Trends come and go so often in the food industry that it is difficult to have authentic experiences. But when it comes to the current farm-to-table restaurant trend, a new restaurant in downtown Bakersfield gives us the real deal.
The establishment is family owned, with friendly staff members from the community as well as a classically trained chef. This place is called Dot x Ott.
Dot x Ott is the new kid on the block at the corner of 18th and O streets in “Eastchester” and kills him in the authentic farm-to-table game. But seriously, all of DxO’s produce comes from Pickalittle Farms, a 15-acre farm just off Hwy 99, south of Houghton Road. Talk about knocking near you!
If that wasn’t enough to make me fall in love with Dot x Ott, their merchant and restaurant combo made me. tomatoes and local olive oil from the Rio Bravo Ranch to take home.
DxO’s menu is updated with the seasons and serves its products directly from the farm.
In other words, if the farm doesn’t grow it, it doesn’t serve it. Let’s talk fresh!
This style of menu, which also includes local grass-fed beef and wild-caught seafood from the Ventura Coast, is an ode to their commitment to sustainability and a testament to the culinary flair of their cuisine.
After witnessing the smooth opening of Dot x Ott earlier this year and learning all about it, I knew this place was a place to watch. I stopped by earlier this week to try out some of the tastes of summer and this is where I really saw and tasted the beauty of the season. I tried their Baja bowl, their summer tomato salad and their special Hope Ranch mussels.
Baja Bowl is a refreshing corn salad mixed with quinoa, black beans, cotija cheese, cilantro, tortilla strips, cherry tomatoes and grilled jalapenos. I also indulged in the additions of grilled chicken and avocado. I didn’t expect this bowl to be a cold starter and was a bit hesitant to enjoy it for that reason. But after a few bites, I couldn’t ignore the flavors I was tasting.
Sweet corn sang an irresistible tune with creamy cotija cheese and the smoky spices of charred jalapenos. Each ingredient has played a role in this sweet symphony of Latin flavors. The Baja bowl is a lunch staple.
The Tomato Summer Salad is a play on an Italian caprese but showcases the flavors of Bakersfield. This salad features hand-picked sliced tomatoes, farmhouse pickled onions and spiral cucumbers, homemade pistachio pesto, local Rio Bravo Ranch olive oil, homemade whole milk cheese and is drizzled with balsamic vinegar from the mercantile.
This salad is refreshing, but filled with earthy tones of homemade pesto and cheese. Pickled onions and spiraling cucumbers keep this dish shiny, both visually and in your mouth. While this item is listed as a salad, it’s as filling and satisfying as any of the main dishes.
Last, but not least, was Chef Take Koto’s Hope Ranch mussel special. Let me start by saying that I am not a big fan of seafood and very skeptical of ordering seafood from restaurants just for fear of getting sick as they might not be. cooked properly. So when presented to me the option of a seashell which is notoriously known in the culinary world as a rubbery and too hard to clean crustacean, I was more than hesitant to try it.
But when the big steaming bowl of little suckers came to my table, I changed my mind. I couldn’t resist the aroma of the vegetable broth in white wine, the grilled house crostini and the beautiful blue and black shelled mussels. As mentioned before, the talent in the kitchen coupled with the enduring values of the owners make for a heavenly marriage and it really shows in this dish.
The meat was plump and moist, not chewy or fishy at all. The cook was done beautifully! The white wine vegetable broth was so earthy and delicious that I could seriously enjoy it on my own. It is a dish to share that must be accompanied by a glass of wine. I hope this article can stay on the menu as long as possible.
Although Dot x Ott is the new kid on the block, they shouldn’t be underestimated. The restaurant-merchant combo can be confusing to some, but once you try it it will all make sense. You can enter with the intention of just having a quick lunch, but you’ll leave with a bag full of fresh vegetables, a bottle of Tlo wine, and other locally sourced goodies.
With a passion for sustainability, their support for other Bakersfield businesses, as well as a breathtaking dining experience, Dot x Ott hits a home run. It is a true farm-to-table experience that the Bakersfield community should be proud of. I know I am. ??