Pairing Olive Oil As You Would With Wine Will Set Your Menu Apart

Much like wine, there is a method behind choosing the right olive oil for restaurant dishes. Using a specific olive oil can not only complement and reinforce flavors in a chef’s dish, but also highlight the unique taste the oil brings to it. This can help you set your menu apart from others, and elevate your guests’ dining experience.

When you are creating your restaurant’s menu, consider olive oils with these flavor categories in mind: delicate, medium or robust.

Delicate olive oils have a somewhat buttery or floral taste, with a light peppery finish. These oils pair best with menu items like raw and mild tasting foods, adding a more subtle flavor to your dish. Think fish, mild salad greens, mild cheeses, pesto, raw vegetables. Your guests will love this attention to detail in your restaurant menu.

Medium olive oils usually have a fruity taste, with a spicy or peppery finish. These are best paired with white meats, and carbohydrates or sweeter foods. For instance, the Mandrova Nocellara, is a medium-fruity varietal from Sicily, Italy. The olives are grown on the Mandrova farm and crushed right after harvesting to produce an oil with the fragrance of fresh cut grass, artichokes and tomatoes. The spicy flavor is balanced with the bitterness, yielding it as a continually recognized product garnering the 2018 NYIOOC Gold Medal.

Robust olive oils are more pungent and have an intense, bold flavor with a strong peppery finish. These oils pair best with richer, bitter, and/or complex menu items. Such as beef, lamb, marinades, stew, pasta sauce, and bold cheeses. Consider using the Guglielmi Intenso, made from one hundred percent crushed Coratina variety olives grown in the northern region of Puglia. Its intense and spicy notes pair great with bitter greens and/or a raw oily fish.

When unsure of what olive oil will work best with your dish, remember the saying: what grows together tastes good together. For more tips on flavor notes and pairing dishes, and Foodable’s select list of olive oils, watch the video above.

Trending New Products to Feature in Your Restaurant From the 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show

Trending New Products to Feature in Your Restaurant From the 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show
  • The 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show can help you find a new product to feature in your restaurant.

  • Foodable found new trendy products you’ll want to include in your menus.

If you’re an operator, your goal is to have an on trend restaurant with the latest products to keep you there.

The specialty food industry has been growing, earning in $140.3 billion last year alone. So how can you decide on products that will keep you trending?

Foodable has you covered. We attended the Summer Fancy Food Show, presented by the Specialty Food Association, a specialty food trade show showcasing the latest innovations in the industry.

Here is a quick look at some products you won’t want to miss out on.

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Korean and Italian Cuisine ‘Blossoming’ at Modern-American Restaurant Piora

On this “On Foodable Side Dish,” we join Foodable video correspondent Agnes Chung, as she takes us to West Village to explore the Michelin-starred restaurant Piora, a concept brought to life between the collaboration of proprietor Simon Kim and Chef Christopher Cipollone. What makes this upscale and intimate restaurant unique? It pays homage to both of their Korean and Italian heritages.

Behind the Name

Piora means "to blossom" in Korean, and that's what the concept does on a daily basis.

"The whole representation of how a flower blossoms is how the restaurant kind of is. People come in, get all the preparations ready. The restaurant blossoms, opens up — like a flower would. And then it kind of dwindles down. It's like the cycle of life kind of thing," Chef Christopher Cipollone said.

While Korean and Italian cuisine is normally associated with family-style, homey feelings, Piora elevates their dishes to elegance. From the trip the owners took to Korea, they delivered their dishes in a way New York could digest. And following the Italian-cuisine mentality, their dishes rotate often, sometimes switching out dishes in two weeks, to use a few, simple ingredients at their seasonal peak.

"We're really just a Modern American restaurant with just some of the influences of who we are," Cipollone said. "It's more like we're just trying to achieve delicious."

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Behind the Kitchen

In the kitchen, Agnes Chung joins the chef as he prepares two dishes. One is a madai plate that is beautifully arranged with avocado puree, flower salt from Spain, spring flowers, and cereal-puff-like but savory farro for texture. Using liquid nitrogen, Cipollone adds a frozen element to the dish that helps keep the fish cool, and allows it to season and melt on the fish once the plate is served to the guest.

The second dish is a ramp bucatini with pancetta, with the ramps charred on a grill and with dashes of black pepper, salt, and lemon zest. It is put into a mold before it is topped with buttery egg yolk poached in olive oil and parmesan. 

Still hungry for more? Watch the full episode for a bigger bite of Piora.

"Top Dish" Round Two: Vancouver's Cinara

"Top Dish" Round Two: Vancouver's Cinara

Which restaurant reigns supreme? Find out in "Top Dish," a multi-part mini-series where the top three Canadian restaurants go head-to-head for the title of best dish. Restaurants and their chefs, one in Montreal, one in Vancouver, and one in Toronto, will fire up their pans and show off why their talent, style, and concept make them No. 1.

How It's Scored

The scoring system for "Top Dish" begins by determining the top restaurant in each city through our proprietary Foodable Labs data, but to shake things up, we've enlisted the top local food influencers to put their taste buds to the test as critics. Each critic's responsibility is to taste the chef's featured dish (sign us up!) and give a serving of the truth — what is their honest, on-camera critique? (Not in front of the chefs, of course. Unless they're watching this now...)

Our critics are asked to privately rate different elements of the dish and experience to determine an overall score. The overall scores for each restaurant are revealed at the end of "Top Dish." But what goes behind each of the scores? Three things: the critic's scorecard (which includes selection, tableware, plating, ingredients, and more on a scale of 1 to 10), food sentiment score, and service sentiment score, the latter two tracked by Foodable Labs. In total, the highest score a restaurant can earn is 270 points.

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Minneapolis Saying Cheers to Italian Wines!

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Italian wine lovers, pop a bottle and celebrate. The glass is definitely half-full (or completely full or totally empty...depending on how fast you can down your drink and refill) because they are now the focus of several new Minneapolis food operators.

Last month, Italian restaurants and their culinary geniuses have opened up to delight the metro. Along with these eateries, wholesalers have brought delicious drinks from across the sea to our taste buds. 

"My first surprise was that there was so much great Italian wine in the market," Mary Kole Macdonald of Parella said. Her wine list, which she deems is large and vibrant, is 100 percent Italian.

"I had picked so much Sicilian wine that I was totally blindsided," she said. "They have that warmer climate that's accessible to people. The grapes are mostly native, and they have these interesting expressions that are so layered, so many where I felt like there was really strong terroir aspect. I found myself having a love affair with Sicily." Read More