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Kathleen Hill: El Dorado Cantina, Layla reopens and Gun-Bun Deed Day

El Dorado Cantina opens

The El Dorado Cantina, a “food truck without wheels,” opened yesterday, March 4 on West Spain Street. Just look for the strong blue paint near the El Dorado Kitchen and across from the Girl & the Fig and you are there. This is not the reopened Taco Bell that seems to be so popular after people missed it while it was being remodeled.

EDK Executive Chef Armando Navarro has developed a menu for take-away only, which of course includes chips and salsa, a Caesar salad, chicken enchiladas with choices of mole or cheese sauce. Then there are shrimp and rock cod ceviche, pupusas with pinto beans, fried pork rind or vegetables and coleslaw, nachos, a taco bowl, tamales, meat or vegetable burritos, quesadillas with guacamole and Oaxaca cheese. Sweets include churros and ice cream.

Lots of tacos to-go come in veggie, crispy fish, calamari or shrimp, Barbacoa short ribs, duck carnitas or al pastor (pork. ($8.95 to $14.95.)

You can also get take-and-bake tamales and chicken enchiladas and “provisions” of everything from chips and salsa to mole and suiza sauces and Caesar dressing ($2.95 to $12.93.) Mexican beers and aguas frescas are available as well. Order online at eldoradosonoma.com/cantina, or wait in line on the sidewalk.

Last community breakfast until May

If you need your monthly fix for great sausages, scrambled eggs, fruit salad, sautéed potatoes and vegetables, and Aunt Momo’s classic ricotta-filled beignets, better make it this Sunday, March 7 to St. Francisco Solano School’s playground on Church Street.

Enjoy breakfast to-go or enjoy it at socially distanced tables on the playground or at covered and shaded tables.

Offered on the first Sunday of each month, the next community breakfast falls on Easter this year, hence this Sunday is the last chance until May for this bargain breakfast. Lots of juice, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. $10 adults, $5 kids, $25 family. 8 to 10:30 a.m. as long as food lasts.

March is Wine & Food Month for SVVGA

Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance just announced March as “Wine and Food Month” in which guests can enjoy lots of cheese and charcuterie plates and lunches at participating wineries. Those wineries include Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards (lunch or caviar experiences), Hamel Family Wines, Highway 12 Vineyards & Winery paired with Rob Larman’s Cochon Volant, Landmark Vineyards, Ledson Winery & Vineyards, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Roche Winery & Vineyards (Aunt Momo’s Catering), Edge by Stone Edge Farm, Three Sticks Wines with El Dorado Kitchen and Westwood Wine. Lots more info at sonomavalleywine.com.

Spread Catering’s delights come to Sonoma

Great news for fans of Spread Catering, chef Cristina Topham, or Lebanese and other foods. They will all be at the Friday morning farmers market at Depot Park starting this week, Saturdays at the Oakmont Farmers Market (both 9 a.m. to noon), and Thursdays at the Panel Wine Shop near Mamma Tanino’s in the same shopping center as Sonoma Market. (3:30 to 5:30 p.m.)

This is a great chance to try her food and learn what’s offered at speadcatering.com.

Maureen Cottingham to leave SVVGA

After 17 years of accomplished leadership of the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA), fun and strong advocate for Sonoma Valley wine and winemakers and the entire industry, Maureen Cottingham will be leaving that position at the end of April.

Cottingham will take over management of her “family’s multi-generational avocado and lemon farming operation” in Ventura County, a trust and position her father and his brothers asked her to accept to continue their family’s succession plan. She will be the seventh generation to manage the family ranch.

During her SVVGA years she organized ever growing and ever more spectacular events to benefit Sonoma Valley wines.

Hundreds of wine business fans, from growers to consumers will miss Cottingham, her cheerful personality and innovation, and friends will miss her whole family. While she has always promoted Sonoma Valley, it seemed as if her heart and her fabulous cowgirl boots were attached to the land where she grew up. Congratulations Maureen Cottingham.

Layla reopens at MacArthur Place

Layla restaurant at MacArthur Place reopened a week ago Wednesday for dinner only and with some new spring menu items.

With dining outdoors on the back patio only for now, the chefs have added some interesting menu items such as gambas al ajiilo (Spanish garlic shrimp), herb crusted lamb chops, linguine with clams, cumin-roasted carrots, scallops and cod in grape leaf papilote.

Check out the new cocktail creations called Oaxacan Crossroads, Dark and Brambly and City Slicker.

Salads include grilled Little Gems, a kale Caesar, the Dungeness crab salad and burrata with grilled asparagus with peas, crispy prosciutto and black truffle vinaigrette. ($14 to $28)

Starters cover Hamachi crudo, potato gnocchi, crispy Spanish octopus ($16 to $19). Watch for pappardelle with local wild mushrooms, linguine with clams, and Lebanese tabbouleh ($13 to $23), followed by main courses of lamb chops, Petaluma chicken breast, and porchetta ($29 to $55). Vegetable sides a la carte will be potatoes Anna, cumin roasted carrots and whole roasted cauliflower ($13 each.) Dinner only from 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. 29 E. MacArthur, Sonoma. 938-2929.

Rotary has money to give away

Rotary of Sonoma Valley has money to help local restaurants (and any other business) thanks to the Catalyst Fund. If you are having financial challenges just either email rotary95476@ gmail.com or look for links at SonomaValleyRotary.org or RotarySonomaSunrise.org. Grants are usually fulfilled within one week. The money comes from a combination of $100,000 each from Rotary and the Catalyst Fund

Pop-up Jewish Deli in Petaluma on Sunday

After the Valley of the Moon Knights of Columbus community breakfast at St. Francis Solano Church school playground, you can just make it to the Pop-up Kosher Jewish New York Deli in Petaluma on Sunday, March 7.

The Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma offers pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, potato knishes, rugelach, and Dr. Brown soda for takeout. To order yours to pick up call 559-8585 or go to jewishpetaluma.com.

Gundlach Bundschu Deed Day, indeed

Anyone anywhere can join in the celebration of Gundlach Bundschu’s Deed Day on Thursday, March 11 at 4:30 p.m. That’s the day Jacob Gundlach signed the deed to Rhinefarm 163 years ago.

Since most people know well that the Bundschus “like to party” as their flier says, they invite everyone to celebrate “love, wine, family and good times” virtually or socially distanced.

Jeff Bundschu, winemaker Joe Uhr, and even Jim Bundschu will tell the history of the winery through their wines with tastings of the 1992 Vintage Reserve, 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2017 Heritage Merlot, and the 2019 Gewürztraminer.

Or you can simply open your own favorite bottle of GunBun wine at home. Either way you need to register at gunbun.com.

Three Sticks Wines salutes Black History Month

Three Sticks Wines has started its next virtual music series called “Three Sticks Together” to celebrate February being Black History Month, with each session lasting about an hour and beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The series features Women’s History with jazz singer Akina Adderley on Thursday, March 11; South by Three Sticks (SXTS) with Ray Prim on Thursday, March 25; and a final concert celebrating the winery’s spring releases on Saturday, April 10.

The series is hosted by Black Fret, a public charity headquartered in Austin, Texas, that provides grants and mentoring to musicians, according to Maral Papakhian of Three Sticks and Head High Wines. Three Sticks tasting room and patio are at 143 W. Spain St., Sonoma. For more info call 996-3328 or email maral@threestickswines.com.

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