Winter Menus

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by danbrown, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. danbrown

    danbrown

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    As the board seems to be getting bogged down with discussions by wanna-bes and self-promoters, I'd like to drive the discussion back to food. This is a working copy on my Winter Dinner menu (December volume prohibited changing with the season). I'm forcing myself to focus on simplicity and ease of execution with cost control as the major theme, trying to stay creative, and doing my best to play the game to win.

    beginnings

    cheese plate
    white figs, candied blanched almonds, dried apricots, balsamic cippolinni onions, spanish stuffed olives, caper berries, and a selection of three weekly rotating domestic and imported artisan cheeses – available with cured meat selection

    buffalo carpaccio
    shaved buffalo tenderloin, chopped sage, grated horseradish, orange reduction, balsamic cippolinni, carrot sorbet

    crab rangoons and chicken fritters
    lump crab, cream cheese, ginger and green onion rangoons with chicken cilantro corn fritters, orange chili sauce, sirachi and wasabi aioli

    mussels
    steamed mussels, white wine garlic butter sauce, tomatoes, parmesan cheese and grilled sourdough bread

    soup & salad

    daily soup

    mixed greens salad
    pickled ginger vinaigrette, baby greens, english cucumber slices, spiced candied almonds, red grape tomatoes

    caesar salad
    Shaved parmesan regganito, romaine heart, croutons, and traditional Caesar dressing

    baby spinach salad
    baby spinach, cranberry-mango vinaigrette, walnuts, shaved red onion, chevre

    entrees

    grilled portobello
    grilled portobello, roasted red pepper sauce, goat cheese, jacket smashed gold potatoes, sautéed broccoli rapini

    tequila lime rock shrimp linguini
    linguini, shallots, fresh herbs, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, court bullion and sauza silver sauce

    pan seared corvina
    blue cornmeal dredged, lemon, shallot, caper, parsley, brown butter sauce, rapini and whipped sweet potatoes

    grilled ahi
    Jasmine sticky rice, wasabi apple salsa, wilted frisee, orange thai sweet chili sauce

    braised beef short rib foyot
    Maltaise, ginger glace de viande, jacket smashed gold potatoes, braised greens

    grilled lamb sirloin
    Poblano, boniato and Asadero empanadas, sautéed broccoli rapini, chimichurri, pipían Ortiz (lead day cook getting his due)

    grilled pork chop crécy
    Single bone – double chop, wasabi peas, crisp carrots and yams, balsamic onion jam, gold potatoes and carrot demi-glaze

    chicken saltimbocca
    Seared serrano ham and provolone roll, wild rice pilaf, asparagus, sage aioli



    What are the rest of you professional chefs doing this season with your menus?
     
  2. even stephen

    even stephen

    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    10
    Sounds pretty good. What kind of restaurant or dining
    room is this. Is there a theme or vision for the food. I
    would be careful not to be to repetitious. Balsamic. Thai
    chili paste. Rapini. I think if you have access to high quality
    protiens and seafood, less is more. The menu seems all over
    the place and a little busy. I more of a minimalist/purist. I
    am by no means being critical, God knows I've certainly much
    room to learn more myself. Just my two cents.

    Stephen
     
  3. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    63
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    Caterer so last couple of meals:

    hodo
    fresh pineapple wrapped in pancetta and baked
    grissini with chevre

    Green salad with baby greens, sugar snaps, dried cranberries, orange supremes, toasted pecans, red onions, basalmic viniagrette

    potatoes au gratin

    root veg tart, fennel, red pepper, sweet potato, carrots, onions, garlic with herbs, sherry and puff pastry

    haricot verte with walnut oil, lemon, dillweed and butter

    Prime rib station with sourcream horseradish and porcini sauce

    peppermint ice cream with candy canes

    boche with raspberry vanilla bean filling.

    Last luncheon

    Pissonolet, dandilion greens with haricot verte, poached eggs, bacon, shallot tarragon dressing

    good tuscan bread euro butter

    cheese plates with Carrs ww biscuits, pears, pecans and d'affanoise

    vanilla bean cupcakes with raspberry icing


    Showers coming up include:

    Chevre topped with pesto, pinenuts, ringed with calamata olives served with crostini

    morel duxelle in fillo cups

    turkey sandwiches with apricot horseradish sauce

    I've got lunches with fruit cups and requests for fruit kabobs at showers so I'm going to be at produce row getting cases of pineapples, grapes, oranges, maybe gag strawberries....

    I've been playing with marshmellows so they will be on dessert menus....for the choc fountain, hot choc bar, and as an option for bag lunch dessert.
    + their fun and taste good.
     
  4. danbrown

    danbrown

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Like I said, in progress, I need to add a couple items and iron out the redundancies. The restaurant is ranked one of the top 25 in Denver during my tenure, the dining room is on the top of the country's largest single unit book store in Cherry Creek (Tattered Cover). As to theme, I do food which I know will sell to the clientele and which utilizes flavor combinations that I find interesting, with some European, Latin, and Asian influences. The biggest thing for me is staying in season and making distinct plates. I did go overboard with the rapini, and chili sauce-I'm probably going to fix that today...I'm considering utilizing Kale and still looking at books and sheets to refine the work, I'll post a final when I'm ready to go to print (and after I've costed the beast).

    I'll also post my new pastry cook's menu, she's a badass.
     
  5. chezfritz

    chezfritz

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    HERE IS MY WINTER MENU FOR http://www.pilpoul.gr/ RESTAURANT IN ATHENS GREECE.
    Starters

    Grilled Fresh Baby Squid with Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes on a Bed of Marked Salad
    Tossed in a Balsamic Dressing

    000
    Vegetarian
    Feta with fresh Spinach and Pine Nuts
    Turnover with a Quince Jam and a Mixed Leave Salad

    000

    Steamed Tiger Prawns marinated in Lime and Chili on a Green Bean on Red Onion Salad tossed with a Sesame Dressing

    000


    Gewürztraminer poached Foie Gras served with Brioche Toast and warm Quince

    000

    Creamy Hen Lobster Chowder with Aromatic Vegetables and Lobster Caviar

    000
    Vegetarian
    Carnaroli Risotto cooked in white wine and Cinnamon with roasted Yellow Pumpkin and toasted pumpkin seeds

    Main Course
    Fish and Seafood

    Butter Poached Fresh Lobster and Orzo Pasta in a Chive flavored creamy Lobster Broth with Autumn Vegetables

    0000

    Filet of Royal Sea Bream Roasted with Vegetables and Olives scented with Fresh Herbs served in tomato flavored Fish Juice and with Saffron Potato

    0000

    Scampi cooked in Fish Fond, Dry Sherry, Garlic and Chile
    tossed with Spinach Pasta and Roasted Fennel

    0000

    Main Course
    Meat, Poultry, Vegetarian

    Carnaroli Risotto cooked in Dry White Wine, Cinnamon and Roasted Pumpkins served with Duck Confit and roasted Pumpkin Seeds

    0000

    Garlic Crusted small Chicken on Slow Roasted Artichoke and Rosemary flavored Sweet Potatoes Puree
    Main Course
    Meat, Poultry, Vegetarian

    Dry aged Roasted Prime Beef Steak cooked to you Choice with Golden Chanterelles Mushrooms, Root Vegetables, Anna Potatoes with Prunes and Bordelaise Sauce

    0000

    Irish dry aged Tender Prime Beef Filet, grilled to you Choice served with Phil Pols Cafe de Paris Butter a delicious mix of 6 fresh Herbs, Anchovies and Seasoning Marked Fresh Vegetables and Wild Rice

    0000

    Best of Greek Milk-feed Lamb Four Cuts
    Roasted Leg, Bread crumbed Breast and Shoulder Rillet, grilled Lamb Cutlets and braised Liver
    with Roasted Vegetables and Thyme infused Lamb Juice

    0000

    Vegetarian
    Roast Vegetables Lasagne with Fresh Herbs , Olives and Capers Baked with and a Fresh Tomato Sauce

    Hope to see any of you in my kichen for a tasting of what greece has to offer
    ChezFritz
     
  6. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    63
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    wow! torchon, lamb and lasagna....
     
  7. danbrown

    danbrown

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    beginnings

    cheese plate
    white figs, hazelnuts, dried apricots, balsamic cippolinni, stuffed olives, caper berries, artichoke hearts and a selection of three weekly rotating domestic and imported artisan cheeses – available with cured meat selection


    buffalo carpaccio
    shaved buffalo tenderloin, horseradish, orange gelee, balsamic cippolinni, carrot sorbet


    coconut crab fritters
    smoked pineapple sambal, meyer lemon aioli, frisee


    mussels
    steamed mussels, white wine garlic butter sauce, tomatoes, parmesan cheese and grilled sourdough bread

    soup & salad

    daily soup

    mixed greens salad
    pickled ginger vinaigrette, baby greens, english cucumber slices, wasabi nori cashew brittle, red grape tomatoes


    caesar salad
    Shaved parmesan regganito, romaine heart, croutons, and traditional Caesar dressing

    baby spinach salad
    baby spinach, cranberry-mango vinaigrette, walnuts, shaved red onion, chevre

    entrees

    tequila lime rock shrimp linguini
    linguini, shallots, fresh herbs, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, court bullion and sauza silver sauce

    blackened corvina
    andouille, crawfish, red beans and rice, rouille


    grilled ahi
    Jasmine sticky rice, wasabi apple salsa, wilted frisee, orange thai sweet chili sauce

    braised beef short rib foyot
    Maltaise, ginger glace de viande, jacket smashed gold potatoes, glazed baby carrots


    grilled lamb sirloin
    Poblano, boniato, and Asadero empanadas, sofrito black beans, chimichurri, pipían


    grilled pork chop crécy - 3 ways
    Single bone – double chop, wasabi peas, crisp carrots and yams, onion jam, glazed carrots, gold potatoes and roasted carrot demi-glaze


    chicken saltimbocca
    Seared serrano ham and provolone roll, wild rice pilaf, asparagus, sage aioli


    I've highlighted changes with italics and I'm particularly fond of the brittle idea, and feel it and the sorbet are the two most forward steps in my development of my menu writing skills.

    That's where the dinner menu is at, I'm certainly open to more feedback, particularly from the teachers on the site, as you can see the development and the gaps, I'm looking to improve in both those areas.

    I focused the lamb dish better regionally, but I'm unsure if I'm breaking a code with a Mexican sub-sauce on a Cuban plate.

    I'm looking to get rid of a prep position entirely with this menu, so it's been difficult to determine what to write that will put ingredients, rather than prepped items, in the hands of my line cooks. I'm closer, and I can visualize execution.

    I think all that's left is to train my entire staff how to make every one of those dishes, thankfully I employ a number of highly competent cooks, who will once again prove they are cabaple of executing every menu I write.

    Thanks for you time.
     
  8. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,159
    Likes Received:
    277
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Dan,
    Is the dessert selection going to follow. I mean, the entrees ,salad, yadda yadda yadda are nice, but some of us are more interested in the important things;)
    I was wondering how your going to present the sorbet. I like the idea of going non acidic with it.
    I enjoyed choosing my meal.
    pan
    Have you figured the chasews out yet?
     
  9. danbrown

    danbrown

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Once I know that I'm going to let it come down as low as needed after taking it up to hard crack. I'm going to pour the brittle onto toasted and salted cashews, then sprinkle nori-furikake over the top before the sugar sets, then scoring the sugar while it's still warm (probably the other order to ensure a natural look to the falling pattern of the bits of seaweed and sesame seed). I'm goint to serve a right triangle (a thin layer, 3-4 mm) upright against the salad, supported by the cucumbers, with some toffee crumbles next to it on the plate. I'm planning to make the vinaigrette particularly direct with it's flavor profile simply following it's name. I will probably wind up setting the cucumbers flush on the plate, with the only the edges supporting the toffee, in order to slow down the effects of water on the caramel, and work in favor of my own sanity.
     
  10. danbrown

    danbrown

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Rootbeer-chocolate cake
    bittersweet chocolate sauce, malted milk balls, malted milk ice cream

    I'll get the rest from my new pastry cook tomorrow, I have to get back to costing.
     
  11. cape chef

    cape chef

    Messages:
    4,508
    Likes Received:
    32
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Dan,

    Ambitious menu.

    I think your creative juices may be flowing a little ahead of rhythm of concept. I find all to often, chefs try to show there wares by demonstrating there inept ability to circumvent the globe. This could be received as a positive or a negative. Your dishes are surely delicious, and even better that you have a staff you can count on to execute them. I say, stay focused on, less is more.Menu copy is an art unto it's self. I don't know if this will come through cleanly, but I put my thoughts in quotes between line items.
     
  12. danbrown

    danbrown

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I like the aioli against the asparagus, and the sage is in the sauce, rather than the roll.

    As to Foyot, I've been running one all fall and early winter with tenderloin and lobster, balsamic bacon green beans, and shashed red potatoes, and it's done very well. The staff is well versed in what Foyot means, as well as Saltimbocca, and will be so after training on crecy. I am making baby steps with the staff, and this menu may be better understood as a transition by looking at the fall menu on the tattered cover website.

    As to an inept ability to cover the globe, I don't cook what I don't know will work together, and I was (and still am) concerned at the way my clientele will react to raw frisee, but prehaps it's time to take that step as well.

    Thank you for the feedback, your opinions are appreciated and will be taken seriously.

    DB
     
  13. peachcreek

    peachcreek

    Messages:
    1,098
    Likes Received:
    131
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I have been doing a fun little veggie side this season.
    Baby sweet dumpling squash filled with cippolini ragout and finished with a dab of reduced cream and a squiggle of reduced balsamic. The squash sits on a round of thin crispy eggplant. The whole thing is maybe 2". I browned the cippolinis then deglazed with a cheap sweet Madiera and simmered the cippolinis with water for a few hours to get them really tender. Then I let the liquid reduce to a syrup, whisked in a little cold butter and poured that into the squashes.I put a dab of reduced cream so make a good background for the balsamic squiggle. I put the eggplant underneath to keep it from moving or rolling around on the plate and it goes well with the filling. Beautiful eye appeal. Very tasty.
     
  14. even stephen

    even stephen

    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    10
    Cape chef is dead on. Reading a menu should be enjoyable. I think
    he was more worried about your diners than your wait staff. Remember,
    if your protiens and seafood are top quality they don't need much more
    than salt and a light sauce or drizzle of e.v.o.o. I like the ideas, but,
    worry that tradition must play some part in certain dishes. I have gotten
    a little off track trying to force a style or method of preparation onto a
    certain type of meat or seafood. I am at the point where my food is
    very basic, but, prepared perfectly. By the way, if your worried about
    how people will react to raw frisse, then, don't use it. It's really hard
    to digest anyway. Perhaps Pea shoots, or belgium endive, or one of the
    many asian lettuces available. Take your menu, sit in the dining room, imagine
    ordering for you and a friend. Distance yourself from your work. Solicit
    the opinion of some of the more exposed wait staff. They know, believe me.
    Speak with the GM. Speak with your kitchen staff about it. I personally
    had the chip knocked off my shoulder long ago. Try to distill your ideas into
    a form that is elegant in its simplicity. Pure clean fresh flavors that are
    recognizable, appreciated, and remembered. I can remember things I tasted
    20 years ago. Pure things, simple things, great things. When I remember
    great meals, I remember everything. The people, the place, the flavors.
    Yada, Yada, Yada. I do ramble on sometimes. Leave me a message.
    I have a brother in denver who dines out a fair amount. Would love to
    know the name of the restaurant, but, wouldn't ask that you leave it on
    a post.

    Thanks
    Stephen
     
  15. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,711
    Likes Received:
    324
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    You have a cook who can do this?
     
  16. danbrown

    danbrown

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Here's the dessert menu-

    Ginger spice cake
    Meyer lemon curd, cranberry coulis, and cranberry ginger gumdrops

    Kahlua crème brulee
    Cocoa nib-cinnamon sable and chocolate covered coffee beans

    Brioche and butter pudding
    Rum soaked raisins, braised pineapple, and vanilla bean crème anglaise

    Blood orange variations
    Blood orange cheesecake, gelee, segments, and caramel sauce

    Passion fruit tart
    Tropical fruit and bittersweet chocolate sauce

    Chocolate rootbeer cake
    Chocolate sauce, malted ice cream and malted milk balls


    And, to answer kuan's query - I have a couple of cooks (including myself) who are proficient with sugar work.

    And to answer even stephen's request, I have no hesitation in telling you where I work, it's the Fourth Story Restaurant (2955 E 1st Ave, check it out at http://www.tatteredcover.com/NASApp/...=localinterest), if that means my menu is known before it's printed, so be it!!

    I've dropped the balsamic cippolini off the carpaccio, I'm going the eliminate the redundancy of the "shaved", I agree with the point on cilantro, that was more a designation for my line cooks, but it won't make it to print. As to the rouille, my intention is to use it as a drizzle over the fish (garnish sauce), and continue to do one plate that's dedicated to the lost city of New Orleans.

    Thank you again for the feedback, I believe listening to others opinions forces me to evaluate my own ideas and I genuinely appreciate the time you've all taken to offer it. If I can't defend an opinion it's not worth attaching myself to (not that I believe I'm merely the sum of my opinions, but that's a discussion of personal philosophy, not cooking).

    DB
     
  17. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    63
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    Thanks for starting this thread and putting your menu "up for critque". Numerous old timers have played menu games and blackbox menus on this site....it's been a while and I've missed it, so thank you for reviving it. If you want to get a greater sence of who your playing with hit the archives...
     
  18. danbrown

    danbrown

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Thanks for the feedback, costing and prep lists are finished, order guide got it's first use today.. Here' lunch first

    beginnings

    cheese plate
    white figs, raw almonds, dried apricots, balsamic cippolinni onions, spanish stuffed olives, caper berries, and a selection of three weekly rotating domestic and imported artisan cheeses – available with cured meat selection

    buffalo carpaccio
    shaved buffalo tenderloin, micro arugula, grated horseradish, orange gelee, carrot sorbet, breadsticks

    garlic butter mussels
    available with linguine
    steamed mussels, white wine garlic butter sauce, tomatoes, parmesan cheese and grilled sourdough bread

    soup & salad

    daily soup

    add on to any salad
    grilled chicken breast
    5 grilled tiger shrimp
    grilled 5 ounce tenderloin

    mixed greens salad
    pickled ginger vinaigrette, english cucumbers, baby greens, nori-wasabi-cashew brittle, red grape tomatoes

    caesar salad
    parmesan reggianito, romaine heart, croutons, and traditional Caesar dressing, marinated white anchovies

    baby spinach salad
    baby spinach, mango-raspberry vinaigrette, walnuts, chèvre, red onion, mandarin oranges

    Coconut crab fritter salad
    Frisee, smoked pineapple sambal, meyer lemon aioli, red grape tomatoes, English cucumbers, sirachi

    sandwiches

    all sandwiches available with small salad

    portobello mushroom sandwich
    balsamic marinated grilled portobello, roasted red pepper, goat cheese, basil aioli, mixed baby greens, tomato

    steak sandwich
    grilled strip steak, ciabatta roll, balsamic onion jam, gorgonzola

    bbq pork sandwich
    braised pulled pork, Carlos’ homemade ancho chili BBQ sauce, asadero cheese

    fourth story burger
    With lettuce, tomato, & red onion

    curried chicken pita
    grilled chicken breast, feta, lime aioli, tomato, red onion

    specialties

    chicken saltimbocca
    Seared serrano ham and provolone roll, wild rice pilaf, asparagus, sage aioli

    grilled ahi
    Jasmine sticky rice, wasabi apple salsa, frisee, orange thai sweet chili sauce

    tequila lime rock shrimp linguine
    linguini, shallots, fresh herbs, tomatoes, green onions, court buillion and sauza silver sauce

    empanadas
    boniato, plantain, spinach, asadero and raisin empanada with blood orange couscous, grilled asparagus, and orange chipotle reduction

    squash noodles, marinated portobello and sun-dried tomato pesto
    zucchinni, yellow squash, raw vegan pesto, baby spinach

    And Dinner

    beginnings

    cheese plate
    white figs, raw almonds, dried apricots, balsamic cippolinni onions, spanish stuffed olives, caper berries, and a selection of three weekly rotating domestic and imported artisan cheeses – available with cured meat selection

    buffalo carpaccio
    shaved buffalo tenderloin, micro arugula, grated horseradish, orange gelee, carrot sorbet, breadsticks

    coconut crab fritters
    lump crab, smoked pineapple sambal, meyer lemon aioli, frisee, sirachi

    mussels
    steamed mussels, white wine garlic butter sauce, tomatoes, parmesan cheese and grilled sourdough bread

    shish tauk
    curry marinated chicken skewers, grilled pita, lime aioli, feta

    soup & salad

    daily soup

    mixed greens salad
    pickled ginger vinaigrette, english cucumbers, baby greens, nori-wasabi-cashew brittle, red grape tomatoes

    caesar salad
    Shaved parmesan reggianito, romaine heart, croutons, traditional Caesar dressing, marinated anchovies

    baby spinach salad
    baby spinach, cranberry-mango vinaigrette, walnuts, shaved red onion, chèvre, mandarin oranges

    entrees

    tequila lime rock shrimp linguine
    linguini, shallots, fresh herbs, tomatoes, green onions, court buillion and sauza silver sauce

    blackened corvina
    red beans and dirty rice, crawfish, andouille, rouille

    grilled ahi
    Jasmine sticky rice, wasabi apple salsa, frisee, orange thai sweet chili sauce

    braised beef short rib foyot
    maltaise, ginger glace de viande, roasted parsnips and onions, rapini

    grilled lamb sirloin
    Poblano, boniato and Asadero empanadas, sofrito black beans, chimichurri, pipían Ortiz

    grilled pork chop crécy variations
    Single bone – double chop, wasabi peas, crisp carrots and yams, carrot demi-glace, glazed baby carrots

    chicken saltimbocca
    Seared serrano ham and provolone roll, wild rice pilaf, asparagus, sage aioli

    squash noodles, marinated portobello and sun-dried tomato pesto
    zucchini, yellow squash, raw vegan pesto, baby spinach, and marinated portobello

    beef tenderloin
    marinated portobello, balsamic onion jam, port syrup, grilled asparagus, smashed Yukon gold potatoes

    fourth story mixed grill
     
  19. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    63
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    Um...table for 4 please!

    Are your squash noodles, ribbons of squash?
     
  20. danbrown

    danbrown

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Yes, it's squash that I'm running through a Japanese rotary mandoline, then salting. The plate is completely vegan, completely raw.