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Restaurant Review: BeeSalt Balcony, Del Mar

They have been in business around 5 months, replacing a fast food taco shop and I must tell you that I am ‘wow’d’ by BeeSalt Balcony.

At first, I didn’t want to go in because I didn’t know what the name meant. I thought it might be honey and desserts. When I finally heard that it was Greek food, I didn’t want to go because I hold a chess meetup at another local Greek Restaurant, and eating Greek food more than a couple of times a month is just too much Greek for me!

But the news is good: it’s not just Greek food. It’s the very best of Greek, Italian, etc. Just look at this delicious food:

Shrimp & Papparadella

Shrimp & Papparadella

Papu's Paella

Papu’s Paella

Yum……

Hand made Pappardella, pancetta, English peas, cream and wild mushrooms. Tell me… how can you go wrong with that?

Well you could add a ton of cream and butter and make it decadent and inedible. But Chef Costa Arabatzis (half Greek/half Italian) knows how to cook. So we don’t have that problem. He and his wife Mary are ‘rocking’ this new Del Mar Restaurant, just above ‘Prep Kitchen’.

Ever had a Paella with curried orzo, lamb chop, roasted chicken, shrimp and sausage? No? Neither have I until tonight.

And I must admit, I am blown away at how perfectly cooked every single ingredient in the dish is, how fantastically flavored each is which leads to an amazing combination of flavors. It’s not a deep fried, heavy heavy meal. It’s just right.

Now you know I have traveled the world eating in Michelin Star Restaurants. I know a good Chef when I experience one. It’s the front end, it’s the back end, it’s the quality of the staff that equals the quality of the food that let’s me know BeeSalt Balcony is going to be around for a long, long time.

Chef Costa hails from Dallas and a family owned chain of Greek Restaurants. Want to experience some really good Greek Chefs? Go to any ‘diner’ in New York. Every dish is amazing and there are dishes that really do amaze and delight. I still have memories of really good stuffed shrimp, and the Chef was from a Greek family with everything made fresh.

Now, not all Greeks are great Chefs. Not all Greek Restaurants are great. But I’m just sayin’ this one is.

There were a few surprises, just as I was surprised with the quality of stuffed shrimp at a New York Diner. After eating this Chefs’ Paella I can tell you I’m coming back for the Lamb Chops, with a shitake mushroom sauce and creamy polenta.

I am vegan 80% of the time. For me to be this amped up for Lamb Chops you know this is good eats!

This Chef combines Greek and Italian and re-invents it all. Take their Baklava Ice Cream Cake. The exact right amounts of Baklava and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. (Come to find out it’s their House Specialty).

I can only imagine what their Italian Butterscotch Pudding is like! lol

Now I spent a month in Lucca, 3 weeks in Amalfi, 2 weeks in Roma, 1 week in Napoli and 2 weeks in Firenze eating and cooking. I am telling you there is a special flair this Chef has that you will not generally find inside America. And the fact that he knows wine and has just the right glasses and bottles on his list, speaks volumes to me.

I feel happy and lucky to have this restaurant in Del Mar. And the Chef and I talked about doing some kind of special ‘Tasting’ event together, probably after the track season.

Whoo hoo! Make sure you sign up fast when you see the event posted because it is sure to sell out fast!

Happy Healthy Eating,

Chef Marian

 

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