Harry Hansen, Director of Viticulture, and Ray Schafer, Executive Chef, will host the monthly dinners, the first of which will feature eight tasting courses partly from the cellar garden and paired with sparkling wines from Gloria Ferrer.
Everyone can taste each of these:
∎ Rockefeller oyster – Pt. Reyes oysters, bacon, spinach, Hollandaise sauce
∎ Onion soup – brioche crouton, gruyere cheese
∎ Salmon & Sorrel – lightly pan-fried royal salmon, cream of sorrel sauce
∎ Rabbit braised in red wine – juniper, thyme, fennel
∎ Meyer Lemon Sorbet
∎ American lobster – roasted lobster tail with tomato sauce, tarragon, fresh cream
∎ Beef Wellington – beef tenderloin, mushroom duxelles, puff pastry, demi-glace
∎ French chocolate tart – custard, caramel sauce
Gloria Ferrer is now owned by German sparkling wine company Henkell Freixenet, which also owns the cava and prosecco brands and has just bought Bolney Wine Estates in England.
$170. 5-7 p.m. Tickets at gloriaferrer.com/visit-our-sonoma-carneros-winery/wine-country-events/chef-table-series-february, click ‘reserve’.
Cristina Topham, chef and owner of Spread Catering and one of the hardest working people, posted some pricing realities (as she knows them) that have entered the kitchens of restaurants and caterers. We share them here with his permission.
His comment followed other prices such as chicken wings which cost $45 a case 12 months ago and are now $175 a case; and takeout boxes were $25 a year ago and $95 today.
According to Topham, “Oven mitts were $65 a case two years ago; they’re $200 (and up) today. Tahini was $80 for a bucket a year ago, and it’s $125 today.
Ground lamb was $6.99 a pound two years ago, now it’s $12.99 a pound (wholesale). Packaging exploded, paper bags exploded. etc etc etc.”
So go easy on the restaurant staff if you find their prices go up a bit.
But why is this happening?
I know – supply chain and ships stacked at the docks, supply and demand issues, and China is blocking viruses again.
So why the hell aren’t we making more of the stuff we need in the United States? Why have business leaders sent jobs overseas? Oh yeah, it’s cheaper and they can make more profit while sometimes not paying US taxes. This is not the fault of a single president, but because of the decisions and choices of the companies.
And are the suppliers adding a little extra profit to their necessary price increases?
Think about it.
Sweet Scoops is hiring
Sweet Scoops is hiring for its reopening in a few weeks. Pass the baton to all 16+ who love ice cream and help people have a sweet day. It’s a chance to get a job and learn how to make and serve ice cream, skills to use for a lifetime. Get more information and applications here: sweetscoopsicecream.com/application
Sweet Pea Bakery
wow. On Monday, Sweet Pea Bakeshop, across from the Sonoma Valley Library on Highway 12 or West Napa Street, was offering a cronut tiramisu with mascarpone topping and coffee frosting. Although it looks quiet from the street, the Sweet Pea Bakery and many others are still there and have a few covered tables and chairs in front of the building. Parking in the parking lot at the west end of the building.
Valley Bar + Bottle in the top 25
Valley Bar + Bottle on First Street West was recently named one of the top 25 restaurants in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle. High praise for them, but as co-owner and chef Emma Lipp relays, they are closed until January 27 for their “annual winter break.” She continued, “It was planned and has nothing to do with COVID.”
If they come out with a new menu when they reopen, I’ll let you know.
Although not open, the current menu includes entrees of anchovies, eggs, prawn rolls, shishito peppers, and fried delicata squash. I would love to try their Green Goddess salad. Main dishes and sides can be trout with potatoes, curry with chicken and noodles, braised beef with beets and yogurt, crispy rice with ginger sauce, butternut squash with salsa macha, cauliflower with basil and ricotta, braised beans and butter beans ($13 to $32). ). Bread and butter are $6.
Since most Valley seating is in the back patio, sidewalk, or street park, weather often dictates availability. Open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday to Monday. 487 First St. W., Sonoma. Valleybarandbottle.com.