COOKING CLASSES & SPECIAL EVENTS
OUTDOOR DINING – A Nod to Enrique Olvera – Tues. September 29th
On warm summer evenings, there’s nothing like dining outdoors – especially when a member of the family likes to grill. We’ll share dishes we’d like to serve if Leon Bistro had an outdoor dining area as well as techniques and recipes that work very well for that type of cooking.
SAUCES CAN ADD VARIETY AND DEPTH OF FLAVORS TO YOUR DISHES Tues. Oct. 20th
By far our most popular class, each class being different from the one before, yet always dependent on an understanding of the “mother sauces” of French cuisine and their many derivatives. We’ll talk about how we build a sauce at Leon Bistro, adding complementary and contrasting ingredients, and working with it until a balance is achieved that enhances the dish and brings out all its flavors. We will also talk about the ingredients we like to use in sauces and why and how we often layer sauces to add a depth of flavor and contrast.
A FOND REMEMBRANCE OF JANIS JOPLIN: The Person, Her Music, and Popular Food from Her Era (the 1960s) – Tues. Nov. 3rd
Let us celebrate iconic singer-songwriter Janis Joplin. who was raised in Sacramento, and rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company. She broke out of the stifling good-girl femininity of postwar America with her incredible wall-of-sound vocals. We’ll hear about her life from her younger sister, Laura Joplin, and listen to some of her music as we make and eat some the memorable dishes of that period — for example: Gelatin molded desserts, Chicken Marengo, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Chicken a la King, Onion Soup au Gratin, and Waldorf Salad.
CHARLIE TROTTER – a Great Chef and an Inspiration and Role Model for Leon Bistro’s Ann Leon – Tues. Nov. 17th
Charlie Trotter, who had a famous restaurant in Chicago, was particularly enthusiastic about vegetables, and how they could enhance a dish. He pioneered using vegetable purees as a sauce and often served three or more as flavor enhancers to an entree. He likened cooking to an improvisational jazz session in that as two riffs will never be the same, so too with food. He wrote 14 cookbooks and promoted a line of organic and all-natural gourmet foods. “Alice Waters may have discovered vegetables, but Trotter was the first man I know who cooked them beautifully,” said Alan Richman, the longtime restaurant critic for GQ. Trotter made a cameo appearance in the 1997 film My Best Friend’s Wedding, screaming at an assistant, “I will kill your whole family if you don’t get this right! I need this perfect!” a parody of a stereotypical screaming angry chef.
All Classes — 6:30–9:00 pm
$70. / person. Alcoholic beverages $15. extra
Please call to make your reservation, or make it when you visit Leon Bistro
Since the classes are so popular and we frequently have a waiting list, we have changed our policy and are requiring payment of the class in advance. You may pay by mailing us a check or calling with your credit card number. Classes are $70 plus $15 for a generous wine pour.
If you need to cancel, please do so at least 48 hours prior to the class. We then can transfer your
payment to another class or return it in the form of a Leon Bistro gift certificate. If you just don’t come, we will not return your payment.
Please be aware that Leon Bistro may cancel a class if the enrollment is insufficient. We will make every effort to give you as much notice as possible.
Event Planning — Summer 2015
Leon Bistro is available for private events at all times. We do charge a fee for the exclusive use of a private room and for opening the restaurant for a day or evening event.
- Wine Room Totally private or semi-private, holds up to 35 people.
- Front Rooms Table 24—10 people, Semi-private; Table 21—20 people, semi-private
- Entire Restaurant 110 people
- Exclusive use of Wine Room, Wed & Thurs evenings–$150, Fri & Sat–$200
- Exclusive or shared use of Front Rooms, when we are open—No Charge
- Shared use of Wine Room, when we are open–No Charge
- Part or all of the Restaurant on dates and hours when we are normally closed–$300
We are happy to accommodate special diets when we know in advance. We are not a totally gluten-free restaurant, but most of our dishes can be prepared gluten-free or paleo.
We offer a children’s menu with favorites such as mac and cheese, chicken tenders and the like. Older children can order half portions of the regular menu. Please ask for that menu.
Type of Event—in the Restaurant or Catered
Leon Bistro welcomes your special events, whether they be small dinner parties, larger sit-down banquets, buffets, luncheons, work-related gatherings, “cocktail” parties or other special events. We also cater, specializing in smaller groups of up to 20 people.
Preparation of a Menu
We ask that you schedule a conversation with our Chef, Ann Leon, to make up your event menu. She can help you make choices that are appropriate for your purposes and within your budget. We suggest that you peruse our current dinner menu and then review the following information:
These can be ordered per person or family-style. We recommend family-style since it gives guests an ample taste of an assortment of appetizers and is very reasonable in cost. Family-style appetizers are $5-$8 depending on the selection. Examples of family-style appetizers are Wild Mushroom Crostini, Wild Fried Calamari, and our own Sweet Potato Chips with Thai Green Aioli ($5/person) and Dungeness crab cakes ($8/person).
We offer a slightly smaller salad for private parties at $5/person. Choices are our house salad of mixed organic greens with apple, nuts, pickled onions, crouton and house-made balsamic vinaigrette, and our Caesar salad with house made dressing and optional anchovies.
Please select entrees from our dinner menu or ask our Chef about other options. The Chef is often able to offer other choices, depending on the quality of the food on the market.
We are proud to offer a wide selection of desserts made in-house or prepared for us by outstanding sources. For private parties, you may order a dessert sampler that serves 3 or more guests for $10, or a slightly smaller portion of a dessert on our menu for $5/per person. There is a charge of $10 to cut and serve a dessert that you bring.
We have a large wine list to choose from. For parties, we often suggest our house wine, Cartridge and Browne Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which are $25 and $29/bottle respectively. We have several champagnes including Wycliff, which is quite nice and very reasonable at $15/bottle. Corkage is $15/bottle or no-charge if you bring one bottle and buy two.
We have quite a few fine craft beers on tap as well as other beer. The beers on tap change periodically so please ask for the current selection.
Ice Tea and carbonated soft drinks are no charge. Coffee and a pot of tea are $3.
We would be happy to run a tab for guests.
We charge an automatic gratuity of 18% on private parties, which we disperse to all employees who were involved in making the dining experience pleasurable for you and your guests. You may leave an additional amount, if you like, as an extra tip for the server.
The following hors d’oeuvre are priced to reflect our experience that customers like to serve five or more hors d’oeuvre per guest. Some of these items are one per person and some are several. If you would like a list with the prices of each, please let us know.
Pick five of the following at $17/person
Orland Farmstead Creamery Queso Fresco Cheese and Chile Wontons with a sweet garlic dipping sauce
Marinated and Grilled Rib Eye Brochettes with gorgonzola aioli
Vietnamese Salad Rolls, both vegetarian and prawn, peanut plum sauce
Mini-Soufflés with goat cheese, sweet peppers and artichoke hearts and bacon, Gruyere, caramelized onion and spinach.
Smoked Salmon Flautas with Thai sweet chili dipping sauce & avocado cream
Portobello Mushroom and Italian Eggplant Fritters, Shoyu and lemon sauces
Mini Chicken Curry Empañadas, cucumber vinaigrette
Fall-Off-The-Bone Sticky Ribs, sesame, garlic, ginger glaze and Carolina BBQ
Heirloom green Tomatoes, cornmeal encrusted and fried, with green goddess sauce
Sweet Potato Chips with Thai green curry aioli
Truffled Olive Oil Popcorn
Wild Mushroom Crostini with toasted feta
Marinated Artichoke Heart Crostini with fromage blanc
Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi with parmesan cream
Marinated and Grilled Chicken Asian Salad with cukes, carrots, sesame, avocado
and rice noodles
Grilled Chicken Satay with spicy peanut sauce
Beef Sliders with bacon/onion marmalade
Fried Calamari with lemon caper aioli
You may add or substitute any of the following for an additional $3.
Mini Dungeness Crab Cakes, nectarine coulis and avocado cream
Wild Coconut Prawns, apricot horseradish dipping sauce
Wild Prawns, basted with blackberry & honey and wrapped in bacon