Take a Mental Vacation and Revive Your Senses at the Castaway Restaurant

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 | 9:47 pm

It’s summer and the evenings are Southern California cool, what better place to wile away an hour or two but on the patio of the New Castaway restaurant? Did I say NEW Castaway? Yes, after a 10 million dollar renovation that took almost a year the Castaway has re-opened with a new look, new chef, and a whole new steak-forward menu.

Executive Chef Perry Pollaci (The Royce and Cut Throat Kitchen) has created a menu that features steaks, fresh sides and fish and chicken for non-steak eaters. They’ve even got a couple of vegetarian dishes.

I had never been to the Castaway so I had no expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. From its beautiful interior to the vast patio, the Castaway is one nice-looking restaurant. The Castaway boasts a view from every table and looking around the restaurant I believe it.


We were seated on the patio at a comfortable table, all around us were cozy nooks with upholstered bench seating, closer to the edge were fire pits. It was a beautiful evening, the sun was taking its dive toward the west and a soft breeze rustled the trees. Sitting on the patio was like taking a vacation, I felt myself relaxing. But then again, it could have been the champagne I was sipping.

Taking its cue from the studios that Burbank is famous for, the menus are fashioned like scripts and courses have names like Prologue and Ensemble. We started our meal with the highly-recommended Cheese and Charcuterie plate. You can choose from a plate of four or seven combinations of meats and cheeses. Of course we got seven and had the chef choose. Thinly sliced Bresaola (cured and air-dried tenderloin from Italy), Culatello Di Zibello (rear leg of pig aka “little ass” from Italy), Spinata Picante (smoky and spicy chorizo salami from Italy), and Duck Prosciutto (spiced magret breast from France) where the meats we enjoyed. I liked them all but I did have a couple of favorites. The chorizo salami was killer as was the little ass. For cheeses we enjoyed the St. Andre (cow’s milk triple cream from France and the only soft cheese on the menu), Red Dragon (cow’s milk cheddar with mustard seed and Welsh brown ale from England), and Midnight Moon (hard and nutty goat’s milk cheese from Holland). Various condiments dotted the beautifully arranged plank and lightly-grilled bread completed it. My companion and I really enjoyed this assortment of salty, sweet, and smoky meats and cheeses.

I couldn’t resist ordering the Heirloom Tomato salad it sounded so delicious and it was. Thick slices of ripe, juicy, heirloom tomatoes where topped with a basil whipped goat cheese and roasted strawberry chia seed jam. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar and slices of fresh strawberries completed it. The salad was luscious. If you enjoy good tomatoes give it a try.

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Steaks were next on our list and what a list there was to choose from. There were two American Wagyu choices, two Black Angus and a Pasture Raised, Grass-Fed choice from Tasmania. I’m not big on Wagyu so I went for the Filet from Revier Cattle Company in Minnesota. My companion decided to try the NY Strip from Tasmania.

Now some people are purists they like their steak prepared simply with a little salt and pepper, a caramelized crust and pink interior, and that’s how the steaks were prepared. I, however live for the sauces and I was not disappointed. The steaks were served with four sauces, each one different, each one delicious. Bordelaise, deep and rich; Bearnaise, light and herbaceous; Horseradish, zesty and creamy; and Chimichurri, tart and garlicky, I tried them all, I loved them all. Even with the fantastic sauces, the steaks were the stars. Deep brown crusted, with a bit of char, the meat was buttery-tender and full of flavor. Not dry, not overdone (and I like my medium), the steaks made the meal. Don’t forget to try the shallot marmalade that is included with the steaks, it too is fantastic tasting.

There are four side dishes you can order with the steaks; Classic Potato Puree, Grilled Broccoli and Broccolini, Crispy House Fries, and Roasted Tricolor Cauliflower. We decided to forgo the vegetables (we after all, had tomatoes) and ordered the two potato dishes. I loved the fries, they were crispy with a fluffy center and dusted with garlic and parsley. Ketchup and a house-made ranch was included for dipping. We also ordered the potato puree with chives and horseradish, which was absolutely smooth and creamy.

With our main course we deferred to Sommelier Paul Coker. He chose a Spanish Tempranillo from the Muriel winery in Rioja Alavesa. The wine was a Gran Reserva and had an oaken beginning and a silky finish. It paired well with the hearty steak without overpowering it.

You’d think we’d stop there but you would be wrong. We were encouraged by our very attentive and competent server to try pastry Chef Stephan’s dessert extravaganza. Dubbed, Midnight in Paris, it is a multi-layer sensation chock-full of French pastries. From macarons filled with Madagascar vanilla bean ganache to a light pate au choux filled with maple cream and topped with candied bacon, there was something for everyone to love. Raspberry ice cream was topped with a Champagne float, a fresh fruit salad had a delicious vanilla bean simple syrup and Valrhona chocolate ganache was served in tart cup. Seriously, if you are out and about with friends and want dessert and a view, get this it will make your day!

Good food, great view and lovely surroundings, the new Castaway is worth a quick drive to Burbank. Take a mental vacation while giving your senses something to bring them to life.

The Castaway is located in the hills above Burbank at 1250 E. Harvard Road. For reservations or more information call (818) 848-6691 or visit www.castawayburbank.com.








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