The historic Big Sur River Inn serves as the host and backdrop of one of the Big Sur Foragers Festival’s most popular events, the “Fungus Face-Off,” set for Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020.
Mesa Del Sol
Big Sur River Inn
The Face-Off at the River Inn, set under the oaks overlooking the Big Sur River, features celebrated local chefs competing for the best foraged dish, and will include food tastings, fine wines, craft beers, raffles, a silent auction and more.
This event sells out early, and tickets will be on sale through EventBrite starting July 2019.
The River Inn has a significant presence in Big Sur history and lore. The inn’s history goes back to 1888, when Jay Pheneger acquired a 160-acre parcel from the federal government and gave his name to the creek that bounds the River Inn on the south.
Homesteaders Barbara and Michael Pfeiffer bought the property, and in 1926, Michael, and Barbra’s son John took over the land on which the Big Sur River Inn now stands. The inn was opened in 1934 by his daughter Ellen Brown. She opened her living and dining rooms to the public and began serving hot apple pie, which is still served today and gave the place its first name, Apple Pie Inn. Lodging units were built and Big Sur’s first resort was established.
In 1943, Ellen’s sister, Esther Pfeiffer Ewoldson and her husband, Hans, took over the operation. Esther replaced her mother as Big Sur Postmaster and the Post Office was moved to the River Inn, situated where the front office of the motel is now.
With a lot of help, Hans built the General Store and lodging units 10 through 15. He rebuilt the dining room and “fixed it up fancy.”
The Pfeiffer and the Ewoldson families started a tradition at the Big Sur River Inn of fine food, excellent service, and warm hospitality. In 1988, the Perlmutter family, along with a small group of close friends, formed a partnership to carry on that tradition.
For the second year, the Big Sur River Inn extends its tradition of hospitality to host the Big Sur Foragers Festival.
The Foragers Festival has traditionally served as a fundraiser for the Big Sur Health Center. The community’s non-profit health center will receive the proceeds from the foraging events to continue to support the presence of local health care services in the Big Sur area.
The four-day festival affords Big Sur area restaurants the opportunity to host the culinary expertise of notable chefs, who will be preparing unique fare ranging from rustic to elegant, paired alongside the central coast region’s amazing selection of wine and beer.
In addition to the Fungus Face-Off, events will include:
Stay tuned for more details coming soon. For event details and venue information, visit www.bigsurforagersfestival.org.
WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Go without a visit to Walla Walla long enough, and it can almost feel like never having been at all. No wonder, really. While the town’s charms, friendly people, and rural-chic Americana vibe will always remain, as a haven for enterprising and creative minds, Walla Walla is constantly evolving.
That is particularly true today for Walla Walla, the acknowledged center of Washington’s wine country. Already with more than 120 wineries, a farm-to-table culinary scene that is deeply influenced by southeast Washington’s agricultural roots, an array of lodging options to meet the demands of the luxury-minded, the budget conscience, and everyone in between, Walla Walla always manages to find ways to improve on what already seems so perfect.
“With each new winery, restaurant, activity, or amenity — and there have been many in recent years — Walla Walla’s reputation as a world-class wine country destination is only strengthened,” said Ron Williams, CEO of Visit Walla Walla. “These evolutions not only give fresh reason for some visitors to return and for others to finally make the trip, they bring welcome amenities to locals who already enjoy the high quality of life on Walla Walla.”
What’s new in Walla Walla? Here are a few of the highlights:
The Barn B&B: Set in the rolling landscape just west of town, The Barn B&B has been an incredible addition to Walla Walla’s increasingly diverse list of lodging properties. Owned by retired hotel chain executive Anand Rao and his wife Naina, The Barn features seven unique suites, each with its own private garden and outdoor shower, view of the Blue Mountains, and private entrance, along with incredible food, complimentary family-style dinners on Mondays and Thursdays, and Happy Hour Fridays with pizza and, of course, local wines.
The Marcus Whitman Hotel: A treasured landmark that has risen above downtown Walla Walla since 1928, the Marcus Whitman has gone back to work, renovating its West Wing rooms with all new flooring, furniture, TVs, paint, window treatments, and wallpaper. This comes after the Marcus Whitman renovated the historic tower in 2015 to add premium guest rooms, and performed a complete renovation in 2001. The renovations have paired its enviable historic pedigree with an unflinching commitment to modern day luxury and exceptional service.
Hattaway’s on Alder: Set in downtown Walla Walla, Hattaway’s on Alder has made quite a splash on the local culinary since opening in fall 2018. The work of owners Richard and Lindsay Hattaway, Alabama natives who met at a Georgia restaurant where Richard was the chef and Lindsay the sous chef, Hattaway’s offers a Northwest-inspired take on the cooking traditions of the Southeast and rural America. The result is honest food with the charm of Southern hospitality.
Walla Walla Steak Co. and Crossbuck Brewing: For generations, the historic Train Depot has been Walla Walla’s front door. Now this historic downtown building has been transformed into Walla Walla Steak Co. and Crossbuck Brewing, which opened in October 2018. With a menu crafted by Executive Chef Chad Bostwick, the two restaurants prepare updated steakhouse classics and beer-friendly tap room fare over a custom charcoal grill and wood-fire oven. The outdoor patio with fire pits provides a gathering place for guests to connect. Both are led by a team of hospitality veterans and Walla Walla residents with deep local roots: Dan Thiessen, managing partner, and Steven Brack, head brewer and partner, who teamed with Seattle-based Fire & Vine Hospitality to bring this fresh culinary experience to Walla Walla.
TMACs: The landmark restaurant is a familiar one, but a new location, a new look, and a new menu has given TMACs new life. Tom Maccarone, who grew up in Walla Walla with parents who themselves were restaurant owners, opened T. Maccarone’s in 2005, becoming a flagship in Walla Walla’s downtown. Now Maccarone’s restaurant is simply known as TMACs, and offers a wine country culinary experience with a Mediterranean flare that showcases Walla Walla Valley’s agricultural bounty with fresh, farm-to-table ingredients.
Walla Walla Bread Company/Bakehouse 55: The restaurant and bakery was purchased in late 2018 by Michele and Coral Pompei, owners of The Bakehouse 55, a popular Redmond, Wash., bakery known for its artisanal croissants and baked goods. The Pompeis have relocated The Bakehouse 55 to Walla Walla Bread Company, and will continue to operate Walla Walla Bread Co. as both a bakery and restaurant. The restaurant, long a favorite, will continue its tradition of preparing wood-fired pizzas, steaks and more, using mostly locally produced ingredients.
Walla Walla Pasta Factory: The restaurant formerly known as Mama Mia’s Pasta Factory has long served some of the most beloved family-style Italian food in Walla Walla. But the newly named Walla Walla Pasta Factory has moved to cool new digs on Main Street in downtown, while still serving fresh homemade pastas, sauces, and more.
More from the culinary scene: Food truck Walla Walla Hummus Hummus, which serves Syrian Street Food, is the latest addition to the Gut Grub Lot on the eastern edge of downtown. Further east, the family-owned Best Pizza Ever is true to its name. And Big House Brew Pub is under new ownership.
Valdemar Estates: There may be no clearer sign that Walla Walla has become a truly world-class wine region than the arrival of Valdemar Estates. Born more than 125 years ago in an underground cellar in Oyón, Spain, the wines of family owned Bodegas Valdemar are beloved in their native country. Now Bodegas Valdemar Estates has made its first foray into the U.S. with Valdemar Estates. Its new winery and tasting room opened in April among Walla Walla’s southside wineries, marking the first time a non-American winery has come to the region.
Canvasback Wine: Southeast Washington’s growing reputation as a producer of cabernet and merlot proved impossible to resist for Napa’s Duckhorn Wine Co. Canvasback is the luxury cabernet label produced by Duckhorn Wine Co., in the skillful hands of Walla Walla winemaker Brian Rudin, with grapes from its Longwinds Vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA.
SMAK Wines: Owned by winemaker Fiona Mak, SMAK is the region’s first rosé-exclusive winery in Walla Walla. Woman owned and operated, SMAK’s tasting room is nestled in Walla Walla’s emerging Airport District.
More from the world of wine: Set in the Walla Walla AVA, the family-owned SmokyRose Cellars is producing a wide range of varietals, from chardonnay to syrah. Dillon Cellars and Golden Ridge Cellars are two of the newest tenants in the In the Walla Walla Airport wine incubators, and Time & Direction Wines is planning on opening a new tasting room. Spring Valley Vineyard, G. Cuneo Cellars, and Lagana Cellars have moved into gorgeous new downtown locations. And Rotie Cellars is in the process of building an impressive new winery in the Rocks AVA.
For more information on planning a trip or to directly book a visit to Walla Walla, go to the redesigned visitwallawalla.com.
About Walla Walla:
As the unofficial capital of Washington wine country, Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries, a nationally recognized culinary scene, access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an arts & entertainment scene that rivals cities many times its size. This community of just over 30,000 residents is known for many things, including its friendliness and hospitality, the quality of its wine, and of course the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion. An easy and scenic four-hour drive from Seattle, Portland, or Boise, Walla Walla can also be accessed via Alaska Airlines daily non-stop flights from Seattle. For more information and to begin planning a trip to Walla Walla, visit www.visitwallawalla.com.
Los Angeles, Calif. – Gambero Rosso, the global authority on Italian wine and publisher of the esteemed annual Guide to Italian Wines, will bring its international tour to four U.S. cities, including first-time events in both San Diego and Atlanta. The tour also returns to Washington D.C. and Boston for the second time.
“The U.S. is the most important market for Italian wine outside of Italy and we are very excited about expanding the Gambero Rosso tour beyond traditional markets like New York and into some of the other cities with hot restaurant scenes and an appreciation for fine wine and food,” says Marco Sabellico, editor-at-large of Gambero Rosso’s Guide to Italian Wines.
U.S. Tour Information
Washington D.C. – June 3 from 2 PM to 6 PM
Embassy of Italy, 3000 Whitehaven St NW, Washington, DC 20008
A special partnership with the Italian Trade Agency
Features two “master classes” as part of the Gambero Rosso Academy; contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a seat.
11 AM Masterclass I – Northern Italy and the Appennines
1 PM Masterclass II – From the Sea to the South
Boston – June 5 from 2 PM to 6 PM
The Cyclorama at Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
Atlanta – June 10 from 2 PM to 6 PM
Whitehall Ballroom at Southern Exchange Ballrooms, 200 Peachtree St, Atlanta, GA 30303
San Diego – June 12 from 2 PM to 6 PM
Building 177 – 2875 Dewey Road, San Diego CA 92106
All Gambero Rosso tour information and registration links are available online at www.gamberorosso.us.
About Vini d’Italia 2019
This year’s tour celebrates the release of Gambero Rosso’s 32nd edition of their annual guide, Vini d’Italia. Produced today in Italian, English, German, Chinese and Japanese; Vini d’Italia is the definitive resource on the country’s wines and wineries. It is the result of a year of work by an expert team of 53 tasters who have traveled the country (including Switzerland’s Canton Ticino starting this year) visiting wineries, interviewing producers and tasting 45,000 wines. The book reviews 2,485 wineries and a total of 22,000 wines, noting wines of distinction with bicchieri (glasses). This year, just 436 Tre Bicchieri have emerged — fewer than one percent of the wines tasted. Vini d’Italia is not just a collection of scores and ratings; it is a fundamental and essential volume for all those who work in the sector or are interested in quality Italian wines. Available on Apple and Amazon.
About Gambero Rosso
Gambero Rosso® is Italy’s publishing and training leader in the field of wine and food. It is the only multimedia company in the sector that offers magazines, books, guides, a website, smartphone applications, and a television channel – Sky 412. Since 1987, Gambero Rosso has represented Italian-made food and wine, testing and certifying the quality of products, telling the stories behind the flavors and traditions of the Bel Paese. In Italy, Gambero Rosso offers Città del Gusto® training courses in five cities. Gambero Rosso has developed a rich, worldwide network of partnerships with prestigious culinary institutes to promote authentic Italian culinary traditions and products.
Wine on the Roof was not held on May 16 on top of the Macy’s parking structure at Westfield Valencia Town Center. Instead, the event was in a different location and started earlier than planned. Why the changes? The rain! WiSH Education Foundation’s Executive Director Amy Daniels made the swift decision – after much consideration to everyone’s expectations – and moved the event inside one of the vacant shops in the mall. When guests started to arrive 30 minutes early, in the rain, they were let in early – and thoroughly enjoyed a longer stay at the “wine bar” that was filled with wines generously donated by the friends of the WiSH Education Foundation.
Daniels, and a slew of volunteers, managed to turn an empty retail store into a party place that everyone appreciated. Neal Scott, of Nealie’s Skillet, commented, “Man, if I had a million dollars what a incredible space to make it an event space with Lyfe Kitchen. The mixers, weddings, big business events, city events…using both spots would be incredible. How cool would that be for the community.” Also on hand, and of note, was Neal’s wife Haydee who stepped up and volunteered to help with service all evening long.
The evening began with three appetizer courses paired with the private wine donations, speeches by Daniels and the president of WiSH, Richard Cohn. Next came Eve Bushman, of Eve’s Wine 101 and the creator and co-host of both Wine on the Roof and Cocktails on the Roof. Finally the newest co chair and winery recruiter Steve Lemley, of Pulchella Winery, spoke about the wineries and the pairings he and Bushman had done. The third co-chair of the event, Marlee Lauffer of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation, was vital in seeking the private wine donations. Lauffer chose to happily wave to her co-hosts from her seat surrounded by dozens of her friends and long time supporters.
Each course was presented with a wine – paired by Lemley and Bushman – and single menu card that listed the dish, chef, restaurant, winery, wine and winemaker. (Guests were prompted to take the menu cards home with them so they can reach out to the restaurants and wineries that they enjoyed.)
Musician Lance Allyn serenaded the party with live music throughout the evening, only taking breaks when Master of Ceremonies Ed Masterson took to the microphone to announce the next dish and invite both the winemaker and chef up to speak.
A dozen winemakers and vintners were seated among the guests to answer questions about the wines. A chef’s table was also set, on the off chance that the chefs and support staff could take a break. Many didn’t, instead they opted to help each other plating. “It’s quite the sight to see three chefs – or more – from different restaurants helping each other,” Bushman said. “It’s my favorite part of the evening and I always try to snap a photo or two of the action.” Chef Daniel Otto, of Old Town Junction, commented, “Awesome event. Thank you everyone for coming together and making this a very special event. Always amazing to collaborate with such talented people.”
Newhall Press Room: Valley Board Selections. Charcuterie, cheese, dried fruit and nuts. Chef Trevor. Paired with Our Cellared Wine Selections Generously Donated by Dear Friends of the WiSH Education Foundation.
Greater Pacific: Sea Bass with Spring Peas. Creamy Polenta, green peas, snap peas, Meyer lemon. Chef Lindsey. Paired with Our Cellared Wine Selections Generously Donated by Dear Friends of the WiSH Education Foundation.
Smokin’ Bar-B-Quties: Sweet & Savory Beef. Flap Meat, Honey, Lime Juice, Jerk Spice, Scallions, Soy Sauce. Marinated overnight, then skewered. Scallion Garnish. Chef Sonja Randall. Paired with Our Cellared Wine Selections Generously Donated by Dear Friends of the WiSH Education Foundation.
Salt Creek Grille: Mesquite grilled pear and scallop salad with butter lettuce and a poppy seed dressing. Chef Ignacio Munoz. Rose by Pulchella Winery and Ascension Cellars Rose.
Nealie’s Skillet: Sweet potato tower. Layers of cooked spinach, roasted sweet potatoes, fried tofu, wild mushrooms, touch of soy chorizo, with a garlic balsamic reduction with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Chef Neal Scott. Paired with Grenache by Two Papas and Blending Lab.
Marston’s: Crispy Roasted Chicken Breast, Cream Cheese Yams, Tomato Fondue & Shiitake Aioli. Chef Jim McCardy Paired with Pinot Noir by Hoi Polloi Winery and Pagter Brothers.
Olive Terrace: Braised Short Ribs Stroganoff. Sautéed sweet onions, mushrooms, pinot noir reduction & vodka sauce over fettuccine with crème fraîche and crisp shoestrings potatoes. Chef Cody Gerstman and Chef Alfonso Canuto. Paired with Cabernet Sauvignon by Mystic Hills Vineyard and Dusty Nabors Wine.
Old Town Junction: Slow Braised Pork Shoulder in Duck Fat burnt orange, atop cous cous quinoa pesto, splashed with a blueberry Sichuan pepper reduction. Chef Daniel Otto. Paired with Syrah Blend by Blatty Wines and Golden Star Vineyards.
Wolf Creek Restaurant: Chocolate cherry pot de crème with hazelnut short bread. Pastry Chef Meghan Launier. Paired with Zinfandel by Parhelion Cellars and Triassic.
Raves once more piled up on social media, to the thrill of organizers as it seemed there were more than 200 comments from our limit of 200 guests. Here is a snapshot:
“We both had a really good time. The food and wine was fabulous and the work involved to pull it off must have been exhausting.” Commented Lee Williams from Golden Star Vineyards.
“Fun night under the roof!” Linda Hafizi, Santa Clarita Magazine.
“I loved it! Food and wine were amazing. This event was so well run that the location was changed in 48 hours and you wouldn’t have even known this wasn’t the original location. Great job everyone!“ Kathy Lockhart.
“What an amazing evening!” Jennifer Ramos.
“Fantastic night with great friends at Wine on the Roof!! What an amazing evening!!!!! Thank you to Amy Sieger Daniels, the entire committee and all the community volunteers for making this a night to remember.” Dawn Begley
“It was awesome! Thank you for all your hard work!” Marianne Linder.
“Let’s rename it Wine Not on the Roof! Due to the unfavorable weather the venue was moved indoors at the last minute. Kudos to Westfield Valencia Town Center for providing us with an empty shop that we were able to convert for the event!” Mitch Russell.
“I enjoyed! Great event Eve!” Sonja Randall.
“Another fantastic event in the books for the WISH Education Foundation! We have THE best people in our community. Game changers and difference makers.” Amanda Benson.
“So much fun sharing all this passion with our community,” Lemley said when the event was at its close. “There’s nothing better than being surrounded by people you love.”
Private Cellar Donors for the “Wine Bar”
Brenda and Mike Nielsen, Julie and Steve Sturgeon, Rose and Steve Chegwin, John Shaffery, Marlee Lauffer, Elizabeth and Steve Hopp, Terri and Carl Kanowsky, Chris and Jeannie Carpenter, Nate Hasper, Amy and Steve Elzer.
Westfield Valencia Town Center, Eve Bushman/Eve’s Wine 101, Santa Clarita Magazine, SOS Entertainment, and Jennifer Ramos Social Conduit.
Committee Members (co-hosts and WiSH representatives listed in text above)
Jennifer Chadwick, Jennifer Ramos, Sharlene Duzick, Alexander Hafizi, Mitch Russell, Dawn Begley and Judy Penman. The restaurant prep coordinator was Jennifer Chadwick of Salt Creek Grille.
Plenty of photos can be found just by searching Wine on the Roof on Facebook. Dave Barragan, of Storicam did both boomerang and still photos that can be seen here: https://app.stori.cam/User/Public/Gallery?eventDetails=Wine_On_TheRoof_2019_73539
Bushman’s Public Photos
Front page news and people: https://www.facebook.com/eve.bushman/posts/10216634087392038
More people and wine:
Food and chefs:
Dessert and more:
Led by Sharlene Duzick the volunteers also included Kat Kombrinck, Michael Garcia, Becca Garcia, Cheryl Gray, Kathleen Marquart, Allen Marquart, Patti Handy, Hilary Blaha, Dawn Abasta, Rebecca Deluca, Jessica Chambers, Danise Davis, Ingrid Blanco, Larry Fliechman, Rhona Jukes, Amanda Benson, Andrea Vibe, Piotr Orzechowski, Alan Diffata, April Wright, Haydee Scott, Jade Abducion, Alexandra Honadel, Chad Pearlman, Mia Slotve, Chelsea Martinez, Claydeen Adams, Kathleen McGraw, Daniela Echaiz, Kathy Weitzman, Michelle Tomlin, Cindy Lesinkski, Julie Nally, Mikhala Shumow, Ariel Matthews, Jonathan Waymire, Jonni Campos, Shani Donnelly, Wayne Larremore, Bree Cameron, Mary Mulligan King, Lorraine Perez Green, Trisha Miller, Laura Kirchhoff, Randy Billings, Tammy Austin Holguin, Lynn Schlossman, Lorrainne Killeen, Cindy Biehahn, Paul Jacques, Koren Young, Taylor Kellstrom, Alex Hafizi, Jason Gibbs and Scott Fushi.
For more information on ticketing and sponsorships for Wine on the Roof or Cocktails on the Roof set for 9/6/19, please contact Amy Daniels at WiSH@hartdistrict.org or go to www.wishscv.org
SANTA CLARA COUNTY —The Wineries of Santa Clara Valley is happy to announce the addition of two wineries to the association—welcome Verde Vineyards and Tank House.
Owners George and Lynda Green opened Verde Vineyards in 2017 and become members of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley this past March. Their backgrounds in the medical field and attention to detail carry over into their passion for winemaking. “Our focus is on making enjoyable wines that engage all the senses, and we strive for a balance of all the flavor components that give the taster an overall flavor or feeling of the wine as the first impression,” says George Green, co-owner Verde Vineyards.
The winery specializes in hand-crafted small lot Bordeaux varietals from their 12 acres of estate vines in Santa Clara Valley.
Tank House Winery
Father & son Al and Joe Cavigli, began making wine in their garage over 10 years ago. When the wine making became more than a hobby, they purchased 5 acres of land and moved to San Martin, California. Their first day of operation coincided with the first day of the associations Spring Passport month, so they were welcomed with more than a normal
The Caviglia’s make their wines with grapes from Borden Ranch, a distinct AVA of Lodi, California. They oversee every step of the process themselves and make ten different varietals that can be purchased in restaurants and stores throughout the Bay Area, as well as in their newly completed tasting room.
“We look forward to sharing our love of wine with all who visit the Tank House,” says Al Caviglia, co-owner Tank House Winery. “Please stop by with friends and family to enjoy a glass of Tank House wine with our family. Cheers!”
With the addition of Verde Vineyards and Tank House, the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley is now up to 32 wineries strong.
About the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley:
The Wineries of Santa Clara Valley is a non-profit 501c3 Corporation, made up of member wineries who grow and produce wines that are grown in the Valley. Producing wines from other regions fruit is also permitted. The specific purpose of the Corporation is to educate people about wine and wineries, grape growing, using sustainable agricultural winemaking and production practices related to the highest standard of quality winemaking in Santa Clara Valley. Its focus is also to provide educational opportunities and promote public awareness about the cultural heritage, health benefits and enjoyment of wine in a socially responsible manner, and to be recognized as a positive, contributing member of the community.
The Wineries of Santa Clara Valley is an association representing member wineries that grow and produce wines in one of the oldest wine producing regions of California.
With the first plantings at the Santa Clara Mission in 1798, the region of Santa Clara Valley represents one of the oldest growing traditions in the country. The Santa Clara Valley is now home to over three dozen wineries, of every size and shape, from long-established family operations to relatively small newcomers. On March 28, 1989, the Santa Clara Valley received AVA status; prior to this the region’s wines were typically labeled ‘Central Coast’ or ‘Santa Clara County’.
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIF. – The West Coast’s premier epicurean lifestyle event, Pebble Beach Food & Wine returns for a 12th year this spring with four days of culinary decadence, April 11-14. Coinciding with Pebble Beach Resorts’ year-long centennial celebration, the 2019 event is pulling out all the stops as 100 of the world’s top celebrity chefs and 250 acclaimed wineries come together on the spectacular central California coastline. Event-goers will enjoy rare access to the very pinnacle of talent in the food and wine world—from upstarts and rising stars to James Beard and Michelin-star award winners— at a series of wine tastings, cooking demos, and some of the most exclusive and original dining experiences in the world.
Among this year’s luminaries are names like l’Arpege’s Alain Passard, Misiòn 19’s Javier Plascencia, Ludo Lefebvre of Ludo Bites, Masaharu Morimoto of Morimoto restaurants from New York to Napa, internationally renowned Argentinean grill master and featured chef on the Netflix original series Chef’s Table Francis Mallmann, DAMA’s Antonia Lofaso, Richard Blais of Trail Blais, Michelle Bernstein of Café La Trova, Dean Fearing of Fearing’s Restaurant, and the chef dubbed “The Last Magnificent,” Jeremiah Tower. A prime opportunity for event-goers to rub shoulders and snap photos with a veritable “who’s who” of culinary legends will take place at the Lexus Grand Tasting Tent on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, which will feature 30 chefs and more than 300 wines from top-notch producers around the world. Other event highlights include:
- A Celebrity Chef & Winemaker Golf Tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links. This exclusive opportunity to share a bucket-list golf experience with the top masters of food and wine is priced at $1,000 per ticket. Players compete for 18 holes of Team Scramble tournament play, fueled by food, wine and beverage stations strategically placed along the course.
- An exclusive, aptly named Decadence Dinner with Chef Alain Passard of the three-Michelin-starred L’Arpège in Paris, whose high-risk gamble to embrace an all-vegetarian menu paid off in spades and was documented in Netflix’s Chef’s Table docuseries.
- Aviary Live from Pebble Beach—a chance to meet the “den of chefs” behind what is widely considered the world’s best bar as they tell the story behind the creation of the bar and their new, groundbreaking Aviary Cocktail Book.
- Two events with culinary legend Jeremiah Tower—a Fireside Chat complete with champagne, bites, and storytelling by “The Father of California Cuisine,” and a Power Lunch at Casa Palmero with Chef Tower and his proteges Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier of Maine’s critically acclaimed MC Perkins Cove.
- Wonder Women in the Kitchen—a Power Lunch with some of the nation’s gutsiest female chefs who have survived the trenches to rise to top of their industry: Tanya Holland of Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen; Top Chef Masters Alumni Elizabeth Falkner; Antonia Lofaso of L.A.’s white-hot DAMA, Scopa Italian Roots and Black Market Liquor Bar; and pastry chef Kelsey Larson from Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley.
- Two Gone Fishin events with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. In the first, the global restaurateur demonstrates the proper way to butcher a whole tuna. In the second, He joins top seafood chefs Ryan Caldwell, Ravin Patel, Michael Ginor, and Alvin Cailan to vie for bragging rights as the “best fisherman” at the four-day fest.
- Ridge Monte Bello Wine Seminar. This epic event features five decades of one of the world’s most legendary wine producers. Led by winemaker Eric Baugher, guests will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to sample vintages dating back to 1975 as well a barrel tasting of the unreleased 2017 vintage.
- Steakhouse Feels: Big Cabs & Big Slabs. Festival-goers will live large at this strolling “beachside steak-out,” which will pair the world’s best masters of the grill and BBQ with a martini bar, whiskey on the rocks, big red wines, and a caviar station.
- Dining with The Michelin Stars. This over-the-top dinner will blend the talents of out-of-this-world chefs into one kitchen. Michelin starred culinary greats, including Peter Armellino, Rogelio Garcia, Janina O’Leary and Rupert and Carrie Blease, will serve up a memorable meal at this one-of-a-kind event.
Find a full event listing here.
Four package options let event-goers craft their ideal festival experience. The Magnum is a great value for those looking to enjoy all the daytime and afternoon events at Pebble Beach Food & Wine along with the Opening Night Reception. Package holders save more than $300 and gain VIP access, including to the Lexus Grand Tasting, and discounts on Jeroboam and Imperial level wine seminars.
The Jeroboam covers premium day and night events over the full weekend. Package holders save more than $1,000 on a $2,950 ticket and gain VIP access.
The Mastercard Exclusive includes upgraded experiences and access on select day and night events, including the fireside chat with Jeremiah Tower, the hands-on Perfect Blend wine event, Private Dining Room Dinner—a world-class wine pairing meal overlooking the famed 18th Green of Pebble Beach Golf Links, plus access to the Chef, Winemaker and VIP after-hours party Saturday night, and VIP premium gift items. The package is only available for purchase with a Mastercard.
The Imperial gives package holders carte blanche for the full weekend—the highest level of access available and exceptional perks—and is available only to a select few due to space limitations on the rare wine seminars. Package holders save as much as $2,400 and enjoy VIP access and preferred seating at all wine seminars and cooking demos, complimentary access to the Chauffeured Lexus Luxury Vehicles for travel between events, and access to the Chef, Winemaker and VIP after-hours party each night.
The 12th annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine welcomes best in class partners like Food & Wine magazine, Chase Private Client banking, Lexus, Mastercard, Barilla pasta and many more.
Ticket Information and Reservations
About Prodigal Events, LLC:
Prodigal Events, LLC (Prodigal), creates unique experiential opportunities in the hospitality, entertainment, and experiential world. Prodigal produces two of the world’s most loved and recognized culinary events, Pebble Beach Food & Wine and the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, both recognized for the curation of the highest caliber of culinary and wine talents to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
About Pebble Beach Company
Pebble Beach Company, headquartered in Pebble Beach, Calif., owns and operates the world-famous Pebble Beach Resorts®, including The Lodge at Pebble Beach™, The Inn at Spanish Bay™, and Casa Palmero®. The company also operates four renowned golf courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links®, Spyglass Hill® Golf Course, The Links at Spanish Bay™, and Del Monte™ Golf Course. Its other famed properties include scenic 17-Mile Drive®, The Spa at Pebble Beach™, Pebble Beach Golf Academy™, and Pebble Beach® Equestrian Center. It annually hosts premier events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational presented by Dell Technologies, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, and the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee. Future site of the 2019 U.S. Open, 2023 U.S. Women’s Open and 2027 U.S. Open Championships, Pebble Beach Golf Links® has hosted five U.S. Opens, five U.S. Amateurs, one PGA Championship, and numerous other tournaments. For reservations or more information, please call 800-654-9300 or visit pebblebeach.com.
Glen Ellen, CA – Laurel Glen Vineyard, is pleased to announce it will host a very special tasting during the third annual Signature Sonoma Valley vintage retrospective, during the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance’s flagship weekend event series. The iconic Sonoma winery will host the tasting at its eponymous Sonoma Mountain estate vineyard on Saturday, May 18, 2019 (from 2-4:30pm).
The tasting will bring together wine aficionados and collectors for an extremely rare showcase of Laurel Glen vintages across four decades. Current winemaker Randall Watkins will be joined by the estate’s founding winemaker, Patrick Campbell, as well as Proprietor and Managing Partner Bettina Sichel and winegrower Phil Coturri to provide ‘behind the vine’ perspectives. This special event will be moderated by Esther Mobley, wine critic and journalist at the San Francisco Chronicle, who will provide insight and perspective on the nuances of each vintage.
“We could not be more thrilled to host this year’s retrospective tasting,” says Sichel. “We are especially honored that Esther Mobley has accepted our invitation to moderate, and look forward to an illuminating discussion. We recently tasted through the 15 vintages we’ve selected to pour and were impressed with how well they showed. I cannot wait to share these rare wines with a new audience at Signature Sonoma on May 18th!”
The retrospective will commence with Laurel Glen’s debut 1981 vintage, and include a curated selection of 15 vintages spanning four decades that demonstrate the winery’s consistent depth, elegance and focus. The winery’s signature sophisticated style has never wavered since it joined the ranks of first generation “cult” Cabernets from California in the 1980s, and – thanks to the ongoing policy of holding back a portion of cases upon release – Laurel Glen has become known for its deep library of wines from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s; many of which are featured on some of America’s most prestigious restaurant wine lists, including French Laundry in the Napa Valley, Mastro’s Steakhouse in Houston and Gotham Bar & Grill in New York City.
Though tickets for the Signature Sonoma Valley retrospective are nearly sold out, Laurel Glen will also offer a special library flight the weekend of May 17-19 in the estate’s Glen Ellen tasting room. The Cabernet Sauvignon vintages offered in the flight will evoke the spirit of the retrospective and include the 1986, 1999 Reserve, 2006, 2009, 2012 Lot 44. Cost will be $75 per person and guests should plan to reserve at least 48 hours in advance.
Laurel Glen wines will also be featured in the Legends: Collector’s Dinner at 6:30pm on May 18th, the capstone event of Signature Sonoma Valley, which celebrates the heritage vineyards of the region. Tickets can be purchased here.
Signature Sonoma Valley is an exclusive, four-day immersion into the acclaimed wines, historic vineyards and welcoming community of Sonoma Valley. Tickets for all events are now on sale and available at SonomaValleyWine.com/Signature-Sonoma-Valley. Seating is limited and all events will sell out, so early purchase is strongly recommended. For more information, please call 707.935.0803 or visit SonomaValleyWine.com.
“Signature Sonoma Valley shapes how wine collectors view Sonoma Valley as a wine region, and we could not be more thrilled to showcase over three decades of Laurel Glen vintages in the capstone retrospective tasting,” said Maureen Cottingham, Executive Director of the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance. “Our greatest hope is that guests will leave Signature Sonoma Valley with a deeper connection to our vineyards and an appreciation for the caliber of wines coming out of Sonoma Valley, and Laurel Glen’s impressive track record more than supports that message.”
About Laurel Glen Vineyard
Laurel Glen Vineyard wines have a proven track record for longevity and grace. They are among the most sought-after examples of classic California Cabernet Sauvignon, and can thus offer a true study in how the variety can perform from a great vineyard site.
Originally planted to mixed red varietals by German immigrants at the end of the 19th century, Laurel Glen vineyard was replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon in 1968 on the eve of a modern proliferation of vineyards in California. Today, the 14-acre estate is farmed organically and planted entirely to Cabernet Sauvignon, and in particular the Laurel Glen clone of Cabernet Sauvignon, certified as a unique clone by the University of California at Davis.
In 2011, Bettina Sichel, a veteran of the California wine industry, became the steward of Laurel Glen Vineyard. Among other quality oriented improvements, she has overseen the vineyard’s transition to CCOF organic certification in 2014.
About the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance and Foundation
The Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA) is a non-profit trade organization serving more than 500 members who share a mission to promote awareness of Sonoma Valley’s grapes, wine, and history as the birthplace of the California wine industry. Sonoma Valley comprises six of the 17 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) of Sonoma County: Bennett Valley, Los Carneros, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, and Sonoma Valley. The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Foundation (SVVGF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that has raised more than $25,000,000 through Sonoma Wine Country Weekend and supports youth and children for future success, preserving our environment, and improving health and welfare of our local communities. For more information on the SVVGA and SVVGF, please visit www.SonomaValleyWine.com.
Los Angeles, CA – Come celebrate and be part of the 4th Annual Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival that will take place on Sunday, April 7th, 2019 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!
Masters of Taste 2019 is also introducing Chef Michael Hung as the event’s first-time Host Chef. 2017 and 2018 Masters of Taste Culinary Master, Michael Hung’s illustrious career credentials include time spent with Traci Des Jardins’s James Beard Award-winning team at San Francisco’s Jardinière and overseeing the kitchen at Roland Passot’s Michelin-starred La Folie. Chef Hung then left San Francisco to open Faith & Flower in Downtown Los Angeles, where under his leadership the restaurant was honored “Best New Restaurant” by Esquire Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, and Travel + Leisure. Michael’s success continued when he opened the highly-acclaimed Viviane in the Avalon Hotel Los Angeles and then he started his own company Ardour Hospitality in 2016, which focuses on full-service consulting, culinary and hospitality experiences in Greater Los Angeles. In addition to running his own company, Michael has also returned to Faith & Flower where he oversees the kitchen.
“I have been a participant in Masters of Taste for the past two years and it is spectacular. Cooking and serving people on the field of the Rose Bowl could be a once in a lifetime dream, but I have been lucky enough to get to do it for the past two years, and this year, the honor to be able to formally host the event,” says Hung. “And, while the festivities are amazing, what is most impressive is that Masters of Taste donates 100% of proceeds from this event to Union Station Homeless Services each year. Homelessness deserves our attention, focused work and finances, and Union Station Homeless Services and Masters of Taste are truly leaders in helping those who are in need.”
Masters of Taste 2019 will bring over 2,500 food and beverage enthusiasts together from all over Greater Los Angeles for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 95 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, a premier 50-Yard-Line Cocktail Bar featuring top Mixologists from four of L.A.’s most distinguished drinking destinations, select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more.
100% of the proceeds from Masters of Taste 2019 will directly benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping homeless men, women and children rebuild their lives. Union Station is part of a premier group of human services agencies in L.A. County that are leading the way to end homelessness in our community. Union Station offers an array of services including street outreach, meals, shelter, housing, case management and career development. In the last three years Masters of Taste has raised over $1.5 Million in support of Union Station’s life-saving programs. Thank you for making that possible.
Some of this year’s Masters of Taste 2019 participating Culinary Masters and Restaurants include:
- Faith & Flower 2019 Masters of Taste Host Chef Michael Hung (Los Angeles)
- 1212 Santa Monica Chef Hiro Fujita (Santa Monica)
- Alexander’s Steakhouse Chef Florent Courriol (Pasadena)
- Ayara Thai Chef Vanda Asapahu (Westchester)
- Bacchus Kitchen and Claude & Co. Chef Claud Beltran (Pasadena)
- Bistro Mon Cheri Chef Kimmy Tang (Pasadena)
- Bone Kettle Chef Erwin Tjahyadi (Pasadena)
- Celestino Ristorante Chef Calogero Drago (Pasadena)
- Cento Pasta Bar Chef Avner Lavi (Downtown Los Angeles)
- Eagle Rock Brewery Public House Chef Jerry Su (Eagle Rock)
- Eat @ Rollin’ Joe’s Chef Mark Salazar (Los Angeles)
- Gus’s Barbecue Chef Mike Stern (South Pasadena, Claremont)
- Gus’s Fried Chicken (Burbank, Long Beach, Los Angeles)
- HATCH Yakitori + Bar Chef Daniel Shemtob (Downtown Los Angeles)
- Jackfruit Café Chef Angela Means (Los Angeles)
- KASS Wine Bar + Kitchen Chef Christophe Émé (Los Angeles)
- Kitchen for Exploring Foods (Pasadena)
- La Bohéme Chef Atsushi Kenjo (Los Angeles)
- Lunasia Dim Sum House (Alhambra)
- Maestro Chef Elena Vargas (Pasadena)
- Maple at Descanso Gardens Chef Philip Mack (La Cañada Flintridge)
- Mercado Chef Jose Acevedo (Hollywood, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Santa Monica)
- Momed Chef Alex Sarkissian (Beverly Hills and Atwater Village)
- Mrs. Fish Chef Yoshi Matsumoto (Downtown Los Angeles)
- Namaste Spiceland Harsh Malik (Pasadena)
- Packing House Wines Restaurant & Wine Shop Chef Eric Rowse (Claremont)
- Patina Chef Andreas Roller (Downtown Los Angeles)
- Pez Cantina Chef Bret Thompson (Downtown, Los Angeles)
- Preux & Proper Chef Sammy Monsour (Downtown Los Angeles)
- Prince of Venice Chef Generoso Celentano (Los Angeles)
- Ramen Tatsunoya Chef Ryuta Kajiwara (Pasadena, Silverlake)
- Rappahannock Oyster Bar Chef Wilson Santos (Downtown Los Angeles)
- Salazar Chef Jonathan Aviles (Los Angeles)
- SpireWorks Chef Mustafa Otar (Westwood, Eagle Rock, Westlake Village, Upland)
- Sticky Rice Chef Dave Tewasart (Downtown Los Angeles, Echo Park)
- Sumo Dog Chef Jefrrey Lunak (Santa Monica)
- Sweet Greek Chef Christina Xenos (Los Angeles)
- The Arbour Chef Ian Gresik (Pasadena)
- The Pizza Plant Chef Rachael Carr (Pasadena)
- The Raymond 1886 Chef Jon Hung (Pasadena)
- Wax Paper and Lingua Franca Chef Peter Lemos (Frogtown, Los Angeles)
- We Olive Ervin Galvan (Pasadena)
- Wolfgang Puck Experience (Los Angeles)
- World Empanadas Chef Matthew Hirtz (Burbank)
Sweet Masters: A select group of Los Angeles Top Sweet Masters will showcase an assortment of delectable desserts such as the deliciously scrumptious scratch baked custom cakes and cupcakes from Fantasy Frostings, Lark Cake Shop and Lady M., Chocolatier Mignon Chocolate, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, Nomad Ice Pops, homemade premium sorbets from Pop’s Artisinal Creamery, Porto’s Bakery, SuperCool Creamery, THE Bakery Truck and more.
Some of this year’s participating Beverage Masters include:
Brewmasters: Beverage Masters who specialize in barley and hops will be presenting top-notch ales, lagers, pilsners and more for guests to sample, sip and savor all throughout the event, including Southern California favorites Indie Brewing Company, Iron triangle Brewing, Los Angeles Ale Works, Lincoln Beer Company, MacLeod Ale Brewing Co., Arcadia’s first Microbrewery Mt. Lowe Brewing Co., San Fernando Brewing Co. and State Brewing Co..
Wineries: A specially curated collection of Wine Masters will be showcasing their finest varietals including premium boutique winery Ascension Cellars, CRŪ Winery, Frisco Cellars, Golden Star Vineyards & Winery, Hitching Post Winery, Kieu Hoang Winery, Anderson Valley’s Navarro Vineyards, San Simeon Wines, Vinemark Cellars, Wrath Wines and more.
Bars & Spirits: Some of L.A.’s top bartenders and cocktail bars will be creating first-rate craft cocktails, including Cameron Masden of The Raymond 1886, Ned Kirby of Magnolia House, and Katie Putterlik of Otoño. Top brands showcasing their finest spirits will also include American Born Moonshine, Buzzbox, Dulce Vida Tequila, KI NO BI Dry Gin, Krafted Spirits, Neustra Soledad Mezcal, Pomp & Whimsy, SelvaRey Rum, Ventura Spirits, Wild Roots Organic Vodka, Woodford Reserve, ZYR Russian Vodka and many more.
Non-Alcoholic Beverages: A variety of premium non-alcoholic Beverage Masters will also be on hand for those who wish to hydrate, caffeinate or regenerate, such as Boxed Water, Califia Farms Juices and Cold Brew Coffees, Dry Sparkling, East Imperial, Groundwork Coffee, Honeydrop Beverages, Humm Kombucha, Immordl energy elixirs, Matcha Matcha, Zico Coconut Water and more.
Sponsors: Masters of Taste 2019 is made possible through the generous support of our Sponsors, which include HomeStreet Bank, Judith L Chiara Foundation, US Bank, Western Asset Management, Kaiser Permanente, Capitol Group, Citizen’s Business Bank, Chase Bank, Westport Construction, App Dynamics, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Clear Stream Media Group, Tsutayo Ichioka & Satsuki Nakao Foundation, HKG LLP, Wescom, California Linens and more.
Ticket Information: Masters of Taste 2019 will take place on Sunday, April 7th, 2019. A VIP Power Hour will be held from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm and General Admission will be from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Tickets to this event are only available for guests 21+ and over. For more information on Masters of Taste 2019 or to book your tickets directly, please visit www.MastersofTasteLA.com/Tickets.
Location: Pasadena Rose Bowl – 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA 91103.
Transportation and Parking: Guests are encouraged to utilize car services – Lyft, Uber, Taxi, etc. – since this event does serve alcoholic beverages and is a 21+ and over event. Complimentary parking is also available at the Rose Bowl.
TEMECULA, Calif. (PRWEB) – Wine Enthusiast’s picks for best wine related travel hotspots offers something for everyone with a passion to explore beyond the glass. Among their top 10 is a boutique, emerging hidden gem, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. The destination is the only California city that was selected, and California was one of only two North American states among the list.
“It’s an honor to be selected among some of the best regions in the world. Though we’re a lesser-known destination, people are discovering our town and they are in awe over the experience. Whether its wine, food or customer service, we don’t settle for anything but the best,” says Kimberly Adams, Visit Temecula Valley CEO and President.
“Our annual 10 Best Wine Getaways list is culled from the extensive travel our tasting and editorial team undertakes each year…along with input from trusted wine and travel journalist around the globe,” says Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa. “We seek locales that offer world-class wine and wine-related experiences as well as unforgettable restaurants, hotels and cultural activities suited for the intrepid wine lover. The list balances classic, famed regions with emerging, insider gems that have yet to be discovered.”
It’s the quality of wine and the experiences at the wineries that has everyone talking. Temecula Valley’s smallest wineries that are making some of the best wines the region has to offer include Hart, Palumbo, Lorenzi, and Doffo. Larger wineries with impressive wines, architecture and dining amenities include BOTTAIA, Fazeli, Leoness, and Baily. Winery experiences include wine blending, behind the scenes tours, wine pairings, live music, Shakespeare in the Vines, wine workshops, yoga and wine, fitness and wine, painting and wine, cooking classes, wine country spa, inns and resorts, and dining.
Unique to Temecula Valley Wine Country is dining among the vineyards experiences with award winning restaurants at Miramonte Winery and Leoness Cellars. There are 19 wine country restaurants to choose from, all in picturesque settings and surrounded by vineyards.
Only minutes from wine country are two destination attractions: Old Town Temecula and Pechanga Resort Casino. Charming Old Town Temecula is home to more than 100 specialty shops, breweries, wine tasting rooms and restaurants. With authentic atmosphere, museums, theater of the arts, and repurposed historical buildings, Old Town is a vibrant downtown.
Pechanga Resort Casino offers guests 13 restaurants to choose from, a luxury 25,000 square-foot spa, 4.5-acre pool complex, 4,000 slots, 154 table games, championship golf course, and a 4,000-plus seat live entertainment venue for A-list entertainment.
A three to five-night stay is recommended to experience everything the destination has to offer. Hotel, resort, bed and breakfast, and vacation rental choices are only minutes away from everything there is to do. Staying among the vineyards is an option at Carter Estate, South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, and Inn at Europa Village. Visitors can wake up steps away from the vineyards with hot air balloons overhead. There are also some great transportation companies that will pick up guests from where they are staying and take them on a half day wine tasting or brewery tour.
Find out more about this top destination and start planning a wine getaway at VisitTemeculaValley.com or call (888) 363-2852.
ABOUT THE TEMECULA VALLEY AND VISIT TEMECULA VALLEY
Laid back, picturesque Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country welcomes nearly three million visitors each year. It is a year-round vacation destination, located 60 minutes from San Diego, Orange County, and Palm Springs; 90 minutes from Los Angeles.
Temecula Valley Wine Country is widely recognized for its scenic vineyards, award-winning wines, and experiential wineries. The popular boutique destination includes the Temecula Valley A.V.A. (American Viticulture Area) as well as historic Old Town Temecula, and Pechanga Resort Casino. It also was named as a 2019 Wine Enthusiast Top 10 Wine Getaways.
Visit Temecula Valley is the region’s official tourism marketing organization and resource for visitors. The Visitors Center is located in Old Town Temecula. For visitor information and assistance, please call (888) 363-2852 or go to VisitTemeculaValley.com.
Santa Rosa in Sonoma County is very diverse. There are many high end hotels and restaurants if you are looking for that but there are other options as well.
In what is known as the SOFA arts district are two places you should know about. The area is known as SOFA because it is South of A Street and actually has an annual sofa parade during its Winterblast street festival.
Acclaimed Chef Liza Hinman took a big chance when she opened The Spinster Sisters restaurant in 2012 in the under-served SOFA area. But the risk has clearly paid off with the restaurant’s popularity and accolades, most recently being awarded Best Restaurant in 2017 by the North Bay Bohemian. Being lauded by others as well (such as Michelin, SF Weekly, Eater and Wine Enthusiast) are just additional examples of the kudos they have received, serving Liza’s continually evolving menu featuring local products.
Truly, upon entering this restaurant, you know immediately that you wish it was in your neighborhood. A lot of adventurously prepared small plates (like smoked trout dip, pork belly sliders, steamed mussel mouclade, among many others) were keeping a large crowd in a family atmosphere very happy. The very fairly priced wine list is intriguing as well, with a nice selection of local wines combined with other California and international choices. The by-the-glass list includes some wines on tap, which adds to the fun. Oh, and they are open for breakfast and lunch too. Check out their website for more info on the menus and wine selections.
Liza’s continuing commitment to the area’s development is evident in her recent acquisition and remodeling (along with her partners from The Spinster Sisters) of The Astro Motel, which is walking distance from the restaurant. Admittedly, this was another risk on her part, as the property had long been considered a blight to the area. But Liza and her team have transformed the Astro.
The Astro has 34 rooms, of which two are Doubles and two are King Suites. The rest have Queen size beds in them. Built in the early 60s, it used to look like a pretty standard “motor hotel” with rooms in a U-shaped layout with a parking lot in the middle. That parking lot is mostly gone, replaced by landscaping and an edible garden. A short walk to offsite parking picks up the overflow. Each room has its own colorful and eclectic furnishings designed by local artists and craftspeople. And all these mid-century original items are for sale.
The Astro actually opened earlier than planned, as FEMA approval granted after the fires in late 2017 for them to house displaced survivors at no cost to them, again just showing commitment to the area.
The downstairs lounge area currently serves breakfast with coffee from Flying Goat and pastries from Criminal Bakery. The lounge is a roomy place to wind down and use the free WiFi to go through emails at the end of a day of sightseeing. The plan is to expand the offerings to include wine tasting from local producers.
The Astro is a fun place to stay. There are plenty of things to do in the area as well. One of the investors is Giro d’Italia champion Andy Hampsten and the motel rents Shinola Bikes to its guests. Also, per the website: “It’s the only place in Sonoma County where, within a five-minute walk, travelers can gaze at contemporary art or used cars, see an avant-garde theater ensemble or a team of bocce players, get a tattoo or a tintype portrait, and a taste of the some of the finest wine, beer and produce in Northern California.” Besides, you’re right in the middle of Sonoma County.
It wouldn’t be right to close this article without a big thank you to The Astro General Manager Lisa Robbins and her staff. They are a gracious group and went out of their way to take excellent care of us.
The Spinster Sisters
401 S A St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
323 Santa Rosa Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) http://evebushmanconsulting.com/ and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org