Restaurant praised for ‘best food’ in Silicon Valley

Published in the June 26 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Marty Cheek

Odeum owners Salvatore Calisi and Ashley Polston have made Odeum a destination restaurant. Photo by Marty Cheek

Odeum owners Salvatore Calisi and Ashley Polston have made Odeum a destination restaurant.
Photo by Marty Cheek

Few small American towns can boast of possessing a restaurant operated by a genuine Michelin-star awarded chef. Odeum, which serves artisanal Mediterranean cuisine, has brought Morgan Hill that distinction. Food lovers travel from all over the Bay Area to our city’s downtown to savor the flavors of a fine dining experience created in the kitchen by chef Salvatore Calisi.

Calisi’s journey as a culinary maestro began in Yolanda’s, his father’s restaurant in New York. In high school and college, he gained the basics of the cooking arts working at restaurants on the resort islands of Elba and Sardinia. From there, he went on to graduate from Hyde Park’s prestigious Culinary Institute of America. Over the years, he trained with many of the best restaurateurs in the world, including Scott Bryan, the executive chef of the three-star restaurant Veritas.

Discovering that space was available in The Granary, a certified LEED Gold building on downtown Morgan Hill’s Depot Street, he saw that the spot was the perfect place to create one of California’s best dining destinations, serving high-quality food and wine with friendly service in a warm and welcoming ambiance.

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“I believe in using only the finest-quality, and local ingredients,” Calisi said in Odeum’s kitchen as workers buzzed around preparing dishes. “I use local (South Valley) farms and grow many of my own produce and vegetables. I will never cut corners in terms of quality, no matter what.”

Calisi and his restaurant partner Ashley Polston expect a high level of friendly customer service from their professionally-trained staff. They want their dining guests to enjoy a culinary experience they will long remember. “I want my staff to take pride. I want them to want to be here,” he said. “I want to make Odeum comfortable for everyone. I don’t want it to be stuffy or pretentious.”
The combination of quality cuisine and wine, a relaxing Mediterranean ambiance, and a friendly and fun crew is bringing Odeum a reputation for dining distinction. One local resident loves the restaurant so much, he comes seven days a week, enjoying both lunches and dinners. Some connoisseurs have compared Odeum to the famous French Laundry in Napa Valley for its quality and pairing. Recently, Odeum received the prestigious award of “Best Food in All of Silicon Valley” from Open
Table.Com.

“We have the best food quality and service that you can get anywhere — from down south all the way past San Francisco,” Calisi said with a grin. “You’re never going to find any restaurant like this.”

Odeum is located at 17500 Depot St., Morgan Hill. They can be reached at (408) 782-5151 or at www.odeumrestaurant.com.

Marty Cheek

Marty Cheek

Publisher at Morgan Hill Life
Marty Cheek is the publisher of Morgan Hill Life and Gilroy Life. He is also the co-author with Congressman Jerry McNerney of the book Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America From the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels.
Email: marty@morganhilllife.com
Phone: (408) 782-7575
Marty Cheek