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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, June 04, 2010

The Pasta Bar at the Club House

The community club house where our vacation home is open only to members of the community and their guests.  It serves a wide range of cuisine in a warm, friendly atmosphere.  The food is excellent with prices well below that of many of the local restaurants.  The bar offers happy hour which differs depending on the day and season.  Thursdays are all you can eat pasta bar night for $9.99.

pasta bar
The pasta bar is set up as an impromptu cooking station so you can watch your food being cooked.  Essentially what you do is choose your main ingredients from a variety of offerings then your sauce followed by choice of a couple of cooked pastas.  The night we went there was shrimp, clams, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, meatballs cheese ravioli, tri-coloured tortellini, linguine and penne.  Rounding out the selection were buns, garlic bread and tossed salad with choice of toppings and dressing.

The chef sautées the toppings of choice in a little oil warming the garlic first if adding followed by the other toppings as desired.  He then ladles sauce of choice and warms it through.  Finally he adds pasta of choice and plates.  It is interesting to watch him work as he only uses a flipping motion to keep the toppings from sticking in the pan.  He said that most nights he will put out a little over 100 plates of pasta made to order while you wait so I thought that was rather impressive.

linguine with blush sauce
My husband had linguine with garlic, shrimp, and mushrooms in a blush sauce topped with meatballs and mushrooms.  He had a small side salad and garlic bread to round out the meal.

There were others in line that did not know what a blush sauce was but in fairness it is a rather newer sauce to our repertoire of sauces.  This turned out to be a great way to meet another couple from the community who decided to try a blush sauce as well.  They really enjoyed so stopped by our table to thank us for letting them know about blush sauce.  One of our kids introduced us to blush sauce a few years ago.  It has become a family favourite usually made with roasted tomato sauce

clams in béchamel sauce
Seafood is not something I pair a lot with cheese or pasta.  We enjoy tuna salad, seafood fettucini and garlic shrimp but that's about the extent of of the seafood paired with pasta.  I spotted the luscious looking clams so decided that's what I had to have.  The whole vacation I was on a serious seafood binge trying to get away from the heavier beef and pork of a long winter at home.

My toppings were garlic, clams, mushrooms, tomato, onion, green peppers and cheese ravioli with a béchemel sauce.  I paired the meal with a small side salad and garlic bread.  The clams were a nice addition so this is definitely going to be a dish I duplicate at home!  One of the things I like best about eating out is discovering new combinations for meals that I can easily duplicate at home.  I will be posting more about the homemade versions of both of our meals.

4 food lovers commented:

Joanna said...

Sounds and looks delicious. Your description reminds me of a popular trend out here a while back... I believe they called it Mongolian BBQ. A lot of Chinese restaurants would have raw proteins, vegetables, and sauces set out. You would choose what you wanted from those ingredients, and pile it all in a bowl. Then the chefs would cook your dish on this giant flat top cooking station. Of course, if you really wanted something good, your best bet was to ask the chef for recommendations!

LindaG said...

I would definitely have preferred your seafood dish. I am not a fan of oysters and clams, but your dish looks good enough that I might have tried them, too. :)

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Linda and thanks for visiting. I was not a fan of oysters but now enjoy them thanks to my FIL. So I'm a bit more daring with them and clams are so close to oysters well you know how that goes. A seafood pasta is quite good so I do hope you try it.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Joanna :) One of our kids worked at a Mongolian Grill through university so we know the place well. The pasta bar was a lot like that but on a bit more personal level. Absolutely well worth trying!