Newly Acquired French Wines Welcomed with Provençal Dinners, May 19 and 20
Over the past few years, Jonah has refined the prix fixe menu for our celebratory evenings. This year, at the top of his game, he has created an exquisite menu for our New Year’s Eve dinner. This year, we’re proud to show off our stunning new dining room, making for a stellar way to ring in the new year.
Jonah is particularly excited about a few of the items on the menu.
We’re serving delicious Acquerello Carnaroli rice in two different dishes: a savory risotto topped with truffles shaved table side and a sweet rice pudding served with roasted pineapple. This particular rice is grown in the Piedmont region of Italy by the Rondolino family, on a farm that receives only the purest water. The family is devoted to producing the highest quality rice possible — they have spent decades researching and experimenting with their growing method and aging process. From our visits there, we know this is a really wonderful family that makes a wonderful product.
The sea bass has also been spectacular this year. On New Year’s, we’re serving it with salsify crema, malted wheat berries, roast carrots, and old aceto balsamico to highlight the fish’s clean flavor and flaky texture. Sea bass makes for a dramatic presentation: its dark, crisp skin stands out against its pure white flesh. No wonder Jonah ranks sea bass as one of his top five fish.
For those who crave red meat for dinner, our Piedmontese beef Wellington is pretty perfect. This particular breed of cattle is renowned for its “double muscling,” which equals tender, juicy, and flavorful meat. Wrapped in pastry and served with Chanterelle mushrooms, creamed nettles, and black truffle sugo, our Wellington is simply a delicious dish.
No matter what you order, New Year’s Eve is certain to be unforgettable. Call 510-547-5356 to make your reservations for the early (5pm) or late (7:45pm) seating.
Chef Rhodehamel and the Oliveto kitchen crew got up at the crack of dawn yesterday to visit Tom Worthington and the rest of the early birds at Monterey Fish Market on Pier 33 in San Francisco.
The gang was there to welcome the morning’s catch, witness some lightening fast scaling and fileting, and see some of the first local albacore arrive. One of chef Rhodehamel’s favorite fish to work with, local albacore will have a permanent place on the menu over the next few months for the duration of the season. With a rich, soft texture, Jonah compares to toro in texture and an amazingly clean flavor, local albacore is currently being served raw and grilled medium-rare in the following preparations:
Crudo of local albacore with Santa Rosa plums, pickled Cherry Bomb peppers, avocado, radish, and basil
Charcoal-grilled local pole-caught albacore with fresh Cranberry beans, eggplant puree, cherry tomatoes, and Painted Serpent cucumber
During the summer camp session, campers visit a different restaurant nearly every day. During Monday’s visit under the guidance of Executive Chef Jonah Rhodehamel, Sprouts’ chefs learned how to make Jonah’s famous gnocchi and from sous chef Antoine they got to take their turn running the pasta laminator (always a favorite, even among employees). Their excitement and curiosity was contagious and brought a smile to many a face.
Thanks to Sprouts for letting us participate in this year’s program! Let’s do it again.
The official Oliveto Staff “whew!-the holidays-are-over” Party will take place on Monday, January 6th at 6pm at Oliveto Restaurant.
We thought it would be fun to ask if any of our customers (who might have a special attachment to the Oliveto family) would be game to switch roles with the staff and do some of the cooking, serving, and clean up. Sound fun? It does? Then read on.
We’ll have areas in which to prep and cook, and tasks like setting up, serving, and clearing. The work crew will have their own little “downstairs” happening.
Hopefully there will be a lot of you responding to this bizarre invitation, willing to sign up for certain tasks for two to three hour shifts (longer if you’re a workaholic). Scheduled work hours will likely be from 10 AM until 11 PM or so. The work will be almost entirely staffed by brave volunteers, Maggie, a guest chef honcho, and by a few non-Oliveto professionals.
If this is for you, please email me: Bob
How wacky is this idea? We’ll see.
Wine: Sagrantino di Montefalco, Colpetrone, Umbria, 2007
Dish: Potato-wrapped Pigeon-stuffed Quail, Farro, Wild Mushrooms, and Truffle Sugo
Pairing Note: …The variety and number of earth notes in the dish set our expectations on a big wine, so Brunello brought two. The first, a Santenay Gravieres from Paul Chapelle (2005), is an outstanding wine at a good price, with light cherries, raspberries, some floral notes, and a little bit of licorice.” Not the big wine we were anticipating, but Brunello explained that the Santenay has good earth notes with a subtle gamey quality that pulled together the mushroom and game flavor of the pigeon.
To exemplify a more classic pairing, Brunello poured a Sagrantino because, people expect a denser, heavier wine with gamey flavors. We liked the matching complexity of the dish and this wine, with less fruit and more earth tones.This particular Sagrantino is not so tannic as others, explained our sommelier, so it’s perfect for someone who wants a heavier wine, because more tannins would overwhelm the dish.
Read the rest here.
Gayot, the esteemed lifestyle magazine,has released its annual Restaurant Awards Issue for 2013, and we are thrilled they have named Chef Jonah one of the Top 5 Rising Chefs in the US.
From GAYOT.com’s article:
“Deeply involved in the Bay area food scene, Rhodehamel has established relationships with local farmers and purveyors; his ongoing kitchen projects include a special aging cave for house-cured charcuterie, whole-animal dinners, handmade pastas made with specially milled local flours and unique heirloom tomatoes bred specifically for Oliveto’s kitchen.”
Between planning this week’s Truffle Dinners, creating a new menu on a daily basis, and averaging a 100-hour work week, not only does Chef Rhodehamel find the time to race his 2009 Nissan 370z but he also manages to win trophies doing it!
This past weekend, Chef and his STO Nissan were awarded the 2012 Rookie Driver of the Year as well as First Place in the Sunoco Regional Championship by the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) San Francisco Bay Area Chapter and its forty-five-thousand members.
A long standing project and labor of love, Chef Jonah has been working on this car for at least two years (often driving it to work without seats) but only started seriously racing it this past season.
The 2012 racing schedule ended in October with the Regional Championships where Chef placed 1st in his class. But never fear! Chef Rhodehamel plans to be back on the track again when the 2013 season starts up in March. So if you’ve always wanted to sponsor your local race car driver/insanely talented chef this is your chance! No really, he needs sponsors. Send an email if you’re interested. Maybe he’ll name a salumi after you.
The kitchen was excited to see a 60 pound Pacific Giant octopus arrive today from Tom Worthington at Monterey Fish. It was caught by chance in a crab trap off the coast of Half Moon Bay. Most octopus comes from abroad or the East Coast so this is a pretty rare opportunity to try a truly local and wild seafood. Oliveto chef Jonah Rhodehamel likes the texture of octopus, “slightly chewy … firm yet with a bite to it” and finds it to be “an interesting protein — pretty different from anything else.”
The octopus will be available through the weekend.
On the menu tonight, April 25, will be grilled octopus with artichoke puree, grilled ramps and watercress
Please join us!
This weekend’s Piedmontese dessert will be a chocolate-hazelnut bunet. You may remember from the emails between Chef Marco Forneris and Oliveto Pastry Chef Jenny Raven that Jenny wanted an authentic recipe for a bunet. Using burning coals is how she will achieve the crisp top, the same way Marco’s grandmother made her bunet.