Community Journal

Stone fruit from Blossom Bluff

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Although cherries got hit hard this year, peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots seem to have been less affected with most varieties appearing right on schedule and in good supply. As we head towards July many of the mid-season varieties are taking a turn on both the Oliveto dinner menu and the dessert menu and occasionally showing up in the early a.m. cafe in the form of a pop-up crostata (which goes great with an cappuccino btw).

Fran looking cute in her fruit hat

Fran looking cute in her fruit hat

ON THE MENU:

Santa Rosa Sour
Platte Valley straight corn whiskey; Santa Rosa plum; Oliveto white peach shrub; lime; egg white; Angostura bitters

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Terrina of pigeon with pistachios, Santa Rosa plums, old aceto balsamico, and crostino

Panzanella of grilled peaches with wild arugula, balsamic vinegar, and Pecorino cheese

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Apricot sorbetto

Blossom Bluff aprium crostata with almond ice cream

Oven-roasted Regina peach with shortcake and fennel pollen

Summer on the Menu

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An eye-popping visit to the Tuesday Farmers’ Market makes it hard to ignore that summer is almost here. Gorgeous produce from Full Belly, Dirty Girl, and Riverdog will be all over the menu to ring in this weekend’s summer solstice including:

Local King Salmon with ratatouille of Japanese eggplant, peppers and squashes

By |June 20th, 2014|Farmers, Market Reports, Summer, Summer 2014|0 Comments

Oceanic Dinners Opening Night

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By |June 20th, 2014|2014, Events, Happened already..., Oceanic Dinners 2014|0 Comments

Killer Dish Alert: Red Mullet

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Because it is extremely perishable, has lots of little bones that make cleaning a hassle, and an incomparable sweet, rich flavor, Rouget or Red Mullet, once had a long run as the IT fish of ancient Rome.

The ancient Romans reared them in ponds where they were attended and caressed by their owners, and taught to come to be fed at the sound of the voice or bell of the keeper. Specimens were sometimes sold for their weight in silver. [Wikipedia]

Accordingly, Chef Rhodehamel will be giving it a proper treatment in a most decadent (and labor intensive!) dish for the 2014 Oceanic Dinners:

Chilled poached rouget in smoked gelatina with bone marrow, seas beans, and caviar

Oh, and another thing. Sea beans are succulents! Also known as glasswort, pickleweed, and in parts of Alaska as “beach asparagus” (it does in fact have a somewhat grassy, asparagus-ish aftertaste) sea beans have many of the same great nutritional benefits of seaweed, like B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and a good source of minerals, calcium, iodine and iron.

Killer dish. You don’t want to miss this.

By |June 20th, 2014|Kitchen Notes|0 Comments

Sunday Supper for June 8, 2014

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Antipasto
roasted summer squash agrodolce with chiles and mint

Primo
tagliatelle with pancetta, Cannellini beans, and green onion pesto

Secondo
spiedini di polpette with spicy tomato sauce and basil

Dolce
grilled peaches with fennel pollen ice cream

Prix fixe $40.

Served family-style. For groups of one to twelve. Whole table must order 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!

By |June 20th, 2014|2014, Events, Happened already..., Sunday Suppers 2014|0 Comments

Sunday Supper for June 1, 2014

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Antipasto
salad of shaved fennel with orange segments and black olives

Primo
rigatoni with anchovies, chilis, lemon, and breadcrumbs

Secondo
coniglio al peperonata – Devil’s Gulch Ranch rabbit legs braised in peperonata

Dolce
tart cherry crustada with almond ice cream

Prix fixe $40.

Served family-style. For groups of one to twelve. Whole table must order 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!

By |June 20th, 2014|2014, Events, Happened already..., Sunday Suppers 2014|0 Comments

A Wicked Good Roux

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Aside from freshly caught shellfish, the other thing required for a killer gumbo is a serious roux (pictured above).
Authentic Cajun roux takes more time to cook (5-6 hours) and must be done in small batches but it is the secret to a rich, layered flavor that make or gumbo truly great.

The Oceanic Dinners (June 11- June 14) are still a week away, but Chef Jonah has already gone into roux production, making a batch or two each day so he’ll have enough for four nights of gumbo & maybe if we’re lucky, he’ll have enough for gumbo in the Cafe.
By |June 5th, 2014|2014, Events, Kitchen Notes|0 Comments

Wowza Sea Scallops

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Seriously. These are down-right beautiful. And just in this morning. If there was a magazine called Sea Scallop Fancy these would be on the cover.
At the time of this posting, Chef Rhodehamel would not commit to a menu preparation (although there were hints at a possible crudo, or perhaps grilled), but would say that they will be on the menu for two nights only starting this evening.

By |June 4th, 2014|This Just In|0 Comments

Purple Artichokes

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This beauties are going to go fast, but they’re on the menu tonight & maybe tomorrow:

Salad of shaved purple artichokes with anchovy, lemon, pine nuts, and Fiore Sardo Pecorino cheese

By |June 4th, 2014|This Just In|0 Comments

Gooseneck Barnacles

Barnacles will be on the upcoming Oceanic Dinners menu, but we’re getting a bit of a teaser this week in a spectacular fritto misto on the current menu through the weekend:

Fritto of Monterey Bay squid, local anchovies, and gooseneck barnacles with saffron aïoli, asparagus, and lemon

The term “barnacle” originally referred only to this species of goose:

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Barnacle Goose

Back in the day, before anyone knew that birds migrated it was believed that these geese developed from the crustacean, since there was no evidence of nests. Because barnacles were often found attached to driftwood it was thought that there was in fact a “barnacle tree” from which geese hatched! It’s actually not that hard to see why the connection was made when you compare the two:
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Although this article claims that they taste like “Poseidon’s armpit, but heavenly, like a mermaid’s burp” (huh? what?) Chef Jonah, never one to mince words, had a less Tolkienesque analogy: geoduck.

In taste? In texture?

Chef Jonah: Both. They taste a lot like small geoduck.

These delicious poppers are a rare occurrence in these parts, so now’s the time to taste for yourself.

By |June 4th, 2014|Kitchen Notes, This Just In|0 Comments