About Cynthia Salaysay

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So far Cynthia Salaysay has created 173 blog entries.

Artichokes and Ramps

You know that it’s spring when artichokes and ramps — those garlicky, pungent wild onions — are in.

Right now, our contorno of grilled artichokes with burnt Meyer lemon aïoli, breadcrumbs, and grilled-ramp salsa is particularly fetching — stop in soon for a glass of rose and a bite of the best of spring.

Reserve online or call 510.547.5356.
We request a credit card to hold your reservation.

2017-09-12T15:46:29+00:00April 13th, 2017|Coming up..., Events|0 Comments

We Do Vegetables Too.

Photo by Jeff Kubina Flickr/Creative Commons

As chef Jonah is on a trip to Italy, our fantastic sous chef, Antoine Steele, is bringing some artful new lovelies onto the menu this week. His Torta pasqualina, a traditional Easter dish, is particularly special, made with Yellowfoot mushrooms, fava greens, and housemade ricotta with toasted hazelnut salsa and old aceto balsamico. Torta pasqualina is usually made with puff pastry — Antoine’s using phyllo instead, giving it a spanakopita-like twist.

Other goodies: we have a gorgeous cruda of Magruder beef with charred spring onion, green garlic, Castelvetrano olives, Calabrian chili aioli, and crostino; our ravioli of pork sugo with grilled octopus, Ceci beans, and pimentón is another winner.

Our menu is jumping with spring flavors — stop by for a bite and a glass of wine!

Reserve online or call 510-547-5356

2017-09-12T15:46:29+00:00March 31st, 2017|Coming up..., Events|0 Comments

The Menu for Whole Hog Dinners

Whole Hog Dinners
Tuesday, March 14, through Friday, March 17

Each year, we do something a little different from previous years for our Whole Hog Dinners. This year, Chef Jonah Rhodehamel will be roasting a different breed of pig, each from a different farm, every night of the event in our Cuban-style La Caja roasting box, which, using indirect heat, produces delectable, juicy, smoky meat of incomparable flavor, texture, and moisture.

Jonah will be serving, alongside that extraordinary offering, a pork menu which he will serve concurrently with menu items from our end-of-winter, non-pork fare.


Antipasti:  smaller items, salads, soup

Affettati misti: mortadella, spicy coppa, lonza, and culatello
Coppa di testa
with swordfish “tonnato

Fritto of pigs’ ears and tails with oyster aioli
Poached farm egg on frisee with house-cured bacon and stone-ground mustard
Terrine of pork trotters
Crochetta of house-cured salt cod with salame piccante and gribiche
Soup: vellutata of Cannelloni beans and pork rind with Sinese pepper and wild Sicilian fennel


Saffron chitarra with Dungeness crab, ’nduja, Meyer lemon, and mint
Potato gnocchi with whey-braised pork shoulder
Bucatini all’amatriciana
with pork sugo and shaved cured pig’s heart
Ravioli of mortadella with Dijon mustard, asparagus, and egg yolk

Secondi:  grills, sautes, and rotisserie

Cuban-style La Caja-roasted whole pig each night
Tues: Cinta-Berkshire pig, Front Porch Farm, local. Wed: Red Wattle pig, Lazy S, Kansas. Thurs: Berkshire pig, Newman Farms, Missouri. Fri: Berkshire cross pig, Devil’s Gulch Farm, local.

Tasting of pork sausages:  boudin blanc, boudin noir, and Toscano with sauerkraut and spaetzle
Petrale sole “saltimbocca” with Yukon Gold potatoes, Bloomsdale spinach, and capers
Contorno: fritto of artichoke and Brussels sprouts with pork fat aioli and Meyer lemon


Sundae: vanilla bean ice cream, caramel sauce, almonds, whipped cream, and bacon crumbles
Devil’s food chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and candied pancetta

Plus delicious seasonal, pre-spring, non-porcine desserts

Reserve online or call (510) 547-5356

2017-09-12T15:46:29+00:00March 10th, 2017|Coming up..., Events|0 Comments

Winemaker’s Dinner with Paitin Barbaresco

Winemaker’s Dinner with Paitin Barbaresco

With Giovanni Pasquero-Ella, March 9, 2017
Paitin Barbaresco “Serra” 2012

The ever-wonderful Giovanni Pasquero-Elia of Paitin will be coming to Oliveto tonight. He will be pouring a lively Barbaresco “Serra” 2012.

We know it’s short notice, but Giovanni is a sweet person, and we love when he comes to talk and taste wine during dinner service. Giovanni, with his father and his brother, runs the estate that their ancestor, Benedetto Elia, purchased in the 18th century. The estate is situated entirely in Serraboella south and east of Neive, and has been selling wine labeled Barbaresco since 1893.

Please come and enjoy the spring weather and the Nebbiolo! Much of our menu goes perfectly with this grape.

Reserve online or call 510.547.5356.

2017-09-12T15:46:29+00:00March 8th, 2017|Coming up..., Events|0 Comments

Lazy S Farms’ Beefy, Buttery Red Wattle Pork


Whole Hog Dinners, March 14-17, 2017
Reserve online or call 510.547.5356

Lazy S. Farms is a 200-acre spread in Cloud County, Kansas owned by Larry and Madonna Sorell. Since the 1970s, they’ve been farming and raising several heritage breeds, including Red Wattle Hog, a species that is now part of the Slow Food Ark of Taste.

Because of their docile tempers, Red Wattle Hogs were once popular amongst small, independent farmers, but they fell out of favor as farmers sought pigs with a high enough fat content to provide soap and lard. They roamed the hills of Eastern Texas and were hunted to near extinction, when H.C. Wenger found a herd foraging wild in a Texas forest. Robert Prentice found a similar herd five years later. By 1999, there were still only 42 registered Red Wattles in the country. When Larry decided to come out of retirement to raise these hardy pigs for Heritage USA, he drove 18,000 miles over 3 to 4 months in search of pure stock to start his herd. It is in major part due to Larry and Madonna’s work that the breed is no longer considered endangered, and is listed as threatened by the Livestock Conservancy.

Red Wattle Hogs are named such because of two small wattles at either side of the ruddy pig’s neck. Its meat is juicy and tender, and is sometimes described as sweet and buttery. Others have called it beefy.

We’re looking forward to honoring this breed as part of our Whole Hog Dinners. We hope to see you then!

Our Whole Hog Line-up:

A whole pig will be roasted each night. We’ll be sharing the full menu later this week!

March 14 (Tuesday) – Cinta-Berkshire from Front Porch Farm
March 15 (Wednesday) Red Wattle from Lazy S Farm
March 16 (Thursday) – pure Berkshire from Morgan Farm
Friday 17 (Friday) – Berkshire cross from Devil’s Gulch

Reserve online or call 510.547.5356

2017-09-12T15:46:30+00:00March 8th, 2017|2015, Coming up..., Events|0 Comments

Front Porch Farm’s Cinta-Berkshire Cross Pigs

Whole Hog Dinners, March 14-17, 2017
Reserve online or call 510.547.5356

Cinta pigs were bred in Italy for hundreds of years for prosciutto-making and the like, and so of course we were moony-eyed when Front Porch began breeding them at Acorn Ranch in Mendocino. Front Porch remains the only breeder of Cintas in the country, and we’re purchasing one of their Cinta-Berkshire crosses for Whole Hog —while Cintas are the traditional choice for salumi-making, Cinta-Berkshires are better suited for our delectable Cuban-style roast.

Cintas are known as lard pigs, meaning that they tend to put on fat more easily than they do muscle. It’s a great thing when making salumi, as curing meat requires a lot of fat to help preserve the meat. Their muscles are small compared to bacon pigs like Berkshires, which are bred not for fat but for juicy, tender chops and loins. Crossing a bacon pig with a lard pig allows Acorn Ranch to offer a meaty, marbled pork with the flavor that makes prosciutto so delicious.

Acorn Ranch’s pigs are fed a base diet of non-GMO wheat, oats, green peas, and sunflower, and are allowed to roam and forage on the ranch. Over the winter, they’ve been nibbling on grass and roots.

We’re extremely pleased to be kicking off our Whole Hog Dinners with this beautiful, rare pig on Tuesday, March 14. We’re looking forward to seeing you then!

Our Whole Hog Line-up:

A whole pig will be prepared using our Caja China, a Cuban style way of making delicious, roast pig.

March 14 (Tuesday) – Cinta-Berkshire from Front Porch Farm
March 15 (Wednesday) Red Wattle from Lazy S Farm
March 16 (Thursday) – pure Berkshire from Morgan Farm
Friday 17 (Friday) – Berkshire cross from Devil’s Gulch

reserve online or call 510.547.5356

Whole Hog Dinners: Splendiferous Pork from Devil’s Gulch

We’re ecstatic to receive a pig from Devil’s Gulch for Whole Hog Dinners. Ranch co-owner Mark Pasternak has been raising pork with skill and passion since the 1970s when he bought the West Marin ranch.

Much of the fineness of the meat is owed to the feed. For the last twenty-five years, he’s attributed the health and the flavor of his pork to outdated whole milk from Clover Farms. They also eat organic whole wheat bread, spent brewers grains, waste tortillas, cheese and whey, and produce from local food banks.

His sows come from a variety of breeds: Old Spot, Red Wattles, Duroc, Chester White, Yorkshire, Hampshire, and a few Mangalitsa. His sires are Berkshires, known for their juiciness, flavor, and the wonderful fat marbling in its flesh. The pigs are free to roam, except when the sows are farrowing and lactating (birthing time and the time just after). All in all, it’s an ethical, wholesome system that feels good to take part in.

We’re so happy to be celebrating the beginning of spring with such a beautiful meal!

reserve online or call 510.547.5356

2017-09-12T15:46:30+00:00March 3rd, 2017|Coming up..., Events|0 Comments

Announcing Whole Hog Dinners, March 14-17

Photo by Newman Farm.

If you know us well, you know we’re big on pig, and every year we get positively geeky about it with a series of whole animal, nose-to-tail dinners. Because of Chef Jonah’s enduring interest in top-notch heritage animals, this tradition of coming together to dine on impeccably raised pork never gets old – there’s always something new to share.

For this year’s series we’ll be offering whole roast pig. Each night we’ll be featuring a different breed from a different farm. It will be roasted in our China Box (La Caja China) – a wooden container lined with marine-grade aluminum that renders a whole pig mouthwateringly tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Some of this will be offered in a Cuban-inspired dish. Swoons should ensue.

A selection of house-cured porky delights will also be in the offing: salami piccante and finocchiona, as well as coppa, mortadella, and coppa which are made from whole muscles. These will be made with a Berkshire pig from Newman Farm.

All in all, this will be a smaller, more focused dinner that will make it easier to try everything. The full menu is in the works, and we’ll have more details for you soon. In the meantime, reserving now guarantees a good seating time for a glorious dinner.

Whole Hog Dinners
March 14-17, 2017


2017-09-12T15:46:30+00:00February 24th, 2017|Coming up..., Events, Whole Animal Butchery|0 Comments

Valentine’s Day Menu

Treat yourself and your loved ones! Chef Jonah’s menu for Valentine’s day consists of four courses of indulgent delights: truffles, crab, Chanterelles, lobster. Hearts will beat wildly, cares soothed away, and love, hopefully, will grow.


Stuzzichino: Perigord truffle and Parmesan cheese gougère

Salad of Dungeness crab, winter citrus, and avocado


Soup: vellutata of Chanterelle mushrooms with essence of Madeira

Acquerello Carnaroli risotto with Perigord truffles and Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese


Saffron chitarra pasta with Maine lobster, fines herbes, and bergamot

Liberty Farms duck two ways with Medjool date-studded gratinata and Calvados sugo


Pan-roasted black sea bass with Black Trumpet mushroom crema, salsify, and spumante

Devil’s food chocolate cake with hazelnut filling, chocolate frosting, and vanilla ice cream


Passionfruit tart of passionfruit curd, shortbread crust, raspberry meringues, and toasted meringue



A 20% Pre-Tax Service Charge Will Be Added

2017-09-12T15:46:30+00:00February 11th, 2017|Coming up..., Events|0 Comments