Sugary drinks ban banned; Curtains for three restaurants
Slow Food’s kids’ cheese class; St. Patrick’s specials; Nibs & Sips
Fans of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Sno Balls and Dolly Madison Zingers have been rescued. Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos and Company (Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and Vlasic pickles) will pay $410 million to purchase the brands and five Hostess factories (notice they don’t call them bakeries). You might expect your favorite sugar snack back on shelves by summer if the sale is approved by a federal bankruptcy judge on Tuesday,
New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg received a major blow to his sweet teeth Monday when his well-intentioned ban on large 16-ounce sugary drinks was dumped by state Supreme Court Justice Milton A. Tingling, Jr. Perhaps the judge’s mouth was tingling for sugar-laced sodas.
Banning the ban on Monday threw Bloomberg’s administration off course since they had prepared to start enforcing it on Tuesday.
Basically, the judge said that the ban only applied to certain sugar drinks but not milk-based drinks; would apply to some food establishments such as restaurants, but not to convenience stores; and that the fact that people can refill smaller drink sizes in lots of fast food restaurants would “defeat and/or serve to gut the purpose of the rule.”
Bloomberg’s exclusion of convenience stores from his ban does seem a bit odd.
The Heart of Sonoma Valley (Glen Ellen and Kenwood wineries) hosts its 2013 Savor Sonoma Valley experience Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17, with catered food, tastes straight from the barrel and new releases at 22 wineries, rain or shine. Talk to winemakers, enjoy lots of local art and live music.
Participating wineries range from cult to corporate. Weekend pass $65, Sunday only $50; designated driver weekend $20, Sunday only $10. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Tickets at heartofsonomavalley.com or at door.
Slow Food Sonoma Valley in cooperation with Cittaslow Sonoma, just launched a Junior Cheesemaker’s Course as a collaborative pilot project, supported by a $4,500 grant from the Mental Insight Foundation. The classes take place at the Sonoma Valley Boys & Girls Club during its “Enrichment Learning Hour” and are aimed at third- to fifth-graders.
Boys & Girls Club members will learn about cows with field trips to dairies and farms, and taste locally and foreign produced cheeses. The actual production of cheese will be done at Vella Cheese Company where the students will make mezzo secco and learn about creating labeling and packaging, with cheese aged and available for sale by Thanksgiving. For more information contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Patrick’s Day specials:
Most Sonoma restaurants and bars offer green and not-green beer and some form of corned beef and cabbage, from free food at the Wayfarer Inn to standards at Murphy’s Irish Pub and Steiners.
First off the blocks is Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley’s joint celebration at and with the Sonoma Moose Lodge on St. Patrick’s Eve, Saturday, March 16.
Rotary member and Field of Greens proprietor Ron Lawson will lead the cheffing team to prepare a corned beef dinner, BackTrax will play and anyone who can, will dance.
Even if you can’t go, buy a “Luck o’ the Irish” $50 raffle ticket to win a two-week trip for two to Ireland (or $10,000 cash), or five additional prizes of $250 each (need not be present to win).
All funds go to Rotary scholarships and community projects, such as the renovation of Sonoma Community Center’s kitchen and Andrews Hall, as well as significant donations to the Community Garden and the Sonoma School Garden Project. $40 a person, $15 dancing only after 8:30 p.m. Cocktails at 5:30 p.m., dinner served at 6:30 p.m. Wine and beer available. Full bar available by Moose Lodge. Pay at door or contact Bill O’Neal at (860) 614-4972 or email@example.com.
Breaking out of the pack will be the new old General’s Daughter, which will offer “St. Patrick’s Brew and Pub Grub” on Sunday, March 17, for the whole family with creative spins on traditional St. Paddy’s fare. Chicken lollipops with green goddess dip, arugula and prosciutto pizza, barbecued pork sliders with shaved fennel and cabbage slaw, and grilled bruschetta, and potato ribisi will be for sale at reasonable prices. Full bar and green beer. 4 to 8 p.m. 400 W. Spain St., Sonoma. RSVP 933-0450. thegeneralsdaughter.com.
Breakaway Café will serve sweet pea and mint soup, corned beef and cabbage with appropriate boiled veggies and a strawberry and rhubarb compote with vanilla ice cream for $18 on Sunday,
Decades of elegant Chinese dining at Tommy’s Toy’s Cuisine Chinoise restaurant on the edge of San Francisco’s Chinatown will end March 30. Tommy Toy himself, a great actor on the restaurant scene, used to make every guest feel special, especially movie stars and other notables such as Francis Ford Coppola and Clint Eastwood. Toy passed away in 2008, and the restaurant never quite regained its sea legs.
Closer to home, it appears that Moore’s Landing at the bottom of Cutting’s Wharf Road has closed, with phone definitely disconnected. If the newer owners made a mistake, it was trying to “improve” the place, a famous dive beside the Napa River frequented by Napa and Carneros winemakers who had considered it to serve the best hamburger around.
Another loss is the long-lived Papa’s Taverna on Lakeville Highway near Petaluma. Generations of Marin, Sonoma and other Bay Are residents have hung out at the slightly weather-worn blue and white restaurant overlooking the Petaluma River to enjoy Greek food and belly dancers, sometimes “of a certain age.”
Apparently the new owners as of 2010, Theodoros and Glynnis Papageorgacopoulos and their family, just couldn’t hang on any longer. Another disconnected phone number.
Joan Geary threw a lovely round-numbered birthday party for her husband, Brit Peter Whyte recently. From their picturesque and angular home high above Carriger Road, guests could breathe deeply with every window framing gorgeous views of Sonoma Valley.
Many neighbors were in the crowd including Sandy and Stan Augustine, Al and Carol Chiantelli, Judi Cohen and Carl Speizer, Joe Ducote, Keith and Joanne Filipello, Chris Finlay and David Whitely, and Norman and Susan Goldstein.
Fellow car collectors and just plain friends Shirley Angeloni, Wendell Bain, Joan’s mother Ruth Geary of Mill Valley, Charlotte Hart, Ted and Wendy Hoffman, Brian and Liz Jenks, Beth Labelle, Kirsten Lindquist, Leo and Millie Merle, Gerry and Lilly Meugle, Pam Mullin, Dennis and Olga Przybycien, Andy and Maria Preston, Gene and Kim Reed and CC and Grant Raeside of Marin. No one passed up the delicious birthday cakes from Whole Foods.
Ethel and Gene Daly and I were surprised to find a very good breakfast buffet at Carneros Bistro at The Lodge at Sonoma last Sunday. A cold foods table groaned with several dishes of sliced melons, strawberries, pineapple and other fruits and yogurt, as well as bagels, sliced smoked salmon with all the accoutrements, salumi, pastries and even boxed cereals.
On the counter facing the kitchen, we found Le Creuset-style pots of bacon, sausages, roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs with cheese, eggs Benedict, waffles and an assortment of other tasties. Plus, you can order and watch eggs or omelets made especially to your taste and filled with just about anything.
Juice and coffee are included, and we were greeted with small glasses of blueberry smoothies on seating. The breakfast buffet is $23, of which $1 goes to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. And, there is a 15 percent discount for locals. Run, don’t walk.
Sonoma County Restaurant Week, March 18 to 24, is an unabashed promotion that allows us to try restaurants at reasonable cost. Participating restaurants serve set three-course meals for $19, $29 or $39. Here are Sonoma Valley restaurants listed by the promotional price: $19: fig café, Café Citti, Epicurean Connection, Big 3, Breakaway Café and Palms Grill. At $29: Grist Mill, Yeti, Olive and Vine, Glen Ellen Inn, Kenwood Restaurant, Vineyards Inn, HopMonk Tavern, Mamma Tanino’s, Saddles, Centre du Vin, Della Santina and the girl and the fig. At $39: Café LaHaye and Carneros Bistro. Contact each restaurant separately for reservations and menus.
Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club will host a Games Day fundraiser and picnic lunch Friday, March 22. Bring friends and your favorite game of bridge, mahjongg, cribbage, dominos or any other game you and your friends like to play. Enjoy a lunch of ham, turkey or cheese on a croissant with sides of potato salad, chips, dessert, bottled water, a raffle and a no-host wine bar. All proceeds go to the Woman’s Club’s scholarship fund for Sonoma Valley High School students. $18. 11:30 a.m. 574 First St. E., Sonoma. Reserve by Tuesday, March 19, with Mandy Weil at 938-0156 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Impact 100, the group of women who each donate $1,000 to Impact, which then screens nonprofit projects to award grants, will host a Grants Update Saturday, March 23, at Vintage House. Members and others interested will hear about the impact Impact 100 grants have had on recipient organizations’ programs in the past year.
Guests will enjoy coffee and treats at the free event, thanks to sponsors Union Bank and Sharon Cohn’s Massage Envy Spa. 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 264 First St. E., Sonoma. Contact Mirja Muncy at email@example.com or 933-8388.
Sonoma Valley Grange hosts its fifth annual Spring Fling dinner Saturday, March 23, to feature local farmers and food purveyors with food prepared by local chefs to raise funds to do a much needed remodel of the Grange’s nearly antique kitchen.
Local chefs donating include Norm Owens of Hot Box Grill will make soup, Joanne and Keith Filipello of Wild Thyme will grill organic chicken, Isa Jacoby will make one of her fabulous salads, Mike the Bejkr will donate his fresh bread, Sheana Davis of the Epicurean Connection will make a fava leaf pesto and Paul’s Produce and Oak Hill Farm will donate all vegetables. Local wine and beer will be available for purchase. Tickets $35 by calling Grange president Mike Acker at 939-6488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org; or at Paul’s Produce and Oak Hill Farm stands at Friday’s farmers market.
Congregation Shir Shalom welcomes all to their “Celebrate Our Freedom” Passover Seder at Burlingame Hall on Tuesday, March 26.
Bruce Riezenman’s Park Avenue Catering (also Park 121 restaurant at Cornerstone) will provide a family style dinner to include gefilte fish with horseradish sauce, chicken matzoh ball soup, roasted chicken, potato kugel, glazed carrots and yams, Blue Lake green beans, wine, coffee and desserts baked by the Sisterhood. Vegetarian soup and entrée available if ordered with your reservation. Adult members $50, children of members $41, free under 5; $60 non-members, children of non-members $46. Financial “grants” available. Reserve by March 16. Mail checks to Eileen Greenberg, 363 Saunders Drive, Sonoma or contact her at email@example.com or shir-shalom.org. 935-5880.
Nibs & Sips:
Enoteca Della Santina will host winemaker Mia Klein of Selene Wines pouring her Chisler Cabernet Franc and sauvignon blanc as part of its Friday tasting series on March 22. $5 per taste. 6:30 to 8 p.m., 127 E. Napa St., Sonoma. 938-4200 … According to Bryan Liss of Save Our Sports, its recent fundraiser bagged more than $29,000 to help fund Sonoma Valley middle schools athletic programs, with chef Rob Larman’s donated 30-person barbecue dinner ranking as the “top dollar item of the evening.”