Chef Jason Montelibano brings his creative touch to Chapter One by introducing new fall menu items. Between the menu items and the ambiance of the Santa Ana restaurant’s historical downtown location on Broadway, Chapter One keeps pace with the concept it launched three years ago—modern local meets pub warmth.
Chapter One is comfortable and timeless. Owner Jeffrey Hall said, “It’s cool to rejuvenate history in an urban environment.” Chapter One is located in the 1928 (former) Pacific Building.
He speaks of his “new” chef with a certain amount of pride since his “new chef” has been with Chapter One since Day One! “He’s a creative and down-to-earth person. This is his first full menu.”
Common flavors to hit the taste buds are maple, bacon and ginger to name a few. And, the new menu items are accompanied by top-notch service.
Montelibano also known as Chef Chicken Wing designs his menu around the restaurant’s focus on seasonal, local sustainable and organic ingredients when available. “When I revamped the menu, I wanted to stay true to our concept and our guests,” said Montelibano. “Regulars will notice that many of the dishes have a new spin and presentation, but with a familiarity. Like a 2.0 version.”
Recommended the fall menu
Among items to try:
-- Bird’s Nest, three mini Scotch eggs, frisee salad, bacon jam and mustard sauce. ($9)
-- Cassoulet Scallop, panned seared to perfection and served with a creamy chive vinaigrette ($9)
--Tuna 2-Step (plate), seasame-panko crusted Ahi filet on a bed of stir-fried organic vegetables, spicy ginger-citrus oyster soy sauce, peanut butter powder accompanied by a tuna tartar with roasted corn, scallions, cilantro, and ginger vinaigrette ($24)
--Seasonal Squash Salad, roasted seasonal squash, dried cranberries, butter lettuce, goat cheese, crostini, honey Dijon vinaigrette ($10).
--Lamb & Gnocchi, homemade potato gnocchi, lamb ragout, heirloom carrots, gremolata, feta cheese, curried granola, fried kale ($18).
Cocktails to enjoy
Probably Chapter One’s signature drink is the Moscow Mule. Hall said that in two-and-half years the restaurant has sold 50,000 of these refreshing, subtly potent house made ginger beer and Svedka vodka-based drink (with Chase elderflower liqueur and lime). The restaurant’s ginger comes from Brazil. Part of the drink’s charm is the coveted and carefully guarded copper mug in which the cocktail is served. Seriously, the copper mug requires ID/or $25 deposit to make sure the 100% copper mug “doesn’t get legs.”
Other creative cocktails worth sipping:
Monkey Party highlighted by Looza Banana Juice, Stroh 80, St. Elizabeth’s Allspice and egg white. It’s the restaurant’s twist on the Banana Foster!
Belly of the Beast (for the more adventurous), house made bacon bourbon, Luxardo cherry liqueur, Dolin vermouth, Kampot pepper tincture. The slower you drink it, the more the flavors meld.
86 (degree) Coffee Cocktail. Don’t miss this one. Cold steeped coffee, Michter’s US1 unblended, Luxardo Amaretto, Amarula South African cream liqueur, smoked sea salt.
The fall menu fits Montelibano’s award-winning style, including winning To Live & Dine Event hosted by Riviera Magazine. He earned his way to new head chef at Chapter One along with captain of the Chapter One culinary team.
Chapter One: 227 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, 92701. 714-352-2225