I write all of the Palo Santo menus just moments before we open for service. Part of the reason being that we use a lot of seasonal local ingredients, but honestly the most important reason is that it keeps my job interesting. In my 12 years of experience I have spent some time at restaurants that were not in the practice of changing their menus -ever. I have also spent some time working with menus that were in a constant state of flux. The chef would hand me a revised preplist every day. As nerve-racking as it may sound to walk in to work in a kitchen not yet knowing what I was going to be cooking, it was also incredibly exciting and I found the challenge to be invigorating. I knew for a long time that when I opened up my own place I would offer a daily changing menu. It’s the opportunity to apply my creativity that holds my attention and keeps me excited about my job. I change my menu daily to reflect, not just changing seasons, but also new inspirations and the constant itch to try something new. Otherwise I can’t imagine how I personally would stay interested in what I do.
Usually my menus don’t get posted on the internet -before or after they are served, but in this case I have had a couple of request made by people who dined at Palo Santo on February 14th. Below you will find our Valentine’s Day menu, with the wine pairings included. It may seem odd to you that I am posting my Valentine’s Day menu on February 22 -more than a week after it was served. I am sure that in many people’s minds it would have made better business sense to post the menu weeks or even months ahead of time. During the time leading up to the holiday I fielded a lot of calls from people who wanted to know what we were serving prior to committing to a reservation. I had to give them my well practiced spiel about the cuisine being “market driven,” and sell them on the idea that they would be pleasantly surprised upon arriving and being given a fresh -and previously unseen- copy of our daily changing menu. It worked and on February 14th we had a packed house of happy diners.
Celery Root Puree ~ Blanc de Blanc NV Valdivieso, Extra Brut, Chile
~Appetizer~ choose one:
Tostada de Nopalitos ~ Sauvignon Blanc ’09 Echeverria, Molina, Chile
Poached Lobster ~ Rose de Malbec ’07 Reginato, “Celestina,” Argentina
Anticuchos ~ Pinot Grigio ’08 Channing Daughters “Ramato,” New York
~Mid Course~ choose one:
Guiso de Platano ~ Torrontés ’08 Porvenir de los Andes, “Laborum,“ Argentina 34/ 9
Picante de Mariscos ~ Riesling ’06 Heron Hill, “Ingle Vineyard,” New York
Pan Roasted Duck Breast ~ Pinot Noir ’08 Lurton, “Araucano,” Chile
~Main Course~ choose one:
Mushrooms & Dumplings ~ Rosso Fresco, ’07 Channing Daughters NY
Seared Yellow Fin Tuna ~ Malbec ’07 Susana Balbo, Argentina
Rack of Wild Boar ~ Tannat ’05 Porvenir de los Andes, “Laborum,“ Argentina
Chef’s Tasting ~ Tannat NV Viñedo de los Vientos “Alcyone,” Uruguay