A love song to the region’s exceptional ingredients, chef Michael Tusk’s formula for success is straightforward: Make friends with the best famers, ranchers, and fishermen in the region, ensure they reserve the best of the best for you, then lovingly and simply combine them into superb, seasonally focused dishes. Tusk, who honed his skills at Chez Panisse (the iconic Bay Area restaurant that pioneered California’s seasonal farm-table cooking style), takes this concept to the highest level, allowing ingredients to star on a plate without much distraction. Not surprisingly, the price for preciousness doesn’t come cheaply — the prix-fixe menu is priced at $220, and wine pairings are also available for an additional $178. Many of the dishes are Italian in origin (like the squab cannelloni with wild nettle, spring onion, and porcini mushroom); though the meaty entrees also shine (dry-aged side of beef with salt-crusted formanova beet, bone marrow, and nasturtium is a menu stand out, as is the suckling pig featuring turnip and whey). Leave room for dessert—not to mention the international cheese cart with tastings from France, Italy, and California. For the sweet tooth, the ganache, with salted cocoa nib toffee, candied hazelnut, and buttermilk sherbet is sure to satisfy. For a lighter dining experience, check out the bar menu which offers la carte items.
- Erika Lennert