What do you get when you give Piatti’s former executive chef access to Small Shed Flatbreads’ cozy space and historic Alan Scott (named after the man who popularized brick ovens and championed their use) wood oven? Molina, Todd Shoberg’s new California-centric eatery (he partnered with Small Shed owner Ged Robertson on the venture). Entering the Mill Valley restaurant, patrons will notice a large mural on the back wall that pays homage to the flora and fauna of Mount Tamalpais and reflects Shoberg’s goal of using fresh locally grown items. “Molina’s food is focused on the ingredient first,” says Shoberg. “Right now, I believe the best ingredient at the market is the asparagus from Zuckerman’s Farm. We use our Alan Scott wood oven to get that high smoky heat on the asparagus, and it is just incredible. Farm eggs, of course from the market, are also so great, and with that runny yolk, this dish is just so simple and beautiful.” The name Molina is also a nod to local roots: It’s a Spanish/Italian surname for a family whose members worked at a mill. molinarestaurant.com
Recipe: Fire-Roasted Raw Asparagus and Six-Minute Egg
- 2 pounds asparagus, cleaned and trimmed (remove tough ends and set aside 4–5 stalks to be sliced on a mandoline, raw)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces pancetta
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups pea shoots, cleaned and dried, with any coarse stems removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Heat oven to 450° F.
- Coat whole asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 6–7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan over a low flame. Once the pan is hot, place the pancetta in the pan and cook until brown and crispy.
- To cook the eggs, bring a small saucepan full of water to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Gently lower in the eggs.
- After 6 minutes, remove the eggs, place them in an ice bath to stop cooking and set aside.
- Slice remaining asparagus into long, thin strips with a mandoline (or use a vegetable peeler).
- Combine in small bowl with pea shoots and dress with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.
- To assemble, divide the asparagus evenly between four plates. Sprinkle the asparagus with the cooked pancetta and dressed raw asparagus and pea shoots.
- Cut the eggs in half, season them with salt and adorn each plate with two egg halves.