Kathleen Hill: Donum, Ramen and Turkey Day
Donum Estate turns 20
The Donum Estate is launching its year-long 20th anniversary celebration throughout 2021 with “never-before offered reserve wine collections and formats designed to share for special occasions or as exceptional gifts,” according to CEO Angelica de Vere Mabray.
The Donum 20th Anniversary Catalog features their Terroir Series, the Ai Weiwei Vertical, and the Gift of Donum collections and two exclusive magnums. The Ai Weiwei Vertical collection honors the estate’s large-scale sculptures, featuring the artist’s “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” sculpture prominent on the Donum property. 24500 Ramal Road, Sonoma 732-2200. Thedonumestate.com.
Ramen, ramen, ramen
Three years ago Girl & the Fig partners Sondra Bernstein and John Toulze started winter-time Ramen Wednesday Nights at Bernstein’s sometimes hard to find Suite D on Schellville Road, which angles off of Eighth Street East.
They always served generous bowls of ramen with lots of choices from pork belly to vegan, all served with a little sliced cucumber salad in a clear sweet and sour dressing. Eventually they added a la carte selections just to gauge guests’ responses to the new items.
It was all a great success. Then Bernstein got her hopes up to create a whole ramen-based restaurant called Noodlespring in the Springs in the container development proposed by developer Ken Mattson. After 2.5 years that didn’t happen and she withdrew from the project.
So Bernstein moved her Noodlespring concept to her Girl & the Fig, using that building’s western door on Spain Street as a ramen takeout kitchen, available every day.
Many of us, and especially food businesses, have had to get extra creative and imaginative during this prolonged COVID pandemic, just to stay in business and keep staff employed and able to earn their livings.
Now other Sonoma restaurants are following Bernstein and her Noodlespring into the ramen field. When something works for one, others learn from the experience.
Next up was Kevin Kress at Reel & Brand, which now serves a good ramen as well on Thursday nights, only to be followed this Friday by Lauren Cotner at Delicious Dish. All local ramens cost around $15. Currently, because of food rules and noodle wisdom, customers have to cook the noodles at home so you don’t end up with a glutinous glob.
Having written previously about Noodlespring’s and Reel & Brand’s versions, here is what goes into Delicious Dish’s ramen: orange soy sticky pork belly, ginger marinated soft boiled egg, fresh ramen noodles, miso ramen broth, corn, green onion, and Enoki mushrooms. ($15 per person with minimum order of two. Order at 721-4231 or at deliciousdishsf.com. If the Friday dinner doesn’t show on the website, it means it is sold out. 18709 Arnold Drive, Sonoma.
SOS takeout fundraiser huge success
Last Saturday’s fundraiser for Sonoma Overnight Support (SOS), which now serves a burgeoning 4,000 meals a month to Sonoma residents who might otherwise go hungry, raised more than $20,000 with its drive-thru pickup Halloween dinner.
This was one of the tastiest takeout fundraiser dinners that have been offered this year. What is even better is that one day last week the chefs cooked a practice meal and served it to their daily clients to enjoy as well.
Dinner included generous portions of tasty crostini appetizer, pork loin, roasted root vegetables, mashed potatoes, shaved fennel salad, cookies from Teen Services, Halloween candy and a bottle of wine.
SOS head chef Dan Kahn led the brigade with the help of assistant chef Maria Barakat, and chef Paloma Apgar from Teen Services Sonoma. Among the 20 volunteers who helped prepare and package the food (great re-heating instructions) were Pat Collins, who coordinated the whole episode, Jude Sales, Victor Aul, Justin Toulze, Arnie Bernstein, Suzanna Bon and the Bon family, Chris and Joanna Brown, Bobbie Collins, Christine Crowley, Patti England, Terry Garbarino, Constance Grizzell, Jason Krist, Martina Lutz-Schneider, Bob Rey, Dale Sones, Elizabeth Takeuchi-Krist, and Bruce and Janet Yelner.
Soon to be City Council member Jack Ding, dressed in his best embroidered satin Chinese garb, jumped out into Highway 12 often to stop traffic so drive-thru customers could exit safely.
SOS Executive Director Kathy King also thanked her daughter, Rosa King and her husband Teddy Mekuria, for coming up from San Francisco to help coordinate.
Thanksgiving is coming
We all know our lives have gone kittywampus during these eight months of coronavirus pandemic. Some of us have minded the doctors’ advice, and some have not.