Reviews - What do customers think about Mainstreet Ventures: Distinctive Recipes from Distinctive Eateries?
Great way to duplicate meals from these restaurants at home Feb 5, 2007
This is a cookbook with a simple mission-to let diners at Mainstreet Ventures Corporation's restaurants- which include The Chop House, Real Seafood, Tidewater Grill, Blue Pointe in Fort Myers, and Gratzi-cook some of their favorite restaurant meals at home.
I've had pleasant seafood served at Real Seafood, and have not tried the other branches of the restaurant chain.
The recipes are generally easy to prepare (and there are some more involved ones as well). Instructions are straightforward and clear. Best part is, nearly all recipes have a corresponding full page color photo of the finished dish, so it's quite easy to approximate your restaurant meal at home. Bear in mind, however that most restaurants are supplied with prime grade meats, quite fresh seafood and vegetables that are often a cut above what a local grocery store may carry. Do not hesitate at trying any of these recipes. When I choose to cook, say, salmon for dinner, and my fishmonger suggests haddock that day, then haddock it will be- so ask, and let your supplier guide you to what is freshest!
While I like to dry my scallops and sear them quickly over high heat on both sides, leaving them barely cooked in the center, they broil them for 2-3 minutes till golden brown on top, and opaque in the center. Not a big difference, and more importantly this and all recipes are designed to approximate their restaurant dishes. The Beurre Blanc sauce is pretty standard, and directions are clear. I didn't find any typos or inappropriate amounts of ingredients after looking at quite a few recipes. Many persons seem to have proofed this book before it was printed.
While it will not win James Beard's or other major awards for the recipes, it's sure to find a spot with a home chef that likes the fairly uncomplicated cuisine at these chain restaurants. For those who have not visited the restaurants, it's still a cookbook worth looking at. If there's a handful or two of recipes that look cookable to you, then the book is probably a good buy.