Community Journal

This Just In: New England Lobster

 

free-lobster

 

 

This Just In: New England Lobster

A rare treat from the other coast, New England lobster, is on the menu this week.

Through the end of this week, look for an early spring lobster salad with a puree of fennel and a pesto of green garlic, basil, and almonds.

Our knives and forks are at the ready!

 

 

By |March 31st, 2015|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments

This Sunday’s Farmhouse Supper: Liguria

 

 

Sunday Farmhouse Supper Menu for March 29, 2015
Liguria

Stuffed artichoke with shrimp

Stuffed pansotti pasta of turnip greens and ricotta with walnut sauce 

Spit-roasted pancetta-wrapped rabbit leg with olives and peperoncino

Dessert: TBD

*

Prix fixe $40.

Served family-style. For parties of one to twelve. The whole table must order the prix fixe menu.

(Please note that wine and service charge are not included.)

call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

Larger parties: please let us know at the time of your reservation if your table will be ordering the Sunday Supper menu so that we can plan accordingly. Thanks!

This Just In: An Early Spring Menu

The warm weather has brought a surfeit of ripe, early strawberries. Yakira is serving them with crema di latticello (a smooth, eggless, buttermilk pudding),  old aceto balsamico, and peppercorn ice cream.  (We won't see the exquisite Albion, Seascape, and other later strawberry cultivars for a while).

The warm weather has brought a surfeit of ripe, early strawberries. Yakira is serving them with crema di latticello (a smooth, eggless, buttermilk pudding), old aceto balsamico, and peppercorn ice cream. (We won’t see the exquisite Albion, Seascape, and other later strawberry cultivars for a while).

Welcome, strawberries! Welcome, asparagus!

We’ve certainly got enough iconic representatives of spring on our menu for it to be, unequivocally, an early spring menu:

Pea tendrils have entwined themselves with spring onions in creamed gemelli pasta with Guinea hen sausage; multiple dishes are graced with an abundance of early asparagus; the distinctive perfume of green garlic mingles with the oceanic perfume of razor clams; fava leaves are here; beautiful wild-headed puntarelle have been tamed into a bright, refreshing salad; and artichoke crema lines the plate of a juicy pork porterhouse.

It’s EARLY spring, however, for in spite of earlier and earlier flowerings all over the world, this time of year still gives us citrus (some varieties are at their peak), Brussels sprouts, winter squash, all trying to compete for our attention with what we’re longing for: the flavors of spring.

Chanticleer to Perform in Our Magic Room

 

Chanticleer in performance at Abbaye aux Dames, Saintes. Photo by Michel Garnier.

Chanticleer in performance at Abbaye aux Dames, Saintes. Photo by Michel Garnier.

 

Chanticleer Is Coming.

We’ve come to call our acoustically engineered dining room the Magic Room, after the phrase’s coinage in the recent New Yorker article “The Wizard of Sound” by Alex Ross. In it,  John Meyer, the Room’s architect, is called “a vaguely wizard-like seventy-one-year-old with a Tolstoyan beard.” To us, he, and everyone at Meyer Sound, are indeed wizards, having created an  environment where we can closely attend our personal conversations while enjoying the cheery sound of a roomful of happy diners.

We are curious as to what Chanticleer will discover about our Magic Room. The world-renowned men’s ensemble, which has sung in performance halls and cathedrals with the finest acoustics in the world, will be performing here on May 12th for a benefit dinner.

Taken by our Magic Room’s being able to mimic the unique acoustic qualities of  different environments at the click of a switch, Chanticleer plans to use the Room to replicate world-class concert venues. For Chanticleer, this will be a step into the future of musical performance spaces.

This is a special opportunity for our guests. We are honored, and feel extremely lucky.

Tickets for the evening are $250 dollars, including tax and gratuity, and includes a multi-course meal, beverages, Chanticleer’s 30-minute performance, and an opportunity to meet members of the ensemble. Cocktails will be available for purchase. Proceeds for the evening go to Chanticleer’s education program, which includes 30 East Bay schools.

May 12th, 6 p.m.

To purchase tickets, visit Chanticleer online or call (415) 252-8589.

By |March 19th, 2015|2015, Coming up..., Events, Uncategorized|0 Comments

This Just In: Octopus and Pork Belly

Octopus and Pork Belly, Together

Our sous chef Antoine recently discovered that pork belly and octopus make for an exceptionally harmonious marriage, and we’ll be featuring the two together on our menu until the weekend.

We give the pork belly a slow braise with chili flakes and oregano; the octopus is likewise braised in red wine and aromatics, then charcoal-grilled. Served with a marjoram salsa to complement the dish’s richness, each bite is a complex pas de deux of tenderness and chew.

This dish makes us go weak in the knees!

 

 

 

This Sunday’s Family Supper: Milan

 

 

Sunday Farmhouse Supper Menu for March 15, 2015
Milan

Asparagus with fried egg and Parmesan

Risotto milanese 

Roasted pork shoulder with milk, Red Flint corn polenta, and beet greens

Dessert: TBD

*

Prix fixe $40.

Served family-style. For groups of one to twelve. The whole table must order the prix fixe menu.

(Please note that wine and gratuity are not included.)

call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

Larger parties: please let us know at the time of your reservation if your table will be ordering the Sunday Supper menu so that we can plan accordingly. Thanks!

Oliveto Commons Spring Event: A Study of Nebbiolo

A chance to taste something rare.

old_rinaldi_1000

An old friend.

Even with its uncommonly finicky personality, Nebbiolo has had a long-term romance with the water, soil, and wind of Italy, and only of Italy — for some reason, it doesn’t fulfill its potential in other climes. And while many wines are fruit forward and quick to please, Nebbiolo wines take their time to blossom. Years of careful (and expensive) storage are required for Nebbiolo wine’s structure to relax, for its tannins to soften, and for its inner beauty to come forth.

Time is precious, and therefore Italian wines made from Nebbiolo grapes are costly. For many of us, such wines are generally not for ordinary days. We’d like to drop the price barrier to experiencing these rare wines.

As part of our Oliveto Commons series of events, we’re happy to be holding a tasting, led by our General Manager Shane Walker. It will consist of four wines of notable vintage from what NYT wine and food critic Eric Asimov calls Oliveto’s “brilliant list of aged Nebbiolo wines”.

Priced modestly, the tasting is an accessible way to become acquainted with Nebbiolo.  A select bottle of aged wine will also be available at wholesale price for those who would like to dine with us afterward.

Wednesday, March 25th, 6:15 pm to 7 pm. Tickets ($30) are available on Eventbrite.

This event is part of Oliveto Commons, a series of community programs with the mission of inspiring a shared sense of possibility, purpose, and unity throughout Oliveto and the community to which we belong. Please see our full list of spring events.

By |March 10th, 2015|Coming up..., Events, This Just In, Wine Events|0 Comments

It’s here: Whole Hog Dinners begin tonight

Our hogs are in the house and we are ready and rearing to go for Whole Hog 2015.

Take a look at our full menu here.

We’ve declared this year to be the year of the Cinta, the amazing Tuscan breed. We’re celebrating this animal with a full line-up of dishes using Cinta Sonoma pigs from our friends at Front Porch Farms. Learn more about the Cinta here.

Reserve your table at the Whole Hog Dinners today.
Call 510-547-5356 or reserve online.

By |March 3rd, 2015|2015, Coming up..., Events, Front Porch Farm, This Just In|0 Comments

Whole Hog Dinners 2015: A coming out party for a very special pig

Image courtesy of Slow Food

This fresco by Ambrosia Lorenzetti, called Effete del buon governo in campagna (1338-39), depicts a Cinata pig (bottom right). It can be found in the Palazzo Comunale, Siena. Image courtesy of Slow Food

At our Whole Hog Dinners this year, we will be serving a very special pig — the Cinta Sonoma from Front Porch Farm. It’s a pig with a rich history, and we’re thrilled to be able to have gotten four to serve at our dinners. Because we’ve got such a good supply, we’re really going to be able to showcase the Cinta throughout the meal.

Since because so few people know about this species of pig, we want so share a few tidbits we’ve dug up:

The Cinta Senese breed is a domestic pig from Siena, Tuscany, and it has been around since at least the 14th century. The pig has been so beloved that it appears in paintings dating back to the 1330s, like in the fresco pictured above. But today, few people outside of Tuscany know about or get to eat, this marvelous pig.

The Cinta is named for the distinctive light band running across its chests. (“Cinta” is Italian for “sash” or “belt.”) It is known for its relatively high fat content and unparalleled flavor, and is therefore prized in charcuterie. Cintas are most at home on wooded farms, which means that they can be challenging to raise in the modern world. In fact, they were classified as endangered in the 1980s because of the lack of suitable farmland. Luckily for us, Slow Food took an interest in the Cinta and they have helped the population recover.

Today, Cinta Sense have DOP status, which means that they cannot be legally bred and sold anywhere outside of Tuscany. In particular, they come from a part of Tuscany with which we are intimately familiar — the same area as our truffles!

So how have we gotten our hands on the Cinta pigs for the Whole Hog Dinners? Well, the short answer is that they aren’t exactly Cinta Senese.

Our Cintas are technically Cinta Sonomas, and they come from Front Porch Farm up in, you guessed it, Sonoma County. They’re beautiful animals, and they make for delicious food.

Front Porch Farms began researching how they could bring Cintas to California in 2008. As they explain on their website, they needed to recruit “an antiquities foundation, a medieval music-singing soprano (Valeria), a pig-whisperer (Riccio), and an Irish animal transport genius (Mike)” to make it happen.

Cintas finally arrived at Front Porch in June 2012. They brought in four distinct bloodlines to maintain genetic diversity, and these pigs have in turn produced two generations of Cinta Sonomas on their farm. Front Porch raises their Cintas at Acorn Ranch, a property full of both lush grasslands and oak forest. As they say, it’s pig heaven. This land is, importantly, reminiscent of the Tuscan forest region from which the Cinta come; they are able to forage and feast on mushrooms, acorns, berries, truffles, roots, and rhizomes. Front Porch also supplements this diet with barley, peas, and lots of apples. They hope to add chestnuts to that line-up when their newly planted chestnut trees come into maturity.

In 2014, Front Porch began selling their Cintas to restaurants in the Bay Area and we are lucky to have four of these amazing pigs to serve at our Whole Hog Dinners, starting March 3.

Reserve now. Call 510-547-5356 or reserve online.

By |February 26th, 2015|2015, Coming up..., Events, Front Porch Farm, This Just In|0 Comments

Whole Hog menu is complete!

Piglets2smallerReserve now.

Whole Hog Dinners 2015
March 3–7, 2015

We’ve got our hogs ready to go and our menu finalized. Get ready for a feast of epic, delicious proportions.

Antipasti: smaller items, soup, and salads

~cold~

Affetati misti: large array of house-cured, aged salumi

Burrata cheese with house-cured prosciutto, candied walnuts, and old aceto balsamico

Minestra of pork, barley, and escarole

Crostino of “young” lonza with swordfish tonnato, capers, and lemon

Country pâté with brioche crostini and spring onions

Garden lettuces vinaigrette

~warm~

Terrina of pork trotters with Puy lentils, frisée, and mustard vinaigrette

Salad of first-of-season asparagus, pancetta, torn bread, and Parmesan cheese

Charcoal-grilled Italian-style sausage with escarole and breadcrumbs

Fritto of battered pig’s ears with bagna cauda, green garlic, and spring onions

Charcoal-grilled pork heart with ragù of beans, Castelvetrano olives, and rosemary

Cassuola of Gigande beans braised with pork skin

*

Primi

Potato gnocchi with whey-braised pork

Cavatelli with pork ragù allʼabruzzese

Fusilli bucati with garlic pork sausage, Manila clams and turnip greens

Tortellini of mortadella in rich pork brodetto

Agnolotti dal plin of pork offal

*

Secondi: grills, sautées, and rotisserie

Cinta Sonoma alla Caja China: Cinta pig roasted in a box

Spit-roasted house-cured ham

Due of boudins: blanc and noir with house-fermented sauerkraut

Roast pork “osso buco” with roast potatoes, broccoli di ciccio, and salsa verde

Spit-roasted, pancetta-wrapped pork tenderloin

*

Dolce

TBD

*

Plus, we’ll be offering these special menu items each day of the week:

Tuesday, March 3
Porchetta: layers of boneless pork middle, fat, skin, rolled in savory, moist, boneless pork meat and spit-roasted over wood

Wednesday, March 4
Front Porch Farms Cinta celebration

Thursday, March 5
 Saucisson en croûte: a lovely French-style pork sausage, wrapped in puff pastry, baked in a terrine and served warm

Friday, March 6
Zampone: the prized Modenese dish of boned pig’s trotter, stuffed with highly seasoned ground pork meat, rind, sinew, and fat, which is then trussed and cooked in broth

Saturday, March 7
Bollito misto: various cuts of meat and sausages, cooked and served in a rich pork broth and accompanied by multiple herby and full-flavored salsas

call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

By |February 24th, 2015|2015, Coming up..., Events, Front Porch Farm|0 Comments