Archive for November, 2011

This Just In: Dungeness Crab Season (FINALLY!) Begins


…and Chef Jonah wasted no time concocting a menu item that exemplifies everything that is fleeting (as in, we sold out with a quickness last night) & wonderful about it:

Dungeness crab salad with persimmon and chervil

This Just In – Magruder Sheep

Mac Magruder's sheep getting their graze on

Mac Magruder's sheep getting their graze on

Whole-animal-wise we’re currently in transition – the grass is gone, meaning beef is just about over for the season.
But starting this week, we’ve got some delicious sheep on the menu from Mac Magruder. Mac got his stock from “an old guy across the valley. They are a Suffolk cross-breed. He didn’t do anything for them, they’re organic by neglect.” He lucked out though, because they turn out to be of a hardy and delicious stock.

This is the same sheep Patricia Unterman described as “particularly succulent, whispering of pasture, and worth getting messy for” in her most recent San Francisco Examiner review. Mac’s sheep herd is rather small, so we were stoked to score three whole animals. This weekend the loins will be on the menu…if you need a break from turkey sandwiches.

And of course, come February, we’ll be getting into pork, in a big way.

2011 Truffle Report #3

Caterina, 2011 Truffle Cleaning Crew

Caterina, 2011 Truffle Cleaning Crew

We arrived at Giorgio’s on Saturday and got our first look at what he’s recently been digging up: some beautiful specimens with nice fragrance and good weight. No ginormous ones like last year, but many in the 25 gram to 60 gram range. As always with Giorgio it’s a family affair and his niece, Caterina, was on hand to help with truffle scrubbing.

Tomorrow we head to Umbria, to see & smell what’s being dug up around there.

Dinner With Patricia Wells


Saturday, November 12, 2011

World-famous cookbook author and expert on French cooking Patricia Wells will be dining at Oliveto at 6:30 on Saturday, November 12, 2011, as she celebrates her latest book, Simply Truffles. A precursor to our own white truffle dinners, which will commence on November 16th and continue through the 19th, the dinner will feature several dishes inspired-by recipes from Patricia’s book. As you can see from the items listed below, the  dishes will overlap nicely with Oliveto’s Italian cooking.

Customers who wish to make an all-Wells dinner for themselves will be able do so with ease. And it will be fascinating to compare the French black truffles we will be sourcing for this event with the Italian white truffles co-owner Bob Klein will be bringing back from Italy the following week for our Truffle Dinner blowout.

We will have a supply of her book on hand should you wish to buy one and have her sign it.

Chef Jonah Rhodehamel will intersperse a number of dishes inspired-by Wells’ recipes on that night’s à la carte menu.

First courses:

Salad of oil-poached potatoes, frisée, and black truffles

Poached truffled farm egg with Chanterelle mushrooms and black truffle zabaglione


Tajarin with black French truffles

Cannelloni of leeks, house-made ricotta, and French black truffles

Main courses:

Truffle-studded breast of hen with potato gratinata and Parmesan cheese

Alaskan halibut with truffled brandade and wild nettle risotto alla pilota

2011 Truffle Report #2

So far, all is well in Truffleland. I arrived last night in Barbaresco, surveyed the truffle scene this morning in Alba, and talked to confidants in Umbria. I feeling pretty good about this year’s offering. Better truffles are just now coming on and a very good rain just passed, which will only improve things.

Aldo Vacca from Produttori del Barbaresco was taught that proper truffle shaving meant completely covering the dish. Here he demonstrates. This was a block-buster truffle. We ‘re at Trattoria Antica Torre in Barbaresco, famous for their hand-cut tajarin, that is made with only flour and egg yolks.

Local Mushroom Boom Continues

mushroomboom2011from left to right: chanterelle, porcini, black hedgehog, hedgehog

Those unusual black hedgehogs will be in an appetizer that screams late autumn:

Pan-roasted pigeon with Acorn squash purée and black hedgehog mushrooms