The idea of Restaurant Month was created when “Visit California” announced its first statewide California Restaurant Month January 2012 to promote business during the slow season. Visit California reaches out to various California communities inviting participation in the celebration. Each community is given guidelines, but may develop their own program according to their community’s unique offerings, participants and vision.
Downtown Long Beach, an energetic waterfront destination, is known for its diverse dining options and unique cultural offerings. For one week in January (January 21-27) their focus for Restaurant Month will be one week of everything cheese; from flaming cheese, to wine & cheese pairings, to beer cheese soup, and much more. It’ll be served hot & cold, crumbled & melted, spread and sprinkled, and even on fire!
I was one VERY lucky girl to be hosted by the Downtown Long Beach Associates for a preview of the upcoming Cheese Week celebration . If you haven’t been to Long Beach in a while, you are missing something special. The restaurant community truly has its act together. The restaurant district is living large and delivering big time. It’s safe, easily walkable and a must do for every foodie. It has a magical small town urban feel.
Walk into some restaurants and you’ll feel like you’re in a San Francisco Bistro (L’Opera). Go into another and you’re magically transported to Old World Europe (Utopia). Just looking for a great glass of wine from small lot wineries and some delicious tapas? Head on over to District Wine. Up for a romantic night out with a killer view? Then The Sky Room is an affordable luxury not to be missed. Love going out to breakfast? Try The Omelette Inn for its down home atmosphere, custom breakfasts and fresh orange juice. Think you know Mexican cuisine – well not until you try the fresh fresh fresh contemporary cuisine of Agaves Kitchen & Tequila.
Check out this year’s participants. I’ve * the ones I visited on preview. Each and every one of them is highly recommended for quality of food, beautiful food presentations, innovative Cheese Week menus, outstanding service and affordable offerings. Visit them all – you can thank me later.
Be sure to read all the way down this article. John Dunton, owner of District Wine has generously shared his recipe for Roasted Bar Nuts. His suggested pairing is a Ken Brown Pinot Noir. Trust me – this is a perfect pairing, truly unlike anything I’ve tasted in a while. and argues for many more visits in the future.
P.S. I loved my preview experience so much, I am going back to visit more restaurants during restaurant week. Now – THAT is a recommendation.
Special Cheese Week Menus Will Be Offered at the Following Participating Restaurants.
*Agaves Kitchen & Tequila www.agavesbar.com/
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
Buono's Authentic Pizzeria
Brew Haus Coffee & Tea
Congregation Ale House
*District Wine www.districtwine.com
George's Greek Cafe
*Omelette Inn www.omeletteinnlbc.com
The Potholder Cafe Too
*The Sky Room www.theskyroom.com
Roasted Bar Nuts
Compliments of District Wine
Pair with a Ken Brown Santa Barbara Pinot
Fresh roasted with rosemary, cayenne & brown sugar. Served warm with Dark Chocolate on the side
-1 cup Pecans
-1 cup Walnuts
-1 cup Almonds-1 cup Cashews
4 TBLS butter-melted
Heat until nicely toasted