Off the Menu Special: A Phantom Menu

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The Phantom dish
The Phantom dish

By Christopher Trela & Catherine Del Casale | NB Indy

There has never been a Broadway musical as powerful and popular as “The Phantom of the Opera.” A Tony Award winner for Best Musical, “Phantom” is the longest running show in Broadway history. The original production spawned countless tours around the world.

Now, a new staging of “The Phantom of the Opera” unveils itself through Aug. 16 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Of course, that also means a new creative and amusing themed menu courtesy of Chef Ross Pangilinan at Leatherby’s Café Rouge adjacent to the Segerstrom concert hall.

Chef Ross has become renowned for building a three course, prix fixe menu ($45) around the theme and music for each Broadway musical that comes to town.

His “Phantom of the Opera” menu starts with as choice of The Phantom (lightly cured cobia, dashi, radish, nori, rice,

Prima donna (tomato soup with grilled cheese bites)
Prima donna (tomato soup with grilled cheese bites)

and citrus) or Prima Donna (tomato bisque with grilled cheese bites).

“The Phantom dish has the sliced radishes on top so you can’t tell what is under it, so it’s a phantom dish,” Chef Ross told us. “And I normally do a soup or salad, and after looking at the songs, I thought ‘Prima Donna’ fit.”

For entrees, choose between Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again (hanger steak, potato espuma, crispy shallots, asparagus, and béarnaise) and Magical Lasso (house made fettuccine, vegetables, kale pesto, parmesan).

“The Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again is for my dad—we had a similar dish in Las Vegas,” explained Chef Ross. “And for Magical Lasso, I thought the fettuccini went with it.”

Magical Lasso fettuccini
Magical Lasso fettuccini

Dessert is a choice of Opera (flavors of opera cake, coffee, almonds, chocolate) or Finale (house made sorbet, fresh and freeze dried berries, toasted pound cake).

“The opera cake has the flavors, but not the traditional presentation of opera cake,” said Chef Ross. “And for the finale, my favorite thing when I am done easting is sorbet.”

“I loved the concept of the Phantom dish,” said Catherine. “I tried to take a photo of the dish but it had the radish slices on top, so I wanted to peek and see what was under it. The ingredients all blended together perfectly.”

“And cobia is a fish that most people are not familiar with—so it’s almost like a phantom fish,” added Christopher. “I loved the soup too, it was almost a puree with the mini grilled cheese sandwich bites. Like all of his soups, it has that wow factor with bursts of

Opera cake
Opera cake

flavor in your mouth.”

“My favorite was the pasta dish,” continued Christopher. “The vegetables were cooked perfectly.”

“I agree—the carrots were not too soft, not crunchy. The essence of the dish had soaked into the vegetables,” said Catherine. “The hanger steak was cooked medium, which is perfect for me, and the light fluffiness of the potatoes was great. The fried shallots gave it all a littler crunch texture, and the asparagus and béarnaise added elements of flavor that tied it all together.”

We both enjoyed the opera cake, which had layers of textures thanks to little chocolate crunch nuggets that added definition to the dish—a trademark of Chef Ross.

Another thing we love about Leatherby’s Café Rouge—it’s the closest restaurant to the larger Segerstrom Hall, and is adjacent to the concert hall. This means you can finish your meal at 7:25 p.m. and still make it to your seat on time.

For more information on Leatherby’s Café Rouge, visit

For tickets to “The Phantom of the Opera,” visit

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