|Stars Interior San Francisco|
Chef Tower expanded the Stars brand with restaurants in Singapore, Manila, as well as closer to home in the Napa Valley and in Palo Alto CA. In 1998, he sold Stars to a Singapore concern. Within two years, its new owners shuttered the place. Chef Tower moved first to Manila, then to New York City, Italy and finally to Mexico where he restored old houses, scuba dove and wrote travel articles. That was until last year when he was ‘recalled’ to come to New York and re-work the kitchen of a New York City Landmark, the newly renovated “Tavern on the Green”.
|Chef Tower at his new digs|
After much courting by the likes of Donald Trump, the restaurant became the property of the Emerald Green Group of Philadelphia. The interiors were completely done over in a style described as “old New York”. A Executive Chef, Katy Sparks, was brought into create a menu based on “Fresh American Fare”. She soon resigned but not before the restaurant received a “Satisfactory” and no stars from reviewer Pete Wells in the New York Times. But Wells didn’t stop there: he mentioned that other reviewers had been “lukewarm to bad”. That’s where Jeremiah Tower comes in because he was brought out of retirement to rescue the restaurant. Whether he has done so, is a matter of some conjecture. Since the restaurant is all of 4 blocks from home, it’s been high on my radar. Finally, Tavern on the Green made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.
here for $19.69. But had I been tucking into “Hard Boiled Duck Eggs with Pickapeppa and Remoulade Sauces”, the lowest priced first course at $14., or the Grilled Chicken, Portabella Mushroom Potato Gratin with Roasted Autumn Vegetables and Shaved Vegetable Salad for $26.00, I might not have felt the same way at all. And as to that Pork Chop, the closest thing to it is on the Dinner Menu. It’s a Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Marcarpone Polenta, Pea Tendrils and Whole Grain Mustard Sauce. And the most memorable thing about it might just be its $34.00 price tag.
Jeremiah Tower remains one of my heroes. A while ago I bought his “Jeremiah Tower Cooks: 250 Recipes from an American Master” (Stewart Tabori and Chang 2002). It’s one of only three cookbooks from the Chef. To me what distinguishes the book the most is that there is not one single photograph of any one of the recipes. The book is illustrated instead with still life paintings from Donald Sultan. In the book, however there are several recipes for Chicken. Much to my delight, I was able to find an on-line copy of Julia Child’s Cooking with Master Chefs called “Chicken with Jeremiah Tower”. In this lovely little film you can watch as Chef Tower grills, poaches and roasts three different sized chickens. And as an added bonus, the lovely and much-missed Julia Child narrates. As we say on Chewing the Fat, Enjoy!
Click here to view: http://video.pbs.org/video/2256986755/