Thursday, April 4, 2002
Photo by Carrie Musto; Andrew Jackson's paintings hang at Bosso's.
A MEDIA MONOPOLY CHALLENGED How about this for an exception: finally, somebody is challenging the bloated Wine Spectator for control of wine drinkers'' minds. For too long, that magazine has wielded too much influence upon gullible (gulpable?) wine-buyers everywhere.
This year, at the MONTEREY WINE FESTIVAL, The National Restaurant Association will be recognizing restaurants from around the country for outstanding wine lists. Unlike the Wine Speculator''s, the NRA''s awards will be broken down into seven different categories, so restaurants of different styles and sizes don''t have to compete against one another.
Apparently, when the blowhards from the Spectator found out about the new NRA awards, they immediately began the process of trying to block the NRA through litigation. Hey, competition is good. All you restaurant owners out there who are into wine, check out the NRA (easy Heston, not you) for details.
''BYE, SWEETIE Detail is the name of the game when it comes to creating scrumptious desserts. For seven years MAUREEN HOOD handled all the details as pastry chef at Casanova Restaurant in Carmel. Unfortunately, she is relocating to San Francisco where, she says, "after a short hiatus, I plan on seeking employment at one of the many great restaurants in the City." She went on to say, "while I really will miss our beautiful area, I am looking forward to the vast culinary landscape that San Francisco has to offer."
I asked Casanova''s General Manager, JOHN GEHRMAN, what Maureen meant to the restaurant: "She is a great person who will be sorely missed. Maureen added such calm to an otherwise hectic area, always keeping her composure, always professional. The quality of her work is fantastic and brought in positive energy-a calming effect in the restaurant is always welcome."
LUNCH ON THE LAWN I''ve been in a springtime mood lately. For me that means alternating bouts of elation and depression. If I were more intellectual, I would probably theorize about the effects caused by the ending of winter that creates a natural mourning for that season, while the advent of the new season, spring, creates an anticipatory state of exaltation.
Maybe it''s my blood sugar.
Anyway, warmer weather, longer days and more sun equate to better golf conditions (sorry, I''m fairly simple).
As those of you who golf know, one of the most important components of a good round of golf is the food available at the turn. For non-golfers, "the turn" refers to the brief stop for refreshment and relief as the golfers proceed from hole number nine to tee number 10. Most golf courses, which are 18 holes in length, lay out the course so the ninth hole finishes near the clubhouse and the 10th hole begins near it as well.
Many a purist insists upon a hotdog and a beer or soft drink. There''s nothing like a good old fashioned dog-loaded with mustard, onions and some hot sauce, gulped down as fast as possible so the rhythm of the round is not interrupted-to bolster you for the final nine holes. Onion breath is especially helpful during a tight match when any advantage can be capitalized upon.
Occasionally, golfers choose to eat something a bit more dignified and appetizing, such as a nicely made sandwich. For the folks in charge of planning what types of food are available at the various golf courses throughout the region, this is a plea to add a bit of care to the creation of the lunch and snack items. The sandwiches offered at some of the courses around here are pretty horrendous. There is one course in particular (discretion dictates that I not name it) that makes the tiredest looking excuse for a sandwich ever, with one paper-thin (literally) piece of dead lettuce posing as the only vegetable in the thing. Come on people, care a little.
BARGAIN BITES AND SIPS The golf world is divided into two main categories: private (members only) and public (anyone can play). Then, within that division lies another: affordable (a relative term) and really expensive. At most expensive courses, like Quail Lodge, the Pebbles, etc., the amenities are usually excellent. It''s nice when an affordable course like Ridgemark, over near San Juan Bautista, offers the type of amenities it does. RIDGEMARK is actually a private course that contains two separate eighteens. Each day, they alternate between courses, allowing the public to play one while the members play the other. The rates are reasonable, the folks are wonderful, including the members, and the courses are really challenging. Also, and this may be the best part, it''s got the coolest bar and lounge scene since Vegas in the sixties.
The bar is lowered so that all the stools, which are cushioned and comfortable, allow patrons to look out over the course while sipping. For those who would rather sit at a table, there are numerous comfy tables throughout. Check this place out for a day of good golf, good fun and good, friendly folks.
As a long-time bartender and servant to the public, I would never endorse a bar where the bartender is placed in such a vulnerable position. However, in this instance, when catering to an after-golf crowd that is usually sated by the emotional requirements of the game and therefore not prone to unruly behavior, I will make an exception.
PAINTING THE TOWN A calming effect is what you get from the cool paintings of bar scenes by ANDREW JACKSON, a local artist. He and his wife, Sunshine, who took the original photographs (also on display) that inspired the paintings, are showing the work for the next month at BOSSO''S, the bar in New Monterey that is scheduled to be torn down during that new development plan. Their work fits right in to the bar atmosphere of Bosso''s and really captures the essence of night time bar life. Check it out.