Turn up the heat!

Lifestyle and LeisureCookingBarry White

Where do chefs eat when they ditch those baggy pants (acceptable in kitchens only) and pair up with a hot date? After grilling unmarried chefs about where they head when they want to keep things casual and when they want to turn up the heat, we got some juicy tips.

David Richards, Sweets & Savories
Set to simmer
"I love to go to La Tache. Everything's well prepared and the room is nice and warm. I always have the brandade [salt cod mixed with mashed potatoes and garlic]--nice because it's unusual to see on a menu."

Add some spice
"If money weren't an option, I'd totally be at Spiaggia or Seasons at Four Seasons. Order a tasting menu and ask the chef [ahead of time] to prepare your dates' favorite food --my boyfriend likes foie gras. I love the elegance of Four Seasons' room. Spiaggia is more about the impression of the menu. I love to be surprised by the [pairing] of wines with food and the sommelier [at Spiaggia] does a bang-up job. He totally surprises me."

Boiling over
"Order anything with truffle oil [try the Lyonnaise salad at La Tache]. When that oil hits something warm, it's like incense--you just want more and more. Have truffle oil, play Barry White and it's a sealed deal."

Kim Shambrook, Bespoke Cuisine
Set to simmer
"I love neighborhood places like Cafe Matou, Pasteur and La Tache. If it's BYOB it's even better. I don't want a bar atmosphere, but I like places that aren't crowded, where you can bring a bottle of wine and chill out. The other option is to get breakfast, which is great because it gives you an out if things don't go well. I usually get the eggs Benedict at Cullen's."

Add some spice
"If I were going all out, I'd go to NoMi and get a table at a window overlooking Michigan Avenue. In the summertime, you can sit outside in back. I think the specials are great, especially the sushi and sashimi. You get a great blend of flavors and dishes without going over the top."

Boiling over
Chef Shambrook cranks up the heat on special-occasion dinners at NoMi by having a room reserved at the sumptuous Park Hyatt for after the meal.

Mario Santiago, May St. Cafe
Set to simmer
"El Rinconcito [Cubano] [is] super casual, no design, nothing. Just great food. I love the cafe con leche and breaded chicken with white rice, black beans and tostones. It's a typical Cuban place you'd find in Miami with Cubans hanging around watching ball games. Bring a bottle of wine and just enjoy the food."

Add some spice
"The Bar at the Peninsula is one of the most phenomenal places in the city. I like ordering a bottle of wine or having a great martini with the sushi combination platter. The music is hipper than you'd expect."

Boiling over
Chef Mario sets the mood by cozying up to The Bar's fireplace and ordering sexy desserts like tiramisu, coconut flan and Vosges Haut-Chocolat.

Jessica Volpe is a metromix special contributor.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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