SARATOGA (CBS SF) – Chef Peter Armellino began cooking professionally in New York when he was 17 years old. Following stints at both Gotham Bar & Grill and Grammercy Tavern, he decided to come out west and soon landed a sous chef position at Jardinière where he worked with Chef Douglas Keane. His resume also includes working with Chef Laurent Manrique at both Campton Place and Aqua. Chef Traci des Jardins decided to bring Chef Peter along with her to the set of Iron Chef where they made easy work of beating the orange clogs off of Mario Batali in Battle Shrimp.
Under Chef Armellino’s leadership, The Plumed Horse in Saratoga has been added to the very short list of Northern California restaurants to lay claim to a coveted Michelin Star. He also carries the title of Best Chef in The South Bay. The Plumed Horse’s Executive chef and partner Peter Armellino’s quintessentially California food is luxurious and refined. The list of 1,800 wines from around the world is encyclopedic and the service is formal but friendly.
Named the Best New Restaurant in 2008 by Esquire, Plumed Horse is a culinary standout in a region that boasts its fair share of culinary masters. With one Michelin Star, this contemporary Californian restaurant features a seasonal menu using the highest quality ingredients, including sustainably sourced fish and shellfish, and local and organic produce.”
The original Plumed Horse in Saratoga opened in 1952, but new owners, a multimillion-dollar facelift and the addition of Chef/Partner Peter Armellino, have made this into an entirely new restaurant. Its cutting-edge design, with a barrel ceiling, blown-glass chandeliers that change colors, and a three-story glass wine cellar, creates a modern stage for Peter Armellino’s contemporary California-inspired menu.
The menu includes interesting “surf and turf” variations such as Monterey red abalone with pork belly, artichokes and a meaty glaze; and sea scallops paired with smoked duck. Some main courses have subtle Asian influences, such as Beijing-style squab with a dried plum sauce and ginger cabbage.
To eat at “Plumed Horse” is to embark on a culinary voyage with Chef Peter Armellino and his 30 plus years in some of America’s best kitchens. His cuisine is thoughtful yet playful and delves into his french technique with modern twists. The tasting menu is the way to go here and at $135 is a steal in today’s overly priced arena of Michelin starred restaurant. It’s worth paying the extra for the Plumed Horse wine pairing as the restaurant boasts one of the richest & most diverse wine cellars around. Something for sure for every palate from all corners of the globe.
Next time you visit Plumed Horse cross the street before dinner and peek at the new “Plumed Horse – Chocolates by Anjelica”. These naughty treats are served post dinner service at the restaurant but a trip to the recently opened store is a must.
Enjoy my chat with a rock star Chef – Peter Armellino – a chef who chooses time at his pottery studio over getting bendy in yoga class with wife Sammy. All is revealed in our Foodie Chap chat. Chef also kindly shared his Parmesan and Cracked Black Pepper recipe below.
Pâte Au Choux Ingredients:
Pâte Au Choux Directions:
Souffle Mix Ingredients: