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Executive Chef Mark Sandoval


    Pumpkin Tortelloni

Dining with Chefs: Executive Chef Mark Sondoval

We also tried the Garganelli. "We make that pasta fresh daily, too," Chef Sandoval said. "We couple this with a Bolognese, which we do with feal -- a port Italian sausage -- and also beef. We put a little bit of chile flake and a bit of fennel which provides a little heat."

Next, we tried the Sauteed Scallops. "That is certainly one of the dishes that people just absolutely love," Chef Sandoval pointed out. "We use the big U10 scallops over a little cauliflower puree. We make the sauce in the pan. We'll cook the scallops until they are cooked and then we'll pull out and let them rest. Then we'll sautee a little bit of mint shallot deglazed with white wine in the pan so all of the goodness from the scallop is released in the sauce. We'll add golden raisins, florets of romanesco and capers, and then we'll finish it with a little bit of butter and herbs and spoon it right over the top. Typically we'll get the scallops January through March from Ingrid Bingis, a purveyor out of Maine who provides to only a select handful of restaurants around the country. She's an artisan purveyor. She doesn't just sell anything. Everything she has is her own. She's even her own fishmonger. She gathers all of her own products; they are hand-picked and hand-selected. They just melt in your mouth and are delicious. She is second to none. We are very fortunate to work with her."


Next we sampled a trio of desserts. First was the Raspberry Chocolate Chip Souffle with the raspberry and chocolate straciatella gelato, which our host recommended. "It is tremendous when it comes to the table," he told us. "It's really eye catching; this one is tremendously light and full of flavor."

Second was the Mille Feuille. "This is one of my favorites," Chef Sandoval said. "It's crunchy with creamy caramel." When we mentioned that we ate more of this one than we anticipated, Chef Sandoval added, "That's the way it happens. It's so good you just keep going. It's essentially pata brick or brick dough -- a very thin crepe that we bake with a little bit of espresso into an espresso wafer. That's how thin they are. They are like a crepe but paper thin -- almost like phylo but thinner. We brush it with a little bit of butter, put on some ground espresso and bake to order. We then assemble them in a napoleon fashion with the caramel custard."

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