Announcing Oceanic Dinners 2010

June 9 – June 12

At a time when many of us worry about what sort of fish we should be eating, one Californian reader kindly sent me the exemplary menu from a special seafood dinner held at Oliveto restaurant in Oakland.

It’s a fine example of a restaurant taking great care.”

-Nicholas Lander, Financial Times of London, Aug. 2009

MK fish510-547-5356
or reserve online

Oliveto’s Chef Paul Canales and fish purveyor Tom Worthington of Monterey Fish Company, in their yearly collaboration for our now widely-known oceanic event, have described June’s menu thus: it will be less sprawling than in previous years and more focused, a “curated” (as Paul says) event where each fish or sea creature will be chosen for some extraordinary characteristic or quality. Some thoughts they tossed around: “We’ll balance rustic and refined. Some dishes will be more composed, developed, conceptual, fussy, or edgy. Some more traditional. There will be great fish you don’t want to mess with-you keep that simple.” Tom will undertake a “culinary study”of one fish, using different cooking methods and accompaniments. Diners will catch subtle reflections of Paul’s 2009 trip to Japan; Tom’s recent sojourn in Spain likewise will inform some of the dishes.

Here are bits of the discussion that illuminate why we don’t know at this point what will be on the menu. “We get these great black cod from Josh Churchman, who fishes out of Bolinas. He goes six miles out, fishes hook and line 1,500 feet down. Last week he came back in one day with 1,000 pounds of cod. Yesterday he was out there and came back with 100.” “Local halibut is on a run, and there is no better raw fish.” “Rex sole is a great, under-appreciated local fish, and is delicious now.” “Water temperature is low, and local fish are less active.”

What we do know about the menu is that only the best of sustainably caught fish will be served, prepared thoughtfully by creative, passionate, skilled cooks with, in the main, an Italian sensibility.

Much of the à la carte menu will be available online a few days before the event’s start.

Two special wines on the list for Oceanic Dinners:

Alvarinho, Soalheiro, Vinho Verde, Portugal 2009-Unlike any Vinho Verde I’ve tasted before…significantly reduced yields resulted in amazing richness and density. Aromatic floral and nectarine notes interlace with intense minerality.

Listan Negra, “Maceración Carbónica,” Los Bermejos, Lanzarote-Canary Islands, Spain 2008-Made from the indigenous grape, Listan Negra, this has fantastic complexity and a delightful freshness. Pure, bright cherry and strawberry fruit are complimented by an herbal note and a distinctive smoky, ashy tone surely derived from the unique volcanic soils of the island.

-Chris Ryerson, Oliveto Wine Director

2017-09-12T15:48:43+00:00 May 26th, 2010|2010, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Menu for Oliveto Oceanic Dinners 2009

fish_2009

Wednesday through Saturday, June 10 through 13

Appetizers and Salads

Plates Expressing the Best Catch of the Day (Raw, Salted, Marinated, and Smoked)*

Various Salted, Marinated, and Smoked Fish

Platter of Oceanic terrines and preserves

Carpaccio of local swordfish with red miso maionese, Espelette pepper, and black mustard

Salade Niçoise: classic Provençal salad of fish, vegetables, olives, egg, and herbs

Seaweed salads (red and green tosaka)

Chilled octopus soppressata with Castelvetrano olives, celery heart, and Monte Iblei olive oil

Shaved Oliveto tuna bresaola with chilled spinach, roasted beets, and pine nuts

Green sea urchin flan with old aceto balsamico

Charcoal-grilled Chatham haddock wrapped in grape leaves

Fritto misto: soft shell crab, monkfish liver, steamer clam and wild fennel fritelle, and surf fish with Cecil Brunner rose vinegar sauce

Soup and Pasta

Maine lobster bisque

Hangtown fry omelet crêpe: classic San Francisco gold rush omelet with oysters and bacon

Porcini gnocchi with little Tomales Bay mussels

Cannelloni neri with cuttlefish, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese

Pasticcio di lasagne of Dungeness crab, fish ragù, and Porcini mushrooms

Spaghetti with whole-roasted Ronde de Nice squash stuffed with tuna confit alla puttanesca

Corzetti with fish sugo and Castelvetrano olives

Mostaccioli rossi with shaved tuna “bloodline” and zucchini crema

Wild nettle tagliolini with geoduck clams and Nocellino olive oil

Whole wheat bucatini and wild sturgeon polpettini with Sicilian wild oregano and wild fennel

Grilled, Roasted, Sautéed, and Braised Fish

Cioppino: classic San Francisco fisherman’s stew of local rockfish, Manila clams, and Dungeness crab with garlic crostone

Maine sea scallops, Georgia white shrimp, and Monterey Bay squid poached in Regina olive oil with flageolet beans, fresh Ceci beans, and wild nettles

Grilled trap-caught green eel with panelle and salsa mora

Gratinata of sand dabs, new potatoes, and artichokes, salsa vasca

Triglia wrapped in pancetta with Bianca di Spagna beans, spinach, and amaranth al diavolo

Roast black cod in vin santo brodo with shaved tuna bottarga

Cornmeal-crusted deep-fried whole golden sea bream with spicy Calabrian pepper sauce and wild arugula

Wood-oven-roasted petrale sole with artichoke sauce

Charcoal-grilled Sierra mackerel with cherry tomatoes, Picholine olives, honey vinegar, and pine puts

Spit-roasted black bass stuffed with dried Italian sausage

Vegetable Side Dishes

Puglian Fava Beans

Gratin of new potatoes, leeks, and herbs

Garden lettuces

_________________

*This is a new section for our Oceanic Menu. It is inspired by my recent trip to Japan where I was exposed to many new ways of thinking about and preparing fish. It is no accident that after Japanese cuisine, Italian cuisine is most favored in Japan. The best Italian cooking shares many aesthetic values with the best Japanese. The most important of these are:

  1. Clarity in conception, composition, and presentation.
  2. Ingredients that express the best of what is happening in the moment.
  3. Long traditions with raw fish and shellfish.
  4. Impeccable execution.

That experience has proved to be a great inspiration for this year’s Oceanic menu, and to represent this, we will set up a station in the dining room where we will produce dishes from the very best fish and shellfish Tom Worthington (of Monterey Fish Co.) has to offer each day. In addition, each item will be paired with a sauce or garnish based on what is coming in each day from our local farms.

Call 510-547-5356

or reserve online

Oceanic Dinners 2009

fish_cropped

June 10 marks the beginning of our eighth annual Oceanic Dinner event, which our trusted co-conspirator Tom Worthington of Monterey Fish Company says is looking very good for all our fishery sources (except local salmon). Our Oceanic Dinners are the most spectacular of our special events. We will serve some sixty species of sea beings and plants, all absolutely fresh, harvested sustainably, and prepared deliciously, skillfully, imaginatively, and respectfully.

[We’ve been taping footage about fisheries and fishermen, the dinners, and the fish themselves for years, and, with our new website, finally have a venue for showing that compelling material. Watch video of Tom Worthington and Chef Canales discussing the menu with Oliveto staff in preparation for the 2005 dinners and see a partial menu for this year’s dinners.]

edited by Dallas Mark

Of special note: Chef Paul Canales just returned from a trip to Japan, where he traveled with Japanese chefs. He got to experience Japan’s two great fish markets and participate in discussions on Japanese principles and concepts of cookery. “The similarities between Italian and Japanese cooking are remarkable,” he says. The foods are “right of this moment, without scores of ingredients.” It is no surprise that after Japanese food, Italian is the favorite in Japan.

Some dishes at this year’s Oceanic Dinners will incorporate those values (and Japanese fish butchery techniques), making them Italianate–like black cod poached in, instead of miso broth, vinsanto sauce. “Not fusion, but inspiration.”

Menu (partial)

Some new ideas for 2009: bresaola of big eye tuna with celery heart, capers, lemon zest, and Gerbino olive oil; carpaccio of local swordfish with red miso maionese, black mustard seeds, scallions, and Espelette peppers; mostaccioli with shaved tuna “bloodline” and zucchini crema; and Maine scallop, Georgia white shrimp, and Monterey Bay squid confit in Regina olive oil with Flageolet beans and green vegetables.

Favorites from past dinners will include: chilled octopus soppressata with Castelvetrano olives, celery heart, and Monte Iblei olive oil; wild nettle tagliolini with geoduck clams; pasticcio di lasagne of Dungeness crab, ragù di pesce, and Porcini mushrooms; wood-oven-roasted petrale sole with artichoke sauce, to name a few.

More than any of our other events, this paean to the oceans is a celebration of nature, of wild creatures and plants not tampered with or hybridized by Man, and living in an entirely different medium from mankind.

June 10th – June 13th

MAKE A RESERVATION

mk_fish_big

From the Kitchen – Oceanic Dinners 2009

fish-dinner-2008

Wednesday, June 10th – Saturday, June 13th

Make a reservation

Our Oceanic Dinners are the most spectacular of our special events. In collaboration with Monterey Fish Company and its co-owner, Tom Worthington, we serve some 60 species of sea beings and plants, all absolutely fresh, harvested sustainably and prepared deliciously, skillfully, imaginatively, and respectfully. Because weather affects species availability, Chef Canales will finalize his menu only when he gets a confirmed list from Tom. That menu will then be e-mailed and posted a few days before the event.

Here are some of the menu items from 2008:

fish-menu-2008

From the Kitchen – Oceanic Dinners 2009

fish-dinner-2008

Wednesday, June 10th – Saturday, June 13th

Make a reservation

Our Oceanic Dinners are the most spectacular of our special events. In collaboration with Monterey Fish Company and its co-owner, Tom Worthington, we serve some 60 species of sea beings and plants, all absolutely fresh, harvested sustainably and prepared deliciously, skillfully, imaginatively, and respectfully. Because weather affects species availability, Chef Canales will finalize his menu only when he gets a confirmed list from Tom. That menu will then be e-mailed and posted a few days before the event.

Here are some of the menu items from 2008:

fish-menu-2008

2017-09-12T15:49:16+00:00 January 11th, 2009|Events, Monterey Fish Company|0 Comments