HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – Chef Russ Aaron Simon has a lot of irons on the fire, literally, at American English Kitchen and Bar in Hollywood.
From fresh fish to homemade pasta, sauces and more, Chef Russ is used stocking up and working in busy kitchens.
For 16 years he worked with celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck in his iconic Beverly Hills restaurant Spago, among others.
"Wolfgang was a mentor of mine. I was one of many chefs he depended on to help him execute all the different menus in his restaurants," said Chef Russ.
But this Hollywood, Florida native dropped the bright lights of Hollywood, California for a place in his hometown.
"I always wanted to come back and come home and after many years working for Wolfgang, I figured the time is now," he said.
The result is an inviting space right off Harrison Street, with a name that plays off the many styles of food the menu reflects.
"When you think about billiards, 'English' is when you put a spin on the ball. So American English is my spin on not just American food, but different types of cuisine," Chef Russ said.
CBS4's Lisa Petrillo began the tasting with chef's wild boar ragù with fettuccine.
"It's not as gamey as one would think. It's actually quite mild and we finish that with a Pecorino Romano cheese and wild mushrooms and pork belly and pancetta.
"When he told me wild boar fettuccine, I'll admit I was nervous. I had nothing to be nervous about there's so much flavor. The pasta is cooked perfectly and the taste of the wild boar is beautiful actually," Petrillo said after tasting.
Next, pan roasted snapper with Thai coconut sauce served with a ragù of carrots, eggplant and leeks with pea shoots on top.
"The fish is so tender and fresh. Then the flavors with the veggies underneath and the sear on the outside makes it a perfect texture. It's a special fish," Petrillo said.
And finally, potato beignets made with russet potatoes, bacon, scallions and white cheddar cheese.
"When I think of beignets, I think of a New Orleans dessert," said Petrillo. "But, this is on the savory side. This is so light and fluffy. It's a perfect appetizer or side dish."
American English Kitchen and Bar is open five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday dinner only.
For more info, visit: americanenglishkitchenandbar.com
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