Updates when the kitchen receives something extraordinary from a farmer, fisherman, rancher, or forager that will appear on the current menu.

Oceanic Dinners Start Tomorrow, Tuesday

Oceanic Dinners Begin Tomorrow, Tuesday June 19-22

HERE ARE HIGHLIGHTS AND ADDITIONS TO OUR OCEANIC MENU:
Tartlet of raw mahogany clams, buttermilk sauce, and sweet cicely, topped with compressed watermelon

CRUDO of bigeye tuna (Hawaii, troll), pickled Chanterelle mushrooms, Bing cherries, basil pesto, and fried egg yolk

CHITARRA pasta with sand dabs, squash blossoms, and lemon verbena

RISOTTO with crayfish, pine nuts, Perigord truffles, and chervil

Charcoal-grilled, pancetta-wrapped sardines with wilted radicchio and artichokecaponata

Brioche-crusted monkfish with Porcini mushroom cremaharicots verts, and lobster bordelaise

Charcoal-grilled squid stuffed with Tuscan sausage; sauce Livornese, parsnip crema, and black olives

Pan-fried abaloneguanciale-potato torta, and trout roe spumante

PREP OF HUNDREDS OF POUNDS OF FISH AND SHELLFISH IS NO JOKE:

    

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-06-18T15:47:55+00:00 June 18th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Philadelphia Fish House Rum Punch – Oceanic Series 2018

Philadelphia Fish House Rum Punch for the Oceanic Dinners 2018, June 19-22

Philadelphia Fish House Punch, recipe dating back to 1732, will be offered as an aperitif to our Oceanic Dinners.

Concocted with house-made oleo saccharum, assorted rums, brandy, crème de poire, lemon (i.e. mostly rums with sugar infused citrus oil and pear liqueur) – $6/glass

And, if the idea of a classic Provencale bouillabaisse on next week’s menu isn’t exciting enough for you, we’re bring out a 1990 Bandol, Domaine Tempier Cabassaou. We’ve had it stashed away and it will finally be available each night by the glass. This wine has always had a strong and earthy nose, certainly well matched for a flavorful bouillabaisse.

Below is the preliminary menu, offered á la carte:

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-06-14T17:55:56+00:00 June 14th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Preliminary Menu – Oceanic Series 2018

Preliminary Menu

Oceanic Dinners 2018, June 19-22

 

Oceanic Dinners are a huge event for us: lots of planning, preordering, curing, smoking, prep and then next week a massive filleting. Chef Jonah and Sous Brian present us with an entirely new menu—stunning.

Below is the preliminary menu, there will be some additions. Have a good time, and make reservations now.

All items offered á la carte.

 

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-06-12T14:24:03+00:00 June 12th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Oceanic Dinners, June 19-22 – Coming right along

Oceanic Dinners, June 19-22  —Coming right along

Maggie’s notes from the meeting

Step 1:  Planning Meeting with Tom Worthington of Monterey Fish, Chef Jonah, Sous Chef Brian

We met with fish supplier Tom Worthington last week and were given his best estimate of what will be available for our June 19-22 dinners. These are the fish the chefs can begin to plan the menu around. All fish in these dinners are from healthy, sustainable fisheries. Here’s the list:

Available:
-whole petrale
-sole
-good sand dabs
-sea bass
-local halibut—good availability, long-line
-Sierra and Boston mackerel
-razor clams
-scallops, possibly in their shells
-local anchovies “good to go”
-soft-shell and Dungeness crab
-Rhode Island eel
-Spanish cod tripe
-farm-raised abalone and trout
-monkfish (Marshall Islands)
-mussels
-sea robins
-octopus
-oysters
-sea urchin

Possible, Tom will work on it:
-bonita, but probably too early
-coon-striped shrimp possible
-geoduck clams possible
-limited king salmon

Not available:
-shellfish aren’t at their most plentiful this time of year
-albacore and yellowfin tuna
-spot shrimp

A little of the conversation: Tom loves Chef Jonah’s braised Spanish cod tripe, but says Jonah, “Nobody orders it.” (Sometimes exotic items on the Oceanic Dinners menu bring out a certain faintheartedness in some diners.) Tom also loves sea robin in bouillabaisse. King salmon are limited, “after 200 years of our being bad to them,” says Tom. The season opens on the first day of our event, so we can prepare them on the third day should we choose. Jonah likes to prepare eel, which will be in season from Rhode Island. Sous Chef Brian was thinking along the lines of sea urchin tart with crème fraîche and caviar, potato-wrapped oysters Rockefeller, and chilled crab soup.

We’ll report on the menu’s progress, and which fish make the cut.

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018 Oceanic Dinners Announced: June 19th to 22nd

2018 Oceanic Dinners Announced:

June 19th to 22nd

We’ve been doing these Oceanic Dinners for a while (17 years). They’ve always taken place in summertime, usually June. We try to be as seasonal as we can, and June is the time when the greatest variety of fish and sea creatures from around the world are at their peak. Fish, and particularly these dinners are exceptions to our long time focus on food from local farms and producers. The best, sustainably managed fisheries frequently don’t have local markets for their catches, and we’ve felt the kind of fishing they do needs to be supported and kept healthy. Tom Worthington of Monterey Fish Market goes into overdrive to find the best fish for Chef Jonah and Sous Brian to “play with.” These are many people’s favorite dinners and we’ve always been proud of them.

We’ll be reporting periodically on how the menu takes shape, but we do book up and it might be wise to reserve now to get the time and date that you want.

 

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

Pigeons Are Back On The Menu (Limited Supply)

Pigeon on the Menu Tonight!

Possibly the most treasured of all the food that we ever have on the menu at Oliveto are Philip Paine’s Pigeons, from Sonoma.

After the fires in Sonoma, which he narrowly escaped, Philip sold the business and we haven’t had pigeon on the menu. We’ve been trying to get them from the new owner, who has been going through his own production problems, and we finally managed to get 20 birds that will go on the menu tonight, likely into tomorrow.

We expect to get deliveries every other week, so it will be limited for a while.

Philip is an incredibly important member of the Oliveto Community, and friend of ours. Very few special meals have gone without pigeon on the menu. An Australian master breeder, Philip had a hard time finding pigeons here originally, but it is thanks to his dedication and painstaking notes that we get to serve such delicious birds.

So for those that truly miss these, here’s an opportunity. Come in tonight, or we’ll probably have them through part of tomorrow night if you’re early. There will be more to come.

For another example of Philip’s masterful breeding, here’s a fun old video about his hobby of breeding race horses. Clarence Peak’s Debut

 

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

2018-04-26T17:09:09+00:00 April 26th, 2018|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Four Ways to Truffle at our Dinner

Tuber magnatum pico and Tuber aestivum

Truffle Dinners Start Next Tuesday

November 14th – 18th, 2017


Four Ways to Truffle at our Dinner

  1. Shaving Whites: We all know about shaving – classic and exquisite, shaving is a fine way to go. There’s nothing like white truffles shaved on our tajarin (hand cut noodles, 32 egg yolks per kilo of flour). White truffles (Tuber magnatum pico) will be shaved at the table.
  2. Mortar & Slather: A truffle hunter’s favorite. White truffles mortared in fresh pressed oil and then slathered on a meat – excellent with beef or pork. We’ll have a Olio Nuovo pressed the day before that will be super peppery.
  3. Black Truffles: Burgundian Truffles (Tuber aestivum) are common during white truffle season in Tuscany and have a simple but really delicious flavor. Usually Burgundian truffles are prepared in the dish so the heat of cooking releases the flavor. Black Périgord truffles (Tuber melanosporum) come later in the season
  4. Truffles for the Table: During the dinners, people will be given a chance to buy a white truffle for the table, to be used for the dinner. You may also buy more than you need to take home.

 

We’ve always tried to make it a fun evening, and make it as inexpensive as possible. This year the truffles are expensive, and we’ll do everything we can to bring people the best truffles at the best price.

View Chef Jonah’s menu here.

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

Dinners for Truffles 2017

The niece of our favorite truffle hunter Georgio from earlier days

Dinners for the Italian White Truffle:
Tuber Magnatum Pico über alles

November 14th – 18th, 2017

The week before Thanksgiving, we will celebrate, as we have done for the past twenty-two years, perhaps the most evocative event in our series of dinners: that for truffles and wild mushrooms. The darkness of the dining room as we approach winter solstice, the aromas from the kitchen and wood-fired grill and rotisserie, not to mention that indescribable scent of the most expensive food of them all (a simple tree-root parasite which looks like a small, troubled potato) characterize fall at Oliveto.

Chef Jonah Rhodehamel has devised this year’s à la carte menu:

Antipasti
 Cold: Antipasto of roast autumn fruits and vegetables with malted barley
and black truffle vinaigrette

Salad of shaved Brussels sprouts with bagna cauda, lemon, and white truffle

Crudo of local halibut and artichokes with fried Black Trumpet mushrooms with
celery leaf pesto, and truffled egg yolk

Dungeness crab salad with Hachiya persimmon, fennel, and orange

Warm: Poached farm egg with crispy potato-duck confit hash and truffled hollandaise

Roast octopus with Tuscan sausage, Butter beans, and black truffle

Soup:  tba

Primi
Acquerello Carnaroli risotto of Black Trumpet mushrooms and Castelmagno cheese

Stinging nettle gnocchi with Chanterelle mushrooms and ricotta salata

Tortelloni of Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese with brown butter, sage, and candied walnuts

Tajarin al burro

Farm egg raviolo with house-made ricotta and duck sugo

Cappelletti of bone marrow with black truffle and fried shallots

Whole grain pasta with wild mushrooms Vallesana

Secondi
Pan-roasted Liberty duck breast with Kabocha squash, Lacinato kale, and spiced sugo

Sformatino of Lobster mushrooms with chestnuts, ricotta salata cheese, and Delicata squash

Fontina-stuffed chicken breast with wilted radicchio, parsnip crema, and Morel mushroomsugo

Black sea bass with cardoons, salsify, roast sunchoke crema, and Barolo spumante

Beef tournedo alla Rossini with Hudson Valley foie gras, Swiss chard, Yellow Finn potatoes, and black truffle sugo

Truffled boudin blanc with celeriac crema, escarole, and hazelnut salsa

Dolci (tba)

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

We’re in the Hunt for Truffles!

It’s Almost Time for Truffles!

2017 Truffle Dinners
Tuesday November 14th – Saturday the 18th

À la carte menu showcasing wild mushrooms and
white and black truffles

We are on the hunt for good truffles and as always will bring you the best available at the best price. Updates to come on the menu and whether we’ll have any extra truffles to sell.

Be sure to reserve a table in advance. We’ve seen some really nice black truffles so far, as well as wild mushrooms, and the menu will be exciting!

There are just a few spots left for the Brunello Dinner next Saturday November 4th. It is a prix fixe dinner in the private dining room so please call to reserve. See the wine list and take a peek at the menu here.

Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356

Dinner for Well-Aged Brunellos

Canaliccio di Sopra Vineyard below Montalcino

Dinner for Well-Aged Brunellos

Saturday November 4th at 6:30pm

Prix Fixe Menu in Private Dining Room

In preparation for our Brunello dinner next month, we paid a visit to our offsite wine storage area. The 1982 Pertimali Brunello Reserva by the Sassetti family has been our focus. We had 5 bottles, we opened one to see what it would be like for the dinner. I don’t know whether you can say it’s exciting, to wait for a 35-year-old wine to open up after pulling the cork, but after letting it breathe for two hours, when the wine comes alive, it’s pretty neat. Even with ’82 being a great year, Pertimali being a great producer, you just can’t know what a 35-year-old wine is going to be like, but we think you’ll be happy.

We’ll also be breaking into more current vintages that are just coming into their prime from another one of our favorite estates, Canaliccio di Sopra (featured above). This is a small family estate, started by Primo Pacenti, who was a sharecropper, essentially a serf, in the Montalcino region. Historically, Brunello has been associated with very wealthy wine families but in the 50’s Primo was enabled to buy an estate due to the abject poverty of the area and government programs that sought to revitalize it. He was able to acquire the property, which he knew to be good land, and started a Brunello winery.

Possibly the greatness of any wine resides in the integrity of the producer. Brunellos especially have been victim to large producers and scandal*. The Sassetti and Pacenti families make truly excellent wine despite simple beginnings because they focus on their land and vineyards. Hear from Primo’s grandson in the video below.

We’ll also be pouring a really fine Sangiovese from Chianti (just north of the Montalcino region in Tuscany). 1985 San Guisto Retennano, another great vintage. We came across this winery back when Maggie was researching olive oil and we ended up staying with the Cigala family. Big muscly sons, big muscly wines.

*In 2002 the Italian government took a look at the amount of Brunello being sold, looked at the acreage growing it, and realized that there was a lot of Brunello being sold that wasn’t truly Brunello. It was a big scandal and they confiscated vintages from a number of wineries. Ever since there has been a level of mistrust around all Brunellos.

Wine included:Brunello di Montalcino, Pertimali, 1982

Brunello di Montalcino, Canalicchio di Sopra, 2004

Brunello di Montalcino, Canalicchio di Sopra, 2006

Chianti Classico Riserva, San Giusto a Rentennano, 1985

Rosso di Montalcino, Caprili, 2014

Chef Jonah’s meal will include:
Antipasto of Winter Vegetables, Fruits, and Grains
with Gorgonzola DolceTajarin with Paine Farms Pigeon Ragu

Wood-Fired Grilled Magruder Beef with Brown Butter Squash Crema,
Bianco di Maggio Onions, and Brunello Beef Sugo

Prix Fixe Dinner with Wine – $195
(Tax and service charge not included)
Reserve Online or Call 510.547.5356