Situated in the heart of Old World Village, The Grubb Haus treats persnickety taste buds to a host of creatively styled comfort fare and decadent fried desserts. A spread of sandwiches and platters fills the lunch menu, abating midday cravings with a salisbury steak sandwich guarded by a moat of mashed potatoes and gravy ($10.95) or the Hillbilly burger, a half-pound patty battered, deep-fried, and buried beneath corn, bacon, and american cheese ($9.95 for lunch; $10.99 for dinner). International influences run wild throughout the dinner menu, with orders of pumpkin-filled ravioli with chicken ($15.99) entertaining taste buds alongside penne pollo porcini ($16.50) and goulash with German dumplings ($11.99). The Grubb Haus also offers diners sweet meal-making denouements via indulgent, deep-fried treats ($2.49–$4.99), including Twinkies and Oreos, which they can devour or smugly savor in front of salivating passersby on a pet-friendly outdoor patio.
Inside Chapter One: The Modern Local, high, lofted ceilings, geometric light fixtures, and chunky wooden furnishings complement Executive Chef David Martinico's menu of seasonal contemporary cuisine. Patrons clink glasses of handpicked brews or craft cocktails?such as the restaurant's signature moscow mule?as they dine on locally sourced produce and humane meat. Meals draw on flavors from across the globe: ?touf?e fries covered in spicy Cajun roux bespeak a New Orleans influence, and yakisoba stir-fries and a housemade sausage topped in kimchi import East Asian tastes. The Frank Sinatra?themed Sunday brunch pairs classic dishes such as brioche french toast with bacon-bourbon bloody marys and other creative drinks. Chapter One: the modern local also breaks up up the drudgery of the workweek with regular events such as charity bingo, jazz performances, and a fortnightly burning of uncomfortable business shoes.
Greg Daniels' introduction to the culinary world wasn't a romantic one: he started working at a fast food restaurant at age 15, followed by a stint as a bartender. Nevertheless, these jobs ignited a passion for cooking that would guide his entire life. The Le Cordon Bleu graduate now works as the executive chef at Haven Gastropub, where he has designed a menu of gourmet American and European comfort foods inspired by his travels to England, New York, and San Francisco.
The eatery is an across-the-pond extension of the gastropub movement, which began in London in the 90s. Gastropubs differ from traditional pubs in that they specialize in high-quality eats and permit only the most beautiful drinking songs. Haven, for example, serves lamb burgers on rosemary brioche buns, fries sprinkled with house-made truffle salt, and whole roasted suckling pigs.
Of course, the "pub" part of Gastropub still implies a lively bar. Bartenders pour more than a dozen draughts as well as a selection of bottled beers, red and white wines, and craft cocktails blended with house-made mixes.
A small flight of stairs leads guests down into a rustically decorated room, which evokes the ambiance of a subterranean wine cellar with its earthen arches, barrel-lined walls, and soft chandelier lighting. Designed by the artisans who created Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean, the dining room appeals to a similarly nostalgic whimsy. However, the cooks slightly modernize the menu's historic European roots by introducing unexpected ingredients.
The chefs elevate simple grilled-cheese sandwiches by slipping in braised short ribs, caramelized shallots, and horseradish cream alongside the gruyere and monterey jack cheeses, and a splash of cognac adds even more richness to the silken lobster bisque. Thai barbecue-glazed tofu and basmati rice also help to distinguish the menu by lending it a distinctly international flare.
Staying true to its name, The Cellar proudly features a 1,400-bottle wine list, which, according to the staff, helped to garner the restaurant Wine Spectator's exclusive Grand Award. The selection includes familiar staples, boutique producers, and rare vintages from virtually every major wine-producing region except the Marianas Trench.
Tony Alcazar spent six years cooking in the kitchen of the Ritz-Carlton Pasadena under Michelin-rated chef Craig Strong. It was there that he learned the “Modern American” style of cooking, a simple yet elegant approach that favors seasonal ingredients and contemporary cooking techniques. He brought this unique style to The Bottle Room, along with his love of craft beer, and fused the two. Chef Alcazar’s menu includes Sriracha-honey chicken lollipops and tacos filled with slow-braised beef cheeks, dishes cooked with a simple elegance and often a splash of craft beer. Those looking to turn that splash into a pint need only browse the extensive beer menu. Though it rotates frequently, expect to see brews from Rogue Brewing Company in Portland, Abbaye De Scourmont in Belgium, and Bear Republic Brewing Company in Healdsburg, California. The Bottle Room also features wines from California, Italy, France, and Spain.