His last job was running his own catering company, Personal Taste. "I'm done with that now," the personable young chef says. "This is my full-time job."
Madera offers upscale, casual dining, according to Rudolph. Ingredients are top notch, but the presentation isn't fussy. He is planning on using some of the same purveyors of produce, such as Daylight Farms and Mariquita Farms, that he used at Navio. He likes working with small, independent farmers.
He also visits the Menlo Park Farmers' Market, and plans to contact Webb Ranch about local products.
The restaurant's beef comes from Painted Hills in Oregon. "It is grass fed and corn finished," he says.
Madera's menu is described as rustic American cuisine. It includes a variety of California offerings from a "grand platter of shellfish" to rotisserie chicken with creamy polenta and Swiss chard. Grilled rib-eye steak with gnocchi ragout, sand dabs with artichokes and parsley potatoes, and smoked Arctic char with sweetbreads are other selections.
A grilled Sand Hill burger comes with cheddar cheese and bacon, fries and pickled vegetables. Light eaters may choose a Caesar salad or Nicoise salad off the lunch menu.
The dessert menu features such homey dishes as rhubarb cobbler and butterscotch panna cotta.
Madera, which means wood in Spanish, features an open kitchen with a wood-burning grill. Rotisserie chicken is a signature dish. However, Rudolph says he intends to add other entrees prepared in the imported French rotisserie oven.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Along with the usual breakfast items is a lobster, ricotta and asparagus frittata. There's also a continental breakfast prepared in French, Italian or San Francisco style.
Food is also served in the lounge and includes a selection of oven-baked flat breads spread with braised lamb, chickpeas, and broccolini; or smoked salmon with creme fraiche and caviar.
The lounge also features whimsical desserts, such as s'mores, made with Scharffen Berger chocolate, and a creamsicle float.
Rudolph has devised the menu, assisted by his chef de cuisine, Anna de Batista. He also had advice on the kids' menu from his 3-year-old son, Logan.
Opening a new restaurant keeps Rudolph busy these days, but as a cyclist, he hopes to find time in the future "to make the loop" around Portola and Alpine roads. He also would like to join a spin class in the hotel spa.
Most chefs dream of someday opening their own little restaurant. How about Peter Rudolph? "I'm already here. This is my little restaurant," he says with a smile.
2825 Sand Hill Road
This story contains 525 words.
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