One of the most fun things so far about SF Beer Week is the participation of some high end local restaurants that one doesn’t normally think of as beer-friendly places, such as Chez Panisse and Oliveto. Last night, Oliveto did their first beer dinner ever with the beers of Russian River Brewing. It was a six course affair and in addition to the beer paired with each course, they also used each beer in some aspect of cooking the dish.
The dinner took place upstairs in a small room toward the back of the restaurant, making it a nice, intimate setting.
After some Miyagi oysters with Beatification mignonette, paired with Beatification, the second course was one of my favorites of the evening. It was a Fritto of Willis Farm pork trotter and sweet onions with Consecration mayonnaise, paired with Consecration.
The U-shaped table allowed for easy conversation and a lively dialogue throughout the evening.
The third course was seared Maine sea scallop with ancho cress and Damnation sauce. It was tasty, but I really loved the next course, which was a Risotto of roasted Delicata squash, wild mushrooms and Russian River Porter. The earthy mushrooms and the porter were a terrific match for one another.
Beer chef Bruce Paton, who helped with the dinner, and Russian River owners Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo.
The main entree consisted of Carbonades of spit-roasted Magruder Ranch beef striploin with Pliny the Elder. The dessert was a delicious Cocoa nib panna cotta made with and paired with Salvation, pictured above.
For a first tie beer dinner, they really hit this one out of the park. And listening to the chef describe how they went about putting it together, it was obvious they had as much fun creating it as we had enjoying it. I hope this means we’ll see more beer dinners at Oliveto.