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Dive!

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    Menu Description: "Our fresh roasted turkey, brick oven roasted seasonal mushrooms with white Cheddar cheese and melted Swiss cheese. Served Hot."

    Although not intended to be a restaurant where sightseeers are encouraged to catch a glimpse of celebrities, many stars were spotted at the L.A. location of this trendy theme eatery. Through the "hatch" walked the likes of Candice Bergen, Warren Beatty, Michael Keaton, Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas, and Rob Reiner. Pierce Brosnan and Henry Winkler were regulars, and for some time co-founder Steven Spielberg could be seen eating there weekly. Today, the only way to experience food from this now defunt chain is to clone it at home. Sadly, you won't spot many celebrities in your kitchen. 

    For this sandwich, inspired by Dive!'s popular Brick Oven Mushroom and Turkey Cheese Sub, you will likely not have the luxury of a brick oven to roast the mushrooms, but I've found the recipe is just as tasty as the real thing with sauteed mushrooms. It's important that you find the freshest bread your market has available, and if possible, get the turkey sliced for you at a full-service deli counter. A sandwich is only as good and as fresh as its ingredients, so try to find the best your market has to offer.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Crisp, lightly fried carrots, choice of two dips."

    In 1992, Steven Spielberg organized a search for a hoagie sandwich like those he remembered from his childhood in Phoenix, Arizona. The famed director sent his assistants out to search L.A. for the perfect submarine sandwich, and from the 20 sandwiches brought back to him, not one passed the test. Former chairman of Walt Disney Studios and close friend Jeffrey Katzenberg was in on the taste test that day and agreed that most of the sandwiches were either too soggy or too leathery. The two began tossing around the idea of opening their own restaurant to reinvent the submarine sandwich with fresh baked bread and unique combinations of ingredient—like what Spago's and California Pizza Kitchen were doing with pizza. Partnered with Mark and Larry Levy of Levy Restaurants, the two movie moguls tasted over 100 sandwich recipes before finding two dozen they liked. A year of planning went by to build a deep-sea theme around the recipes, and in 1994, the first Dive! restaurant opened in L.A.

    In addition to the gourmet sandwiches on the menu, Dive! features pastas, salads, burgers, and delicious appetizers like carrot chips complete with your choice of dipping sauces. Because the carrots need to be sliced no thicker than 1/16 inch, you'll probably have to use a thin-slicing machine such as a mandoline for this recipe. I tried slicing the carrots by hand, but it's practically impossible to get the carrots a uniform thickness without using a gadget.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: "Graham crackers, milk chocolate and toasted marshmallows, streaked with chocolate sauce."

    Large screens inside each Dive! display videos of underwater scenes filmed in the waters of Micronesia, Bermuda, San Salvador, and Florida. Diners eat gourmet submarine sandwiches as giant sea turtles and sharks swim by coral reefs and underwater caves. When the alarm sounds and lights flash, it's time for the restaurant to take its simulated hourly dive. Video in the portholes and on the giant projection screens change to comedy footage from vintage movies and clips of unlikely locales for a huge submarine such as a backyard swimming pool. 

    Along with two doxen or so gourmet sandwiches and other tasty entrees, Dive! features a delectable selection of desserts. One of them is Dive! S'mores, a creation inspired by the traditional treat that's prepared around campfires with marshmallows toasted on sticks. This version assembled with graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows is broiled in a hot oven just long enough to brown the tops of the marshmallows. If you've got a craving for S'mores and are nowhere near a campfire and/or don't have sticks, here's your quick fix.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Our traditional sub with capocollo, mortadella, Genoa salami, prociutto ham, provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, fresh basil, lettuce, sliced tomato, onions and vinaigrette. Served hot or cold."

    Menu Description: "Our traditional sub with capocollo, mortadella, Genoa salami, prociutto ham, provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, fresh basil, lettuce, sliced tomato, onions and vinaigrette. Served hot or cold."

    Casino magnate Steve Wynn teamed up with Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and the Levy Brothers for the second Dive! restaurant which opened in Las Vegas in March of 1995. Like the first restaurant which opened the year before in Los Angeles, the Vegas Dive! features Spielbergian special effects designed by Hollywood set builders, such as bubbling potholes, spinning gauges, working periscopes, steaming pipes, and a simulated dive run by a computer every hour. Diving down the Vegas "strip" you can't miss the giant nose of a submarine crashing through a 30-foot wall of water, which pumps 100 gallons of water per foot per minute down thick glass window panes. A pool below explodes with synchronized depth charges that splash passersby at random intervals. Back inside, if you look carefully, you can see the partner's initials stenciled on torpedoes hanging high over the heads of diners.

    The Dive! concept was built around submarine sandwiches and the Sicilian Sub Rosa is its signature traditional Italian submarine sandwich. It's said to be co-founder Steven Spielberg's favorite and now you can make a version all your own. Try to get all the meat sliced fresh at a full-service deli counter if you have one at your supermarket.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.