Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Duck Club Grill Ranked #4 by Travelers

The Monterey County Herald
Article Last Updated: 07/23/2007 01:30:09 AM PDT

The Duck Club Grill, located inside the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, is one of the country's top 10 hotel restaurants, according to a national survey of travelers that appeared on

The Monterey restaurant, overseen by chef James Waller, was ranked No. 4, with a special mention for the eatery's wood-roasted Steinbeck's Duck with sweet yam and celery root purée and sauce bigarade with blood orange.

Chef Waller began his career in the San Diego area, where he worked for over 11 years at the world-renowned Hotel Del Coronado. He prepared state banquets for Presidents Nixon, Ford, Bush and Clinton and for Henry Kissinger. As Executive Chef at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, he has helped to establish the hotel’s reputation for quality and innovation. He was recognized by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences through its 5-Star Diamond Award in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Under Chef Waller's expert direction, since 1997, restaurant and banquet menus are comprised of fresh, contemporary dishes that make innovative use of Monterey's agricultural and aquatic bounty, while harmoniously blending traditional and new styles of cuisine.

"The abundance of fresh foods available on the Monterey Peninsula makes it possible to develop menus that are simple, elegant, and exciting," said Waller. "We've added more fresh seafood selections and more grilled entrees, lightening the menu and enhancing the flavors. After implementing the new menu in The Duck Club, I applied the same concept to our banquet menus and now we have satisfied restaurant diners as well as banquet patrons."

For his efforts, Chef Waller has been awarded the Five Star Diamond Chef award for five consecutive years.

Others on the list, starting with No. 10, were Hoku's at The Kahala Hotel and Resort in Oahu; Sazerac at Hotel Monaco Seattle; The Restaurant at Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles; Wright's at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix; The Dining Room at The Ritz Carlton San Francisco; Eau Bistro at Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Mo.; Blue Fin at W. Times Square, New York; Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; and Bouchon at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.

The San Mateo-based online travel site features hotel ratings and reviews from users.

For information or to contact The Duck Club, call 646-1706.

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