly of their dining experiences, I felt it prudent to wait to give this new restaurant time to "settle in" before reviewing. La France has been touted to be Guam's only Five Star restaurant. The truth is that it's not quite there yet, though it has the potential to be. Aside from the name, there is little else that supports this being a "French" restaurant...if you want to go to a good "French" restaurant, go to Le Tasi Bistro, or to eat a wide selection of French foods, go to the Hilton's Islander Terrace on Thursdays to enjoy Chef Durliat's French Night buffet. I just don't want you to get the wrong impression about La France Restaurant, so don't come with an expectation. No French Chef, no French wine, no French bread and no French staff.

To be fair, my lunch companion, Renee Lee and I both agreed that it would be proper to have dinner at La France for a broader impression of their dining experience with access to their full menu including appetizers.

Click here to continue lunch at La France.


Capricciosa Ristorante Italiano - The People's Choice for Family-Style Italian Dining

"Capricciosa means capricious in English." Capricious means whimsical, fantastic, irregular and even unrestrained. It's possible to take this definition to heart when describing this authentic Southern Italian restaurant! After all, the portions are "fantastic" and so large as to appear anything but "regular," although I've been told by management that every ingredient is measured and weighed for consistency - that's precision control for you! The atmosphere and ambiance is light and cheerful - in fact, I don't recall seeing a single frown or scowl on anyone's face...everyone seems to be smiling or laughing (must be in the air!). The service from the wait staff was quite good and I'd say that they showed no "restraint" in assuring that we received attentive service and were satisfied with the entrees.

Capricciosa Ristorante Italiano has two locations in Tumon, one in Pacific Place across from the Westin Resort and the other in the Royal Orchid Hotel, just across from Pacific Islands Club. I must confess that I'd not eaten at either, with the last meal I had being in their former location, at which time I recall having a spaghetti sauce that I considered a little too sweet for my taste and had formed an impression that deprived me of enjoying any of Capricciosa's other offerings. Well, today I was to make up for years of lost opportunity, since I was able to partake from a wide selection of Capricciosa's more popular dishes, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed during our lunchtime feast.

We started out with the appetizers...the menu itself is an oversized hard poster board that is both fantastic and irregular! Vince, our waiter, exuded confidence and sincerity and gave me the impression that we'd known each other for ages. This was going to be a fun meal. The Italian Mixed salad ($11.25) arrived first. It was served in a large bowl and fresh grated mozzarella cheese covered the top of this hearty salad. It had slices of salami, tomatoes, olives, bell peppers, lettuce and a pleasant Italian dressing. There were 3 of us (me, Lynn and Yu). It's important to know that Capricciosa is a "family-style" dining experience, which means the portions are usually enough for 2 or more people. This is especially important when you look at the prices on the menu. All entrees appear to be expensive, when actually, they are large enough for at least 2 people to share. Vince measured out salad for 3 small bowls, with more than half remaining.

The Escargot in garlic butter sauce ($13.25) was delivered next.

Click here for the FULL STORY.


Don't miss this week's features at guamdiner.com!
  • Featured Recipe - Red Snapper a la Veracruzana
  • Wine Feature - You be the Sommelier - Something fun from the Wine Lover's Page
  • Health & Nutrition Feature - More Information on Supplements from Dave Slagle of Paradise Fitness Centers
  • Other Beverages Feature - Refreshing Wine-based Beverages
  • View Past Newsletters - Click here for our Newsletter Archives

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