Thursday, December 5, 2002
One obvious method, one that is closer to the true meaning of the holiday season, is to incorporate noble, loving and charitable activities into the holiday regimen. A good way to begin is this Saturday, when JOULLIAN VINEYARDS, out in Cachagua, is having its annual WINE AND WREATHS HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE and Canned Food Drive.
Joullian is working with the FOOD BANK FOR MONTEREY COUNTY-the largest provider of emergency and supplemental food assistance in the county-to combine a fun day of activities like cruising through the cellars with winemaker RIDGE WATSON, making wreaths, watching pruning demonstrations and tasting current and new releases of Joullian''s great wines.
There''ll be a BBQ for a nominal fee or you can bring your own picnic basket and enjoy expansive views of the beautiful Carmel Valley vineyards. All you have to do is bring along a donation(s) of non-perishable goods for the Food Bank and you''re in. Bring a lot-demand is up and donations are down. Feel good about yourself, have fun and do the holidays righteous. Call 659-2800 for directions and info.
For a back-to-back Joullian adventure, join winemaker Ridge Watson at the RIO GRILL in Carmel on December 12 for a dinner and BORDEAUX BLENDING SEMINAR. Basically, it''s a chance to eat really great food with different Joullian wines, then mess around blending your own Bordeaux-style wine using Joullian Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. How much fun is that? Call 625-5436 to make a reservation.
LOOK SHARP FOR TREASURES...I''m really excited about my man JON MAGNUSSON, owner/chef of RESTAURANT 211 in the Crossroads Shopping Center in Carmel, doing his annual Scandinavian Christmas during the first three weeks of December. Stop in for traditional goodies like Jolaglogg-warm red wine with cinnamon sticks and raisins-,a beautiful smorgasbord of assorted herring salads, Gravlax, Leverposteg and various cheeses and breads, plus great entrees like roasted ham with red wine sauce, baked salmon with fresh dill, or Beinlausir Fulgar-chicken breast roll with bacon, carrots and onions.
As always, the homey, loving feel of Restaurant 211, as created by Jon and HIS WIFE, CARMEN, will welcome and warm you, fully satisfying your needs on a deeper level than just quelling your hunger. This is one of the coolest restaurants around. Call Jon and Carmen at 625-3030.
Another excellent restaurant that faces the difficulties of an out-of-the-way location is LE CHANTILLY, all the way down Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove. This place is regularly creating classic French specialties and great service in a wonderful, country-style setting. Take advantage of its four-course dinner special for $24.95 per person or simply order from the regular menu. Either way, you are guaranteed a great experience.
We will definitely be taking HER ROYAL HIGHNESS QUEEN ANNE OF WINCHESTER to Le Chantilly while she is in town, since she loves to dine at wonderful, French-inspired restaurants-it reminds her of her regular visits to the Continent. Maybe we''ll see you there. Call for reservations tonight: Le Chantilly, 642-9303.
BRANDY AND PUDDING...HULA''S, the great Hawaiian-influenced joint on Lighthouse in New Monterey, will be serving a full liquor menu due to the acquisition of a new liquor license. Now, to go along with their fun, fresh, tangy menu, the folks at Hula''s will be concocting tasty tropical treats from the Tiki bar-MAI TAIS, martinis, all sorts of special, festive libations geared to enhance their casual, fun and friendly atmosphere. Don''t forget to check out Hula''s special room for private parties or large groups. Hula''s, 655-4852.
QUEEN ANNE will like this one: MONTRIO''S TONY BAKER, a fellow countryman from Bristol, England, is preparing a limited number of CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS for local buyers. "Each pudding is made using my mum''s old family recipe...they''re killer," said Baker.
The pudding arrives in its own reusable English crock and serves up to 12 persons (approx. 32oz.). Heating instructions and brandy butter recipe are included. Prepaid orders of $30 (plus tax and shipping) are being accepted until December 7. Call 648-8880 to order or for more info. Toodleoo.
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