Kathleen Hill: Schellville Grill sold and Valentine’s Day dining options
Schellville Grill sold
After 19 years of cooking at Schellville Grill in 'downtown' Schellville, owner Matthew Nagan has finally sold his restaurant at Broadway and Highway 121.
Nagan, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, says that after three previous failed escrows, this one closed on Monday and the money is in the bank. The buyer is Jordan Kivelstadt, who will close Kivelstadt Cellars, his Glen Ellen tasting room. Matthew Tucker of Pangloss Cellars will join Kivelstadt's team at Schellville Grill.
Long gone are the days when the American flag flying at the restaurant meant that the Amtrak connecter bus was on its way.
The creator of Matthew's Mustards, which he sold out of his van to the delights of many local cooks, and later Matthew's Burritos, Nagan first converted the biscuits and sausage gravy of the Lazy D and Ford's Café to an herb biscuit and light sauce diner to the shock of many local farmer regulars.
A big music fan, Nagan collected decades of encounters with stars such as Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and Keith Richards, and became a favorite of chef Guy Fieri's 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' on the Food Network.
Eventually Nagan fell in love with Italy and now owns a small inn there and has flown back and forth with great culinary stories and visiting chefs. In the course of trying to sell the Grill, he endured several floods and even a chain link fence erected around the parking lot by a disgruntled business suitor.
Now he says he is leaving this week for Italy and 'parts unknown' and his version of the best life. Before he boarded a Delta flight, he made sure to visit old friends and supporters including Buck and Ang Sangiacomo, Becky and Tom Larson, Pam Hellen and Dick Cuneo, followed by several goodbye Happy Hours at Sonoma Grill and Plaza Bistro.
So long, amigo.
Mardi Gras Dinner & Dance
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, usually has a lot to do with letting it all loose before Lenten sacrifices, that is if you give something up for Lent. Or even if you don't.
Traditionally Mardi Gras offers a chance to indulge in lots of fattier-than-usual food, drink more than usual, and general partying before the supposedly calmer period of sacrifice.
The Valley of the Moon Knights of Columbus offer a festive evening at St. Francis Solano Church's Father Roberts Hall, Saturday, Feb. 8.
The evening starts with a complimentary sparkling wine and barbecue oyster reception of the Lunny family's oysters, and 'Big Easy' appetizers from Aunt Momo's Catering, courtesy of Mara Roche.
The four-course 'New Orleans style dinner' will include salad, traditional mock turtle soup with chicken, jambalaya, Chapala-style barbecued shrimp, corn masque choux, collard greens, and chocolate bourbon pecan pie with chantilly cream.
Live entertainment by the John Simon Trio and Sheila from 6 to 10 p.m. Reception 6 p.m. Dinner 7 p.m. $45. 469 Third St. W., Sonoma. Tickets at parish office or via vomknights.eventbrite.com.
Garagiste Wine Festival next weekend
The Garagiste Wine Festival kicks off its 10th anniversary tour in Sonoma, Saturday, Feb. 15 before it moves on to Solvang, Los Angeles and Paso Robles.
All in all it will offer samplings from 40 micro-production commercial wineries pouring more than 100 wines from Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Sierra Foothills, Lodi, Santa Cruz and beyond.
This year's wineries include 12 that have never participated at a Garagiste Festival before, including wines from Katie Bundschu's Abbot's Passage (although she has a shop here in Sonoma), 601 Cellars, Aesop Wines, Brombeere Wines, Carboniste Modern Sparkling, JonEVino, Oceano Wines, Ondule Wines, Purple Dragon Cellars, Ricci Vineyards, Sutro Wine Co. and Zo Wines. Tickets at door or at Eventbrite.com: $65 to $130 VIP. VIP includes Girl & the Fig box lunch, special tastes and chocolates.
New executive chefs at Ramekins
Tyler and Aubrey O'Laskey of Butter & Salt catering in Reno, Nevada have been brought in to replace former chef Kyle Kuklewski at Ramekins. Both O'Laskeys graduated from the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York, where they met and fell in love, according to their website.
Tyler trained at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, New York and is a Certified Beer Server. Aubrey passed the Level 1 sommelier certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, and is a Nevada native. Butter & Salt also owns Perenn Bakery specializing in bread and croissants in Reno.
La Prenda Vineyards names winemaker
Ned Hill has brought in former Schug winemaker Mike Cox as the new winemaker for both their La Prenda Vineyards Management and Sonoma Collection wines. Hill and Cox grew up in Sonoma and now have ended up in the wine business together.