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By Jackie Goodwin

Last month I had a hankering for a really great steak so I decided to try Harrisburg’s latest example of a new generation of steakhouses—1700° Steakhouse to be exact.

Located inside the Hilton Harrisburg, 1700° shares a common space which is divided by partitions with Ad Lib Craft Kitchen & Bar. Both restaurants are run by Anthony “Tony” Bianco, executive sous chef, along with Executive Chef John Reis.

1700° Steakhouse’s ambiance is big-city-chic. If you didn’t know you were in Harrisburg, you would think you were in a stand-alone restaurant in some exotic location like New York, Chicago or San Francisco. And its adjoining partner, Ad Lib Craft Kitchen & Bar’s atmosphere also tricks your imagination into thinking you’re in another town and not in a hotel.

“This isn’t your usual white plate steak joint,” says Chef Bianco who tells me that the opening of 1700° coincided with the Hilton’s remodeling project that did away with the two former restaurants—Raspberries and The Golden Sheaf.

While the Golden Sheaf was my all-time favorite restaurant in Harrisburg, I was really impressed with 1700°. The restaurant showcases an eight foot high, temperature controlled wine wall separating the two dining spaces.  There are more than 900 bottles in the restaurant’s award-winning wine collection. And if you don’t know which wine to request, just ask sommelier Joseph Carroll (he also was The Golden Chef sommelier) for assistance.  You can’t go wrong with any of his suggestions.

The restaurant’s decor features white walls that depicts wine scenes, white linen tablecloths with romantic candles, comfortable leather chairs, couches with oversized puffy pillows and ambient lighting that spotlights black contemporary pedant chandeliers.

Chef Bianco offers a variety of different entrees of quality cuts of Midwestern prime, dry aged beef and certified Angus beef and the menu also includes a 21-day, dry-aged New York strip whose aging process accentuates the delicate flavor of the meat.

Chef Bianco tells me that 1700°’s steaks are grilled and then blasted under an infrared broiler running at 1,700 degrees, roughly hot enough to melt aluminum, thus, the restaurant’s name.

1700° also offers a steak sampler which includes four ounces each of the certified Angus tenderloin, the New York strip, and the Kobe flat iron. Add Chef Bianco’s specials to the list and you have a great menu that offers old time favorites with the opportunity to experience a contemporary spin if you are so inclined.

Using an iPad that doubled as the menu, for my first entrée I selected Grilled Diver Scallops ($16) with salsify, sunflower, arugula and truffle. Sommelier Joseph suggested I pair my selection with a glass of Louis Jadot Meursault. Perfect!

Sweet Potato Ravioli ($13) with braised lamb ragout, smoked mushrooms, pomegranate pips was my second small plate selection. It had an unique taste which was very, very delicious.

Grilled Dorado ($38) with celeriac gnocchi, Maine lobster, carrot consommé, and chervil paired with 2009 Chassagne Monrachet Oliver Leflaive was next. I didn’t go wrong ordering it.

Lamb Loin ($44) Chanterelle, Grapefruit, Persimmon, Nasturtium, and a Béarnaise sauce consisting of Roasted crimini and wild mushrooms and mildly sweet whole cipollini onions was excellent. Sommelier Joseph suggested a Duckhorn Merlot with this entrée.

Shropshire Bleu cheese which forms a pungent crust over the Certified Angus 8 oz Filet Mignon ($38) looked interesting. It comes with a demi-glace, pencils of asparagus and creamy, roasted fingerling potatoes. But I went with my first choice: the 21-day dry aged 14 ounce New York Strip ($46) instead. The entrée included blue cheese and smoked corn puree. I noticed that the meat arrived with a textured, almost brittle outer bark, like the crust on a really great loaf of sourdough. Cooked to a medium rare it cut like butter. Sommelier Joesph’s suggestion of the 2009 Masi Costasera Amarone only added to the experience. I was in heaven!

If beef is not your first choice, 1700 also offers an array of pork, lamb, duck, lobster, and fish entrees.

While I had no room for a salad, the 1700 Wedge Salad ($9) consisting of Baby Iceberg lettuce, neuskies smoked bacon, Point Reyes and a six minute egg is a customer favorite according to Chef Bianco.

Other salads include Caesar, the House ($7) and the Chopped Kale Salad ($9) mixed with maple pecans, pickled beets, pear, cheddar, and tarragon yogurt dressing.

Notable sides on the menu include Truffle Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese ($7), Braised Collard Greens, Fig, Ham Hock ($7), and Brussels Sprouts, Horseradish, Pancetta ($7).

Even though I was pleasantly full, being a crème brulee affecido I just had to give this dessert a taste. I was so glad I did. The vanilla crème brulee was light and creamy. It was delicious.

Other desserts I could have chosen included Macaroons, Dark Chocolate Truffles, a Tiramisu Apothecary and a Mini Fruit Cobbler.

And for those who rely on old time favorites such as cheesecake, gelato, biscotti and fresh seasonal fruit you will not be disappointed. These tried and tree confections are also present on the menu as are new creations including Pumpkin Mousse Napoleon, a pinenut tart, and Chocolate Decadence.

 

 

 

 

The Hilton Hotel really outdid itself with 1700°  Steakhouse and Ad Lib.  Whether there for business or pleasure you’re going to enjoy yourself. The service is prompt and efficient and the food superb. You’ll find exciting and innovative drink menus, delicious small plates which are far from small and main entrées to die for. You just can’t have a bad meal.

Now might be a good time to also  acknowledge that with the unveiling of 1700° the Hilton has redefined the word “steakhouse.” 1700° Steakhouse proves that the word means so much more than slabs of beef loin cooked in a high-temperature broiler. The 1700° Steakhouse experience signifies top-quality meat and seafood prepared with recipes that make sense, a wine list that shows depth and commitment and a service corps that takes its mission seriously.  For sure, 1700° embodies a new generation of steakhouses.

1700° Steakhouse and Ad Lib Craft Kitchen & Bar are located inside the Hilton Harrisburg, 1 N. 2nd St., Harrisburg. For more information and reservations visit  www.1700restaurant.com (717-237-6400) and www.adlibrestaurants.com (717-237-6419).

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By W. Russell McDaid

Our elected officials are tasked with crafting a fair and responsible budget amid difficult circumstances and we are pleased they provided some much-needed assistance to Pennsylvania’s skilled nursing facilities through the access add-on payments for high Medicaid facilities this year.

However, we caution that Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program still does not come close to covering the real cost of care. Nursing facilities received flat funding in this year’s budget, which leaves Pennsylvania’s frailest and sickest residents, such as those with advanced dementia or severe chronic health conditions that require around-the-clock care in skilled nursing facilities, vulnerable.

The funding shortfall in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program is the single biggest challenge facing Pennsylvania’s nursing homes and long-term care providers as the commonwealth works to ensure high-quality, person-centered care for a rapidly aging population.

For a decade, facilities have been asked to do more with less. Skilled nursing facilities still cannot invest in necessary capital improvements or advanced technology that would enhance care, nor can they pay competitive wages that would increase staff retention, which is so vital to high-quality care.

Without adequate funding moving forward, some facilities may have to turn away seniors on Medicaid because they cannot afford their care, creating access to care issues in parts of the state.

In addition to adequate funding for skilled nursing facilities, PHCA has strongly advocated for meaningful tort reform legislation, which would help ease the burden that predatory out-of-state law firms place on our sector’s facilities, staff and residents. Senate Bill 747, which would cap punitive damages at 250% of the amount of compensatory damages for long-term care providers, received bipartisan support in the Senate and now awaits a vote in the House of Representatives.

It is critical that Senate Bill 747 be brought up for a vote in the House when the chamber returns in September. When passed, this important piece of legislation will take our scarce Medicaid dollars back from predatory out-of-state lawyers and keep them here in Pennsylvania paying for quality care where they belong.

Senate Bill 747 is essential to the long-term viability of Pennsylvania’s nursing homes, personal care homes and assisted living residences and needs to be passed in the House and earn the Governor’s support to become law this fall.

We plan to continue working with the Wolf Administration and the General Assembly to make the needs of seniors a priority by ensuring our sickest, frailest Pennsylvania residents have access to the services they need to live a healthy, safe, high-quality life with the dignity and respect they deserve.

  1. Russell McDaid is President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association.

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chef bill

Bricco, one of Harrisburg’s most popular restaurants, has joined forces with Catering from Ciao! Bakery to create a new, enhanced catering service offering more choices for area businesses to order for in-office breakfast, lunch and meetings.

Operating out of Ciao! Bakery, just around the corner from Bricco, at 304 Chestnut Street, all items on Bricco-Ciao!’s menu are made from scratch each day.

“Everything is made fresh and homemade,” says Bill Collier, Bricco’s executive chef and general manager.

“These days, more people are pressed for time, more people are choosing to eat lunch at their desks, and fewer people are able to spend a full hour, enjoying a leisurely lunch,” said Bill Collier, Bricco’s executive chef and general manager. “We are simply recognizing the shifting habits of the downtown business community and maximizing our service by bringing a higher level of quality and service to lunches and meetings at the workplace.”

The Bricco-Ciao! Catering menu will feature a blend of Ciao! Bakery’s most popular sandwiches, as well as legendary offerings from Bricco’s nearly 10 years as one of Harrisburg’s premier lunch destinations. Included on the Bricco-Ciao! Catering menu are Bricco’s signature salads, its sage pappardelle, with braised duck and pancetta, and its Kennett Square mushroom pizza with caramelized onions, as well as other popular dishes and sandwiches.

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Bricco-Ciao! also offers a breakfast menu that includes assorted pastries, fresh fruit bowls, yogurt with fresh berries, and house made granola, coffee, and juice.

Whether it’s an informal lunch for the office staff, or a formal mid-afternoon conference or meeting, Bricco-Ciao! Catering can create a catered lunch to suit group needs. Among the offerings are buffet-style spreads and build-your-own sandwich boards. Bricco-Caio! Catering will also offer pasta salads, garden salads, a soup of the day, and a selection of cheese, fruit and antipasti.

Chef Collier is committed to choosing only the freshest local ingredients when creating the menu, which changes seasonally to reflect the finest of Pennsylvania agriculture as evidenced by a recent catered lunch for a select group of Pennsylvania House of Representatives leaders.

Held in Rep. Peter J. Daley’s office on Dec. 8 at 12 noon, guests were treated to an assortment of fresh sandwiches, garden salads with a choice of pear vinaigrette or parmesan and roasted garlic dressing, tomato basil soup with focaccia, creamy local vegetable risotto with shaved pecorino Romano and fresh herbs, vegetable platter with roasted red peppers, assorted olives, and beets with an assortment of cookies, brownies and other sweets.

“Bricco-Ciao!’s presentation was truly spectacular in quality, flavor and quantity. I give it two taste buds up,” says Daley.

“In addition to outstanding sandwiches, Ciao! Bakery offers European-style artisan breads and pastries and an artisan design cakes. It is considered to be one of the best bakeries in the Harrisburg area,” says Collier.

Orders for Bricco-Ciao! Catering are for groups of 10 or more and must be placed prior to 4 p.m. on the previous business day by calling either 724-0236 or 724-0222.

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