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2011 Oliveto Tomato Dinner(s)

lexdevil | Aug 26, 201109:38 AM

I posted a bit about this on another thread, but I thought I should start a new one specific to the Tomato Dinner(s) for this year, the first with Oliveto's new chef, Jonah Rhodehamel. This year Oliveto is doing two sets of dinners, one in August and another in September. Tonight (August 26) is the last night of the "early season" dinner. We went last night and had a wonderful meal. The September dinners (September 13-16) will feature late season tomatoes.

I thought the food was wonderful last night. The Green Zebra tomato and watermelon crudo was sweet and refreshing. The Black Prince tart could have been a dessert. Both of our pastas, the tortelli and the pappardelle, were gorgeous. If you have both, eat the tortelli first; its delicate flavor and texture could be overwhelmed by the more powerful braised beef pappardelle preparation. The short ribs were rich, intensely flavored, and stunningly tender. Despite this, I was even more impressed with the Spezzatino of 36 month Angus beef. Though the beef in this stew was not falling apart tender like the short ribs, it had a remarkably deep beefy flavor. The stew liquid was much lighter than the dense sugo on the short ribs, and the tomatoes, potatoes, and squash held their own next to the intensely flavored beef.

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