If you're thinking of an East Bay local getaway based around great food and wine, head straight for Livermore's Wente Vineyards, where the kitchen is cooking up some very special dishes for Estate Beef Week, January 28, 2013 through February 3, 2013.
Celebrating his one year anniversary at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, Executive Chef Greco has created a special menu around Wente Estate raised cattle. During Estate Beef week, The Restaurant will feature a special beef-themed four-course $75 prix fixe menu, as well as à la carte options.
The Wente family is taking sustainability to the next level by raising cattle. Throughout 130 years in Livermore Valley, sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives have been a top priority. In addition to producing their own olive oil and wine, within the grounds of the estate there is a half-acre herb, vegetable, and flower garden producing fresh daily ingredients for The Restaurant.
“We originally started the dry-aged beef program back in 1987, and continued it through 1990. To my knowledge, no one else in the Bay Area restaurant scene was using grass fed and organic beef at that time,” said Wente Family Estates CEO Carolyn Wente. “But today, with the help of our incredibly talented Executive Chef Matt Greco, we’ve been able to bring back this tradition and create some truly incredible flavors.”
In order to ensure the highest quality beef, the feed of the cattle, a Hereford/Black Angus cross, is supplemented with wine. This is a method used by many French beef producers, although not common in California. Cattle roam a 1,600 acre grassy pasture on the Wente Estate. The lean meat is then dry aged for 21 to 28 days until it peaks in tenderness and flavor.
“Sustainability does not end with how we raise the cattle but continues with how we use it,” said Executive Chef Matt Greco. “My commitment to the company's philosophy is how I utilize sustainable products and it is what defines how I cook. At Wente Vineyards I can take it a step further. With every steer I want to create a new outlet for different cuts and it's exciting to create dishes that utilize every part of the steer.”
Diners at The Restaurant will enjoy delicious items featuring perfectly aged meat from Wente cattle, including: a first course charcuterie, bierwurst, shank rillette with leek confit and celery root hay, smoked texas style sausage with coffee molasses barbeque sauce, or croquette with grilled cabbage, raisins, zinfandel. The second course consists of crispy clams in beef chorizo broth kale oil, bone-marrow butter and crouton. The third course features 28 dry-aged short loin with béarnaise olive oil roasted potatoes with sea salt and thyme mustard kale braised with bacon and onion. Save room for dessert of apple pie with leaf lard crust and brown butter ice cream. Mignardises to follow. Yummy.
Book your table
With a wine list of 982 West Coast wines, The Restaurant provides guests with numerous wine pairing options for each dish. Open for lunch and dinner, with brunch service on Sunday, the dining room is gracious and inviting. The prix fixe excludes beverage, tax, gratuity.
The telephone number for reservations and information is (925) 456-2450 or online at www.wentevineyards.com. The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards is located at 5050 Arroyo Road in Livermore Valley, CA.