Blue on Blue
The Avalon’s poolside patio restaurant has had its share of chef turnover, but new chef Scott Garrett has created a menu reliable enough to go the distance. Lunchtime fare is on the safe side (burgers with garlic), but at night, Garrett gets a little more creative: a starter of seared foie gras with pineapple upside-down cake might be followed with veal loin with gnocchi, dates, and caramelized cauliflower fricassee. If you’re lucky enough to be spending the night at the historic hotel, order a “blue on bleu” martini, made with Bombay Sapphire, dry vermouth, and bleu-cheese-hand-stuffed olives. For that matter, order three or four.
Tip: If you're arriving for lunch without a reservation, show up early. By 1 p.m., all the choice tables on the outdoor patio are occupied and walk-ins are stuck indoors.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.