Lee House executive chefs Michael Lee and Thanh Uong inter-weave Chinese and Vietnamese cooking techniques, decades-old family recipes, and years of restaurant experience to craft a menu of dim sum and authentic Chinese fare. A team of culinary air-traffic controllers guides the peking duck’s half-bird in for a landing on plate runways next to a stack of steaming pancakes ($16.00). Savory spare ribs simmer in a clay pot alongside a tart tuft of bitter melon ($8.50), and the specialty beef-chow-fun coils house-made wide rice noodles alongside seasonal vegetables ($8.95). A separate dim-sum menu stocks bellies with classics such as pork dumplings, spring rolls, and black-tie spring rolls in noodle cummerbunds, as well as introducing appetites to exotic meats such as steamed chicken feet ($2.95–$10.95/dim-sum dish).
Maine-Ly New England—in business in the community for 26 years—acquaints palates with the flavors of Eastern-seaboard-style seafood in a relaxed dining room and pet-friendly outdoor patio. Voted best seafood restaurant in the Pasco Tribune's Best of East & Central Pasco 2012 reader's poll, Maine-Ly New England serves fresh catches of the day, lunches and dinners of beer-battered haddock, oysters, and maryland lump crab cakes. Crisp greens bolster grilled salmon salads and noodles encircle shrimp, mussels, and clams beneath an onslaught of sauces. The menu also makes peace with landlocked entrees by slinging sirloin burgers, chicken tenders, and transcripts of territorial-waters litigations.
Tom Perkins and Lenny Terlaje, the former management team of award winning restaurant Splash! An Ocean Grill, don’t believe that there's only one way to prepare seafood. At their award-winning restaurant, this culinary duo draws upon cooking styles from around the world, from sautéing mussels in scampi sauce to coating sesame-crusted tuna in ponzu. And those are just the appetizers—for entrees,Tom and Lenny crown crab-cake sandwiches with lemon-dill aioli and vampire-proof lobster tails by broiling them in garlic butter.
Alongside these maritime meals, the twosome also showcases ingredients from the land, such as fire-grilled filet mignons and sirloin burgers topped with roasted bacon. Beer, wine, and classic cocktails complement the feasts, which unfold inside a roomy dining room awash in blue lights reminiscent of the sea.
Chef Will Greenwood’s dishes have graced many important meals, from Julia Child’s and Robert Mondavi’s 80th birthday parties to the Head of State luncheons at NATO’s 50th-anniversary celebration. In the '90s, he was even asked by the Clintons to audition to be the White House chef. Today, Greenwood’s Caribbean-Latin fusion recipes inform festive meals at Catch Twenty-Three. Certified fresh seafood and aged steaks cook over a pecan-wood grill while elsewhere in the kitchen, chefs prepare signature dishes such as macadamia-crusted Chilean sea bass and Cuban-style ribs basted in guava barbecue sauce. In private cooking classes, Catch Twenty-Three’s team members gladly share their culinary techniques and anecdotes about that time they heroically wrested a spatula from the grip of an angry lobster.
Outside Ballyhoo Grill, a sign made to look like a colorful speedboat beckons to passersby, hinting at the smorgasbord of fresh seafood to be found within. A tropical theme permeates the space, with live music setting a relaxing mood and nautical decor—such as a surfboard, an alligator head, and a stuffed and mounted kraken—adorning the walls. Guests dine on surf 'n' turf plates, fish tacos, pulled pork, and burgers as they share friendly conversation and clink cocktail glasses and mugs of draft beer.
Seaweed is as decorative as it is delicious at Blue Bamboo Sushi. Blue and green artworks covering the walls represent the flowing saltwater plant, thematically tying the decor to the wide selection sashimi and signature sushi rolls. At the sushi bar, chefs make good on the visual promise, rolling up classic sushi delights, such as the California roll, or getting creative with unorthodox cuts such as the Surf 'n' Turf—a roll filled with tempura-fried lobster, seared steak, and lemon-butter mayo.
The rest of the menu takes off from Japan, and is all over the map in the best way possible. The crab rangoon nods to American-inflected Chinese food, and the Pho—a long-simmered beef broth served with plates of sprouts, full basil leaves, lime, and jalapeño—takes taste buds on a quick trip to Vietnam. The culinary whims of the menu even skip over to Indonesia for the classic chicken satay served with thai peanut sauce. The point of origin for some of the dishes, however, is as local as the chef's imagination. The spicy tuna stuffed mushrooms, for example, come filled with pineapple-chili marinated tuna and soy for dipping, blending a slew of culinary traditions.