Kathleen Hill: La Salette to refurbish

La Salette to refurbish

Manuel Azevedo of La Salette, Tasca Tasca, Shiso and Café Lucia in Healdsburg, will close La Salette for the month of December to reinvigorate, brighten the place up, and get ready to do what he has always wanted to do.

In a conversation on Tuesday Azevedo said he has “always wanted to be like the chefs with investors who can just focus on creating menus and cooking and talking to the people he is serving.” And now, with four successful restaurants, he has the courage to do just that. Hence he will refurbish La Salette and “open like a champagne bottle bubbling as the cork pops” with a different version of his traditional Azores food and three- and five-course menus at dinner time only ($35 to $55).

Azevedo said, “Tasca Tasca’s success gave me the self-confidence to follow my heart. I think people feel what I am trying to say there,” so he wants to express himself more creatively at La Salette. “I want to have fun being here for another 10 or 20 years. There’s nothing holding me back now. I’ve never had that freedom before.”

Watch for new menu items, with delicacies from additional suppliers, and happy food from a chef/owner who loves to work. La Salette will also be the first restaurant in Sonoma where “hospitality is included,” meaning no tipping. During December you will be able to get your La Salette fix at Tasca Tasca.

Meanwhile in the Napa Valley…

Thomas Keller and his French Laundry have been sued for $5 million for sex discrimination by Vanessa Scott-Allen, a server captain at his Per Se restaurant in New York, who was offered to transfer to the Yountville restaurant. After she arrived at the French Laundry pregnant, she was allegedly told the job was no longer available.

Rocket Sushi brings ‘Back Door Café’ to the front

Liz and Molly Hyerley have moved their café in the back of Rocket Sushi to the front and are reopening the operation as a “café.”

Watch for a mixed bowl of “Rocket Bowls” much like the ones they served at the Tuesday Farmers Market, including poke and “Korean steak” bowls and veggie grain bowls, as well as build your own bowls. They will continue to serve their big sandwiches, including the popular “Space Chick” fried chicken sando, salads, and a daily special, with piroshkis available on Thursdays and Fridays. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. 18812 Highway 12, Sonoma. 939-8612. rocketcatering@yahoo.com.

Jack London Film Fest with dinner

This film festival, a fundraiser for Jack London State Historic Park and the Sonoma Community Center, features three evenings of movies made from Jack London’s books shown in Andrews Hall, with Ramekins-catered dinners offered each evening in the Community Center’s Rotary Kitchen.

“Call of the Wild” was shown Thursday, Nov. 3 accompanied by some of Darius Anderson’s Jack London collection, and “Sea Wolf” on Friday, Nov. 4. Prior to the the screening of “White Fang” on Saturday, Nov. 5, I will talk about what the Londons grew and cooked at Beauty Ranch and show some of my period-appropriate kitchen utensils. Tickets range from $25 to $100, the latter includes dinner. More info at jacklondonpark.com and tickets at svbo.org.

Prohibition Spirits hosts distillery grand opening

Amy and Fred Groth will host a Grand Opening celebration for their tasting room at Cornerstone on Saturday, Nov. 5. The tasting room adjoins Sunset magazine’s test garden and, conveniently, Sunset’s cocktail herb garden.

The Groths have been making “wine-country inspired distilled spirits since 2009, and invite everyone to join them in their new tasting room, which also offers barware, books, tools and unique mixologist accessories. The afternoon includes spirits sampling, live music, garden tours and light bites. Be sure to taste their new pumpkin spice brandy. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 12570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. Hellosonoma.com. 721-6390.

Sonoma Springs Brewing hosts party for firefighters

Sonoma Springs Brewing Co., located next to DiveWalk Café in the former Nicholas Turkey office building, will host a release party to benefit the Sonoma Volunteer Firefighters Association on Saturday, Nov. 5.

The event marks the anniversary of the three-alarm fire that gutted the back of the building, effecting several businesses. Sotille Red was created with the Sonoma Volunteer Firefighters Association and is a double red ale brewed with Simcoe and Citra hops for a citrus flavored finish. The firefighters will barbecue brats for sale and will try not to burn down the building.

The event is free, but 10 percent of what you spend on Sotille Red and brats will go to the Sonoma Volunteer Firefighters Association. 1 to 6 p.m. 19499 Riverside Drive, Sonoma, Suite 101. Sonomaspringsbrewing.com.

Fun Food Fact – or is it?

Lots of theories float around the internet on a world of topics.

In this case it’s about the sex of bell peppers. The popular theory is that you can tell their sex by the number of lumps on their bottoms. Hmmm….

According to AWM Food, “The ones with four bumps on their bums are females and those with three bumps are male. The female peppers are full of seeds, but sweeter and better for eating raw and the males are better for cooking.”

Several other sources say this isn’t true and that their flowers are complete, meaning they contain both male and female sexual qualities and self-pollinate.

So it will be fun for all of us to watch each other check the bottoms of our bell peppers.

Epicurean Connection looking forward

Sheana Davis announces that her husband, Ben Sessions, will serve as “wine educator” for all of her cheese classes, starting in January. She says her classes are held locally at the General’s Daughter with some at Ramekin’s. The Fairmont Mission Inn, the Lodge, Silverado Resort and more.

Davis’s Delice de la Vallee cheese, a triple cream cow’s milk blended with fresh goat milk is now served at each of the Bouchon properties in Yountville, Beverley Hills, Las Vegas and New York, according to Davis. She says she has developed triple cream Brie that you can try at Glen Ellen Star.

Ramen Nights are back at Suite D

Just in time for a rainy winter, Sondra Bernstein has restarted Wednesday Ramen Nights at Suite D and is serving ramen out of her Fig Rig on Thursdays at the Lanning Structures building in Boyes Hot Springs.

Wednesday nights at Suite D offers a choice of one of four ramens with a side salad ($15 – dessert now extra), wine beer and sake $5, corkage $5. Pay at the door. 5 to 7:30.

Thursday nights at the Fig Rig offers two ramen choices as well as dirty fries and a kimchee hot dog starting at 7 p.m.

And also on Thursday, check out Sip & Slide with oysters on the half shell, barbecue oysters and lobster rolls at Roche Winery tasting room next to the Girl & the Fig on West Spain Street.