Claremont‘s third annual Restaurant Week kicks off July 10 and runs through the 19th. I enjoyed a preview last night at The Doubletree by Hilton in Claremont, where about a dozen restaurants offered a taste of what’s in store. It was a great opportunity to visit with chefs and not only taste what they had prepared, but to find out what their passions are.
I spoke with Chef Travis Flood from Pappas Artisinal in La Verne. He describes what they do as “old-school” wood-fired rotisserie. Pappas celebrates two years in business next week. Travis says they’ve had to change and adapt for the community and the changes have been embraced. He has a 25 year history as a chef with stops in New York, Chicago and San Francisco before returning to his Southern California roots. Pappas offers sit down dining as well as catering and events. “Slowly but surely we’re winning people over.”
Bruno and Nathalie Windegger took over the 23 year old Saca’s Mediterranean Grill a few years ago. While keeping the original family recipes, they “keep adding a French touch” says Bruno. They use fresh produce and prepare everything from scratch. The colors of their food pop and the taste is vibrant. I loved their Kalamata hummus and baba ganoush.
There was so much to see and taste. I visited with the owners of Tikka Indian Gourmet Kitchen where they specialize in Indian fusion and offer wraps and curry bowls. Their Claremont location has been open three months. Tutti Mangia is a family-owned Italian chop house open in Claremont since 1996. The large menu offers everything from traditional Italian fare to prime steaks along with an award-winning wine list.
Participating restaurants also include Lounge 425 at Hotel Casa 425, The Orchard at Doubletree by Hilton Claremont, Bardot, Casa Moreno, Euro Café, Jeni Wren’s, La Paraloaccia Osteria Italiana, Nuño’s Bistro, Packing House Wines, Pie Street Pizza, Pine Haven Café, Rounds Premium Burgers, Salad Farm, The Junction, The Press Restaurant, Viva Madrid, Walter’s Restaurant and ZPizza Claremont. Each restaurant will feature special lunch and dinner menus at set prices ranging from $20 to $40.