A time to be thankful

November brings thankful into our hearts and warmth and love to our bellies.

In today’s post we will be exploring things we are thankful for around Julia’s.

Fresh produce tops the list and brings a new level of delicious  into our dishes.

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Stunning floral arrangements adorn each table for a beautiful pop of color

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And, our Team Members make experiences great from start to finish.

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What are you most thankful for?  Share with us in the comments below.

Cheers!

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Love for cheese – Part three

We have more delicious coming from the Kitchen and it consists of blue cheese!

Blue cheese can be used in a variety of ways – eaten by itself, spread, crumbled or melted into or over foods.

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Featured on our current Dinner menu is escargot, served with garlic blue cheese butter and dinner rolls.

This offering has been a hit on the menu so come in and treat yourself.

Cheers!

Love for cheese – Part one

Do we have any cheese lovers frequenting Julia’s?

Let’s learn a bit more about Chef Wolfgang’s favorites to include in his dishes.

Today…Brie!

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Brie is the best-known French cheese and is named after the French region Brie, where it was originally created.

Brie is produced from cow’s milk. After the cheese is cast into molds it is then salted and aged for a minimum of four weeks.

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Currently on the Dinner menu is a starter of obatzda-infused brie served alongside crostini.

We think it is nothing short of amazing.

All about Steak

For most people, a steak should be cooked in a certain way.

Do you know the color of each option or approximate times and temperatures for cooking?

Feast your eyes on today’s blog post to learn all about it!

Kitchen tip

Keep a meat thermometer in your arsenal of tools.  It may become one of the most important tools in your kitchen.  Using it is the only way to ensure meat is prepared to a safe minimum internal temperature and when harmful food bacteria, such as Salmonella and E.Coli, will be destroyed.

Extra-rare or Blue 

Internal temp of 115 – 120° F

The steak is seared on the outside and cooked for 1 minute on each side.  The center of the steak is 100% red.

Rare  

Internal temp of 125 – 130° F

The meat is seared outside and cooked for 2.5 minutes on each side.  This option leaves the steak with a 75% red center and the meat is fairly soft.

Medium rare  

Internal temp of 130 – 140° F

This option is seared on the outside and cooked for 3-4 minutes on each side.  A 50% red center is produced and the meat is firm to the touch. Often times, this is the ideal preparation for a steak lover.

Medium  

Internal temp of 140 – 150° F

A safe bet for pleasing most diners preferences, this option is seared outside and cooked for 4 minutes on each side.  The result is a 25% red center.

Medium Well

Internal temp of 150 – 155° F

This option leaves a slight hint of pink after it is cooked 5 minutes on each side.

Well done  

Internal temp of 160 – 212° F

Cooked for 5 minutes on each side, a well-done steak is 100% gray-brown throughout and very firm.  It can be dry and lack juiciness.

Looking for tips from Chef Scott to treat yourself to the very best? 

If choosing the Filet, order it medium-rare to get the full flavor of the meat and optimum tenderness

Alternatively, when it comes to a New York strip steak or Ribeye, a medium temperature is where he finds the optimum flavor is reached along with peak juiciness.

Cheers to your next delicious meal!

Top 5 Kitchen essentials

Do you have a few tried and true Kitchen favorites that you love to rave about?

Executive Chef, Alaun Grimaud, shares his picks that create ease in the Kitchen.

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Chef Alaun inside Julia’s / Image by Team Member, Trevor Johnson

And, here we go!

1.  An 8″ or 10″ Chef’s knife

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It is one of the most indispensable of knives and also a favorite when it comes to chopping, dicing and slicing.

 If you want to follow in his footsteps, Chef Alaun uses Sabatier knives from France.

2.  A 2.5″ paring knife

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Used for peeling and chopping fruits and vegetables, it will become one of the most versatile knives in your Kitchen.

3.  An 18” x 24” heavy duty cutting board

Insider tip:  Chef recommends against wood cutting boards

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White marble cutting board

Surfaces like plastic or glass are easier to clean than wood.

Wood is naturally porous, and those tiny grooves tend to harbor bacteria.

4.  KitchenAid Mixer

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A 5-Quart Mixer (perfect size for home)

An essential if you have desserts and pastries on the brain

5.  A Vita-Prep high speed blender

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Yes, they are expensive, but nothing purees food or soups finer

While these items may be pricey on the pocketbook, they are timeless in your Kitchen.

 Take care of them and they will last you for many meals to come.

Dessert favorites

If you saved enough room after the delicious bread, great appetizer and filling entree, you may be pondering one (or two?) of our amazing house made desserts.

Our servers are always ready and willing to recommend one that is getting rave reviews or that they have sampled in the Kitchen.

Without further adieu, a few favorites of the Julia’s team.

Mouth watering commence…

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Warm pear cake, vanilla poached pears, toffee sauce, brown butter ice cream

Looks stunning, right?  Even the description makes it sound yummy.

This one is a must try.  The cake is soft and fresh, the toffee sauce, decadent, and the ice cream – it is on another level of g-o-o-d.

Chocolate ganache bar, warm chocolate cake, pecans, lavender cream

Chocolate ganache bar, warm chocolate cake, pecans, lavender cream

Stunning presentation on this one.  This dessert is rich, but the small portion makes it perfect for sharing.

Do we have you excited to see one more?

Lemon tart, roasted marshmallow, confit Meyer lemon

Lemon tart, roasted marshmallow, confit Meyer lemon

Lemon lovers, unite!  This one is incredibly delicious and you can taste the quality of the lemons chosen.  Well done, Chef.  Well done.

If you want to come in and treat yourself, call us at 510.280.1547 or book a reservation online.

Restaurant Week favorites

With just a few days left of Berkeley Restaurant Week, we hope you have come in and treated yourself to a meal (or two!) with us.

If you have yet to make it in, do so before this Saturday, January 31st.

It will be worth your while, because, (bonus!) the restaurant is beautiful…

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Julia’s at lunchtime

And then we have the main reason you came, the food!

Unassuming as they are, and a food many thought they did not like…

Beets…

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One of the favorite entrees this year has definitely been the fish.  Any kind will do.  Light enough for Lunch and substantial with its accompaniments for dinner.

Let’s just say it is a win win.

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And, for dessert (because, well, it’s included in the price and the portions are small…)

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Any (and all) versions of Chef Alaun’s cake are so yummy.

So, if the Chocolate Ganache Bar we mentioned before is too rich for your blood, a light bit of cake and ice cream have been a winner among many diners.

So, come in and join us before Restaurant Week is over.

Menu items vary based upon availability. (only the best and freshest for our diners!)

Reservations are available for both Lunch and Dinner on Open Table or reach us via phone at 510.280.1547.

Types of Salt

In the kitchen and on the table, not all salt is created equal.

News to you?  Not to worry.  We are here to explain.

Let’s start with the most basic to most of us.

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Table salt 

Mined and processed to form very small cubes, it is some of the most uniform of all salt.  It can tend to taste really “salty” and harsh.

 In comparison, it is not really any saltier than others, it’s just that the crystals are small and sometimes difficult to dissolve.  Because of this, the crystals tend to linger on your tongue’s surface.

Uses

Typically the “go to” salt for your baking (and most cooking) needs.

The uniformly shaped crystals make table salt the best choice for baking, where precise measurements are critical.

Kosher salt

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Most kosher salts contain no additives.  It is made by compacting granular salt between rollers, which produces large, irregular flakes.

Kosher salt is generally reserved for meats and recipes that call specifically for it. It keeps pork chops tender, steaks juicy and chicken breast moist.

Uses

A great seasoning salt for meats.  Ir is also ideal for making spice rubs, marinades and brines.

Maldon sea salt

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A great sea salt for finishing.  It is expensive, starting at $11/pound and going up, but a little goes a long way with the delicate flavor it holds.

Uses

To naturally enhance the flavors of your food. Ideal for cooking or seasoning dishes for a clean, fresh taste without bitterness.

Sel Gris

“Gray salt” is harvested on France’s Atlantic coast where shallow basins are flooded with ocean water.

The salt picks up its gray color and distinct flavor from the minerals at the bottom of the basin.

It has lots of great uses – from kitchen to table!

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Uses

A dense salt, high in moisture content.  It makes a great enhancement to meats and root vegetables.

The world of salt extends beyond what we have mentioned here, but it is a great little peek in to what is best to use for most day-to-day scenarios.

Next time you are out dining, keep your eyes peeled for different salts in action!

Summertime favorites at Julia’s

Have you been into Julia’s lately for one (or, more) of Chef Alaun’s specialties?

Consider starting with this Butter lettuce salad of Comice pear, toasted almonds, radishes and Dijon Vinaigrette.

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Share with a dining partner (or enjoy all to yourself) these succulent scallops found of the menu at Lunch or Dinner.

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Continue feasting on this delectable entree of roasted duck breast, brussels sprouts, chestnuts, trumpet mushrooms and duck jus

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Image by Anna Wu

We hope you saved room for dessert.  You can’t beat Chef Alaun’s warm pear cake, vanilla poached pears, toffee sauce and brown butter ice cream.

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Image by Anna Wu

Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine is.

 Open Table is calling my name to book a reservation, stat.

If we can assist you with booking your next dinner reservation or a special occasion luncheon to celebrate nothing more than enjoying amazing cuisine, call us at 510.280.1547.

We are here Tuesday through Saturday for your dining bliss.