Combining the restaurant talents of Mark and Bob Johnston of The Melting Pot and Todd Dziubek, former managing partner of a Carrabba's Italian Grill, GrillSmith is making its mark on the Tampa Bay Area, becoming one of the area's most popular restaurants.The GrillSmith concept features an open kitchen where guests can view 'grillsmiths' - expert culinary craftsmen of the grill - in action. At the restaurant's bar, guests will find flat screen televisions and community seating that offers full menu service, and the outdoor dining experience also is important at GrillSmith. The restaurant features large patios with mist-circulating fans for the summer and outdoor heaters for the winter.
Born of the dynamic Tampa restaurant scene, GrillSmith is the creation of Mark Johnston, founder and CEO of The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc. - the nation's largest fondue restaurant franchise.
Since 1985, Mark and his brother Bob have directed and managed The Melting Pot's growth from four original units to more than 129 locations across 35 states. And the signs of growth are stronger than ever. Currently The Melting Pot has 42 stores in development that are scheduled to open during the next 24 months. The Melting Pot is recognized across the country as the premier fondue restaurant, and it is on track to reach its goal of 175 US locations by 2010. Now Mark and Bob turn their franchise expertise to their latest endeavor - the sizzling GrillSmith concept.
Signature GrillSmith dishes include: Firecracker Shrimp, Grilled Tortilla Pizzas, Seared Ahi Tuna Salad, Wild Mushroom Meatloaf, Grouper Macadamian, Chimichurri Steak, Stoli Ravioli and Black Angus burgers. A truly gourmet menu for the value-conscious consumer.
What is New American Cuisine?
New American cuisine is a term for upscale, contemporary cooking served primarily in restaurants in the United States. Combining flavors from America's melting pot with traditional techniques, New American cuisine includes ethnic twists on old standbys, Old World peasant dishes made from luxury American ingredients and molecular gastronomy.
It developed in the 1980s from fusion and California cuisines and features significant creative use of in-season produce and sauces. It is somewhat related to the French Nouvelle cuisine and often incorporates influences from Latin American, Mediterranean and Asian cuisine.
Chef Max Turner of The New American Grill in Londonderry, Vermont, describes one aspect as "comfort food from around the globe."
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Walnut and Apple Butternut Squash Ravioli
8 oz Butter
4 tablespoons Shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
1 tablespoons Sage
2 tablespoons Chives, Chopped
½ cup Parmesan, Grated
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
¾ cup Walnuts
1 Gala Apple, Julienned
8 oz Mascarpone
½ teaspoon Salt
pinch White Pepper
Boil ravioli until tender. Drain water and set aside. Heat a separate sauté pan to medium high. Add butter and melt. Add shallots, sage, salt, pepper, and walnuts. Sauté until golden brown. Add ravioli to pan and top with 1 tablespoon chives. Gently toss ravioli until toasted. Deglaze with lemon juice. Remove from pan and plate. Top with mascarpone sauce. Garnish with parmesan, left over chives and julienned apples.
Recipe serves 4 people.