Vineyard thief caught; Olive & Vine tops reviews
Party City? Bastille Days
According to Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance, a 48-year-old male stole about 550 Rainbird frost protection sprinklers from 20 to 30 Sonoma County vineyards so far. Estimates say his thefts total about 4,000 sprinkler heads and lots of brass irrigation valves between midnight and daylight.
After the SVVGA bulletin went out yesterday, Sonoma resident Thomas Barnick was caught removing sprinklers in a vineyard near River Rock Casino where he had allegedly been gambling.
Catherine Venturini’s Olive & Vine restaurant in Glen Ellen’s Jack London Village received rave reviews in both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat in the past month or so. PD restaurant reviewer Jeff Cox even made a regular reservation last week to bring some friends in just to dine at O&V.
Has Sonoma become Party City USA? It sure doesn’t take much to turn us out for a little arm bending with a wine glass hand extension.
At a recent Tuesday evening farmers market, organizer Bill Dardon greeted me with “Welcome to our party!” There really is a farmers market going on as well. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people show up on Tuesday nights. Growers of fresh veggies, fruit, eggs and honey collectors would love to sell more.
It’s a great place to have a casual dinner and chat it up with friends, or even folks you don’t know, with a wide range of food booths including 599 Thai, Hot Box Grill, Primavera, grilled cheese sandwiches, Vietnamese food, pulled pork and ribs from Cochon Volant and loads of others.
Last Friday was Food Truck Friday at Sebastiani Winery with hundreds more people, some of them the same ones who show up Tuesdays. While one can bring one’s own wine into the Plaza market, one has to buy Sebastiani wine at their location – a veritable gold mine. At least a quarter of the attendees carried a bottle of wine (hopefully to share) and a glass, sometimes in the same hand while trying to purchase food.
Since organizers only asked the city for a permit for six vendors, that’s what they got. This year’s include Ultra Crêpes with sweet and savory crepes; Street Eatz Flavors of the World with Jamaican Jerk, Spanish and other foods; falafel and kabobs; fish and chips; Vienna Beef Sausage hot dogs; Crossroad Chicken sandwiches and Rancho Gordo bean chili; plus Short and Sweet cupcakes at a table under a shady tree.
I still wonder how, with as many taco trucks as visit Highway 12 and local businesses, we don’t have one at Sebastiani.
Anyway, it seemed as if half the town and a lot of folks from big cities and other countries gathered. A good time was had by all of all ages. And some people avoid both events.
The Musical Market on Saturday, July 7, at the Moose Lodge brings a new event to Sonoma featuring Sister Carol and other bands, along with various vendors and booths by local restaurants Maya, 599 That Café, Lydia’s Organics, raw Living Love Cuisine and series sponsors Sunflower Caffé and Lagunitas brews. Yoga, kid’s zone and more. $20 advance, $25 at door, $5 less for students and seniors, kids under 10 free. Tickets at Sunflower Caffé and Sonoma Old School. 4 p.m. to midnight. 20580 Broadway, Sonoma.
In case you saw the fictitious business statement in the Index-Tribune that made you think there had been some merger between Roche Winery and Viansa, not so. According to Brendan Roche, Viansa is bottling some of Roche’s chardonnay and was required to post the notice. The Roche family is still totally in charge and seemingly holding a party every day and evening at their Spain Street tasting room.
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art’s Wet Paint 2012 “Feast on Art” at Ramekins Culinary School was a great success with excellent food and wine while raising $219,000 for the museum’s exhibition and education program.
Artists Chester Arnold, Dick Cole, Lawrence Ferlinghetti (don’t miss his current exhibit at the museum), Margaret Hatcher, Caroline Hipkiss, Brigitte McReynolds, Roberta Alexander, Will Combs, Cathy Ellis, Peter Hansen, Linda Kuhns, Lin Lipetz, Jennifer La Pierre, Anne Pincus, Tom Rice, William Smith, Jessica Snow, Susan Wiegardt and Dennis Ziemienski all contributed their work to the evening’s auctions.
Suzanne Brangham, who conceived of and built Ramekins, designed the event, aided by committee members Christine Curry, Lynne Lancaster, museum Executive Director Kate Eilertsen, Rick Tackett, Barbara Pascoe, Nancy Petersen, Penney Magrane, Diane Krause, Mara Kahn, Jim Lamb, Garland Lamb, Katie Callahan, Lance Walker, Gerrett Snedaker, Michael Muscardini, Ron Robertson and Jessica Thomason. Allan Grosh chaired the entire evening.
Sponsors of the event, whose generous contributions allow the funds raised to support programs, included Judy and Les Vadasz, Lynne Lancaster and Allan Grosh, Phyllis and John Gurney, Michael Muscardini, Pam and John Story and Cal Vander Woude.
Jacuzzi Winery celebrates five years at its Italian villa location across from its parent winery, Cline Cellars, on lower Arnold Drive this Saturday, July 7. Fred Cline’s mother is a Jacuzzi, of the whirlpool family among other inventions. Jacuzzis have been making wine for around 135 years and will dip into the family’s private collection available for purchase Saturday. Tour the elegant facility at 2 p.m. and enjoy wine tasting, antipasti and live music. Noon to 4 p.m. 24724 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. 931-7575.
Of course The Olive Press, to the right as you enter Jacuzzi’s door, has been in business for 17 years and at the Jacuzzi location for all of its five years, with another store in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market.
Sonoma, the raceway formerly known as Infineon, and the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, raised more than $140,000 two weeks ago for Sonoma County youth groups including Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley.
The sold-out Children’s Champions Grand Marshal’s Banquet at Cline Cellars honoring former baseball manager Tony LaRussa raised $100,000 itself. Given that LaRussa is a well-known vegetarian, caterer Elaine Bell had a challenge to serve a dinner in keeping with his beliefs. The first course was a delightful salad of sliced heirloom tomatoes, followed by a germanesque dinner of “vegetarian sausages,” chunky mashed potatoes and sauerkraut, followed by her marvelously tasty desserts.
Boys & Girls Clubs volunteers were supposed to don the baseball caps of La
Russa’s former teams, but most wore St. Louis caps, not wanting to bolster the Oakland A’s.
Sonoman Denise Silver puts on all of Sonoma’s Speedway Children’s Charity events, including raceway auctions and other donations.
Bastille Days- give or take a few:
Bastille Day, known in France as the Fête de la Fédération, celebrates citizens’ storming of the Bastille, known as a symbol of the dominance of Louis XVI’s regime and the beginning of the French Revolution. July 14 is the big day.
Wild Thyme’s Chef Keith and Joanne Filipello, who have spent loads of time in France, present a new “Almost Bastille Day” Dining Club Rive Gauche on Wednesday, July 11, on the lawn at FAHA under a big oak tree.
To celebrate “Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité,” Keith will prepare a French onion tart, Provençal tomato salad, chicken with olives and capers, green salad, cheeses, fruit, Madeleines and coffee, all accompanied by Sheri Mignano on accordion and versatile tenor Michael Van Why. $35 or 30 euro. BYOW, no corkage.7 p.m. 197 W. Verano Ave., Sonoma. Reservations required at firstname.lastname@example.org or 996-0900.
The Valley of the Moon Pétanque Club will host its annual Grand Concours de Pétanque on Saturday, July 14, at Depot Park, right next to the pétanque courts. Even if you don’t play, the club welcomes lunch guests.
Chef Christine Piccin will create and serve chilled watermelon mint soup, skewers of basil chicken, shrimp and vegetables, tomato bread salad, a California-French cheese course and chocolate mousse profiterole cake. Peter Mathis is tournament director and JD Limelight will bring music. $5 to play (sign up by 10 a.m.). $20 for lunch, reserve by July 11. Lunch at 12:30-ish. Reservations required at 343-9465 or vompc.org.
Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood will host a Bastille Day Celebration on Saturday, July 14, featuring “a festive feast of hearty French country fare created by the girl & the fig Caters” and a crème brûlée station for dessert. $50 includes wine pairing and lunch. Reservations are required at 877-478-5326.
If you don’t want to indulge in the luncheon, you can just enjoy live music by Haute Flash Quartet, can-can dancing, pétanque, nibbles and special wine flights. Free entry and free berets to first 200 guests. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. chateaustjean.com/events_calendar.
Haywood Estate Winery leans Italian on Saturday, July 14, with its first annual “Vino al Lago” at Maggie and Peter Haywood’s home estate for an afternoon and evening of wine, food, music and vineyard tours. Enjoy passed appetizers, Haywood Estate wine pairings with dinner catered by Maison de Concierge, and music by Kevin Frasier. Should be gorgeous. $45 wine club members, $55 non-members. RSVP to email@example.com or 933-3001.
The Democratic Club of Southern Sonoma County holds its annual Backyard Barbecue Bash, Saturday, July 14, at the home of Bill and Maggie Fishman, 240 East St., Penngrove with retiring Rep. Lynn Woolsey as special honored guest. This is always a tasty and interesting event, pot-luck dishes appreciated, as are donations of food or money to COTS – the Committee on Shelterless. 2 to 5 p.m. RSVP by July 10 to 664-1687 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
That reminds me of the local who wanted $35 for a dirty iron pot at a garage sale last weekend, which she probably got, in contrast with Sunday’s New York Times front page photo of Sudanese “Lost Boys” crouching by small fires to guard their siblings’ pots of cooking porridge in a refugee camp near Yida, South Sudan as they flee violence.
Our first Sonoma School Garden Project’s sales at Murphy’s Irish Pub’s Thursday Markets have gone very well, with signs made by students, and vegetables grown and sold by students and some parents. Please come and encourage the kids, Thursdays, 3 to 5:30 p.m.
By the way, Altimira Middle School is selling arrangements of flowers grown by students in the Altimira office. See Kimberly Smith in the office to place your order. $5.
Deborah and John Emery hosted a small wine and cheese party to meet Gary and Rebecca Rosenberg’s daughter Marissa, an astrophysics Ph.D. candidate at Leiden University in the Netherlands, who topped her class in astrophysics at UCLA and holds a master’s in same from the International Space University at Strasburg, France and is an aspiring astronaut; and son, Mark, a marketing student at San Jose State off to San Diego for a finance internship.
Nibs & Sips:
Roger Declercq of 20-year-old Sonoma Gourmet again generously gave away 2,000 jars of his famous pasta sauce after the July Fourth parade from his float, not tossing them, of course … Joe Aaron reports that he tried the BLT at Pearl’s Diner on its debut day last Friday and said it was “over the top” good and better than expected … Café 522 has added a shrimp po’ boy with “screaming seagull tartar and cocktail sauces” with fries and pan-roasted sole with chickpeas and saffron broth to its lunch menu … Both Sondra Bernstein and Executive Chef John Toulze of all girl & the fig enterprises were featured a week ago in Macy’s ad in the Chronicle celebrating their “Plats du Jour” cookbook and three restaurants.