Not too long ago, Surf City Family along with other members of the media, met the new Executive Chef of Shades Restaurant and Bar at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort – Ben La Fleche. Shades serves high end American fusion cuisine with an emphasis on quality, fresh and sustainable ingredients.
The Hilton Waterfront Hotel is such a big part of the Huntington Beach community often supporting local causes such as the Huntington Beach Education Foundation. My own familiarity with The Waterfront Beach Resort and Shades Restaurant stems from their annual participation at the Taste of Huntington Beach, an event which benefits the children’s library.
I recognized these mini crab-cakes with roasted aioli from their Taste of Huntington Beach booth.
We also had a refreshing drink based on the hotel’s monthly “Ingredient of the Month” contest on Facebook, wherein fans of the hotel are asked to recommend an ingredient that the chef then incorporates into dishes and drinks. Marketing Manager Scott O’Hanlon, a Huntington Beach native himself, suggests that contest participants “think seasonally.”
A past “Ingredient of the Month” winner = Pomegranate! This drink contained Smirnoff Blueberry infused vodka, pomegranate liqueur, pomegranate juice and lemonade. Refreshing!
We had samples of mac n cheese with hook’s four years aged cheddar and pulverized duck fat crouton, PB&J with house made bourbon peanut butter and jalapeno jelly and house made grilled flat bread with Ochoa’s chorizo, roasted tomatoes and mozzarella. Let me just say that the PB&J was delicious – I mean, why hadn’t I ever thought of putting bourbon and jalapeno jelly together, right? No seriously, it’s good and so were the mac n cheese and flatbread pizza.
Our entree tastes were braised duck ragout and pappardelle pasta, lamb belly with Korean chili glaze, Black Beluga lentil salad and yogurt sauce, pan-seared barramundi with lobster risotto, pickled black grapes and pea tendrils. The lamb belly was easily my favorite.