Proof’D opens; FFA BBQ at Larson Saturday
No Peet's? Estate closing; Speedway grants; Homemade food for sale?
Proof’D, the unique tasting bar and liquor store combo where Plaza Liquors used to be, finally opened this week.
The establishment’s owners, photographer Rebecca Gosselin and Christian Chotkowski, have worked their proverbial tushes off to sell off the outdated convenience-store foods, get proper licenses, and redecorate the space. Check out the historic photos obtained from the Sonoma Historical Society’s Depot Museum.
According to Chris, they have an unusual combination of an on-sale license for serving beer and wine by the glass on one side of the store and an off-sale license to sell beer, wine and hard liquor on the other side.
Draught beers cost $6 a pint, and might include Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout, Stone IPA, Scrimshaw Pilsner, or a Sonoma Springs brew. You can taste a flight of four of the day’s beers for $8 and wines by the glass range from $4 to $18.
Bar service is standing-places-only, and Chris has been fighting off offers to purchase the two attractive window tables he made from old refrigeration doors, stools and benches along the windows. 19 W. Napa St., Sonoma.
Rumor department: An editor of a major London daily newspaper has reserved two spaces in my “Retro Favorites” class at Ramekins next Thursday, Sept. 27. Sign up at 933-0450 for the few remaining spots.
Becky and Tom Larson once again will generously host a great barbecue Saturday, Sept. 22, to raise funds for Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Sonoma Valley High School’s agriculture program, which now has 425 students enrolled. The Larsons have donated both vines and crews to teach vineyard development at Adele Harrison and other schools, as well as at Valley of the Moon Children’s Home.
With the theme of “Growing our Future,” the evening is a real deal at the historic Larson Family Winery. Tickets include two drinks, appetizers such as Vella cheeses and oysters ($2 extra each), and a great barbecue dinner of tri-tip, chili, three-cheese polenta, salad, bread, desserts and Watmaugh strawberries. Expect great silent and live auction items that range from two nights and dinner at Fred and Nancy Cline’s Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, Nev.; two nights in a beach house at Dillon Beach; an instant wine cellar of 60 bottles of wine, a week’s stay at a Tahoe house; a cut and wrapped whole winter hog raised by a student; NASCAR tickets and memorabilia and lots more. $40. 4 to 8 p.m. 23355 Millerick Road, Sonoma. Reserve immediately at email@example.com or call Becky at 938-3031, ext. 24.
Peet’s Coffee & Tea turned down:
Last Thursday the Sonoma Planning Commission denied (4-to-3) a use permit for Henry Mayo’s building at 591 Broadway, which is a full block south of Sonoma Plaza, and apparently outside the city’s “Plaza” designation.
As a “formula” or “chain” store, Peet’s met the under 250 outlets criterion, but was turned down. Peet’s can appeal the decision to the Sonoma City Council, and you can still get Peet’s coffee drinks and coffee beans at Sonoma Market.
My boo boo: Indeed, Alfred Peet started Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Kenwood resident Jerry Baldwin took Peet’s big.
Peet founded Peet’s at Walnut and Vine streets in Berkeley in 1966. Baldwin, Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegl founded Starbucks in Seattle in 1971 and actually bought coffee beans from Peet’s.
According to peets.com, Baldwin learned coffee selecting, blending and roasting from Peet starting in 1970. Eventually Baldwin and a group of investors bought Peet’s in 1984.
The last time Jerry, my brother, Kirk Thompson, and I went to that original Peet’s, we heard a ruckus outside and went to snoop. Apparently a group of homeless men and others have played chess on the flat top surfaces of newsstands in front of the shop for several years. City of Berkeley workers had come to remove the newsstands and the guys were protesting by leaving their chessmen on top of the paper machines. Arguing with the city muscle didn’t work. Even in Berkeley.
Grant alert: The deadline to submit applications for 2012 Speedway Children’s Charities grants is next Thursday, Sept. 27, at 5 p.m. Speedway Children’s Charities is the charitable arm of the Raceway in Sonoma and has donated more than $4.1 million to Sonoma County youth groups since 2001. Applications are available at speedwaychrities.org, racesonoma.com/SCC or by calling Denise Silver at
Estate Restaurant owner Sondra Bernstein posted an elegant, dignified and fond farewell to Estate on Facebook Tuesday, wishing Ramekins the best in their use of the property. Darius and Sarah Anderson, who own Ramekins, purchased the Estate property (and old Scheiblich family home) from Bettie and Jim Hall, and are also owners of The Sonoma Index-Tribune, the Bank of Marin building and parking lot and developers of Chateau Sonoma hotel.
Rob Larman has a brand new second animal smoker for his Cochon Volant catering business, topped with Bryan Tedrick’s artful metal sculpture of a flying pig with prominent ribs, who I must say, looks slightly anxious.
Larman will cater the second day of Sonoma State’s Green Music Center’s late afternoon pre-party for the Allison Krause Union Station concert with three serving stations featuring a baby back rib barbecue plate, beef brisket slider with radish slaw and pickled red onions, an heirloom tomato station with panzanella and a wild king salmon with shaved fennel and citrus salad station.
Guests at attorney and Sonoma’s Best co-owner Tom Jenkins’ important birthday party last Sunday got to try out Larman’s new smoker and it worked. Larman served huge plates of juicy pulled pork, beans, cole slaw, green salad and corn bread, to go with copious bottles of wine and beer.
Jenkins’ older brother, Jack, a 50-year professional singer whose voice seems to improve with age, serenaded from a landing above the Jenkins’ swimming pool and reappeared as Elvis, complete with gold-embroidered black cape, tight black pants and shiny boots. Later Jack, who is also entertainment director at an elegant southern resort, insisted we indulge in his apparently famous bingo calling. After I actually lucked out and won the final game (and a two-liter bottle of Steve MacRostie’s chardonnay), many guests congratulated me for ending the bingo hour.
Those soaking it all up included lots of Jenkins offspring and grandchildren, Gayle’s mother Marilyn Oberti, Audrey and Ron Chapman, Rose and Larry Murphy, Mark Pollock, Gary Seifert and Claudia Sims, Vance and Monika Sharp, Randy and Linda States, Jeanne and Chip Allen, Marchelle and Curt Carleton, Kurt Krauthammer (Carol was home cooking brisket and challah for Rosh Hashanah), Cathy Gellepis and Jim “UFO” Ledwith, Chris Mueller and Tom Wright, Dee and Kirstin Cravens, John David, Deborah and John Emery, Michelle Garcia, Marilyn Kravig, Frank and Rose Luchetti, André Mathau, Doug and Penny McKesson, Alan and Kathy Moir, Jeannie and Devon Wailes, Jeff Wiggins and Joe Olivo, Rod and Francis Rennie, and Peter Pinkeron and Keith Shannon.
Linda Cederborg relays that at Lee Stetson’s channeling of John Muir in “Conversations with a Tramp” at the Sebastiani Theatre on Sunday, the Cederborg family will serve red wines donated by Hanna-Muir Winery of Napa (Bill Hanna is great-grandson of John Muir) and Roche Family Winery’s chardonnay, as well as domestic and French cheeses, grapes, local strawberries, baguettes and savory scones. Guests will see two films: “Discover Hetch Hetchy” with Harrison Ford and “Restore the Hetch Hetchy” by Gabriel Vasquez and Dylan Norris.
The Cederborg’s son, Mark, leads Restore Hetch Hetchy and advocates removing the dam. $18. 5:30 p.m. Tickets at Readers’ Books, Sebastiani Theatre or hetchhetchy.org.
Speaking of the Roche family, we are sad to learn of the passing of Dr. Genevieve Roche, a pathologist, musician, wine grower and cattle rancher with whom I served on the St. Francis Solano School board. She and husband, Dr. Joseph Roche, secretly and bravely analyzed the autopsy of the late Benigno Aquino while Jerry and I were writing our book on Aquino’s assassination.
If Gov. Jerry Brown signs the California Homemade Food Act, home based food producers and bakers could sell $35,000 to $50,000 of “non-potentially hazardous” foods such as bread, jam, preserves and candy at farmers markets and elsewhere. Thirty-two states already allow such sales via “cottage food laws,” as do Canadian provinces. Some of the best preserves we have tasted came from home canners selling at Victoria, B.C., farmers markets.
Reynaldo Robledo Sr. received a unique award last week from Mexican Consul General Carlos Felix Corona at the San Francisco Art Institute. The award recognized Robledo’s “valuable contributions to winemaking in California and for being an inspiration to the Mexican community.” Apparently Robledo, who lives primarily in Lake County and in the Carneros region, was also invited to meet with Mexican President Felipe Calderón last Saturday at a secret location.
“Roasted” as the “nicest winemaker there is,” Michael Muscardini celebrated his birthday Saturday at Estate restaurant with a sumptuous meal and lots of choices at every course and an abundance of his wine. I got to sit next to Michael’s “100 percent Italian” mother and character, Teresa Cook, who had come from Auburn with daughter, Joan, and son-in-law, Alan Lovan.
Locals saluted possibly their final dinner at Estate, although you might want to get on the girl & the fig’s email or Facebook lists to learn about Estate pop-up dinners at owner Sondra Bernstein’s Suite D.
Orlando Cepeda celebrated his birthday at the Arnold Drive home of Doug and Dr. Marcia Charles Mo last weekend. Doug is a huge collector of both wine and baseball memorabilia, and pediatrician Marcia is a fabulous cook.
Nibs and Sips:
Sheana Davis’ Epicurean Connection will now be open until 8 p.m. for coffee and its regular menu of handmade soups, salads, cheese plates and sandwiches … Sonoma Valley Democrats will gather at Murphy’s Irish Pub for their “Thank Goodness It’s Thursday” social on Thursday, Sept. 27. Candidates show up occasionally for casual conversation. 5 to 6:30 p.m. 464 First St. E., Sonoma … Schellville Grill apparently has a feature in the new Food Network magazine … Shiso Sushi will pair sushi with wine at Acacia Vineyards in Napa Saturday, Sept. 29, at 3 p.m. Acacia is a Diageo winery … Charlie Palmer, a CIA graduate and restaurant entrepreneur with 13 restaurants who just closed his Chicago location, just became chairman of the board of the Culinary Institute of America.
Sonoma chefs Sondra Bernstein and John Toulze of girl & the fig and Andrew Wilson of Carneros Bistro joined Guy Fieri, Mario Batali, Bruce Aidells, Douglas Keane and John Ash and other star chefs cooking at Kendall-Jackson’s TomatoFest last weekend to benefit Fieri’s Cooking with Kids Foundation … End of a San Francisco era with Purple Onion and Tosca Café closing … Ray Gallian has an informative article on biochar in the fall California Grange News. Gallian gave bags of biochar to all of our school gardens. His other project is to get wife, Laurie Gallian, re-elected to Sonoma City Council … Mayor Joanne Sanders will cut the ribbon today at 4 p.m. to officially open Envolve Winery in Vine Alley. Apparently all three bachelors, Mike Benziger, Danny Fay and Ben Flajnik, will be present.