The former executive chef at Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge in Costa Mesa’s Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Schoenburg has a passion for wild game. He started making elk burgers with wild boar bacon for his staff at Cafe Rouge, and they quickly became a hit among restaurant regulars.
The Lido Deck version of the elk burger features half a pound of elk, caramelized red onions, remoulade sauce, braised lamb belly, wild boar bacon, tres leche cheese, topped with duck egg on a Kaiser roll.
“It’s so over the top, but it’s something everybody likes because it’s basically a bacon cheese burger,” Schoenburg said.
The couple met in culinary school in Pasadena and owned a restaurant together in Key West before relocating to Orange County in 2005.
Carter is an award-winning pastry chef. She’s always been drawn to sweets, she said.
“I really fell in love with the artistic side of it,” Carter said. “Baking is such a release.”
The desert menu is always changing at the Lido Deck, but one of Carter’s favorites at the moment is a date cake topped with caramel toffee crunch ice cream and black pepper caramel. She also recommends her flourless chocolate cake.
“I try to keep up with the new trends, but what I like is to do the classic comforting things and put a little spin on them,” Carter said.
The two chefs added put in a new wine bar to their restaurant space, featuring and eclectic selection of wines French and California wines from smaller wineries. The wine is all sold at retail price.
“We try to encourage people to try wine with their meal, because sometimes people don’t for financial reasons,” Schoenburg said.
They’re also looking to host monthly wine diners featuring appearances by wine makers. For Valentine’s Day the Lido Deck is offering a three-course prix fixe menu with wine pairings for $95 featuring dishes like spiced Moroccan duck and local halibut.