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Kathleen Hill: La Salette heads back to yesterday


La Salette returns to refreshed regular menu

Manuel Azevedo has just returned his La Salette back to his original à la carte style, serving lunch and dinner daily, to the joy of many customers.

Azevedo wrote in an email, “Trying to take LaSalette to another level had to happen for me and my career. I wanted to see what I, and my team, were capable of. People either loved what we did or hated it – little middle ground.

“My team and I had a blast serving guests at that level. It came down to simple math. I have no regrets except that I might have upset some guests. What I learned most importantly is that LaSalette is not ‘mine’ alone. LaSalette is bigger than me and also belongs to the guests who have made it a success for nearly 20 years. I am, in part, the caretaker. There is a lot of humility, peace and satisfaction in that. I look forward to another 20 years taking care of LaSalette and her guests.”

Fans and new guests will love seeing a return of familiar La Salette dishes and some refreshing ones, such as Dad’s Spring Garden Salad with Baby Little Gem lettuce, asparagus and beets, wood oven roasted octopus, cod cakes, Matança de Porco (pork belly and linguica), Day Boat scallops, pulled pork sandwiches, fish & chips, Piri Piri chicken salad, Arroz Valenciana, sea bass, Portuguese Fisherman’s stew, and the Brazilian national stew, all at lunch. ($8 to $27).

Dinner adds an asparagus and artichoke crisp with slow cooked egg, smoked rabbit, Angus strip steak, grilled pork chop, and California squab. ($15 to $32). 452 First St. E., Suite A., Sonoma. 938-1927. Lasaletterestaurant.com.

Crisp Bakeshop turns 5

All fools are welcome at Crisp Bakeshop’s fifth anniversary celebration Saturday, April 1. Owners Andrea and Moaya and “the Crispies” will offer face painting with Hope, Love, and Magic’s Belle from “Beauty and the Beast,” a temporary tattoo station for kids, complimentary mini cupcake decorating with the Crispies, and wine by the glass $5 all day for grownups. During the party the Bakeshop will be open as usual. Free. Party 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Store hours 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 720 W. Napa St., Sonoma. 933-9999. Crispbakeshop.com.

School Garden fundraiser

The Sonoma School Garden Project’s fundraiser two weeks ago was a great success, especially since it was a first effort for most of the volunteers involved. Cardinal Newman student Michael Daly came up with the idea for his senior project and Flowery and Sassarini garden coordinator Chris Everidge chaired and organized the event with the huge help of Ramekins general manager Victoria Campbell. School Board president Dan Gustafson welcomed the sold-out crowd and Bill Dardon and Penny Byrd presented a scholarship check to Daly from the Tuesday night Valley of the Moon Certified Farmers Market. Anne Marie Sebastiani emceed the whole evening.

The food was spectacular and donated by local chefs including Ari Weiswasser, Sean Paxton who topped wood-fired pizzas with veggies from the Flowery School Garden, Jeffrey Lloyd, Bryan David Scott, Garrett Sathre, Ed Metcalfe, Sheana Davis, Kyle Kuklewski, Andrew Wilson, Maricella of Scandia, Jen Demarest, and Andrea Koweek. Susan Tuck of Chevoo gave a jar of her goat cheeses to every guest.

Pat and Russ Johnson created and donated a five-minute video of the school gardens with kids as the stars. The biggest contribution of the evening came from Erik and Tony Garcia of Sonoma Materials who offered $20,000 for any materials or plants the gardens might need, which will be distributed judiciously to school gardens on an as needed basis.

Nibs & Sips

Good news: Both Joyce and George are back at Sonoma Market following their feet and hand surgeries… Apparently what has been Rancho Viejo Mexican restaurant will morph into Taqueria y Torterra Timilpan. Tony Garcia of Sonoma Materials reports that the burritos currently made there by Leonardo Macedonro Martonez and Susana Santiago de Macedonro are the best anywhere… Michael Clouse plans Caliente Joe Coffee at 17341 Highway 12 in the Springs.

Zina Lounge launches spring menu

Steve Ledson and his chef Yoshiharu Sogi just introduced a new spring menu of four- and six-course tasting menus paired with Ledson wines at his Ledson Hotel. The four-course menu costs $90 per person, while the six-course menu runs $150 per person and are served 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

Elegant savored tastes might include Hama Hama oysters, potato leek soup, Hawaiian Ahi tuna, orzo with sautéed green beans, bacon wrapped cocoa rubbed pork tenderloin, braised leg of lamb, layer cakes and various fresh vegetables and berries. 480 First St. E., Sonoma. Reservations at 996-9779.

Foodie Trashion Fashion fun

As something of a reminder of how much food wrapping material we waste, I always love watching the creative Trashion Fashion “fashions” for food items. This year we saw recycled paper and plastic bags, potato and corn chip bags, juice boxes, soup lids, milk cartons, sushi trays, cheese stickers, whole and 3,000 slices of wine corks, restaurant menus, plastic bread bags and egg cartons.