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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.

Advice from the top epidemiologists in the world is to not gather in groups outside our family for the holiday, try to enjoy your holiday meal outside and safely distanced from each other, wearing masks if not eating or drinking.

But what to cook and for how many, and should we or shouldn’t we, are the big questions. Several local restaurants and caterers have come up with great ideas for offering takeout holiday dinners. Here are most of them alphabetically.

Delicious Dish

Lauren’s Cotner’s Delicious Dish offers a takeout Thanksgiving dinner including roast turkey breast with green onion cream gravy, mashed potatoes, apple and sage sausage stuffing, sweet potatoes, pear cranberry sauce, and a red leaf lettuce with red endive salad with persimmons and pomegranate. Green bean casserole with mushrooms and French fried onion strings, Brioche dinner rolls, extra cranberry sauce and gravy, and dessert are all extra. Order by Nov. 20. $120 for two with leftovers or for four. Order: 721-4231 or deliciousdishsf.com.

Depot Hotel

Gia Ghilarducci will provide Thanksgiving dinner either for you to enjoy on her patio around the pool or for takeout. First course is a butternut squash bisque, a harvest salad with local lettuces, apples, Marcona almonds and Point Reyes Blue Cheese. Entrée choices include Mary’s Free range turkey with sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, green peas, turkey gravy and cranberry-orange relish; poached filet of salmon, with a savory wild mushroom tarte; spinach and ricotta ravioli, or Berkshire pork chops with sweet potatoes, leeks, and braised cabbage.

Dessert offers Scandia cheesecake, pumpkin pie or a chocolate torte with Valrhona ganache, vegetarian soup available. $60 adults for four courses, $25 children 5 to 12 years. Seatings every half hour, noon to 7 p.m. Reservations at 938-2980. For takeout call before Saturday, Nov. 21 to order and get your pick up time.

El Dorado Kitchen

Their first course of EDK’s Thanksgiving takeout dinner will be mixed greens with apples, beets, Cotija cheese, pickled red onions, pepitas, and sherry vinaigrette. For the second course you have a choice of roosted free-range turkey with potato purée, brioche stuffing, Brussels sprouts, sage gravy, and cranberry compote or salmon with all of the same sides. And finally apple cranberry crumble, oat streusel, and vanilla ice cream. EDK staff has not decided whether to serve onsite as of press time. $65. Order to-go at 996-3030. 405 First St. W., Sonoma.

Girl & the Fig

These dinners come in a box to be heated at home and include roasted turkey breast with turkey confit, cornbread pudding, fall squash, mashed potatoes, braised greens, mashed yams with candied walnuts, and a kale and Brussels sprouts Caesar salad. Or cedar plank salmon with roasted carrots, braised greens, mashed yams, and the salad. Or wild mushroom and sunchoke ragout (vegetarian and vegan), roasted carrots, fall squash, braised greens, mashed yams, and the salad. Desserts and more of sides cost extra. Dinners $100 to $120. Serves two with leftovers or four people. Order by Nov. 22. Pick up at Girl & the Fig or Fig Café in Glen Ellen. Order at https://2020figthanksgiving.square.site/. 933-3000.

Glen Ellen Star

Ari Weisswasser is preparing Thanksgiving dinners for pick up for a minimum of eight people per order. On the menu: chicory salad with honey crisp apple, pecans and Roquefort dressing; spatchcocked whole Willy Bird turkey and gravy; buttermilk mashed potatoes, sourdough mushroom stuffing, cranberry-orange sauce, caramelized Brussels sprouts with brown sugar bacon marmalade, all followed by pumpkin pie with housemade vanilla maple Bourbon ice cream. $55 per person. Pre-order between 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. until sold out. Order at glenellenstar.com.

Suncraft Fine Foods

Sunshine Radtke and her Suncraft Foods will deliver your Thanksgiving dinner with a wide range of choices, listed a la carte but at reasonable prices.

Entrées include herb roasted turkey breast or breast and leg quarter combo, or a vegetarian stuffed acorn squash. Appetizer selections range from artisan cheese, charcuterie and fruit plats, stuffed crmini mushrooms, cranberry brie bites, Parmesan spinach dip bites, or caramelized onion and brie swirls.

Sides, which come in varied sizes, include mashed potatoes with turkey or vegetarian mushroom gravy, organic green beans with mixed mushrooms and crispy onions, organic baked yams and apples, savory bread stuffing with mushrooms, creamy baked mac ‘n’ cheese, or organic whole berry cranberry sauce with orange zest.

Desserts tempt with organic spiced rum pumpkin pie, apple galette, and a cran-raspbery cream cheese galette. Prices vary by item number to be served. For prices go to sunshinefinefoods.com or email feast@sunshinefinefoods.com or text 343-6016 by Thursday, Nov. 19 for delivery on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Tips Roadside

Susie and Andrew Pryfogle, who relentlessly fed first responders during our fires, offer smoked turkey or prime rib, smashed Yukon potatoes, kale and sweet potatoes, herbed stuffing, orange-cranberry compote, turkey gravy, housemade biscuits with honey butter, and apple, pecan, or pumpkin pies. $130 for smoked turkey package, $160 for smoked prime rib package. Feeds four or two with leftovers. Pies, beer, wine and cocktails available. Order online by Nov. 23, pick up Wednesday, Nov. 25, 3 to 6 p.m. Order at tipsroadside.com. The Pryfogles also suggest you buy a Tips Roadside gift card for them to give to a firefighter as a thank you. 509-0078.

Wit & Wisdom

The new Michael Mina outpost at the Lodge at Sonoma introduces a three-course dine-in (outside) Thanksgiving dinner and is probably going to offer a brined ready-to-roast turkey with lots of sides for takeout.

For dinner at Wit & Wisdom first course choices include their fabulous King crab an endive Caesar, Cioppino, marinated baby beets or sweet potato agnolotti. The second course offers heritage turkey breast with parsnip purée, cornbread stuffing and turkey drippings gravy, Wagyu beef New York strip with mashed potatoes and creamed spinach, King salmon with farro and wild mushrooms, or lobster pot pie. Sides can include Brussels sprouts, green bean casserole or pomme. Desert brings a chocolate bar, a pumpkin hand pie, or oatmeal cookie Sundae. $75.

Details on the brined turkey dinner pick-up as soon as manager Seth Johnson has them. But we know it’s $225 to feed four to six people.

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