Channeling Julia

Menu Matters: Former “Top Chef” contestant to feed after-party crowd following VIP screening

Tuesday evening, after a VIP screening of the new movie “Julie and Julia” at Landmark Hillcrest Theater, everybody’s invited to an after party at Martini’s Above Fourth in Hillcrest (3940 Fourth Avenue—between University and Washington).

The after-film-fete is being hosted by “Top Chef” Rich Sweeney. The former reality TV contestant, who recently left the kitchen at downtown’s Confidential, will prepare a few tray-passed dishes inspired by the culinary styling of Julia Child. That’s in step with the movie—based in part on the career of the late, legendary chef, played by Meryl Streep.

Publicist Aaron Heier says the screening is sold out, but the public is invited to Martini’s after the movie lets out, around 9 p.m.
As to Sweeney and his partners’ continuing quest to open a restaurant in Hillcrest, could Martini’s be the place? Heier pleads the fifth…

Morton’s, The Reception. Klaus Fritsch, co-founder of Morton’s The Steakhouse and co-author of the new “Morton’s The Cookbook,” will sign the book at a downtown in-restaurant reception on July 30 from 6-7:30 p.m. Recipes from the cookbook will be served; and a silent auction will include dinner for six prepared by a Morton’s The Chef.

I Like Big Buns. You may have heard Homie’s is coming to East Village (450 Tenth Avenue), and erecting a roller rink. It’ll also have a restaurant component that features over-sized cinnamon rolls—the big-bun type, with names like Ragin’ Raisin and Awesome Apple.

Hawaiian Stylins’. You can book a flight to Hawaii and pay for a five-star hotel this summer. But last we heard, the economy was still flat-lining. To get your island fix locally, consider the Summer Sunset Luaus on Mission Bay at the Catamaran Resort Hotel. The hula hullabaloo happens at 6 p.m. every Friday starting at 6 p.m. (until September 4). Its $58/adult for all the Kahlua roast pig you can eat and Polynesian entertainment you can watch.

She Was Much Better In "Klute": La Jolla Shores’ Barbarella has breakfast seven days a week. You likely won’t stop in and find Jane Fonda dancing naked, but you could ogle the huevos rancheros, or the caramelized-apple French toast.

This Is 20/20: Bertrand at Mr. A’s in Banker’s Hill has a special 20/20 lunch special. No, you don’t dine with Barbara Walters and Hugh Downs as they introduce newsmagazine stories. It’s a three-course, gourmet lunch served daily that costs $20 and promises to have you out in 20 minutes. 

Ron Donoho is a regular contributor to and a contributing editor to His Web site ( is dedicated to news, sports, culture, happy hours and all things downtown.

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