In this special weekly feature, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.
THIS WEEK: Grilled Portobello Mushroom Salad from 718 Restaurant, in New York, N.Y.
Located in the heart of Astoria in Queens, New York, 718 Restaurant is a sexy, hip spot to eat, drink, meet people, and possibly fall in love. With a little help from one of the bartender’s special “love potions” and the candle lit, romantic setting, French Chef Alain Allaire's cuisine may even take on some aphrodisiac effects! For those looking for love at home, try Allaire's Grilled Portobello Mushroom Salad on your special someone.
right/msnbc/Components/Photos/060524/060524_alain_recipe_hmed_2p.jpg2100077200right#000000http://msnbcmedia.msn.com1PfalsefalseAbout the chef:
From the creative culinary mind of 718's Executive Chef Alain Allaire come surprisingly original and satisfying flavors: Rich, balanced, and delicious dishes that feature mouthwatering purees and rich, complex sauces will warm you from the inside out and put on a smile on your lips. Synthesizing all his experiences, Allaire has come up with a cuisine that's uniquely his own. Though his cuisine is firmly grounded in the technique of his native France, Allaire was inspired by the Spanish cuisine he prepared at Suba.
Originally from Brittanie, Allaire received his training at Rennes and proceeded to work for Groupe Flo in Paris. Allaire then moved to New York and worked as the sous chef at Destinee, then at Suba as the executive chef followed by a stint at L’Absinthe before opening 718 Restaurant with two friends.
His French-based sauces take interesting departures when he infuses them with avocado leaves that lift the flavor and Allaire opts for coconut milk instead of butter and heavy cream. A scientist in the kitchen, Allaire is constantly experimenting until he gets perfect results. He builds delightful and surprising complexity into his dishes. There's always more happening on the plate than one would guess from the menu description. His salads include startling juxtapositions that work such as his Grilled Portobello Mushroom Salad topped with Idiazabel cheese and pistachios.
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Salad is served at 718 Restaurant for $8. The recipe is for a serving size of two.
35-01 Ditmars Boulevard
Astoria, New York 11105
Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.