California Twist on Classic Italian

Dinner parties just seem to speak Italian: comfort food, warm and welcoming. My formal culinary training began in the kitchens of New York City’s Little Italy, at the side of my best friend’s Italian grandmother. These roots are never far away as I develop menus and experiment with new dishes. Whether it’s playing with the way that Mexican cooking techniques and flavor profiles work (they do, beautifully) with Italian, or re-creating classic Italian dishes with a California farm-to-table twist, I love designing new menus and am happy to develop a meal around your tastes, just let me know what intrigues you! Sample selections below:

ANTIPASTO

 

fall-antipasto-2
photo by David Hughes

 

may include:

Roasted Baby Asparagus with Parmesan

Roasted Sweet Red Peppers

Olive Fig Poblano Tapenade

Crostini & Breadsticks

 Grilled Calamari / Citrus / Chile del Arbol

Grilled Calamari Citrus Chile

Shrimp Skewers / Proscuitto / Rosemary

shrimp-skewers-rosemary-proscuitto

PRIMI PIATTI 

(Pasta)

Wild Mushroom Lasagna

White Sauce / Root Vegetable Ragout / Basil

Fresh Pennetini / Shitake Broth / Wild Mushrooms / Fresh Basket Mozzarella 

Pasta Mushroom Broth Sausage Fresh Ricotta

Polenta Bites / Crisped Proscuitto

Polenta Bites

Sardines a la Plancha

Polenta / Grilled Sardines / Sautéed Rainbow Chard / Tangerine Gremolata / Chipotle Cashews (adapted from Mario Batali’s recipe)

Eggplant Parmigiano

Screen shot 2015-04-22 at 10.27.05 AM

SEGUNDI PIATTI

Beef Braciole

making-beef-braciole

Bistecca alla Florentine with Balsamic-Rosemary Steak Sauce

filet-fennel-plate

Pan-sautéed Sea Bass

Anchovy/ White Wine / Italian Parsley / Garlic /EVO

fish-fennel-plate-2

Chicken Cartocci in Banana Leaves

This traditional Italian cooking technique calls for filling “packets”, usually made of foil or parchment, with chicken or fish and baking them. Borrowing from Mexico’s Yucatan, banana leaf adds a subtle flavor and lends itself beautifully to this dish: chicken stuffed and rolled with mushrooms and Parmigiano Reggiano.or or spinach.

chicken-roulade-with-spianch-bakd-in-banana-lef

Chicken Marsala / Pappardelle

Chicken or Fish Piccata

A delicate balance of lemon juice, capers and butter, finished with fresh parsley, also available with chef’s choice of white fish

Chicken Saltimbocca

“Saltimbocca” literally translates as “leap in your mouth”, achieved in this dish by the combination of the prosciutto and spinach that are rolled with paper thin chicken breast cutlets. When seasonally available, I like to use the unusual Mexican greens called romeritos in place of the spinach.

Shrimp Scampi with Linguini

 Beef  Involtini

Screen shot 2015-02-15 at 12.49.44 PM

CONTORNO

Arborio-rice Stuffed Oven-baked Tomatoes

Roasted Root Veggie Tart

veggie-tarts-ready-to-roast

3-Cheese Stuffed Mexican White ZucchiniParmigiano Reggiano / Cotjia / Housemade Ricotta

25 - Calabacitas rellenas (1)

Shaved Brussels Sprouts/ EVO / Pecorino Romano / Pancetta

OR

for a Mexican riff on the this dish, I use house-made Mexican sausage in place of pancetta

Fennel Al Forno

Au Gratin with Parmigiano-Reggiano

perfect-plat-finocchio-al-forno

INSALATA

Classic Caesar*

Caesar

prepared tableside in a molcajete, which lends itself beautifully to creating the garlic/salt/lemon paste that is the base of the dressing

Insalata Pantesca

Potato Salad with Tomatoes, Capers and Olives

served at room temperature

Traditional Panzanella

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 5.31.22 PM

Panzanella Mexicana (shown above)

FROMAGGI Y FRUTTI

Selection of local cheeses with honey and seasonal fruit with white balsamic

grilled-peach

DOLCI

Mexican Chocolate Tiramisu or Cannoli

cannoli-tay(cannoli are filled on-site)

Grilled Mexican Corn Cake with Mascarpone and Amaretto

coffee-pannacotta

Coffee Panna Cotta

* These items are served raw or undercooked, or contain (or may contain) raw or undercooked ingredients. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness

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