Skip navigation
Lettuce Entertain You Home page
Raspberry Scone Summer House - ©️2021 Galdones Photography/

Rich’s Favorite Things

Part 3

In honor of more than 50 years entertaining guests, Rich Melman, Founder of Lettuce Entertain You, is sharing some of his most beloved menu items. Follow us on Instagram as we reveal more of his favorite things.

Here they are in Rich’s own words:

I believe that a successful restaurant starts with good food – whether it’s a simple grilled cheese sandwich or a sophisticated French meal. I’ve always tried to put items on our menus that I liked and that I’m excited about. After all this time, I’m still experimenting, still learning and still searching to find something new that I want to share with our guests. Even though some of our menu items might be a few decades old, I’ve found that food that tastes good usually doesn’t go out of style. 

As we continue moving forward, I wanted to share some of my all-time favorite menu items with you. Most of the dishes are from Lettuce menus, but a few items are from other restaurants that I love.

Read ahead for items 21 – 30. 

Check out all other of Rich’s favorites:
Part 1: Rich’s Favorite Things 1-10
Part 2: Rich’s Favorite Things 11-20
Part 4: Rich’s Favorite Things 31-40

30. Beef Bourguignon

Mon Ami Gabi
Beef Bourguignon at Mon Ami Gabi
Thick chunks of slow-cooked beef in a rich red wine sauce with bacon, sautéed mushrooms, carrots, garlic and herbs, served over egg noodles. It’s a classic bistro dish and a terrific comfort-food entrée.
Visit Mon Ami Gabi

29. Housemade Limoncello

Osteria Via Stato
Housemade Limoncello at Osteria Via Stato
Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur, made with just enough sugar to soften the sharp-lemon taste. We make ours in-house, and the process takes two weeks. We serve it in 4-ounce or 12-ounce bottles. You can also buy our limoncello-making kit, which includes a video class.
Visit Osteria Via Stato

28. Seafood Gumbo

Shaw’s Crab House
Seafood Gumbo at Shaw's
You can order this by the cup or bowl. The seafood in the gumbo can vary, including some combination of salmon, tuna, halibut and shrimp. Whatever the mix, it’s served in a spicy, okra-thickened broth poured over steamed rice.
Visit Shaw’s Crab House

27. Grilled Chicken Paillard

Summer House
Herbed Chicken Paillard from Summer House - ©️2021 Galdones Photography/
An all-natural chicken breast is butterflied and pounded thin, then marinated with lemon and herbs, and quickly wood-grilled. Served with an arugula salad that’s lightly dressed with a Calabrian chili vinaigrette, it’s simply delicious.
Visit Summer House

26. Raspberry Pie

Shaw’s Crab House
Shaw's Raspberry Pie - Shaw's Crab House 2021
This wonderful pie has been on the menu at Shaw’s for 20 years. Initially it was only served as a seasonal dessert, but it became so popular – and I loved it so much – that we now serve it throughout the year, thanks to Shaw’s long-term relationship with Mike and Jean’s Berry Farm in Mount Vernon, WA. I love this pie with a dollop of whipped cream or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Visit Shaw’s Crab House

25. Banana Cream Napoleon

RPM Seafood
RPM Seafood Banana Napolean
I love banana desserts. This one is fancier than most – a double-decker “sandwich” of banana custard and crispy phyllo rounds. Around the napoleon are banana slices, which your server drizzles with warm caramel at the table.
Visit RPM Seafood

24. Prime Skirt Steak

Sushi san Skirt Steak ©️2021 Galdones Photography/
Who goes to a sushi restaurant for steak? You will, if you try this prime skirt steak. It’s grilled over Japanese binchotan coals, which get super-hot and cook meat very quickly. The medium-rare steak is sliced very thin, so it’s easy to eat with chopsticks, and topped with tare, a sweet, thick sauce of soy, ginger and garlic. It’s just a four-ounce serving, so you’ll have room to try more dishes.
Visit Sushi-san

23.  Raspberry Scones

Summer House
Raspberry Scone Summer House - ©️2021 Galdones Photography/
Try these wonderful scones filled with fresh and dried raspberries. They’re baked in-house daily. This recipe comes from my friend and neighbor, Ina M, who’s a great home baker and occasionally brings me baked goods to try. This is just one of her creations that I love.
Visit Summer House

22.  Famous Pulled Chicken Nachos

Hub 51
Hub 51 Nachos
These nachos from Hub 51 are so popular, all thanks to the chicken Tinga, guacamole, and loads of oaxaca and white-cheddar cheeses melted over tortilla chips, piled high and topped with roasted-tomato salsa, jalapeños and sour cream.
Visit Hub 51 

21. Margherita Pizza with housemade fennel sausage

Osteria Via Stato
Osteria Via Stato sausage pizza
The pizza from Osteria is still one of the best thin pizzas I’ve had and is based on the pizza from the Welcome Back Inn that I loved back in the late 60’s. When Jerry Orzoff, my original Lettuce partner, and I first met in 1970 and were thinking of going into the restaurant business together, we bonded by finding out we had a number of things in common – one of which was that we both had the same favorite pizza place: the Welcome Back Inn. As I’ve said before, good food doesn’t go out of style.
Visit Osteria Via Stato

Keep Reading

drawn wine glass drawn wine glass green stars