An early Father's Day dinner at Kate Mantilini's located in Beverly Hills, my father's favorite restaurant. The atmosphere is not a bit trendy but a bit swank, packed with business-like people averaging an older age group, mums and dad's, people in their late 30's and up, these sort of people, people that have sophistication that comes with age. You won't find 20-somethings coming here to have dinner and drinks before clubbing all night long, and with this results a certain ease about eating a nice dinner here at Kate's. But do not mistake the sophisticated age group for a quiet atmosphere, with Kate's restaurant structure that boasts very high ceilings and slick cement walls gives off a rather mid-city vibe where the sounds bounce off walls to floors to ceiling, the clink of dinnerware and the chatter of diners reverberate... but pleasantly. Louder than a quiet steak-house restaurant you won't be afraid to actually have an actual discussion over dinner, there will be no straining to hear your companions' story and feel it ease speaking in your normal voice, you will not be afraid that you will be the loudest there. This particular din at Kate's gives off the impression that the restaurant is casual and I suppose it is up to a certain point, it is the perfect mixture of casual but swank and sophisticated, in this way it is the perfect place for a first, second or third date.
The menu is just under enormous with a wide variety to pick from, seafood, chicken, steak, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pasta! They seem to have it all. And with a large party of 12 it is perfect, there is something for everyone!
Friday night and I'm tired, Tired, TIRED from a rather long week just lived, so I begin with a Mocha. Large round cup, the kind of cup that can probably be shared by two. I take a sip... delicious, chocolatey mocha, my favorite kind of mocha. Mmmm, and I think to myself breakfast here won't be so bad either I bet.
Mr. Borscht orders the Chicken Pot Pie which is only made on weekends and stated in the menu as voted L.A.'s Best, how can you bypass a statement like that? At around $18.00 it is considered mid-priced on the menu. I suppose 'voted L.A.'s Best' would heighten anyone's expectation but I was a bit disappointed in the chicken pot pie. The crust was not crusty but instead soft, this is a big deal of course, it's chicken pot pie afterall! Any chicken pot pie fan will tell you that the crust is VERY important, thick and crusty it must be! Not thin and floppy. The filling was equally disappointing, lacking in full robust tastes of thyme and other herbs. The pie also lacked in texture of that smooth creaminess we all think of when considering chicken pot pies. I suggest, if a good pot pie is what you desire, to make it at home, which is actually very easy to do and much more tasty. Nothing beats a home-cooked chicken pot pie in my experience.
On this night I'm feeling healthy, light but filling, and still delicious. Can I find this at Kate's? You can rarely find this combination anywhere. Often times you have to except the fact that the healthy options on the menu isn't exactly mouth-watering although it may not be bad-tasting at all. I peruse the Healthy Alternatives on the menu, Stevie T's Sliced Chicken Paillard catch my eyes, layered with chopped garlic spinach and a choice of white or brown rice with tomatillo salsa. I order Steve T's with white rice.
The entree looked delicious and enticing, the layers of pounded thin grilled chicken, the sauteed garlic spinach, white rice and the beautiful green of the tomatillo salsa excites the heart through the eyes. A bite of the chicken... grilled, slightly charred, moist... delicious! The entree was exactly what I wanted and was indeed all those things I spoke of: healthy, light but filling and still mouth-watering good! I almost couldn't believe it. The tomatillo salsa was especially nice as it gave that added extra zing with each bite should you find that simply the chicken with garlic spinach and rice just wasn't doing it for you. I ate to my heart's content and had no guilty feelings about it before bed :D Perrrrfect.
Total Damage: $50.00 (-/+)
1 Stevie T's Sliced Chicken Paillard
1 Chicken Pot Pie
9101 Wilshire Blv.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210