Obama inaugural lunch and recipe; Saddles Old Fashioned dinners
Depot Hotel new menu; Martini Madness madder than ever
Monday, Jan. 21, marks both the second inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States and the official birthday of the late Martin Luther King Jr.
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies organizes the whole inaugural shebang, including the luncheon after the swearing-in, and invites the guests.
Committee chair Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., told the Washington Post “This inaugural luncheon menu incorporates foods that the first Americans enjoyed, but with a modern, forward looking approach” and will include “incredible dishes from all corners of our nation.” Notice several slightly top-heavy nods on the menu to Schumer’s New York wines, cheeses, apples and the Rochester University Eastern String Quartet.
First course: Steamed lobster with New England chowder sauce, served on a bed of sautéed spinach with sweet potato hay and served with a Tierce 2010 Dry Riesling from Finger Lakes, N.Y.
Second course: Hickory grilled bison with wild huckleberry reduction and strawberry preserve and red cabbage, baby golden beets and green beans and butternut squash purée, and a potato horseradish cake, served with Bedell Cellars 2009 Merlot, North Fork, Long Island, N.Y.
Third course: Hudson Valley Apple Pie with sour cream ice cream and maple caramel sauce, aged Toma Celena and Jersey Girl Colby cheese from Cooperstown Cheese Co. in Milford, N.Y. and honey, served with Korbel Natural Special Inaugural Cuvée Champagne, California.
It was that menu listing of Korbel’s sparkling wine that aroused France’s Champagne Bureau into a frenzied verbal climax, citing the fact that “California” placed after the word “Champagne” violated the premise that champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France. Had “California” appeared before the word champagne, the Russian River Valley’s Korbel would not have enjoyed worldwide publicity.
Korbel’s labels read “Russian River Valley Natural Champagne,” so the error goes into the White House column.
Locally, we can watch President Obama’s second inauguration together on Monday at Black Bear Diner and order breakfast from the restaurant’s menu, which probably does not feature bison. If you chose to attend, Beth Hadley suggests you bring canned goods, pasta, rice and other non-perishable foods (no ramen, please) to donate to Friends In Sonoma Helping (FISH). 8:30 a.m. 201 W. Napa St., Sonoma. More information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior to the gathering, I will read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech on Ken Brown’s Morning Show on KSVY. I truly look forward to hearing and seeing one of my mentors, Myrlie Evers-Williams, give the invocation at the inauguration.
Did anyone count how many times the word “amazing” was used during the Golden Globe Awards last Sunday? Amazing. Can we find a new word, or even words?
Saddles bargains and fun:
Saddles Steakhouse at MacArthur Place
features a new Sunday through Tuesday “Old Fashioned Nights” at “old fashioned prices” such as a Seagram’s gin or vodka martini and Jack Daniels Old Fashioneds or Manhattans for $5. The special runs from now through Feb. 26.
Check out the fun display of period record albums, Cinzano ashtray with a lip-sticked cigarette, and much more as you enter Saddles.
Then there are choices of an avocado supreme with bay shrimp, an excellent French onion soup, or Caesar salad prepared tableside ($6 or $12 for two). We noticed a 21st-century health addition to the salad cart: a squirt bottle of blue-green Purell hand sanitizer. Entrées include the old sole Florentine, chicken Kiev or Steak Diane ($13.95 to $16.95). Another updated feature was that entrées, mashed potatoes and vegetables were all stacked in a large bowl-shaped plate.
Does anyone remember Baked Alaska or Crêpes Suzanne (Suzette) for two prepared and perfectly flamed tableside ($10 to 12)? 29 E. MacArthur, Sonoma. 933-3191.
Antonio Ghilarducci has totally revamped the Depot Hotel Restaurant’s lunch menu (while keeping some favorites) with various antipasti platters, fennel salad with oranges and olives, radicchio and hard cooked eggs, white bean and tuna salad and crostini with chicken livers ($5
Other new items include a grilled Cotechino sausage with plum and apricot mostarda, braised tripe with tomato and Parmigiano-Reggiano and split pea soup ($6 to $9). Try pastas such the rich tortellini Ghilarducci stuffed with ricotta and pork with a sherry cream sauce, penne with sautéed mushrooms and cherry tomatoes and pan-fried gnocchi ($14 to $18).
Sandwiches include a muffuletta with salami, mortadella and Vella Jack cheese, open-faced sirloin steak sandwich on French bread with Point Reyes Blue Cheese, grilled portobello with tomatoes and goat cheese, roast beef and a Lucca Burger with ground beef and pancetta ($12 to $16). Enjoy! 241 First St. W., Sonoma. 938-2980. email@example.com. Depotsonoma.com.
Michael Muscardini hosts a grand opening of his new Muscardini Cellars tasting room in the 1860s red schoolhouse in Kenwood this weekend, Jan. 19 and 20. His team includes tasting room manager Jennifer Kosko, Laura Lujan and office manager Alice Schimm.
Enjoy Muscardini’s multi-award winning wines, Sondra Bernstein’s jams, Bonnie Tempesta’s biscotti, Italian salami and local cheeses and breads. Current art displays include glass art by Stone Cohn and featured artist Margaret Hatcher. Don’t trip on Muscardini’s buddy Beni, his 94-pound golden retriever. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. 9380 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. 933-9305. muscardinicellars.com.
Bouchon Bakery’s head baker, Matt McDonald, comes to Ramekins Culinary School Saturday, Jan. 19, to showcase and teach how to make Thomas Keller’s finest breads and baked goods. The class fee includes the new “Bouchon Bakery Cookbook.” $150. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 450 W. Spain St., Sonoma. Call quickly to 933-0450 to reserve your space.
At the other end of the bread spectrum, it looks as if bankrupt Hostess will pull off a sale of Wonder Bread, Nature’s Pride, Butternut, Home Pride and Merita breads for $390 million to rival Flower Foods, which makes Nature’s Own, Cobbletstone Mill and Tastykakes. Stay tuned for Twinkies’ fate.
While Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma Valley’s Sweetheart Gala & Auction honoring Deborah and Dr. John Emery on Feb. 9 is sold out, you can participate and donate to the club by bidding on a uniquely special offering.
Anya Ushkova-Crain will lead a rare session at the Emerys’ elegant new home that will “evoke Parisian salons of the era of Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Marcel Proust, Marlene Dietrich, Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau.” What about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas? They hosted some of the best.
With only four places left of the 10 offered at $1,000 each, the day will include “a French continental breakfast, a bistro lunch, reception and an exquisitely luscious Parisian dinner by candlelight, prepared by chef Catherine Venturini of Glen Ellen’s Olive & Vine. Sommelier John Burdick will oversee pairing of wines from Hanzell and Domaine Chandon.
Ushakova-Crain will serve as muse to help guests “learn how to live your sensuous life.” “Parisian Boulevardier” Michel Michelis of Rue Manouche will play. Guests will also receive a VIP pass for Napa Valley’s Festival del Sole on July 13, that includes Taste of Napa and an evening concert at Yountville’s Lincoln Theatre featuring the Russian National Orchestra with solo pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and VIP pre-concert and intermission receptions. $1,000. To reserve one of the last four places, call Katie Holden at 938-8544, ext. 106.
Today, Friday, Jan. 18, you can enter to win a basket full of Friday Morning Certified Farmers Market produce and products to be awarded at the Jan. 25 market. Enter at the market today at the Depot Park or Arnold Field parking lot on First Street West. 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Martini Madness ended with (hopefully) no harm to anyone and some luscious drinks.
Bartender John Staley of El Dorado Kitchen won best cocktail and best use of an olive with his “Pear-ly Legal” Skyy Vodka, Berentzen Pear Schnapps, ginger liqueur, lemon, mole bitters and a poached pear caviar-stuffed Castelventrano olive.
Executive Chef Peter Smith and David Waintroob of The Lodge at Sonoma and Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar won most creative with its “Sensual Chocolate” cocktail, and was it ever! Check out these ingredients: Charbay Blood Orange Vodka, Orangecello, Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, hot chocolate, Noccino, Arbequenia olive oil, bacon-caramel stuffed olive, white chocolate, and peanut butter bacon sea salt olives dipped in dark chocolate and then into your glass.
Rebecca Gosselin and husband Chris Chotkowski of Proof’d (formerly Plaza Liquors), made a wild Hooker House Bourbon and Rye, vermouth, Versinthe Absinthe, Aquavit and bitters, with an extra virgin olive oil float.
Speaking of Hooker House, its parents, Amy and Fred Groth kick off their weekend with a Big Peel Party on Saturday, Jan. 19, where attendees will hand peel 3,500 lemons to make limoncello and nibble goodies as long as your hands hold up. A vat of laughs, always.
As rewards to help them raise funds on Kickstarter.com to build a state-of-the-art still for their distillery, the Groths will give investors hands-on Moonshiners classes, distillers dinners, whisky blending seminars and much more. More at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crab feed fundraisers:
Sonoma has a long tradition of raising money for schools through crab feeds, which, to the uninitiated, means all the often-marinated dungeness crab you can eat, with at least salad, bread, dessert and beer or wine. Customarily rolls of paper cover long tables and you just eat with a fork or fingers and let that crab marinade run down your arms to your elbows and don’t worry about it.
Sonoma Valley High School Boosters sponsor one on Friday, Feb. 1, at the Moose Lodge that includes no-host cocktails and dancing until midnight to the Scallywags Band’s blues and rock. $45. Dance only $10. Raffle tickets $10 or three for $20. Cocktails from 6 p.m., dinner 8:30 p.m.
Presentation School Crab and Pasta Feed comes with crab, pasta, bread, dessert, dancing and a no-host bar at the school, Saturday, Feb. 2. $65. Registration 6 p.m., dinner 7 p.m. 20872 Broadway, Sonoma. Reserve at 935-0122, Ext. 202.
Sonoma County Democratic Party Crab Feed honoring Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey takes place Friday, Feb. 22, at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building. Deemed by many to be “the best crab feed in Sonoma County” for 25 years in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s 2012 Readers’ Choice awards, it includes local crab, Pasta King Art Ibleto’s pasta, salad, dessert and Sonoma County wines, 50/50 raffle, awards ceremony. Sells out to 600 seats. $50. 5 to 6:45 p.m. no-host cocktails and silent auction, dinner 7 p.m. 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa. Reserve at sonomademocrats.org, or send check to SCDP, P. O. Box 3727, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.
Enjoy! - KTH