Covering the dining scene in and around the OC
Coliseum chef Marc Osier recently introduced a slew of dishes perfectly suited for OC’s version of autumn.
“Our autumn menu, which is available through mid January, really is based on what the Irvine Ranch provides,” explained Osier at a media tasting last week. “Whatever vegetables are becoming available, that’s how we write our menu. There are subtle differences from year to year. We’re not going to replay things. My main inspiration is the Irvine Ranch, which is consistent year to year and season to season.”
We learned that 85 percent of the resort’s vegetables come from the Irvine Ranch. And with the resort serving 1000 people every day, that’s a lot of vegetables. At the moment, Osier is sourcing such items as squash, avocados, strawberries, zucchini, blue lake beans, beets, heirloom tomatoes, and other seasonal staples.
“My challenge is that the season here is a micro climate,” noted Osier. “It’s still gorgeous weather so you want to eat light and healthy, you’re not bundled up under a blanket. So it’s a unique challenge to come up with wintertime light food.”
Osier has done just that, starting with his Irvine Ranch Beet Salad, a beautiful and tasty dish with two different beets, arugula, apples, goat cheese and balsamic reduction. The ingredients blend perfectly, and the beets are perfectly cooked to just the right softness.
The shrimp and crab wrap with roasted corn pico de gallo and lemongrass dressing disappeared from our plates fast, as did the grilled Meyer lemon and vanilla marinated Chilean seabass with seasonal vegetables, roasted tomatoes and herb mashed potatoes. Chris dubbed that dish “one of the best sea bass dishes I’ve ever had–the fish was tender and mild, with the lemon and vanilla providing a delicious marinade.”
For dessert we enjoyed a trio of petite desserts that came in ornate shot glasses: pumpkin cake, black forest cake and key lime pie.
One more recommendation: the Sangria, which is served with seasonal fruit and really good red wine.
We also learned that Chef Luigi Fineo has just introduced a seasonal white truffle menu at Andrea Ristorante, which features white truffles personally presented tableside by chef Luigi, who we’re told selects each truffle from a family business. Last year, Andrea purchased more white truffles than any other restaurant in Southern California.
The white truffle dishes available at Andrea this month include Bucatini carbonara, soft-poached egg and prosciutto, and port-braised veal ossobuco, smoked mozzarella cheese polenta, Oregon mushroom, and veal jus.
For more information, visit PelicanHill.com.