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Kathleen Hill: St. Paddy’s... Corner 103... and the Rhone Room


St. Paddy’s today at Breakaway

While many restaurants and bars offer parts or all of St. Patrick’s Day feasts of corned beef and cabbage, Melissa Cameron, new co-owner of the Breakaway Café, says they are really doing it up.

The day starts with a Farmer’s Breakfast of eggs, bacon, blood sausage, wilted spinach, roasted tomatoes, home fries, and sautéed shiitake mushrooms, although I don’t remember those in Ireland ($15).

The lunch special will be a Reuben sandwich of griddled IPA-braised corned beef, Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese on rye bread and warm potato salad with whole grain “mustard maple-bacon vinaigrette” ($14).

Dinner brings smoked salmon boxty of an “Irish potato pancake with smoked salmon, dill cream and sriracha caviar” or Shepard’s Pie of “ground beef brisket and chuck, carrots, peas, onion, celery, mashed potatoes, cheese and crusty bread” ($19). 19101 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma. 996-5949.

The Rhône Room coming to Broadway

Never gathering any moss, Sondra Bernstein will be opening the Rhône Room Wine Studio & Farm in the little building on the Fat Pilgrim/Harvest property when Craig Miller’s construction finishes and he opens both businesses there, hopefully in May.

The Rhône Room will feature both French and American Rhone wines, including a French wine that Bernstein is making in France with Elise Gaillard, and “some very expensive highly allocated cult Rhone wines for sale,” according to Bernstein. She will also feature a rotating selection of Rhône wines not found in other nearby tasting rooms.

Bernstein has always featured “Rhone Alone” wines and cheeses at the Girl & the Fig and will receive the top international award in June from the Rhône Rangers, a large group of Rhône wine producers.

KSVY-SVTV fundraiser

KSVY and SVTV are our community radio and television stations, and they no longer have a financial angel.

Hence, a fundraiser is coming up Thursday, March 23 at the Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club, with man-about-town John Petricka the willing victim.

Emcee Gene Daly, Kevin McNeely, Michael Coats, Mark Danon, Stan Pappas, and Hank Marioni will all “roast” poor Petricka, meaning they will subject him to tongue-in-cheek ridicule with plenty of subject matter. Hint: No women are listed to speak.

Chef Mark Nilsson will prepare Beef Wellington, green salad, a twice-baked potato, and Petricka’s secret favorite dessert. Hate to think. Corner 103, Breathless, and B.R. Cohn are donating wines. Tickets $125, of which 100 percent goes to KSVY and SVTV. Black tie optional. Get tickets ahead at Sonoma Chevy or Scott Lyall Men’s Wear.

Healthy smoothies at Altimira Middle School

At Altimira Middle School, food manager Cody Williams and crew have been serving strawberry and blueberry smoothies at break, using organic Clover plain yogurt, no added sugar, frozen banana, sliced raw beets, mandarin oranges, a little honey, and no added juice. These cost $1.25 and there is federal reimbursement for those students who missed breakfast.

Nibs & Sips

Manuel Azevedo’s new version of La Salette will be featured on Leslie Sbrocco’s “Check Please Bay Area” on March 28 at 7:30 p.m. … Sonoma Magazine named St. Francis Winery & Vineyard, Bartholomew Park Winery, Hamel Family Wines, Lasseter Family Winery, Patz & Hall, and Paradise Ridge as its favorite Sonoma Valley wineries…

Night in the Catskills bound to grow

Congregation Shir Shalom’s “Night in the Catskills” fundraiser was a huge success, having replaced the Jewish winemakers’ wine tasting. Apparently glass artist Alex Leader’s twinkling white lights around the room, the “orchestra” and comedians reminded many guests of Jewish resorts and camps they had visited. Catherine Venturini’s Jewish food was a big hit, and Michael Lavigne served as emcee. There should be a rush for these tickets next year, and you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy it.

Corner 103’s big plans

Lloyd Davis of Corner 103 plans to host a Bacon Dinner paired with wine on June 24 (food from Girl & the Fig), followed later in the summer by a Casino Night, a lobster lunch and another murder mystery dinner, the latter reported by attendees to have been loads of fun. Corner103.com.

What about the cheese?

Sonoma’s Laura Chanel Chèvre will be among the niblets next week when the Artisan Cheese Festival rolls its wheels into Petaluma March 24 to 26 in and around the Sheraton on Lakeville Road. Join in for lots of cheese tasting, appreciation and education with all sorts of opportunities to learn how cheese is made and paired with other foods and beverages.

Guests can attend two days of farm and creamery tours to see where the cows, goats and sheep live along with their keepers and how artisan cheesemakers practice their craft to please your palate. Some tours have sold out, so check the website.

Saturday brings seminars and demos pairing cheese and charcuterie by Vanessa Chang and Laura Werlin, a seminar on the importance of good milk in making cheese by Janet Fletcher of Planet Cheese and former cheese columnist Liam Callahan of Bellwether Farms, and Jennifer Bice of Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery (goat milk). Another seminar combines the knowledge of Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, co-founders of Cowgirl Creamery, as well as Jill Giacomini Basch and Lynn Giacomini Stray, co-founders of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese.

Chang and Werlin present another seminar on cheese and chocolate, followed by a new Cheese & Cocktails ($40) pairing cheeses with Sonoma County distilled spirits, and a dinner with the featured cheesemakers. ($150).

Sunday’s eye opener will be Bubbles and Brunch with the Cheese Twins: Charlie and Michael Kalish ($115), followed by the big cheese tasting marketplace in the big white tent ($45; kids under 12 are $20).

Free cooking demos include Grilled Cheese Two Ways with the Kalish twins, Butter Making with Michele Anna Jordan, and Revolutionary Raclette with Clark Wolf and Chef Daniel Kedon.

Festival organizer Tom Birdsall commits to donating 10 percent of all ticket proceeds to the Sonoma Land Trust, Petaluma Future Farmers of America, California Artisan Cheese Guild, and Redwood Empire Food Bank. More info and tickets at artisancheesefestival.com/event.