"This I how I like to start the meal," said Gimenez, "with something fresh." Here, a raw Kumamoto oyster is served with pickled shallots and black pepper, perched on a bed of seaweed salad.
Gimenez calls on his time at Nobu to create this sushi course, featuring a Maine scallop served with creamy salsa de ajo, one of his "three signature sauces." The salsa is a garlic and cilantro puree that he mixes with fresh egg, adding in oil gradually to emulsify into a mayonnaise.
Local Crab Hand Roll
This crab temaki is stuffed with big chunks of crab and flavored with a spicy cilantro garlic sauce. The pickled ginger is made in house.
Mako Shark Ceviche
Gimenez says that shark is a common ingredient in Venezuelan cooking—especially as a filling for empanadas. "Shark is the ribeye of the sea," he says, "it has the same mouthfeel and richness. But it's a tough piece of meat, so you either braise it or eat it raw." Here, the raw shark is tossed with key lime juice, ginger, and salt, and finished with tangerine "for a little sweetness", plus a mixture of olive and grapeseed oil. The aji dulce peppers on top are grown exclusively for Gimenez by Happy Quail Farms. The ceviche is served with plantain chips and Guasacaca sauce, a "Venezuelan chimichurri" made with steamed onion, parsley puree, tomato, and red wine vinegar.
"This is a little walk in the farmers' market," says Gimenez, who goes to the market every day of the week, alternating between the Ferry Building and Civic Center. "I buy fresh every morning, so just a little of everything." The greens are dressed in olive oil and apple cider vinegar, served with tangerine and pears, plus a sprinkle of bee pollen. "It's a little floral, and sweet but not too sweet," says Gimenez of the pollen.
Stinging Nettle Vichyssoise
This vegetarian potato-leek based soup is made with stinging nettles, plus raw baby fennel for crunch, fennel crema, and edible flowers. Gimenez mentioned that for his four-course menu, he can offer a complete gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, or vegetarian set of dishes.
This stuffed pasta, inspired by a dish he cooked at Frasca in Colorado, originated in NE Italy (on the border of Slovenia.) Gimenez fills them with butternut squash (though some days he uses delicata squash or Cinderella pumpkins.) "The farmers always know which is better, sweeter that day," he says. The pasta is finished with crisp pancetta, brown butter, and sage, plus a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Prepping the sauce for pasta.
"This is my version of a carbonara," says Gimenez, "it's my favorite pasta preparation." Instead of guanciale, he uses Spanish chorizo, and he incorporates cooked plantains into the pasta dough before cutting it on the chittara. The rich, eggy dish is finished with a grating of pecorino.
These delicate yucca-based gnocchi are cooked gently in a water bath and then finished with butter, a chopped winter truffle garlic oil, and sauteed wild mushrooms. Gimenez then grates Oregon black truffles on top of the dish.
Pork Chop Arepa
Smoked pork chop isn't a super-traditional arepa filling, so Gimenez calls this "a more gourmet version" of the dish his family ate three or more times a day growing up. The filling is smoky and juicy pork mixed with a salsa of habanero pepper, scallions, cilantro, and avocado.
In addition to the tasting menu, you can also order the arepas a la carte—one cheese and one meat or vegetable option for $10.
This Monterey Jack-filled arepa is more like what his family would eat in the morning with a cup of coffee.
The dining room
Roxy's has 30 seats—it's more than twice the size of Mr. Pollo—and they can rearrange the tables for large groups. The kitchen area, visible at right, is bare-bones. Gimenez cooks on a few inductions burners, an electric flat top, a sous vide machine, and a rice cooker.
The front space
Gimenez's fiancé Katerina is in charge of the front of house—she also has another restaurant gig (and a Michelin-starred background.)