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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dining a La Malibu

CHARLIE’S

Charlie DiLorenzo says its time to “do lunch,” so the popular local restaurant will start serving the midday meal on Monday Jan. 31. Lunch at Charlie’s will be where it’s at on Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The menu will feature many of the signature dishes served at dinner or in the lounge. DiLorenzo said, “Our customers have been requesting lunch for a while. Malibu is a small community and we felt a need for more lunch choices for our locals and destination diners, where they can dine in a great room with a professional yet relaxed service.”
For the month of February, other than for the special Valentine’s Day menu, DiLorenzo will offer lunchers “a thank-you plate of Charlie’s home-baked cookies.”
Starters include lobster spring rolls with mustard sauce, crisp calamari steaks with spicy marinara, house chips with blue cheese and gunslinger sauce and chicken wings available in three choices.
Salads, sandwiches, pizzas and pasta selections are plentiful. There is a chopped salad, classic Caesar, pear and walnut salad, and warm spinach salad. Sandwiches and burgers include the club sandwich, grilled cheese, rib-eye steak sandwich and the Charlie burger—char-grilled Kobe beef with applewood bacon, avocado and tomato.
Pizzas are popular at Charlie’s and include the house choice white pizza, a tomato, basil and garlic and a pepperoni pizza.
Classic pastas include spaghetti aglio y olio, penne alla vodka and mushroom risotto.
DiLorenzo opened her “dream restaurant” for the neighborhood in spring 2009 to an overwhelming response from locals and visitors. It is celebrating its second anniversary on Jan. 30 with a special “locals only” party. See their ad on page 5 for details.
DiLorenzo has a degree in design and architecture from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and lends her creative sense and sensibilities to this stylish yet casual restaurant and lounge, which features neutral tones and natural woods highlighted by striking Dolce and Gabbana leopard-print ‘mademoiselle’ chairs and a hand-blown glass chandelier.
Charlie’s is located at 22821 Pacific Coast Highway. Telephone: 310-456-3231.

SAVORY

Point Dume is cultivating a reputation as offering more than one of Malibu’s best all-around lifestyles. It is becoming western Malibu’s most interesting location for fine dining.
Chef Paul Shoemaker’s Savory Restaurant on Point Dume has received rave reviews for its full plate dinner menu, and also is now offering a tasting menu that invites patrons to sample a range of selections, which are not only delicious but a lot of fun, judging by the animated conversations about the cuisine.
The menu changes frequently, depending on the chef’s inspiration and the seasonal delicacies he discovers at farmers markets or buys directly from local growers and purveyors, offering diners new tastes every visit.
A recent menu featured a field green and beet salad with blue cheese and candied walnuts, a rich and nutty risotto of farro—a heritage grain popular in ancient Rome—in a tomato base with Swiss chard and a pungent parmesan; baby Brussels sprouts with butternut squash and chestnuts; delicate slices of yellowtail presented on a bed of leeks with capers and lemon; and lightly seared albacore that was served with couscous, cucumber, lemon and garlic.
The succulent and artistically presented crab cake (nearly all crabmeat) that was served with a masterful remoulade with fine herbs, stole the show with one recent party of diners.
Margherita pizza, made with Savory’s distinctive handmade thin crust, buttery buratta cheese and pungent fresh basil, is a tempting first course or satisfying entree with a salad.
Meat and potato fans can opt for the hanger steak, served with sliced fingerling potatoes, brocollini and spinach and a Bearnaise sauce, or the popular “Juicy Lucy,” a formidable Cheddar cheese hamburger served with fries, which is a restaurant favorite. A recent variation—dubbed the “Bluesy Lucy” substitutes blue cheese for cheddar.
Savory’s desserts are lavish. Recent selections have included a delicate panne cotta with fresh berries, blueberry cheesecake topped with gelato, and a chocolate-brioche bread pudding with coffee ice cream.
Patrons may even hope to be surprised with one of Shoemaker’s creations not on the menu, such as a recent foray into the realm of molecular gastronomy.
A prix fixe Valentine’s Day menu lists shaved apple salad with beets and blue cheese; turbot with market vegetables; rack of lamb with a snap-pea risotto and mint; and sweets.
Wine selections can accompany each course, and no dinner at Savory is complete without a custom roasted and blended espresso or foamy cappuccino.
Savory is located at 29169 Heathercliff Road in Point Dume Village. Telephone: 310-589-8997.

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