Blissful Foodie Dreams with Dominique Crenn and Pajo Bruich

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Haute Living was invited to Enotria Restaurant and Wine Bar’s exclusive and diverse 12- course tasting menu and wine paring. The evening was specially created and prepared by celebrity guest and two-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn (of Atelier Crenn) and Enotira’s own Chef Pajo Bruich, as part of his “Guest Chef Series”.

The dining room was buzzing with excitement while mouthwatering aromas drifted out of the open-air kitchen as guests arrived to the sold-out dinner. Take a sneak peek at this behind the scenes video clip from the evening.

Executive Chefs Crenn and Bruich alternated courses, which allowed their work to be proudly showcased and was creatively displayed in the form of an abstract poem that was created by Enotria staff member, Jesse Hill.The Grand tasting menu was $165 with the added wine pairing for $95.

Dominique Crenn Photo:
Dominique Crenn Photo:

Consistent with Crenn’s style and quality, she planned an incredible menu comprising of Oyster Leaf, “The Sea” (razor clam broth, seaweed, Plankton gel, Mussels), Beef Tartar, Squab, Guava Consommé, and Pear.

The plates arrived fit to be exhibited in a fine art gallery. Every detail was attended to, which delivered a remarkable appearance combined with the intense burst of flavors, made for a gourmet experience. Such was the case with the Angus rib eye Beef Tartar that came wrapped in a soft egg yolk blanket, fermented broccoli stems and crispy florettes.

Beef Tartar

Another one of Crenn’s standout dishes was the Squab, which was aged for 5 days and served with fermented kumquats, Summer squash, red currents and more. Naturally, this offering lived up to Crenn’s standards and Hill’s description in the poem, “Behold! It shows itself!”

Crenn’s final tantalizing course was a thrilling palate stimulator of pear sorbet that was perfectly molded into the shape of a pear and sprayed with red sangria ice, white port emulsion, and pear skin puree leaving a memorable completion to the evening.

Chef Bruich’s amazing abilities dazzled guests with his distinctive and scrumptious selections that consisted of Lobster, Duck Liver, Tongue, Agnolotti, Celery Root, and Mignardises.

The thinly sliced brined beef tongue was flawlessly accented with a divine collection of fine ingredients such as, coconut yogurt puree, lemongrass custard, pickled Serrano chili and many more. This particular dish was such a hit that Chef Bruich stated that it would become a permanent offering on Enotria’s menu.

Beef Tongue

Another standout dish was Bruich’s Maine Lobster that was creatively accented with dehydrated caviar, Lobster roe, apple brunoise and micro shiso. The intense combination of flavors delivered an astonishing experience for the taste buds.

Past guest chef series have included some predominate names in the Bay Area’s culinary community including Mark Liberman, whose restaurant AQ in San Francisco was nominated for a James Beard Award for “best new restaurant” (2011), Matthew Accarrino from SPQR, Michelin-starred Joey Elenterio (formerly of Chez TJ) and Chef de Cuisine Mark Pensa of Michelin-starred Acquerello. Mark your calendars for Chef de Cuisine Duncan Holmes of San Francisco’s Michelin-starred Sons & Daughters, he will grace Enotria with his culinary skills this November.

Haute Living enjoyed the pleasure of sitting down with Chef Bruich to chat about his inspirations, ambitions, and what guests can expect for the future.
Chef Bruich Photo:

Where did the name “Enotira” come from and what does it mean?

Enotria is the Latin word for ‘land of wine’. The owner is very fond of wine, Italian wines in particular and wanted it to have the greatest wine list in Sacramento where wine savvy people could dine and enjoy an entire wine experience.

How did you select the guest chefs?

I picked chefs that inspired me. Somebody I felt that I would have a good vibe with, to develop a relationship that was very unique. Also their willingness and interest and desire to participate. The buzz about Sacramento has started, chefs and restaurateurs are aware and excited to experience it.

How did you get the chefs to make the trip to Sacramento?

I asked! (followed by laughter), I picked up the phone and asked Dominique Crenn to come up to Sacramento. It’s my desire to connect the Bay Area food community more, forge relationships between passionate chefs and purveyors and show them how exciting things are in Sacramento right now.

What can guests expect to see in the future?

We’ve had a great response to the chefs that we’ve reached out to. My initial intention was to chose 6 chefs and say the series is over, but seeing the response to the series, I am having so much fun with it, I think it would be foolish to end it. It’s something we can continue to do.

What goes into planning a guest chef’s dinner?

We put a tremendous amount of work into each dinner. We want to embody the spirit of the chef and restaurant that is coming into our restaurant that night. With Dominque Crenn, we worked on a menu that tells a story because that’s what she does in her restaurant.

Any closing remarks for our readers?

I believe in what I am doing. Regardless if I was in Paris, London, or New York, I would be doing the exact same thing. This is the root of who I am and how I want to work. The future of Sacramento will flourish as a result of it.

It is clear that Chef Bruich is raising the standard of culinary passion and standards in Sacramento by hosting the Guest Chef Series. Additionally, Bruich recently hired General Manager Jenny Yun, who was formerly the assistant restaurant director at Meadowood and head concierge at the well-known New York City hotspot, Per Se.

To book a reservation, call 916.922.6792 or book online

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