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Kathleen Hill: Last days of ‘restaurant week’ in Sonoma

Last days of Restaurant Week

Your last opportunity to take advantage of Sonoma County’s Restaurant Week comes this weekend through Sunday, March 12. This is an annual event where certain restaurants offer prix fixe menus at lunch and dinner with two-course lunches from $10 to $15 and/or three-course dinners priced at $19, $29, and $39.

Sonoma Valley restaurants where you can enjoy your favorite dining spot or try one new to you include Plaza Bistro, Palms Grill, Café Citti in Kenwood, Yeti in both Glen Ellen and Santa Rosa, the Girl and the Fig, Mamma Tanino’s, Café LaHaye, Maya, Shiso Modern Asian Kitchen, HopMonk Tavern, Della Santina’s and Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar. For links to participating restaurants go to sonomacounty.com/restaurant-week/restaurants or directly to their individual websites.

CocoaPlanet now serving wine

With lots of additions to its modern French gluten-free menu, CocoaPlanet just started serving French aperitifs and carefully selected local wines. They also offer wine and chocolate pairings with flights of each.

Additions include porcini mushroom soup with leeks, Yukon Gold potatoes and celery served with cheese gougères, chicken Caesar salad, and an authentic French Dip sandwich using Black Angus prime rib on a gluten-free baguette served with French potato salad, a cup of classic au jus for dipping and a small dish of horseradish. Now you can order the grilled cheese sandwich with sharp cheddar or French Gruyère cheese with tomato on request, served with green salad, and the Croque Monsieur with Parisian ham, gruyere cheese or add a poached egg for a Croque Madame, also served with green salad. 921 Broadway, Sonoma. 343-7453.

Rotary blarney

If you want to start celebrating St. Paddy’s Day this weekend, check out Sonoma Valley Rotary’s St. Patrick’s Day Bash on Saturday, March 11, at the Moose Lodge.

Bagpiper 5 to 7:30, dinner of corned beef brisket, wilted cabbage salad with onions and bacon, Irish potatoes, buttered baby carrots, bread and butter, coffee, tea, beer and cheers. $40 at the door includes two drink tickets, DJ, and raffle of trip to Ireland. Moose cash bar open.

‘Dig In’ reminder

Help all public school children continue to learn valuable lessons in their school gardens by attending the Sonoma School Garden Project’s fundraiser, Saturday, March 11, at Ramekins Culinary Center.

Sarah Anderson has donated the space at Ramekins, executive Chef Kyle Kuklewski will prepare the entrée, and a host of local restaurants and chefs are donating to the cause. Fabulous silent auction items. $75 includes two drink tickets. Reception and silent auction at 6 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m. All funds go to school gardens. Go to ramekins.com, scroll down to “Let’s All Dig In,” and click on Eventbrite.

Pink Peeps Oreos?

Many of us have friends who cannot make it through Easter without their Peeps. Originally little yellow marshmallow “chicks,” they now come in many colors and forms made for most holidays.

Made by the Just Born candy factory founded by Russian immigrant Sam Born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Peeps have now married Oreo cookies, this season producing a vanilla cookie filled with pink marshmallow, “flavor crème” made from sugar, high fructose corn syrup, gelatin, Red No. 3 food dye, and 14 other ingredients. (I counted them.) Only six sugars, 40 mg sodium, 1 gram of fat, and 70 calories per cookie.

But caution, Peeps and Oreo lovers. While these goodies are marketed (even on the package) as “limited edition” cookies, they have two unpredicted side effects. According to Fox News and CNet, they apparently turn you pink from top to bottom, literally – both your tongue and, well, the rest is better left unsaid. But don’t be surprised if the Red Dye No. 3 makes a return appearance long after the pleasures of Oreo Peeps have left your mouth.

I think I will put them with my Hostess products purchased the day they went bankrupt in 2012 that are still spongy soft.

Williams-Sonoma upcoming classes

Sonoma Williams-Sonoma has a few culinary events coming up in March, both for adults and for kids. On Sundays, grownups can lean to make various breads on March 12 ($30), risotto March 19 ($35), and roulades on March 26 $40. All classes are at noon on Sundays.

Fun kids’ classes include a pizza party March 13 ($25), milkshakes and smoothies March 20 ($25), and sweet and savory pretzels March 27 ($25). All classes are on Monday afternoons at 4 p.m.

Then in what they call their “cookbook club,” their local house chef will cook from Oprah Winfrey’s new book, “Food Health Happiness.” On the menu March 22 will be garden greens with lemon vinaigrette, turkey lasagna, and coconut lime sorbet. $75 includes copy of the book. 6 p.m. 605 Broadway, Sonoma. Reserve at 939-8974.

Cocoa logic

Famed pastry chef and author Emily Luchetti posted this on Facebook:

“Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree. That makes it a plant. Chocolate is salad.”