New restaurants, recipe ideas, and profiles of local chefs. N April 14, 2010 A
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By Jane Knoerle |
Almanac Lifestyles Editor
rtichokes and asparagus say spring to the cook. After a dreary winter of devising a dozen ways to cook chard or broccoli, it’s refreshing to go to the market and stock up on the season’s bounty. As vegetables go, artichokes aren’t easy. They are troublesome to prepare and messy to eat. But inside the thorny exterior is a vegetable that has been prized for its unique flavor since ancient times.
planted their prickly favorite. The first commercial artichoke fields were planted in Castroville in the 1920s. Castroville proclaims itself the artichoke capital of the world and celebrates with an artichoke festival, which will be held May 15 and 16 this year. Marilyn Monroe, then a young unknown, was crowned the festival’s California Artichoke Queen in 1948. Castroville is also home to the Giant Artichoke restaurant, which serves its
A tough and thorny exterior hides a delectable heart prized for centuries for its flavor Artichokes are thought to be native to Sicily. The plant is mentioned in Greek and Roman literature as far back as 77 A.D. Italians have been cooking artichokes for centuries. They boil them, fry them, bake them, and put them in sauce for pasta. When Italian immigrants came to California in the late 1800s, they soon
favorite vegetable in many ways, from soup to bread. Judging from restaurant reviews in Yelp, the food is not great, except for the deep fried artichoke hearts. Duarte’s Tavern in Pescadero is famous for artichoke soup, made with baby artichoke hearts, cream, chicken broth, and other good things.
Most of us are familiar with the large globe artichoke, but baby artichokes, long known to Italian cooks, have become trendy in the food world. Both Bon Appetit and Sunset magazines feature them in articles this spring. Baby artichokes are fully mature artichokes that grow closer to the ground, sheltered by the large leaves of the plant. They are easy to cook and prepare because the inner fuzzy portion of the choke does not develop, according to the Ocean Mist Farms Web site. To prepare them, snap off the lower petals until you reach the yellow-green core. Use a knife and cut of the top halfinch of the baby artichoke. Trim the stems and all remaining dark green areas from the base. Baby artichokes can be steamed over rapid boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. They may also be grilled, roasted or sauteed. Baby artichokes are available locally at Sigona’s markets in Redwood City and Palo Alto. Baby artichokes at Cedro
Penne with baby artichokes was one of the pasta specials that Maria Nevigato prepared for opera night recently at Cedro Ristorante Italiano, the family’s restaurant at 1010 El Camino Real, No. 140, in Menlo Park. Opera night takes place once a month
Baby artichokes, above, are gathered in a metal basket at Cedro Ristorante in Menlo Park. At far left, Cedro co-owner and chef Maria Nevigato displays a pasta dish that features fresh artichokes.
at Cedro and features three opera singers in a 30-minute performance, as well as dinner. The next opera night takes place Wednesday, April 21, with two seatings: 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Cedro is a family affair, with Maria as chef, her daughter, Elizabeth as manager, and Elizabeth’s father, Giuseppe, and brother, David, helping out. Although not of Italian descent, Maria Nevigato is a “born-again Italian” who learned to cook from her Italian-born mother-in-law, also named Maria. Maria’s mother and her future mother-in-law were good friends. “She was like a second mom to me,” the younger Maria says. Growing up in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, Maria started cooking when she was about 9. One of the first things she learned to make was gnocchi, which she called “little pillows.” Penne with baby artichokes is a dish Ms. Nevigato says she can put together easily. “The beautiful thing about it is you can eat the See ARTICHOKES, page 23
April 14, 2010 N The Almanac N 21
Photos by Michelle Le/The Almanac
S E C T I O N
ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS TOWN OF ATHERTON STATE OF CALIFORNIA MIDDLEFIELD ROAD AT ENCINAL AVENUE INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT NO. 56009 Notice is hereby given that SEALED BIDS will be received at the ofﬁce of the City Clerk, 91 Ashﬁeld Road, Atherton, California 94027, until 3:00 p.m. MAY 12, 2010, at which time they will be publicly opened and read, for performing the following work: ROADWAY WIDENING ON MIDDLEFIELD ROAD AND ENCINAL AVENUE; REMOVAL AND RELOCATION OF EXISTING FEATURES; INSTALLATION OF STORM DRAIN FACILITIES; CONSTRUCTION OF CONCRETE CURB, GUTTER, SIDEWALK AND CURB RAMPS; CONSTRUCTION OF A DRAINAGE SWALE; MODIFICATIONS TO PERMANENT ROADWAY STRIPING; REMOVAL OF AN EXISTING PEDESTRIAN CROSSWALK TRAFFIC SIGNAL; AND INSTALLATION OF A NEW TRAFFIC SIGNAL AT THE INTERSECTION OF MIDDLEFIELD ROAD AND ENCINAL AVENUE. The Engineer’s Estimate for the project is: $408,000 Bids must be for the entire work, and shall be submitted in sealed envelopes clearly marked: ”Bid of (Contractor) for MIDDLEFIELD ROAD AT ENCINAL AVENUE INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS, Project No. 56009”, along with date and time of bid opening. Plans and speciﬁcations may be obtained at the Town of Atherton Public Works Department, 91 Ashﬁeld Road, Atherton CA 94027, for a non-refundable fee of $40.00. Additional important information is contained in Town of Atherton Standard Speciﬁcations, which are available for an additional $20.00. If shipping is requested, there will be an additional charge of $20.00. Bids must be accompanied by a bid security in the form of cash, a cashier‘s or certiﬁed check or bid bond for not less than ten percent (10%) of the amount of the bid, as a guarantee that the bidder, if awarded the Contract, will fulﬁll the terms of the bid. The Town of Atherton reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and/or to waive any irregularities therein. Bidders are hereby notiﬁed that, pursuant to California Civil Code Sections 3247 and 3248 and Standard Speciﬁcations Section 3.02, the successful bidder will be required to provide payment and performance bonds in the amounts stated in Section 3.02 of the Standard Speciﬁcations. Bidders are hereby notiﬁed that provisions of California Labor Code regarding prevailing wages are applicable to the work to be performed under this contract. Pursuant to Section 1773 et seq. the general prevailing wage rates have been determined by the Director of the California Department of Industrial Relations and appear in the California Prevailing Wage Rates. Copies are on ﬁle at the ofﬁce of the City Engineer and are available to interested parties upon request. The successful bidder shall post a copy of the wage rates at the job site. The Contractor may elect to receive 100 percent of payments due under the contract, without retention of any portion of the payment by the Town of Atherton, by depositing securities of equivalent value to the retention amount in accordance with the provisions of Section 22300 of the California Public Contracts Code. The successful bidder must be licensed under the provisions of Chapter 9, Division 3, of the California Business and Professions Code to do the type of work contemplated in the project at the time the contract is awarded and shall be skilled and regularly engaged in the general class or type of work called for under the Contract. Failure of the bidder to obtain proper and adequate licensing for an award of the contract shall constitute a failure to execute the contract and result in the forfeiture of the bidder‘s bid security. Each bidder shall submit with this bid a statement setting forth his/her/its experience and qualiﬁcations. The statement shall be made on the forms provided by the Town and must accompany each bid. The three lowest bidders will be required to submit subcontractor‘s experience and qualiﬁcations statements within 48 hours of the bid opening, on forms provided by the Town. By submitting a bid in response to this advertisement for bids, the bidder shall be conclusively deemed to have read, understood and agreed with all of the information and materials contained in the bid documents, including but not limited to the construction contract, the standard speciﬁcations, the special provisions, the required nature and amount of insurance and the documentation evidencing said insurance. Any questions regarding the project should be directed to David Huynh, Project Engineer, telephone: (650) 752-0555 or by written Requests for Information (RFI) to: Public Works Department, 91 Ashﬁeld Road, Atherton, CA 94027, preferably no later than ﬁve days before bid opening. RFIs may be emailed to email@example.com or faxed to (650) 688-6539. For information on obtaining Plans and Speciﬁcations, Standard Speciﬁcations or obtaining a Plan Holders list, please call Judy Bellmont at (650) 752-0570.
22 N The Almanac N April 14, 2010
___________________________________ Duncan L. Jones, P.E., City Engineer
TOWN OF WOODSIDE 2955 WOODSIDE ROAD WOODSIDE, CA 94062
INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR COMMITTEES BICYCLE COMMITTEE Meets third Thursday of each month, 7:30 p.m.; appointed for two-year term. The Committee advises and recommends to the Town Council on the policies for planning, developing, maintaining, and usage of Town’s bikeways system.
CONSERVATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL H EALTH COMMITTEE Meets fourth Monday of each month, 6:00 p.m.; appointed for two-year term. The Committee advises and assists the Town Council, Planning Commission, and staff on conservation, open space, noise, public services and facilities as pertaining to the elements of the Town’s General Plan.
OPEN SPACE COMMITTEE Meets fourth Thursday of each month, 6:00 p.m.; appointed for two-year term. The Committee advises and assists the Town Council, Planning Commission and staff in implementing the policies and goals of the Open Space and Conservation elements of the General Plan, speciﬁcally with respect to acquisition and maintenance of conservation easements and open space preservation.
P UBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE Meets on call of Chair; appointed for two-year term. The Committee advises the Town Council and staff on issues of community public safety, including police and ﬁre services provided within the Town.
R ECREATION COMMITTEE Meets ﬁrst Thursday of each month, 7:30 p.m.; appointed for three-year term. The Committee guides the activities of the community recreation programs. Committees are volunteer positions and serve in an advisory capacity to the Town Council.
Interested residents may request information and applications Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-12 noon and 1-5:00 p.m., from the Town Clerk’s Ofﬁce at Town Hall, 2955 Woodside Road, or telephone (650) 851-6790, or through the Town’s web site at www.woodsidetown.org. Deadline for applications is Monday, April 19, 2010, 5:00 p.m.
F O O D
D R I N K
Anyone who may have knowledge about allegations that a member or members of Stanford Law School may have communicated negative information about former Stanford Law School students between 2001 and the present, is urged to call 415-205-8925. All responses will be kept conďŹ dential. Information may be pertinent to a pending lawsuit, case #CIV489678,ďŹ led in San Mateo County Superior Court.
EAT A PIZZA FOR PROJECT READ Amiciâ€™s East Coast Pizzeria in Menlo Park Patrons must bring the â€œRaise Some is sponsoring a fundraiser on Tuesday, Dough!â€? flier to the restaurant to particiWHATâ€™S April 27, from 5 to 10 p.m. that will let pate in the fundraiser that night. It can be COOKING you chow down on pizza, pasta and downloaded at projectreadmenlopark.org Food news other menu items while supporting adult by clicking on Upcoming Events. It is also in brief literacy education in the community. available at the Menlo Park Library at 800 â€œRaise Some Dough!â€? will benefit Alma St. Project Read-Menlo Park. During those For more information, call the Project five hours, 25 percent of the bill for Amiciâ€™s Read office at 330-2525. patrons who bring in a flier (available through Project Read) will be donated to the program, MarchĂŠ open for lunch which provides free tutoring for adults with For the first time since opening in 2001, limited English reading and writing skills. MarchĂŠ restaurant in downtown Menlo Park is The 25 percent contribution to the program serving lunch five days a week, Monday through applies to both dine-in and take-out orders, only Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Amiciâ€™s at 880 Santa Cruz Ave. Chef Guillaume Bienaime has created a menu Project Read has provided one-on-one tutorof lighter fare with salads, sandwiches, entrees, ing to thousands of adults since its establishment and desserts. Dishes will include golden beet in 1985. It currently has more than 90 volunteer carpaccio with harissa-spiced pistachios, orange tutors and 125 learners, according to Roberta and French feta, asparagus soup with fennel and Roth, literacy outreach specialist. potato veloute, short rib sandwich on baguette, Although the program gets most of its funding and Alaskan true cod with asparagus. from the city of Menlo Park, it is increasingly The restaurant also announced it is now serving relying on private donations and fundraising dinner on Monday nights â€” formerly a â€œdarkâ€? night. events as public funding dwindles during these MarchĂŠ is located at 898 Santa Cruz Ave. in dire economic times. Menlo Park.
-& #*& '(" $(&(%"" &(') " &%&%$"%&!( ) Serving Monday through Saturday
Breakfast 10am-11:30am Lunch 11:30am-2:30pm Tea & Desserts 2pm-4pm
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ARTICHOKES continued from page 21
whole artichoke.â€? Cedro sometimes also features a whole roasted globe artichoke as an a la carte special. It is served with a lemon caper sauce. Artichokes on the menu
An extra-large roasted artichoke, served with shrimp and crab, is the most popular item on the menu at Buckâ€™s of Woodside, according to owner Jamis MacNiven, who says Buckâ€™s sells 15,000 artichokes a year. The roasted artichoke entree is also An artichoke halved and topped with shrimp and Dungeness featured in the WoodHouse Fish Co. crab is the most popular item on the menu at Buckâ€™s in Woodside, restaurants operated in San Francisco by according to owner Jamis MacNiven. Jamisâ€™ sons, Rowan and Dylan. A popular appetizer at Carpaccio in downtown garnish for the fish. Menlo Park is an artichoke bottom with bay shrimp One fondly remembered dish I havenâ€™t seen on a and herb sauce. Itâ€™s been on the menu for as long as I menu for years is a stuffed artichoke, which was a can remember and is a customer favorite. popular item at Mama Leoneâ€™s old-time restaurant At Marche restaurant on Santa Cruz Avenue, in New York City. As I recall, the stuffing was made chef Guillaume Bienaime prepares a barigoule of from bread crumbs, sausage, parmesan cheese, artichoke, fennel and prosciutto served with Cali- parsley and garlic. fornia white bass. The Web identifies a barigoule The trend today is toward simple preparation, as an artichoke stew, prepared with fresh artichoke letting the unique taste of the elegant artichoke hearts. Mr. Bienaime says his barigoule is more of a shine through.
Photos by Michelle Le/The Almanac
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Penne with Baby Artichokes (Penne con Carciofi)
s BABY AR TICHOKES s FRESH TOMATOES DICED s GARLIC CLOVES s %XTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL s CUP LEMON JUICE s 3PRIG OF ROSEMARY s 4 FRESH BASIL
ls until you reach the yellowAfter rinsing artichokes, snap off lower peta half-inch of the baby artichoke, or green core. Use a knife and cut of the top the stems and all remaining darkjust below the green tips of the petals. Trim quar ters and place in 4 cups into s hoke green areas from the base. Cut artic ar to keep them from discoloring ice water with 1/2 cup lemon juice or vineg while you work . of water, mashed garlic clove, 1 Place artichokes in small pot with two cups salt to taste. Cook for 15 teaspoon olive oil, sprig of rosemary, and s and put aside. hoke artic to 20 minu tes, until tender. Strain spoons olive oil, teaWhile artichokes are cook ing, put 2 table onion in sauce pan ed minc spoon of minced garlic, teaspoon of toes. Bring to simmer toma fresh cups over medium heat . Add two pepper to taste. Add and saute for 3 to 5 minu tes. Add salt and artichokes and basil. ND PARMESAN CHEESE 3ERVE OVER PENNE TOP WITH BASIL LEAVES A
April 14, 2010 N The Almanac N 23
HOW SHARP IS YOUR VISION? To determine visual acuity, a person must sit
20 feet in front of a Snellen Chart (“E Chart”) and read the printed letters. The distance of 20 feet is used for testing purposes because, at that distance, the eye is relaxed and its lens is in a neutral position (not trying to focus). At 20 feet, those with normal visual acuity can clearly read three-eighths-inch letters. They are said to have “20/20 vision” because at 20 feet from the chart, they see what a normally sighted person sees at
20 feet. When a person’s visual acuity is worse than normal, the second number will be larger than 20. Visual acuity is only one factor used to determine overall visual ability. There are many new styles in eyewear on the market today. If you have not had an opportunity to see these styles first hand, please visit MENLO OPTICAL at 1166 University Drive, on the corner of Oak Grove Avenue and University Drive. We carry a wide selection of eye-catching designer frames in several sizes, colors, and materials. Please call us at 322-3900 if you have any questions about this week’s column. We work with several ophthalmologists in the area and can recommend one to you. P.S. A person with 20/40 vision can see at 20 feet what a normally sighted person sees at 40 feet. Mark Schmidt is an American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners Certified Optician licensed by the Medical Board of California. He can be easily reached at Menlo Optical, 1166 University Drive, Menlo Park. 650-322-3900.
Free Disposal of Hazardous Waste Drop-off Event for Menlo Park Residents
Saturday May 8th Appointment Required
To Make an Appointment and Get Location Details:
Call 363-4718 Anytime Or Visit
C O M M U N I T Y
Woodside High auction set for April 24 “Spring into Auction,” Woodside High School’s annual benefit auction, will be held from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton. Among the items in this year’s auction is a “golden key to the garden,” where the winning bidder visits the school’s garden once a week for a year to stock up on seasonal fruits and vegetables. The garden, located on campus, is part of the school’s Green Academy. Students care for the garden, under the guidance of teacher Josh Rubin. A dinner for six with school principal David Reilly, donated and hosted by the Woodside Bakery, is another auction item. Among trips up for bid is a visit to New York City, with accommodations at a private apartment overlooking Central Park. Britt-Marie Sundquist is chair of the event. Her committee includes Leslie Ballinger of Woodside and Kathleen Carr of Portola Valley, president of the Woodside High School Foundation. Cost of the dinner and live auction is $100 per person. The cost for cocktails and the silent auction is $50 per person. For more information, call 299-9711, or go to woodsidehs.org and click on WHS Foundation. Menlo Fine Arts Festival this week
TOWN OF PORTOLA VALLEY 765 Portola Road Portola Valley, CA 94028
The Town of Portola Valley is seeking an individual interested in providing Transcription Service for the Town Council and Planning Commission meetings. The successful candidate will be experienced, reliable and have the ability to work independently. Strong attention to detail and the ability to meet quick turn around deadlines is required. You are invited to view current minute format at www.portolavalley.net under Town Government section on the Homepage. You must have the ability to accept Audio files MP3 and/or CD formats. Government experience preferred but not required. All interested parties are requested to submit a letter of interest, no later than Friday, April 23, 2010 to: Town Manager, Angela Howard Town of Portola Valley 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley, CA 94028 For further information, please contact Sharon Hanlon, Town Clerk at 650-851-1700, extension 210 24 N The Almanac N April 14, 2010
The 28th annual Sidewalk Fine Arts Festival will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 16-18, on Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Menlo Park. The festival will feature the work of 100 artists and craftsmen, including jewelry, photography, ceramics, painting, sculptures, and more. Among the participants are Locke Heemstra of San Mateo, who will showcase his photography of images around the world; Robert Wunce of Santa Cruz, featuring silver jewelry; and Shirley Robles of Danville, who will display whimsical fountains and ceramic sculptures of rabbits and frogs. Zenon Hipolito, a weaver specializing in Zapotec native art, which originated in Oaxaca, will be weaving rugs during the festival. He offers many styles and colors of rugs and pillows. Hours for the sidewalk sale are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday