The Garage

Published in Chef Notes, Jackson Hole News & Guide, June 29, 2011
Shared by Chef /Owner Michael Burke
The Garage


White Chocolate Bread Pudding

8 oz          bread pieces

3 c         whipping cream

1 c         whole milk

1 c         white chocolate

7         egg yolks

2         eggs

½ c         sugar

melted butter

Mix the whipping cream, milk and sugar in a large stainless steel pot over medium heat. Add the chocolate to the mix and stir until melted and smooth. In a stainless bowl whisk the eggs and egg yolks then add them slowly into the chocolate mix.

The bread pieces need to be placed in a baking pan with sides such as a loaf cake pan, brushed with butter and baked at 250° until golden and crispy. This may be done ahead of time. Pour half the chocolate mix over the brad pieces. Press the bread down into the liquid mix. Add the remainder and let rest for 15 minutes before baking at 350° for 45 minutes covered with foil. Pull the foil and bake until golden, about 10 minutes more. Refrigerate after cooling.

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The Garage was the original Chevy dealership owned by mayor Harold Livingston decades ago. It occupied the curved front building at the corner of Pearl and Glenwood. It had been through several incarnations as a restaurant since the 1970’s before Michael and Laura Burke completed a remodel that honored the edifice, opening Burke’s Chop House in 2004.

Now is the right time for a bit of a change and The Garage is that change. The new environment is not very different. It’s just a bit more relaxed and as appealing as ever. The look incorporates some of the auto memorabilia they found inside the walls during their initial remodel into their design theme. It’s fun to see old car doors, hub caps and license plates.

It has a younger look and attitude, and new menu offerings for more casual dining. I may miss the succulent beef Wellington they did so well, the nice thick chops and yet we really didn’t go for the high end meal all that often. I may be stopping in there more. There certainly are many delicious reasons.

My favorite spicy rolls with peanut sauce remain as a starter, as do the colossal onion rings with chipotle dip, and French onion soup. Three cheese and a nightly pizza special have been added. Stuffed BBQ potato skins and sliders of buffalo, beef and crab sound tempting. Starting this week there will be happy hour drink specials and additional daily appetizers from 5 to 7.

Fantastic salads are a part of the mix. I have cravings for their Caesar and the Big Bleu knocks my socks off. I ventured into new terrain with the seafood salad featuring fresh crab, lobster and shrimp tossed in a light citrus yogurt dressing and crisp greens. It was wonderfully refreshing. Next time I’ll go for the Italian Panzanella with heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers red onions and crusty bread or a Farmers Market.

More casual choices are among the entrees. Bangers and mash with garden peas and gravy have already proven to be a favorite, with succulent grilled English or wild game sausages. It’s a very tasty treat. An English chef friend from Burke’s days at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas makes the sausages under the name Chateau Royale in New Hampshire with all natural casings and wild game meat from New Zealand.

Teriyaki organic chicken breast is served on a bed of fresh bok choy. The Thai beef stir fry with fresh seasonal vegetables, bok choy and jasmine rice is spicy, light and satisfying. Pan fried chicken thighs cooked in a Dutch oven are sweet and juicy, seared then smothered with white wine, thyme and lemon. Pescador Tacos, cod sauteed with fresh poblano and serrano chiles served with pico de gallo, corn tortillas and rice are a summer favorite. Trout, salmon and baby back ribs still adorn the menu.

The most expensive items on the menu now are the beef filet at $29 and a New York steak at $27. There are burgers – buffalo, beef and a portobello with grilled vegetables and an open face sirloin steak sandwich with grilled onions and mushrooms.

We thought about going back the next night for a completely different meal. Baked lobster penne with peas, carrots and celery in a cheese sauce finished with white truffle oil sounds divine. A gentleman dining at the next table who was enjoying it kept urging me to order it. The shrimp Louie linguini is an entree based on the delectable shrimp Louisiana appetizer from the former menu. Wild game sausage fettucine with portobellos and brandy sauce is also hard to pass.

One of Laura Burke’s additions is the frozen lemon meringue pie. It was calling me from the dessert selections. The white chocolate bread pudding served with dark chocolate or berry sauce will now be something we may make at home as chef Michael has shared that recipe.

Laura Burke shared that they contemplated The Garage when they were opening their establishment several years back. As fate would have it The Yellowstone Garage was opening in town at that time. The garage would have to wait. That fine place that served excellent Italian cuisine that has been gone for a few years now. Michael Burke, in his early years here was the executive chef at the Alpenhof and then helmed the Cowboy Steak House for more than a decade. How appropriate that the Burkes get to transform into a more versatile, light and health conscious format. They have brought the best elements of their history. It’s a perfect time to lighten up.


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