No, not that kind of beard. It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world these days fer sher, but at least we can take comfort in comfort food, and nobody does it with quite the panache of chef Michael Wagner of Hollywood, one of a handful of chefs invited to create a spread for the James Beard House late last year. It's a HUGE honor for a chef to be asked, even more so because Wagner's restaurant, Lola's on Harrison, has been open only a year, and because the 35-year-old Wagner is one of the youngest Florida chefs ever to be invited.
Now Wagner is bringing the gourmet American Comfort menu he presented to the Beard Foundation to us, in slightly modified form, for just $35 per person (or $55 with wine pairings from Mondavi Wines) through the end of February. The four-course dinner starts with an amuse bouche of divers scallops with smoked applewood bacon, fresh mangoes, and apricot-mango glaze, and moves from there to roasted chestnut soup, New Zealand lamb chops with fennel marmalade and citrus mint yogurt and ends with Concord grape pie with peanut butter ice cream.
Ya'll know that I'm not usually a big fan of comfort food, but even I could get very comfortable with a line-up like that.