Kathleen Hill: Re-openings, Georgette, a Vella retirement and Mom’s Day offerings
Swiss Hotel reopens for takeout
After more than a month of quiet darkness next to the downtown Mary’s Pizza Shack, the Swiss Hotel just re-opened for takeout, now serving Tuesday through Saturday.
The briefer-than-usual menu includes a lot of everyone’s favorites including meatballs, shrimp cocktails, soup of the day, mixed green salad, pizzas, capellini with sundried tomatoes, capers and garlic, rigatoni Bolognese, penne and sausage, linguini and prawns, fish, ribeye steak, roasted rosemary chicken, fried chicken, lemon bars and tiramisu. ($6.50 to $30). Wine and beer available. Call 938-2884 to order starting at 2 p.m., pick up from 4 to 7 p.m.
Amy’s Chinese restaurant reopens
The small but busy Amy’s Peking Palace, at 500 W. Napa St. next to Sonoma Market, reopened for takeout this week, with its usual buffet and other menu items. Open 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Monday. 938-8886.
Spread Catering launches Meatless Mondays
Having had to shut down her catering business for two months due to canceled events and parties, private chef and caterer Cristina Topham got creative. On Monday, May 4, she launches her Meatless Monday Meals, either vegan or vegetarian, for around $25. You can pick up your meal at her catering kitchen in Napa, they can deliver at your doorstep, or you can pick up your order and some wine at Sangiacomo Vineyards. Ten percent of both Spread Catering food and Sangiacomo wine sales will go to Redwood Empire Food Bank.
A third-generation Lebanese-American, Topham was born and grew up in Northern California, graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York City in 1999, cooked at Les Olivades in Paris and at the Savoy in New York, where she also had a small catering company pairing food and wine for private dinners. Then she took off to cook on luxury yachts and cooked her way around Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico and eventually gravitated back to the Bay Area and Sonoma. To get on Spread’s email list and get more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ecology Center’s garden starter kits all gone
While locals lined up their cars last Saturday around Sonoma Plaza starting at 8:30 a.m. for the 11 a.m. opening of the garden starter kits giveaway, Sonoma Ecology Center decided to start distribution early at 9:30 a.m. to avoid a bumper car-like happening where a few people tried to cut in the line at the corners.
Within an hour, 360 boxes had been given away, including those delivered to people who could not make the trip downtown, according to Don Frances, Ecology Center communications manager.
Frances said in an email that a typical box contained a Mammoth Melting Pea, melon, Golden Scaloppini Summer Squash, Golden Wax Bean, sunflower and Marketer Cucumber plants, all grown at Missy and Austin Lely’s Bee-Well Farms, plus a tomato start provided by Santa Rosa Junior College. Each kit also contained growing instructions and a sample of biochar.
Well, actually in a Jeep.
On a beautiful Sunday, with the air clearer than ever and many of us anxious to get out somewhere, somehow, we found happy customers waiting patiently for their orders outside La Michoacana Natural Ice Cream, Cochon Volant, El Brinquito (order those barbecued chickens ahead) Las Diablitas, Gourmet Taco, Basque Boulangerie and El Molino Central, where owner Karen Waikiki has a new red and white banner stretching the length of her building and proclaiming “Car Hop Service. You drive up. We come to you.”
On the other hand, some people have reported having trouble ordering food to go from certain restaurants whose websites and phones don’t seem to be prepared for the ordering process.
Most restaurants that stayed open or re-opened to serve and sell takeout and/or delivery food seem to be doing well. Some have loyal customers and others have excellent email lists and send out daily menus if they are not serving their entire menu.
If you are able and feel comfortable doing so, do order food from local restaurants to help them stay in business and keep their employees working and paid.
The Red Grape expands hours
The Red Grape has expanded its hours and is now open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Pastas, lots of salads, Asian cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, tomato basil soup, three pastas and 13 lucky pizzas. Pickup or delivery. Order at 996-4103.
Chef Bryan Jones helps Teen Center
Chef and “boutique caterer” Bryan Jones, working as Teen Services’ voluntary culinary advisor, is cooking three-course menus for delivery in Sonoma Valley.
Jones previously served as chef at the Fig Café & Wine Bar in Glen Ellen and at St. Francis Winery and is starting his own Bryan Jones Catering. Following a family brainstorming conversation with his wife and teenagers, he donates all of the proceeds from these dinners to Teen Services Sonoma. He is also a volunteer instructor in the Teen Services culinary programs, saying in an email, “Teen Services provides such an important service to this community, providing teens life skills and confidence. I believe it’s so important to help teens in the community,” Orders have to be placed by 11 a.m. on Mondays before the Friday of delivery.