Oliveto Commons: Knife Skills 101

jonahs-knives-3-600

Chef Jonah Rhodehamel’s knives.

 

Oliveto Commons Event: Knife Skills 101

Jonah’s knives are objects of beauty. They were beautiful to begin with, but their subsequent care and use have made them a reflection of both their owner, a skilled craftsman in his own right, and the knifemakers.

Our kitchen holds a special respect and love for knives, and part of that is caring for them. In our knife class, Jonah will share his  knowledge of the craft of knifemaking and the care and use of knives. We’ll discuss what different knives can do, different materials, and practice sharpening and other skills.

Sunday, April 19th, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and are available at Eventbrite.


 

From left to right, the knives above are: a custom yanagi (Japanese single-edged slicer) made by Carter, from white super steel, crafted by Murray Carter as a gift; a sujihiki made by Misono, from Swedish steel; a gyutou (Japanese Western-style chef knife) made by Carter, made from white super steel; a deba (Japanese knifer for rough dressing fish) made by Hon Kasumi, from white carbon steel; honesuki  (Japanese poultry knife) made by Misono, from Swedish steel; a hankotsu (Japanese boning knife) made by Kikuichi, from high carbon steel; a Western beef skinner made by Forschner, from stainless high carbon steel. The stones, from left to right, are: a Japanese whetstone made by Takenoko, 6000 grit; a natural Japanese whetstone from the Narutaki District near Kyoto; a whetstone made by King, 1200 grit.

 

This event is part of  Oliveto Commons, a series of classes, discussions, presentations, events designed to better engage with the neighborhood and offer a venue for a connected community. You can learn more about the Commons and see a calendar of upcoming events here.

 

 

Chanticleer Dinner: Menu

 

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 Dinner: Menu

Chanticleer, 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 in our state-of-the-art, acoustically-enhanced dining room designed by Meyer Sound.

Taken by our dining room’s being able to mimic the unique acoustic qualities of  different environments at the click of a switch, Chanticleer plans to use the dining room to replicate world-class concert venues. For Chanticleer, this will be a step into the future of musical performance spaces. For us, this is our first foray into using our dining room for musical performance. We hope to have more concerts in the future — this time, our menu will be particularly delectable.

We still have a few seats left for what we think will be a remarkable event! Tickets for the evening are $250 dollars, including tax and service charge, 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.

Menu

Passed Appetizers

Antipasti platter of Italian cheeses, house-cured salumi, and prosciutto
Spicy pork polpettini with tomato sugo
Kushi oysters on the half shell
Smoked mozzarella-stuffed arancini

Primi

Chilled vellutata of English peas with salad of mint, asparagus, and Fava beans

Acquerello Carnaroli risotto of Porcini mushrooms, saffron, and Fontina Val D’Aosta cheese

Secondi

Charcoal-grilled Paine Farm pigeon two ways with barlotto, spring onions, and charred strawberry salsa

or

Pan-roasted halibut with brown butter, capers, and parsley, roast Yellow Finn potatoes, and Bloomsdale spinach

or

Farrotto of early summer vegetables with a poached farm egg and Pecorino cheese

Dessert
Fig leaf biancomangiare: panna cotta made with almond milk

Sunday Farmhouse Supper Menu for April 12, 2015

A Sicilian market.

Sunday Farmhouse Supper Menu for April 12, 2015

salad of roasted golden beets with orange citronette, walnuts, and goat cheese

radiatore with goat sugo, mint, ceci beans, Pecorino cheese, and breadcrumbs

Sicilian-style fennel and goat sausage,
served with Floriani red flint corn polenta and salsa verde

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: Grass-fed Lamb, Beef, and Pork from Magruder Ranch

Reese the watchdog guards the flock. Photo courtesy of Magruder Ranch

Reese the watchdog guards the flock. Photo courtesy of Magruder Ranch

Four yearling lambs and a four hundred-pound sow have arrived from one of our favorite purveyors, Magruder Ranch in Potter Valley. Soon, a steer will also be coming our way.

Currently, Magruder Ranch is lush and green, and the young lambs have been feasting on clover and annual grasses that have awoken now that winter is over.

“Beginning in March, when the days get longer, the grass has more strength, and it’s easier for the lambs, which fed on mother’s milk over the winter, to gain weight. When spring comes around they really blossom,” says Mac, the ranch’s owner. As Patricia Unterman once said in her article for the San Francisco Examiner, they are “particularly succulent, whispering of pasture.”

The abundance of green grass his animals have access to means a high level of Omega-3s, the heart-healthy fat found in foods like olive oil and avocado.

We have big plans for our meat. This weekend we’ll be making salumi with the sow. We will work with our steer piece by piece over time. For now, look for cappellaci, a stuffed pasta filled with lamb, with asparagus and pecorino cheese.

La Caja China Dinner: Boer Goat April 10th

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Our caja china (or China Box), which treated us to utterly toothsome pig in February, will be performing its wonders on Boer goat this weekend.

boer-goat

We’ve gone to some lengths to procure our goats, which come from a neighbor of Full Belly Farm in Guinda. Donato, who is a “go-to” farm hand for many nearby farms, raised these goats in his backyard.

The box, which comes from Cuba, is lined with aluminum and piled with hot charcoal, creating a highly-pressured, moist environment for whole animals to be cooked.

Besides the superior flavors and textures that la caja china affords, we look forward to the enticing, savory smoke wafting in the air on College Avenue, inviting everyone to dinner.

 

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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

Sunday Farmhouse Supper March 29th, 2015: 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!