On a warm summer evening earlier this week, I found myself seated on the Ram Restaurant patio perusing the new modern steakhouse menu, sipping a glass of champagne, and once, again, pinching myself that I get to live here.
Selecting from the Ram’s new seasonal menu that was instituted in June proved difficult. Serving only the finest cuts, the Ram’s reinvention as a modern steakhouse with a new twist (five of eight Entrees are meat), choosing among the beef, lamb, short ribs, chicken and fish proved an omnivore’s dilemma.
Relaxing to the music of an acoustic guitar, my friend and I finally decided on dinner. I ordered Salmon Rillettes and the Snake River Chicken; he went the more traditional route with the Summer Beet Salad and Meyer Natural Angus 8-ounce Tenderloin with heirloom tomatoes (at the peak of freshness), creamed spinach and Bernaise sauce. Who doesn’t love Bernaise sauce?
Chef Brian Janego who has been with the Ram for three years, is thrilled to offer his new menu, certain it will appeal to many palates. “All of the meats, including the lamb, are USDA Prime,” Brian explained. “It doesn’t get any better than that. And most of our meats are sourced in the Northwest: Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Washington and Montana. Here, we give a nod to the traditional steakhouse, but our dinners are all conceived to work as a whole. You won’t get a slab of beef cooked in butter with a choice of sides.”
Despite the meat-centric menu, Chef Janego is really excited about the Salmon Rillettes I ordered and when the dish was served, I understood why. Presented beautifully in a sealed canning jar and accompanied with watercress salad, rye toast and fennel-dipped apple balls, this starter was a feast for the senses.
Chef Janego agreed to share this recipe with readers of the Valley Sun and while I would certainly recommend enjoying this company-pleasing dish at home, be sure to come to the Sun Valley Village to get the full experience of dinner on the Ram Patio or in the historic dining room. In fact, the Ram is the longest continually operating restaurant in the valley, having opened in 1937. Much in the dining room is original including the wide plank floors. The hideaway booths are from the 1940s and the carvings beneath the white linens go back decades. Go ahead and take a peek. There is live music at the Ram every night and dinner is served from 6 – 9 p.m. seven nights a week through September 2.
Cozy and romantic; rustic yet sophisticated, nowhere else personifies Sun Valley quite like the Ram.
For the salmon:
¾ cup salmon poached in white wine
¼ cup hot smoked salmon (available at local grocery stores)
For the Lemon Aioli:
4 cups extra virgin olive oil
4 lemons juiced and seeded
4 egg yolks
Combine in a food processor or whisk together
Gently fold aioli into the salmon and seasonings, leaving the meat chunky. Use about 3/4 cup of the aioli per portion to moisten and bind the salmon.
Using a small ring mold, cut four small circles of thin caraway bread. Quickly drop the rings in butter in a sauté pan until toasted.
Prepare a salad of fresh watercress and shaved fennel.
Using a melon baller, place three balls of apple, dredged in fennel on the plate next to the salad, toast rounds and sealed jar of salmon.
Serve and savor!