EatDrinkJax.com takes a moment with Chad and Ian of Ovinte.
15. What's the most popular dish on the menu?
Our sliders are incredibly popular. We call them 50-50 sliders. They're 50% ground beef and 50% ground Applewood smoked bacon. We grind both together, in-house to make the patties. They're really incredible. The Raviolo has also been incredibly popular. When we first opened we featured pumpkin Raviolo and with the change of season we switched to lobster Raviolo. That dish is extremely popular.
16. What's your favorite dish?
Chad: it depends on the day! Right now I'm loving our fish, which we call Pesche di Ovinté. The fish is always a whitefish but it changes depending on what's freshest and what the chef can get that morning. The sides are always the same though. Right now we're featuring roasted turnips, fava beans, grilled asparagus, oyster mushrooms and a sweet pea puree. I had that for dinner last night. It screams "Springtime!" to me and it's really, really amazing with tons and tons of flavor.
17. Have you had any dishes that have been wildly popular that you didn't expect to be that way?
Chad: I love Ceviche but I didn't know how people would react to it. That's been really, really well received. I'm not a big fan of dates so maybe that's why I was so surprised with the huge reception we've had for our dates that we stuff with Spanish Mahón cheese and wrap with Applewood smoked bacon. People buy them by the plateful. Everything else we knew about going in - things like the 50-50 sliders. The first time I tasted them I knew they'd be a big hit. Same thing with the Raviolo. They've been really big hits, but I wasn't as surprised by them as I was for the Ceviche and the dates.
18. Can you tell us about your brunch menu?
We've created about 8 items that are brunch oriented and added another 10-12 items from our regular dinner menu and combined those into one big menu. We've included things like our 50-50 sliders, the fish, our risotto, and some of our tapas items. The brunch menu has a bit more of a Spanish feel. For example, we have things like a breakfast tamale, which is a house made tamale filled with ground chorizo and with an olive-oil fried egg on top, then all covered with a tomatillo salsa. That's one item. We also do our version of Eggs Benedict. You can get your choice of smoked salmon or crispy Serrano ham. We do them on grilled bread as opposed to an English muffin. We also have steak frites with a poached egg on top. We have a 100% gluten-free pancake that's amazing. It's made with corn flour and ricotta cheese. It's fluffy. It looks like a whole wheat pancake and it's really good. We pride ourselves on calling out our gluten-free and vegetarian items all over the menu for both brunch and dinner.
19. Have you seen a lot of demand for gluten-free dishes?
Chad: I dated a girl for over a year who was celiac. I became very aware of gluten-free. She would ask a lot about gluten-free items before we went out. We found that a lot of the independent restaurants have a gluten-free menu. Because I realized how many people couldn't eat gluten, or chose not to, I wanted to make it a priority to show the gluten-free dishes on our regular menu. I didn't want people who were already struggling with eating gluten-free to have to ask for a separate menu. Sometimes they feel weird about asking. This way it's just out there. We've had a lot of people thank us for doing that. Because we make everything in-house, from our stocks to everything else, we can really stand behind what's gluten free.