Archive for September, 2011

Bean Season


Some real beauties arrived from Martin this week. Fresh picked Borlotti, Cannellini, and some of the biggest Gigante we’ve ever seen.

Chef Jonah’s been doing a lovely salad that will be on the menu throughout the week:

Marinated pole and bush beans with Lipstick peppers, watercress, and sherry vinaigrette

Look Who’s Coming To Dinner: Randall Grahm

Monday, September 19th

Last year, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of Bonny Doon’s Le Cigare Volant, Randall Grahm’s great Rhone Valley blend that has contributed so much to California’s wine palette. More importantly, we celebrated Randall’s newest adventure–his latest efforts in reinventing the way he makes wine.

Here’s some background on what he’s up to.

As for this coming Monday night, it’s pretty casual.  Randall will be in the dining room to say hello to, or engage in conversation.

We’ll be pouring Le Cigare Volant ’07 “en foudre” and Le Cigare Volant ’07 “en demi-muid”. En foudre is a 10,000 liter standup wood tank, and en demi-muid is a 600 liter barrel, over twice the size of tradition barrique. These are alternative barrels not as commonly used for aging wine. Randall will tell us what he was trying to do and what he learned from the process.

And, if your looking for a spectacular outdoor adventure this Sunday, I believe there are a few spots still open at Bonny Doon’s annual ‘DAY OF THE DOON”. For the first time, it’s will take place at the newest vineyard site in San Juan Bautista. There’s a membership involved, perhaps a secret handshake, but it is bound to be pure fun.

Menu for Late-Season Tomato Dinners 2011

September 13th – September 16th




Parmesan cheese panna cotta with marinated heirloom tomatoes
and watercress

Millefoglie of Zebra tomatoes with summer savory goat cheese,
walnuts, and sherry vinaigrette

Carne cruda of Angus beef with Beefmaster tomato, basil,
and Parmesan cheese

Gazpacho of Early Girl tomatoes with basil-tomato gelatina

Fennel sformatino with tomato “maionese”

Fried green tomatoes with lobster remoulade

Salad of warm lamb’s tongue, cherry tomatoes, and new potatoes

Beef polpette all’ arrabbiata with Fiore Sardo Pecorino cheese and arugula

Lasagnette of house-made ricotta with heirloom tomato sauce

Durum wheat spaghetti with a long-cooked San Marzano tomato
and its juice, garlic, and oregano

Tortelli di pomodoro with garlic crema and rosemary crumbs

Summer savory pappardelle with Early Girl tomato-braised hen Continue reading ‘Menu for Late-Season Tomato Dinners 2011′

BEEF ALERT: Strip Loin



We are now reaching the centers and some of the most prized cuts of the two magnificent grass-fed beef animals we received back in August from Mac Magruder and Sparky Bauer.

For this Sunday, September 11th we’ll be offering a beautiful Strip Loin steak, one of the most tender cuts of beef. At this point, Chef Jonah is undecided on whether he’ll be preparing smaller individual cuts or a larger cut for two. If you are planning on coming in, please mention it when you make your reservation so we can save you some!

Reserve online

or call 510-547-5356

Joe’s Early Girls are a Late-Season Stand Out

Video edited by Dallas Mark

As in the past, Joe Schirmer of Dirty Girl Produce has planted two waves of his famous dry-farmed tomatoes, and the first wave which started coming in at the end of August is currently just hitting its peak. And word is definitely getting around.

Yesterday at the Derby Street Farmers Market, Dirty Girl Produce’s Early Girl tomatoes completely SOLD OUT. There was this beautiful, jewel-like mound of them…and then in the blink of an eye they were gone.

Thankfully, we’re planning well enough ahead to make sure we’ve got some for next week’s Late-Season Tomato Dinners (Sept. 13-16). One of the first confirmed menu items Chef Jonah has revealed is Early Girl gazpacho over a tomato-basil gelée.

Check out this cool, old book on dry-farming.




We continue to work through last week’s delivery from Mac Magruder and Sparky Bauer. We’ll have carne cruda on the menu starting tonight and through the weekend.  And on Sunday, for one night only, we’ll have brisket. This will be an off-the-menu special so if you are interested you’ll want to say, “the bear is in the woods” to your server.

Just kidding! But not about the off-the-menu part. So if you show up for brisket on Sunday you will need to ask your server.

Here’s a video of Chef Jonah showing us what is currently aging in the Oliveto meat locker and dropping some corn-fed vs. grass-fed beef knowledge: