Weddings, weddings; Catalan Festival better and better
La Chaîne des Rotisseurs at Santé; HelloCello and Prohibition Spirits wins SIP award
Index-Tribune file photo
Mia Sebastiani and Kendrick Coakley got married in grand Sonoma Italian style with a week of parties culminating in a Saturday night celebration at the newly renovated home of her parents, Nancy and Don Sebastiani.
Friday night they took over Estate restaurant, entertaining about 90 guests for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres such as crab cakes and mini BLTs, followed by a five-course dinner. On the menu were Executive Chef John Toulze’s antipasti of house-cured coppa with peach mostarda, and mushroom and fennel salad, seasonal flatbread, housemade papardelle with arugula pesto and oil poached tomatoes, pork loin porchetta with soft polenta, pan-seared flounder with potato puree and eggplant caponata, followed by chocolate polenta cake with hazelnut gelato and bite-sized ricotta cheesecakes.
Wines brought in by Don Sebastiani & Sons, which means Mia’s father and brothers, were more than plentiful. More guests arrived after 9 p.m. and indulged in more wine, as well as dessert and cheese buffets.
Saturday brought nearly 300 guests to the Sebastianis’ stunning rebuilt home for a more formal wedding reception, with more wine and food reportedly created by San Francisco star caterer Paula le Duc and television star Tyler Florence of Mill Valley in person. Most neighbors enjoyed the music and speeches immensely, as the celebration drifted across eastside Sonoma with the soft summer night’s wind.
In slight contrast, Bret O’Neal, son of Sonoma residents Bill and Dr. Dian Chevalier O’Neal, married Amanda Trauger of Santa Rosa at the Fountaingrove Golf and Athletic Club in a slightly different wedding.
Their rehearsal dinner drew family from throughout the country for a fabulously casual Equus restaurant buffet of dry-rubbed meaty barbecued ribs and chicken, cole slaw, local salad greens, roasted baby potatoes and jalapeño corn bread, followed by all the strawberry shortcake you could eat. Gifts of Jameson Irish Whiskey to the fathers of the bride and groom were enjoyed by many. Along with plenty of wine, beer and soda, of course.
Bowing to a four-brother childhood “Incredible Hulk” fan club, many attendees dressed in green or black, including Dr. O’Neal’s emerald green nail polish. The groomsmen eventually opened their tuxedo jackets to reveal T-shirts of the characters they represented. As Dr. O’Neal said, “all of our goofballs made it through it.”
If you are intrigued with the 2012 Olympics and happen to watch the men’s beach volleyball competition, their uniforms, if you can call them that, were designed right here in Sonoma by Scott “Woody” Woodworth of Loudmouthgolf.com. We first noticed them via the Norwegian curling team’s definitely Loudmouth outfits during the 2010 Winter Olympics in British Columbia.
Loudmouth’s unforgettably colorful board shorts and sleeveless tops will be worn by the current world’s top volleyball duo, Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser.
Woodworth and his wife, Kathy, will be glued to the tele at home, while partner Larry Jackson, who represented the firm at the recent British Open golf tournament, has stayed on in England to attend the Olympics.
Loudmouth has dressed golfers Johnny Miller and John Daly and sells its definitely different golfing pants at about 900 golf and sports stores around the country. Replicas of the Olympic volleyball jerseys will be available online next week.
Oh yes, they also sell wild chefs’ coats ($69) at loudmouthgolf.com. Click on “made-to-order.”
Rancho Viejo will give 20 percent of all income today through Sunday to Sonoma’s Babe Ruth baseball stars to help with travel expenses to Los Angeles for the state championships. Just say “Go Sonoma” when you order Mexican food or beverages. 18976 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma. 939-3663.
Muscardini Cellars and Deerfield Ranch Winery will put on its inagural “Mercato di Vino” on Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29, at Deerfield Ranch Winery. Olive & Vine restaurant and Buon Gusto Wood Fire Pizza will serve appetizers on the crush pad. Listen to Jason Bodlovich’s music, stroll or roll through the art-festooned caves, enjoy barrel tastings of wines paired with Truffles Gateau chocolates, cigars and winemakers Michael Muscardini and Robert Rex. $25 wine club members, $35 non-members. Noon to 5 p.m. both days. More info and tickets at muscardinicellars.com or 933-9305.
Last weekend’s Catalan Festival at Gloria Ferrer was the best ever and sold out both days. For the first time, they offered lots of cold ice water, a wheelchair ramp, larger tent with tables, cold espresso drinks and artists and craft vendors interspersed with food providers.
Kenwood’s Vineyards Inn provided tastes of real Spanish tortilla with eggs, potatoes, garlic onion and zucchini; the girl & the fig made cool gazpacho and goat cheese tartlets; San Francisco’s Thirsty Bear did chicken on skewers and crab and shrimp stuffed paquilla peppers; and The Paella Guy’s paella was out of this world fabulous. And, of course, the glorious Gloria wines were perfect on a warm day.
Ramekins Culinary School presents a special winemaker dinner on Wednesday, Aug. 1, with Amelia Ceja and Ramekins’ Doug MacFarland, who will prepare local oysters with lemon mignonette, grilled summer squash with squash blossom pesto, king salmon with wild blackberries, lamb sirloin with early girl tomato jam-dressed farro and grilled freestone peaches with fresh ricotta. $90. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. 450 W. Spain St., Sonoma. Call 933-9450 immediately.
All cancer survivors and their caregivers are invited to a free celebration dinner on Thursday, Aug. 2, at Hanna Boys Center as a preview to Relay For Life next weekend. Register as a survivor at RelayforLife.org/sonomaca.
Guests will dine on tossed salad, chicken Cordon Bleu, pot roast with carrots, onions and celery, roasted red potatoes, green beans, dinner rolls and assorted desserts. Limited to 200 people. 6 p.m. RSVP
to Shannon Howlett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 390-9175 by Saturday, July 28.
Wild Thyme’s next Dining Club Rive Gauche will be “Tapas and White Trash” on Wednesday, Aug. 8, under the cooling oak trees at FAHA, to the tunes of White Trash bluesman Ron Hacker.
The definitely not trashy Spanish tapas menu includes gazpacho with tuna empanadas; grilled summer vegetables salad with capers and white bean salad; paella with chicken, sausage, shrimp and vegetables; and poached figs with Moorish almond meringues. $35 or $30 euro. 7 p.m. sharp. BYOW, no corkage. Reservations required at email@example.com or 996-0900.
Thanks to the organization and sponsorship of Ethel and Eugene Daly, the Napa-Sonoma chapter of La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a gastronomic society first founded in Paris in 1248, has rekindled with great energy and enthusiasm.
West Coast members and guests indulged in Santé restaurant’s Michelin one-star chef Andrew Cain’s appetizers of bite-sized Yukon gold potato blinis with abundant California osetra caviar, whipped Brie de Nagis with black pepper shortbread, Marin Sun Farms beef sliders with Walla Walla onions and Gruyère cheese and tiny puff pastries with lobster thermidor.
Dinner included an artful salad of stand-on-end slices of hearts of palm with poached peaches sliced almost invisibly, brioche crusted Loch Duart salmon and roasted Wagyu rib-eye, all followed by a divine dark chocolate mousse with an espresso and Grand Marnier sabayon.
Wines poured generously were Robert Hunter’s Brut de Noirs, Bedrock Rosé made by local Morgan Twain-Peterson, Donum Estate 2008 Pinot Noir, member Ronald Fenolio’s Veedercrest Cabernet Sauvignon, Inniskillin Riesling Ice Wine and Fritz Maytag’s York Creek port.
I had the distinct honor of being inducted into the group, called a “Baillage,” by Pacific Northwest “Bailli” (leader) Michael Martello from Monterey. Other new inductees included Robert Miguel; Beverly Zierolf as a Dame de la Chaîne; Peter Chiarella as a wine professional (former CFO of Max Factor); winemaker Ronald Fenolio who will act as sommelier; and Frank Espina, a CPA who will be treasurer, here called an “argentier.”
Many thanks to Paula Vinson, president of the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival, for the generous donation of $3,000 to the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation for our Sonoma School Garden Project. We will all be involved in this year’s Vintage Festival, which will again benefit the school gardens.
Vinson hopes to resurrect her “Le Petit Chef” cooking competition at Ramekins Culinary School this fall, pairing culinary students with professional chefs.
Tickets are almost sold out for La Luz Center’s spectacular Noche en Casbah at Hanna Boys Center on Saturday, Aug. 11. Spectacular because La Luz board member Marcelo de Fretas is chairing the event and everything he does is big and spectacular.
Get your tickets now for an evening of live camels, Casbah décor, open tents, belly dancers, snake charmers, sword dancers, music, dancing and Arabian food by Sonoma resident Elaine Bell. Raffle tickets $100 for a piece of the pot. $175. 5:30 p.m. Open bar. Tickets at 938-5010 or laluzcenter.org.
Sonoma’s Best flattered me to the dogs by naming their weekly hot dog special “The Kathleen Hill Dog.” And it was special, indeed. Beats Pink’s Hot Dogs in Los Angeles, or even Costco (for those who go to Costco for their Polish dogs), for a long hot dog with celery salt, yellow mustard, chopped pepperoncini, tomatoes, relish and, oh yes, yellow mustard. Saturday brings a new honoree.
Nibs & Sips:
Denise Silver received a well-deserved photo and feature for her work for Speedway Children’s Charities in Sunday’s Press Democrat … Presidio Social Club gave up its one-restaurant crusade to serve foie gras on federal property when the Presidio’s governing commission said the restaurant had to comply … Rachel Kohn Orbut of Lunita Farm will become farm manager at the Sweetwater Spectrum development on Fifth Street West … Meadowcroft Wines has launched vineyard tours of its 18-acre pinot noir farm on Saturdays and Sundays (934-4090) … HelloCello just won best (platinum medal) Small Batch Bourbon at the Spirits International Prestige (SIP) awards for their Hooker’s House Bourbon, which is aged second time in Schug pinot noir barrels.
Send yummy tidbits to firstname.lastname@example.org.