E. coli outbreak and Romaine lettuce
The Center for Disease Control issued a warning that people should not eat Romaine lettuce and should choose other salad greens due to E. coli having caused illness in several states and provinces and two deaths in the United States and Canada.
Some Sonoma grocery stores have removed Romaine lettuce from their shelves but others have not.
The Canadian government first identified Romaine lettuce as the potential source of outbreak, but the cause of contamination is still under investigation. This particular strain of E. coli (O157:H7) is known to cause hemorrhagic diarrhea, kidney failure – and death in young children, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems. It is transmitted by animal feces that come into contact with vegetables, raw meat and milk.
In-N-Out adds hot chocolate
If you saw the movie “The Founder” on the unfortunate history of McDonald’s, in which they show how they made milkshakes from some questionable packaged powder, that is not In ‘N’ Out’s new hot cocoa package mix.
In-N-Out uses San Francisco’s Ghirardelli’s hot cocoa mix, an alleged return to owner Lynsi Snyder’s grandparents serving hot chocolate when they started the burger joints in the 1950s.
Making this new addition to their uncomplicated menu seems timely, given unprecedented cold, snow and rain across the United States. Not sure how hot chocolate goes with cheeseburgers or “animal” fries, or even a protein burger, but we shall see.
Martini Madness coming
This year’s body-to-body Martini Madness will be Friday, Jan. 18, and is now run by Brian Richards of MacArthur Place.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Carneros Bistro at the Lodge, Steiner’s Tavern, Hopmonk Tavern, Saddles Steakhouse, Starling Bar, Sonoma Grill, and B&V Whiskey Bar & Grille have agreed so far to compete. As well, representatives from sponsors Grey Goose Vodka, Angels Envy Bourbon, Bacardi Rum, Bombay Sapphire Gin, and Danger will be pouring their finest.
While Saddles always supplies lots of tummy lining appetizers, guests can also enjoy a combination of Martini Madness and a special three-course Saddles dinner of salad, 14-ounce New York steak and garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables or halibut on saffron risotto, followed by Dana Jaffe’s bourbon apple fruit crisp with vanilla ice cream and Barking Dog coffee. $65 Martini Madness, $125 for Martini Madness and dinner package. Tickets at macarthurplace.com/saddles. Twenty-five percent of profits will go to fire relief via redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief.
‘Sonoma Valley Delicious’ happening now
As part of California Restaurant Month and Visit California, the local version is “Sonoma Valley Delicious,” running through the month of January.
Sample special events, tastings, and meals include
• The Girl and the Fig: Fridays, Jan. 12 and 26, from 6:30-9 p.m., enjoy “Suite D” prix-fixe pop-up dinners, featuring six ingredients and three courses for $42.
• Santé Restaurant at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn: Enjoy a chef-selected seven-course tasting menu for two, with a glass of Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine each, for $195 Sunday-Thursday, or $235 Friday-Saturday.
• Petroni Vineyards: Try a rare three-course farm-to-table food and wine pairing for $95, or five-courses for $195, following a tour of the culinary gardens, production facilities and wine caves, glass-in-hand. 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
• Saddles Steakhouse at McArthur Place Hotel: Relish an $89 three-course dinner for two, served with a bottle of Leese & Fitch cabernet sauvignon or Sebastiani chardonnay.