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Nite on the Town Restaurant Discount Card, image and link

The Nite On The Town Card is an exclusive membership card that enables the holder to dine at a dizzying variety of the San Gabriel Valley's most popular restaurants at a discounted price.

Simply include your card when paying your check. If you are a party of two, one of your entrees (equal or lower priced) will be free or substantially reduced in price. If there are four or more in your party, two of your entrees will be free or reduced in price and you can visit each restaurant up to three times during 2011 and get a great discount each time

Periodically, SanGabrielValleyMenus.com readers save $5 off the $30 price of the card.  Check back for savings.

Partial list of NOTT Card participants

Beckham Grill, La Fiesta Grande, El Portal, Stoney Point, Radhika, Firefly Bistro, Cafe Mundial, Central Park, Matt Denny's, 1810, Cha Da Thai, Dish, Italian Kitchen, Bella Sera and dozens more. 

Click here to view the complete list, and to see the discount each restaurant offers to Nite On The Town Card holders.

Nite on the Town Restaurant Discount Card, image and link

Restaurant Spotlights  Click on photos (except logo) to see them full-size

You can also find our Dot Com Dining columns weekly in the San Gabriel Valley Weekly (print media) and SierraMadreNews.Net (online)

View Beckham Grill's Menu

Restaurant: Beckham Grill

Where: 77 W. Walnut St., Pasadena

Phone: (626) 796-3399

Reservations: Recommended

Cocktails: Yes

Service: Tableside wait service

Atmosphere: English Inn

Outdoor Dining: No

Credit Cards: MC, Visa, American Express, Discover, Diner’s Club, Debit w/logo

Kid’s Menu: Yes

Senior Discount: No

Food to Go: Yes

Catering Menu: No, Banquets available, though

Price Range: Lunch: $8.25 - $18.95, Avg. $8.50 - $10.50

Dinner: $14.50 - $31.95, Avg.  $17.95 - $23.95

Portabello Pizza appetizer

Fried Artichoke Hearts

Salad

Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut

Prime Rib

 

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Sean Hilfirty and real-life wife Vicky

 

Keelan and unidentified patron (left) go to be part of the show.  That's Koni Dalton-Pawle holding the mike

The Hilfirtys and the evening's "host" Nick Dalton Pawle

Cast members and audience act out the evening's entertainment

Dot Com Dining logo image

A Look At San Gabriel Valley Restaurants by SanGabrielValleyMenus.com

 

Beckham Grill A Cut Above

 

By Bill Coburn

 

As I wrote a little more than a year and a half ago, Beckham Grill on Walnut St. is a Pasadena institution.  For years now, the red phone booth and the old London cab on the street have invited guests to stop in and enjoy a fine meal, or relax by the fireplace with an ale in the Crown Pub.  The Old English style surroundings, filled with lots of dark wood, Union Jacks, overstuffed chairs, and walls covered with prints of fox hunts and the like, add to the cozy atmosphere.

 

But Beckham Grill isn’t content to rest on its laurels.  While their reputation and longevity assures that there is a steady flow of customers, as does the location across the street from the huge Parsons corporate offices, Beckham Grill still does all kinds of fun things to entice you in to join them for a meal.  For instance, there’s always a party in January to celebrate the birth of poet Robert Burns.  There are bagpipe performances periodically, including St. Patty’s day, as a general rule.  And every few months, as we found out the other night when went there for dinner, there is a murder mystery dinner theater, which was great fun.  The next one will be mid-February, just after Valentine’s Day, and if you can make it, I suggest you do, it was a lot of fun.  The performance when we went was titled “A Killing at Cape Wrath.”

 

Prior to being seated, I was introduced to one of the members of the theater troupe, Koni Dalton-Pawle, who frankly, I thought was a little over the top and over-bearing.  I did consider the possibility that she was in character, but it was only after the show began that I was certain that this was in fact the case.  She played Fiona Fontaine, a former star of a leading radio program.  I suppose I should tell you that the play was set in the 1950s, and it was the goal of Charles Sorwind, played by Koni’s husband Nick, to present a radio show that would be broadcast coast to coast, and put that upstart television back in its place, restoring radio to is rightful position as king of all media.

 

When seated, we were offered cocktails or beverages, and the members of the troupe worked the crowd, getting to know a little about them, and letting the crowd learn about them.  In addition to Sorwind and Fontaine, Elspeth Parker (played by Vicky Hilfirty), a rising young thespian and songstress, who seemed more suited for TV than radio, prop man Carl Bowles (played with gusto by Vicky’s husband Sean), a somewhat clumsy gentleman who reminded one of the kid that ran the AV equipment in pretty much all high schools, down on his luck classical musician Terhune Fulton, played by Robert Vitale, and a mystery guest, played by Frank Dooley.

 

Shortly after beginning the show, there was a break for our first course.  The dinner served with the dinner theater was a 4-course meal from a limited menu.  It started with a Portabello Pizza, which started obviously with a Portabello Mushroom, stuffed with goat cheese, bacon, sun dried tomato, caramelized red onion, and pesto sauce.  While I occasionally am willing to split an order of sauteed garlic mushrooms at certain restaurants where Katie wants to have them, I’m not a big fan, and I didn’t figure there was much chance I was going to like this appetizer, but ended up eating every bite.  A  gentleman at our table told us he thought the appetizer was bland, but Katie and I both had to wonder where he was coming from on that.  The various components of this appetizer blended together very well, and we both agreed that while we probably (due to pre-conceived bias) would not have picked it off a menu, we were glad that it came with our meal, because, now having tried it, we certainly would.  BTW, Keelan didn’t want his, and our waitress, noticing this, made arrangements to get him some fried artichoke hearts, which we thought was very nice, as she certainly didn’t need to go to that trouble.

 

The players returned after we’d enjoyed the first course, and chose a few members of the audience to assist with the production. Keelan, who participates in school theater productions was chosen to assist with sound effects.  I had no idea he was so talented at making sea gull cries and creaky door squeaks.

 

Too soon, the players left the room again, and we had the opportunity to enjoy a nice salad, consisting of mixed field greens tossed with apples, red grapes, crumbled blue cheese and sherry vinaigrette.  Again, I would probably not have picked this off the menu, or if I did, I’ve had ordered it with no blue cheese, but I chose to eat it as it was served, and it was excellent, blue cheese and all.

 

After the salads, there was some more performance, with new “dining” players brought into the production, the first ones having completed their roles prior to the salads.  It was a good way to involve more people, and allow the ones who were involved to see more of the play.  Before too long, the actors left again, and we were served our main course.  Earlier, we had selected from a choice of Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut with a light parmesan crust, mild red bell pepper sauce, finished with a toato basil tapenade, or Prime Rib.  There really wasn’t a choice, though the halibut looked quite good, we were at Beckham Grill, where we’ve enjoyed some of the best prime rib of our lives, so that’s what we all three selected.  Served with creamed corn, Yorkshire pudding and creamed spinach, the prime rib, too was excellent, and we all thoroughly enjoyed our meal.  We had some dessert, a pumpkin swirl cheesecake, too.

 

During the course of the performance, two people had been killed, one off-stage and one on (poison).  After dinner, the troupe began interacting with the diners, who were solicited for their opinions as to who was the killer.  There was a lot of improvisation throughout the show, but especially in this portion of the show, as the actors defended themselves against accusations, or tried to turn the suspicion to other players, all the while questioning and responding to the members of the audience.

 

All of the performers were quite believable in their roles, and the chemistry on stage was quite fun, possibly in large part because of their off-stage relationships.  Several songs were incorporated into the performance, and the whole crowd joined in towards the end with a rendition of “Jeepers Creepers.”  We were told that they will be doing what they called a “Dickens Dinner” which consists largely of Holiday carols at the Tam o’Shanter in L.A. and The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills, and we are seriously considering making the trip out, if we can get reservations.  We’ve even been told that Keelan might play Tiny Tim.

 

I’m not going to spoil the show and tell you whodunnit, but I will say that Keelan called it.

 

All in all, the three of us agreed that it was a really fun evening, not just because of the great meal that we’ve come to expect at Beckham Grill, but because of the performances by the actors in Mysteries to Dine For, which can be reached at 818 768-9864, if you want to find out where you might catch them between now and their February performance at Beckham Grill.

 

You can find the Beckham Grill menu at www.sangabrielvalleymenus.com/beckhamgrill

 

Bill Coburn is owner of SanGabrielValleyMenus.com, a restaurant website featuring dozens of  restaurants’ menus, as well as downloadable coupons.  He has nearly 20 years experience in the restaurant business, and has been eating for much longer than that. 

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