Spinach recall; Corner 103 tasting room and Ledson restaurant open; Sonoma Grille to open soon; McReynolds to demo at Readers’ Books; Nibs & Sips

After a few friends and I became violently ill last week, all having eaten spinach, the following recall notice was posted:|

After a few friends and I became violently ill last week, all having eaten spinach, the following recall notice was posted:

“Taylor Farms, a Salinas, CA establishment, is issuing a Class I Recall on Fresh, Flat Leaf Spinach due to possible contamination of Salmonella. The product is under the Cross Valley Farms Brand and the Taylor Farms Brand and has code dates of YTF092A24, YTF092A27, YTF092A28 which are located on the front of the clear bag and outer carton. No illnesses have been reported.”

Of course none of us knew how to report our illnesses. When these things happen, people just weather through the intestinal storm and hopefully come out the other side, often without consulting a doctor.

A revision of the notice, and Taylor Farms website, showed different lots to be included, and warned against eating the spinach either cooked or raw.

Take seriously.


Arbor Day today in Sonoma Plaza reminds me that the national Arbor Day Foundation joined with Sonoma Raceway, NASCAR and UPS to donate 90 fruit trees to our school gardens last year. What a blessing for growing, nurturing, harvesting and eating experiences for our students!


Food Truck Fridays begins tonight, April 24, at Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery with food by Rob Larman’s Cochon Volant, Pagan Pizza, Tips Tri-Tip Trolley, Caribbean Spices, Got Balls Meatball Factory, Marks the Spot, and Seed on the Go. Sebastiani requires you buy their wine if drinking wine, and Incognito will entertain in the tasting room. Always a good time.


A smiling Ingrid Martinez and her brother, Jeff Montague (Wine Country Cyclery), owners of the Feed Store building at West Napa and First Street East looked very pleased at the opening party for Lloyd Davis’ Corner 103 tasting room last weekend. Davis and his family celebrated with wine club members on Saturday, and with friends and media on Sunday.

Everyone was greeted by Lloyd’s mother, Carol, who had flown in from New York for the weekend to pour his 2013 Rosé Sparkling wine in the new sleek and svelte tasting room that replaces Martinez’s art gallery on the corner. Carol then sent guests around the corner to the Red Grape’s patio, a perfect setting for a perfect afternoon event.

Even I, as a loyal fan of the Red Grape, was surprised that chef Todd Thompson could elevate the food pairings to the level he did. Every wine was served at a separate table complimented by an appetizer such as chardonnay with roasted red pepper hummus in cucumber cups, pinot noir with duck confit rillette on toasted rye, zinfandel with Genoa salami flanking Parmesan crisps like a little sandwich, smoked turkey with mustard and pickle mini sliders with merlot, roast beef on twice-stuffed baked mini potatoes with a red blend, and cocoa rubbed Dry Jack with dried figs poached in and served with Corner 103 Cabernet.

Lloyd Davis is known locally for turning Viansa Winery around into a profitable business starting in 2008, and then selling the enterprise.

Wine tastings are by appointment only to taste seven wines with only 10 guests at a time. Each wine is from a different Sonoma County AVA, including Carneros, Sonoma Coast, Russian River, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Valley and Rockpile. This way visitors will learn extensively about the wines and winemaking, all accompanied by food tastes from rotating local caterers and restaurants. Each seven-wine 90-minute tasting experience costs $40. Corner 103 wines range retail from $35 to $60, and are only available in the tasting room. 103 W. Napa St., Sonoma. Corner103.com.


Steve Ledson has officially re-opened his restaurant/tasting bar as Zina Lounge at the Ledson Hotel. Ledson offers his own Zina Hyde Cunningham, Ledson, and Mountain Terraces wines, as well as tasting menus by new-to-Sonoma chef Yoshiharu Sogi. Chef Sogi has cooked from Japan to Hawaii, to France, and Napa. $150. Seatings by appointment only at 1, 5:30 and 8 p.m. 480 First St. E., Sonoma. Reserve at 538-3823 or at ledson.com


Sonoma Grille is expected to open in May serving “steaks, spirits and seafood” in the old Meritâge location next to Chateau Sonoma on West Napa Street. The Sherpa family basically managed the former restaurant and have made extensive improvements to launch their dream restaurant. More martinis on the way.


John McReynolds will be our guest chef at the Last Wednesday Food Group at Readers’ Books on Wednesday, April 29, and will demonstrate how to make some recipes in his gorgeous book, “Stone Edge Farm Cookbook,” which won the IACP Book of the Year and the Julia Child Award for first cookbook. At Stone Edge Farm, John wears several hats: chef, cooking teacher, forager and writer.

“Stone Edge Farm Cookbook” is in stock at Readers’ Books, which gives us a 15 percent discount on LWFG books. The recipes are amazingly simple, so make and bring something to share if you feel like it. Free. 7 p.m. 120 E. Napa St., Sonoma. 939-1779.


By the end of May, generous chef John McReynolds of Stone Edge Farm will have given at least one cooking demonstration at every public school in Sonoma Valley.

During the summer, McReynolds and I will be lining up local chefs to adopt a school and commit to a cooking demo in that school each month. Students are enormously responsive and, contrary to public thinking, love tasting new foods and ways to prepare food they have grown in our school gardens.


Speaking of gardens, Sonoma Mission Gardens, which gives flats of veggies to all of our school gardens every season, will present a talk on “Water Wise Vegetable Gardening” by their tomato expert, Neely Hart, on Sunday, April 26, at 10 a.m.

Hart will advise on soil, fertilizing, watering and best choice of tomatoes. Limited to 50 guests. Reserve your spot at 938-5775. 851 Craig Ave., Sonoma. 10 a.m.


Get your last minute tickets for Pets Lifeline’s Ladies Luncheon set for Friday, May 1, at Buena Vista Winery. Donate wonderful no-longer-your-favorite purses, enjoy a great lunch, and have a great time, all to benefit Sonoma’s fabulous no-kill pet sanctuary.

Executive Director Nancy King says that Amy and Christopher Ludwick of Grapevine Catering Company and their new Earth’s Bounty Kitchen & Wine Bar on Santa Rosa’s Mountain Hawk Way will prepare a menu of baby beet salad with lemon ricotta and baby lettuces, a caramelized onion and goat cheese tart with sundried tomato tapenade and wiled arugula, and a baked seasonal fruit tart and walnut streusel. Daniella Tempesta will also provide Boncora Biscotti treats for attendees, as did her Pets Lifeline devotee mother, the late Bonnie Tempesta. $85. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 19000 Old Winery Rd., Sonoma. Tickets at 996-4577, Ext. 110 or petslifeline.org.


Mary’s Pizza Shack has taken a Mediterranean turn with some new seasonal specials such as a burrata and arugula appetizer, a tuna and couscous salad, an eggplant and artichoke sandwich, rigatoni with artichokes, pesto pomadoro, linguine with clams, lemon shrimp linguini, pasta con tonno (tuna), and two new pizzas: Napoletana and Italiman Farmer’s market. ($10.50 appetizers to $19.75 for large pizzas.)

Mary’s Spain Street location has a full bar with early happy hours Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and late night happy hours that vary 8 or 9 p.m. to closing.


Widely popular Sonoma caterer Elaine Bell quickly snapped up Michelin 1-star chef Perry Hoffman the instant she heard Domaine Chandon closed its restaurant.


Sheana Davis of the Epicurean Connection wants everyone to know she is completely fine, healthy, happy, in love, engaged to be married, and running her cheese shop and café, along with doing lots of catering and consulting, including a deli at the Olema Hotel as “on-site manager of that deli’s remodel, including menu, coffee bar, merchandise and floor plan.”

Davis says my mention, with her agreement, that her business is for sale, has “hurt the shop” and started speculation on her health, which she says is terrific. She stated in an email that, “We are going to continue catering as we have for 24 years as a licensed and insured caterer, we have a commercial kitchen and are booking into 2016. Clients include La Prenda Vineyards, Bartholomew Park Winery, Patz & Hall Winery, Kendall Jackson, Silverado Resort and many more.”

Davis also said that her “cheese making classes are booked through 2016,” with monthly classes at the Sonoma Valley Inn as well as private classes. 122 W. Napa St., Sonoma. 935-7960.


As you may have heard, Tartine Bakery and Blue Bottle Coffee just merged and plan to open locations together exclusively throughout the country. Slightly under the American radar (and not in a gyrocopter), they have already opened in Japan.

This may explain why Blue Bottle stopped selling to good retail customers such as Gayle and Tom Jenkins’ Sonoma’s Best, which is now serving Sonoma County’s Flying Goat Coffee. Gayle says many of their customers prefer Flying Goat over Blue Bottle anyway.


Rachel Kohn Obut will leave her position as farm manager at Sweetwater Spectrum on May 31. Sweetwater Spectrum parents and staff decided they want to create a “more autism-specific design and activities, a farm related enrichment focus that could include vocational skills development, and a farm related education including cooking skills” as well as some structural changes that will “make farming tasks more inviting to our residents” on their one acre, according to CEO Deirdre Sheerin.

People who appreciate Rachel’s work since before Sweetwater opened are welcome to a “Rachel Celebration” on Friday, May 29, at 4 p.m. at Sweetwater. Farms stand sales will continue throughout the summer.


Jeanne and Chip Allen held a warm-up potluck for Tuesday night farmers market partying at their home last Tuesday evening. I missed the whole thing due to my food poisoning, but lots of Rotary and other friends enjoyed the evening.

George and Heidi Merrick, Rick and Patsy Wynne, Jeni and Byron Nichols, Byron Hancock, Fred and Susie Merrill, Sylvia Bertram, Margie Brooke, Carole Downing and Charlie, Whitney and Jeannette Evans, just married Art and Sandy Fichtenberg, Jackie Jordan, Mike and Dawn Kimball, Kathleen Leonard, Jackie Martens, Saied Molavi, Bill and Dian O’Neal, Jon Parker, Bill Paynter, Wayne and Cecilia Schake, Tom Coté and Rosalyn Brandt, Jill and Jim Chriss, Russ and Pat Meir-Johnson, Nancy Dome, Pat and Bobbie Collins and Bob and Mary Voss all brought everything from deviled eggs to mini quiches, ham roll-ups to stuffed endive, crostini with ham and fruit compote, and even shrimp cocktail.


Nibs & Sips:

So sorry to lose 49er great Bob St. Clair whom we used to see hanging out at the Swiss Hotel bar … Kate Molesworth has joined Boncora Biscotti in Kenwood … Last week I forgot to say that JaMel Perkins and Chandra Friese, two women who divide their time between Sonoma and San Francisco, both chaired yesterday’s huge Compassion & Choices luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel in The City. Co-chairs included generous San Franciscans such as Gretchen de Baubigny, Nancy Bechtle, Dagmar Dolby, Sharon Litsky, Lisa goldman, Deborah Hanna, Ellen Magnin Newman, Mary Poland and Helen Hilton Raiser. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Leah Garchik emceed the event. Compassion & Choices works nationally toward giving terminally ill patients a choice of how their lives end.


Plan Ahead:

Sonoma Valley Museum of Art has completely rebooted its traditional “Wet Paint” into a fresh “Fresh Paint” fundraiser starring the one and only Lexy Fridell on Sunday, May 31. Lexy, a hilarious sensation at Transcendence Theatre and on Broadway, and the whole show will perform at a new location: the Round Barn on Warm Springs Road in Glen Ellen. All this plus cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and dinner by Olive & Vine on the Stables Green.

Fresh Paint supports important programs including children’s activities, exhibitions, films, music, lectures, trips and gallery tours. Tickets from $250. $500 on up includes reserved seating. 939-7862, Ext. 14 or svma.org/freshpaint.


Next week: Getting ready for Mothers Day. And don’t forget.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:
  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.