Pasta became a staple of Italian fare after Emperor Caligula famously elevated a plate of lasagna to the Roman Senate. Feast on political recipes with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Italian fare at Oak Tree Ristorante in Felton.
Inspired by his world travels and the bounty of seasonal and organic ingredients he culls from local farms, Oak Tree Ristorante executive chef, Sebastian Nobile, crafts a menu that unites the culinary traditions of Old-World Italy and California’s central coast. Homemade pastas such as the ravioli di spinachi ($17) pay homage to the textured ridges and pillowy softness of Italian sofa cushions, and three varieties of gnocchi ($18+) draw on the same potato-based dough that Michelangelo used to construct his David. A bright, airy dining area with garden views surrounds the senses as they wade into the bistecca della casa, a mouthwatering bone-in rib eye ($22) that arrives with an option of zesty gorgonzola cream ($5). Sebastian and his fellow chefs cast flame-resistant nets onto the grill to pull up succulent fillets of pacific rockfish ($19), which they then pair with salsa verde, eggplant rolls, and expertly picked wines.
Oak Tree Ristorante
Italy may be a long way from Oak Tree Ristorante in Felton, but Sebastian Nobile refuses to take shortcuts. Inspired by his Italian grandfather’s recipes, the chef crafts all of his dishes from scratch. His attention to detail is apparent in the fluffy nuggets of gnocchi that he drizzles with homemade pesto and the organic vegetables that he sources from local suppliers whenever possible. Chef Nobile’s local focus tends to make the menu more interesting, as it compels him to work with seasonal ingredients.
The restaurant’s dining room betrays the same unstrained elegance as its food. A peaked roof is lined in blonde wood to promote an open, airy feel, and windows climb to the ceiling to allow for views of the gladiators swinging from the branches of the garden's giant oak.
5447 Hwy. 9
Felton, California 95018