May is already here, and I think it is now a perfect time to have lunch or dinner on our courtyard patio. During the month of May, to accommodate the new spring produce, I create many different salads, served either as an appetizer or an entrée if you are looking for a light meal: maybe a vegetarian salad with some exceptional artisan cheese, one with home smoked trout or sautéed fresh quail or with prime beef carpaccio. Of course the grilled chicken breast salad with beets, French lentils and grain mustard dressing, as well as the lobster salad with avocado, papaya and citrus dressing are always one of our guest’s favorite. On hot days, I will serve chilled vegetarian soups, for example: a chilled fresh pea soup with mint and grapefruit or a chilled green zucchini soup with curry and parmesan crisp.
Fresh seasonal seafood also comes to mind when I design my lunch and dinner menu: I can’t wait for the wild trolled pacific king salmon or the fresh live soft-shell crabs to come in season this month. The classic fresh Dover sole is requested by many of our guests and it is prepared with a medley of chino’s farm vegetables, brown butter and lemon juice. I am also serving quenelles (I have been surprised by the inquiries), quenelles are delicate football shape dumplings, made out of trout, or pike or salmon. Many guests tell me that no one makes quenelles anymore, a super classical French dish and they are very happy to find them on the menu.
I also noticed that quite a few inspired lunch guests will stop at Chino’s Farm to purchase some of the ingredients they had for lunch or dinner, they are not disappointed as there can find a bounty of new produce right now at the stand.
See you soon in our courtyard or maybe at Chino’s farm.