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EAT, DRINK & PLAY   -   THE DISH
Dee-lish! - George's Bistro
George's Bistro of Santa Monica Finds Second Home and Appreciative Foodies in the SCV
June, 2006 - Issue #20
With an established and long-successful location on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, the owners of George's Bistro have expanded and opened a second restaurant of the same name in our very own expanding community. Instead of catering to trendy hipsters and tourists on the Promenade, George's Bistro is now trying to please the palates of SCV residents at its new location on Newhall Ranch Road. With a menu boasting a variety of dishes, George's Bistro offers guests a casual yet diverse dining experience.

To start, the Bruschetta is a decent choice, especially at the height of tomato season during the warm summer months. The Bruschetta ($7.95) features grilled and very crisp sourdough bread topped with fresh chopped Roma tomatoes, garlic and basil, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a dash of sweet balsamic vinegar and cracked black pepper. The Traditional Boston Clam Chowder ($6.95) is a very satisfying and very good version of clam chowder - delicious and creamy without being overly rich. The chowder retained some lightness and freshness from the sea with its very tender clams, along with chunks of potatoes and fresh parsley.

George's Bistro also provides a wide selection of gourmet salads and main courses that include a variety of pasta dishes, risottos, chicken and fish specials, and steaks. In addition to the restaurant's dishes of varying origins, be it Italian, French or American, the servings are also large and beautifully presented.

The chicken specialties and steaks are all served with a choice of roasted new potatoes or roasted garlic mashed potatoes, as well as steamed vegetables. The Chicken Veronique Roulade ($18.95) is a delicious rolled chicken breast that's been flattened and stuffed with mushrooms, spinach, roasted garlic and mozzarella cheese. The chicken is then breaded and baked until nicely crisp and golden and then presented sliced and fanned on the plate to showcase its emerald center. The dish is finished with a Florentine sauce of cream and spinach, adding another dimension of flavor to the chicken as well as providing a perfect foil for the garlic mashed potatoes.

George's Bistro also offers a small selection of handmade risottos. The New York Steak Risotto ($17.95) provides an American twist on the classic Italian rice dish and is a wonderful choice. Perfectly grilled and sliced New York Steak rests atop a bed of risotto made with a reduced red wine sauce, mushrooms, onions, parsley and parmesan cheese. If ordering this dish, avoid the same mistake I made and decline the server's offer of additional parmesan after the plate arrives - the extra cheese may result in an overly salty risotto. In spite of my cheesy urges, this risotto was still everything a risotto should be as the kernels of rice were creamy, rich and delicious, yet still a bit al dente. Although risottos are traditionally made with white wine, the red wine in this dish was a wonderful complement to the steak.

The Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding ($6.25) is a decadent ending for any meal at George's Bistro. This dessert is made of chocolate croissants that are soaked in a mixture of cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla and then baked. The bread pudding is then topped with chocolate chips and whipped cream and served warm with Creme Anglaise and raspberry sauce. Although its texture was more croissant than bread pudding, this dessert was still sweet and delectable.

In spite of its lack of proximity to the Pacific Ocean, George's Bistro in Valencia should prove to be just as successful as the original George's Bistro in Santa Monica.

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George's Bistro is located at 28261 Newhall Ranch Road in Valencia. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. George's Bistro can be reached at 257-7860.
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