Several weeks into his new position, Chef Brian is ready for his announcement. He’s happy with his new menu, as are we. We’re ready! Come in this weekend, raise a glass with us, say hello.
For the past two years Chef Brian Griffith has been helping manage the Oliveto kitchen as Sous Chef—gaining a deep understanding of our largely Italian and California-Italian menu, and getting to know the sources particular to northern California farming for the best produce and meats, as well as Monterey Fish’s unsurpassed sustainable wild fish. His illustrious CV, which lists Table 6, Denver, Carlyle, Portland, and Kadeau, Copenhagen (renown two-star Michelin restaurant), expands the roots of his native Tennessee.
So when long-time, and exceptional, Oliveto Chef Jonah Rhodehamel felt it was time for a life change, we were deeply gratified and excited that Griffith would accept the position of Oliveto Executive Chef, and the challenge of refining and creating his own direction for our kitchen.
What we anticipate, and are already experiencing, from Chef Brian’s kitchen:
—A better balance of vegetables, meats, fish, and grains on the menu.
—A deeper examination of the possibilities the diverse produce available from local regenerative farmers offers.
—A deeper examination of butchering, curing, and cooking with heritage breeds of animals.
—Expanding the already exciting pasta offerings on our menu with our dedicated pasta maker, and widening the boundaries of traditional pastas.
At a time when serious diners in the Bay Area—and indeed in much of the world—are developing broader palates and more philosophically diverse directives as to what they eat, Brian has been considering how to make the myriad Italian culinary techniques fit happily on a balanced, creative menu, pleasing to both the traditionalist and the curious, demanding new eater.
MENU FOR VALENTINE’S DAY 2019
Stuzzichino: Parmesan cheese gougèreswith Perigord truffle mousse
Consomméof Liberty Farms duck
Antipastoof Maine lobster with blood orangegelée, fennel, andfines herbes
Acquerello Carnaroli risottoof Black Trumpet mushrooms and
Ravioliof sunchoke and beets withvin santo, apple, and 108-month-agedParmigiano Reggiano cheese
Pan-roasted black sea bass with celeriac, Lacinato kale, and Osetra
Roast Liberty Farms duck with Perigord truffle sausage, barley,
Seville orange, and sugo
Dessert selections tba
95. per person
A 20% pre-tax Service Charge will be added.
For our Dinners from Sicilly, Chef Jonah has been looking for a balanced menu between the simplicity and comfort of food from the street, and the complexity and refinement of food from the home, both modest and grand. Here’s what he came up with.
Menu for Sicilian Dinners
January 29 through February 1, 2019
Sierra mackerel alla stimpirata
Salad of winter citrus with Castelvetrano olives, pistachios, and wild oregano
Sausalito Springs watercress with Chanterelle mushroom conserva, sherry vinegar,
and walnut brittle
Goat spitini with marinated olives
Cured and smoked swordfish with winter vegetable caponata
Soup: zuppa di ceciwith cipolline onion agrodolce
Rigatoni with cauliflower, pine nuts, and raisins
Spaghetti with sea urchin
Pasta grattata with Delicata squash and ricotta
Potato gnocchi with ragù alla salsiccia
Tagliolini with white anchovy, garlic, chili, and bottarga di muggine
Ravioliof ricotta and mint with walnut pesto
Secondi: grills, sautés, roasts, and rotisserie
Grilled tuna sausages with tomato-braised escarole, fennel, and breadcrumbs
Red-wine-braised duck leg with polentaand rapini
Pistachio-crusted monkfish with braised Treviso radicchio and Seville orange marmellata
Spit-roasted goat with Yukon Gold gratin and salmoriglio
Contorno: canederli of braised goat with fiore sardopecorinocheese
Desserts: to come
New Year’s Eve 2018 Menu
Stuzzichino: Chanterelle mushroom soup with Perigord
Salad of Dungeness crab, winter citrus, and avocado
Hudson Valley foie gras torchon with huckleberries and
Acquerello Carnaroli risotto of 101-month aged Parmigiano
Reggiano cheese and roast poultry sugo
Tortelloni of fontina alla valdostana with candied walnuts
and Perigord truffle honey
Roast Bandera quail with Kabocha squash, radicchio,
pomegranate, and old aceto balsamico
Pancetta-wrapped wild venison loin with parsnip crema,
cranberry confitura, and juniper
Pan-seared big eye tuna with Hachiya persimmon, fennel,
radish, and golden beets; pine nut salsa
Desserts, to be announced
Vegetarian options will be available
Jonah’s prix fixe dinners are exquisite, perfectly balanced, properly portioned, and delicious.
Prix fixe menu—Five course, early seating 5:00 to 6:30 • $ 90.
Six course, late seating 7:45 to 9:15 • $ 135.
HONEST INGREDIENTS • COOKING with SKILL and DEDICATION • FRESH THINKING.
– Chanterelle mushroom soup with Perigord black truffles
– Pancetta wrapped venison loin
– a crab salad
Full menu next week.
The pasta—Malloreddus with whey-braised Magruder
bison short ribs: Also great.
Bone-in Magruder bison rib chop with Chanterelle mushrooms, D’Anjou pear, sunchoke crema, and saba: By all accounts (every diner in the restaurant) the rib chops were sweet, tender, delicious and perfectly grilled.
They were afraid that they could loose the whole herd to pneumonia due to the Paradise fire smoke. Cattle and particularly sheep are susceptible.
And then for major long term angst, we learned about the Potter Valley Water Project. A portion of the Eel River is diverted to headwaters of the Russian River in Potter Valley via a scheme known as the Potter Valley Project. The Sonoma County Water Agency draws drinking water from the Russian River for sale to several hundred thousand residents of Sonoma, Mendocino, and northern Marin counties. Santa Rosa’s Laguna Wastewater Treatment Plant treats sewage from several communities to tertiary standards and returns some of it to the river by way of the Laguna de Santa Rosa. This entire water system is up for sale—a deal that could not only devastate Mac’s Potter Valley, but also impact Mendocino, Sonoma and Northern Marin Counties. It’s a very big problem. https://www.pottervalleywater.org
Despite impending calamities, we had a great night.
A few of these chops left tonight. We’ll then be moving into New York steak cuts of the Buffalo.
Pappardelle with whey braised short rib and and ricotta salata cheese
Wood fire grilled cut of buffalo
Mac and family will join us for dinner on Wednesday, so come by and say hello.
I could have driven to Alba, sold the truffle and made enough to buy a car, but Sunday night I drove to my regular pre-flight hotel in Milan. I became well known there for all the smells. In a marble bathroom, I’d clean the truffles all night, 12 pounds, so they’d pass Agricultural inspection at SFO when I arrived on Monday. By Tuesday night, our 604 gram truffle had bloomed with an extraordinary fragrance. It took an exceptional dog to find this adolescent so deep in the ground.
We want Truffle Dinners at Oliveto to be fun. Truffle Dinners aren’t exactly fun at $25 per gram in a stuffy dining room. We find that at $7-$8 per gram you can still have some fun. Once we have our truffles in hand on Monday we’ll put out the final menu and report on their condition and price.
Tajarin al burro
Raviolo of house-made ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and farm egg yolk with brown
butter, sage, and old aceto balsamico
Tortelloni of Caseificio Tosi Gorgonzola cheese with Pink Lady apples and spiced
Agnolotti dal plin
Potato gnocchi with wild mushroom ragù
Maltagliata with chicken liver and Madeira ragù
Secondi: grills, sautés, roasts, and rotisserie
Spit-roasted porchetta stuffed with figs and wild mushrooms, with Floriani red flint
corn polenta and braised radicchio
Charcoal-grilled Magruder beef with braised Savoy cabbage, wheat berries,
and Gorgonzola crema
Liberty Farms duck breast with black Futsu squash, chestnuts, pomegranate, and
Brussels sprouts; old aceto balsamico
Pan-roasted black cod with Black Trumpet mushrooms, Lacinato kale, and celeriac
crema; truffle salsa
Roast Black Futsu squash with wild mushroom and root vegetable medley, fonduta
Val d’Aostana, and cured egg yolk