Thursday, March 20, 2003
WESTON AND WINE...I hope you are reading this today (Thursday) early enough in the day to get your artistic self down to Monterey Museum's Third Thursday tonight. Featured is photography from the Maggi Weston Collection, Passion and Precision. The fun runs from 5 until 7, is free of charge, live music will be provided by the Brazilian group the Helcio Milito Trio, with complimentary hors d'oeurves by Kurt Grasing and no-host (that means you have to reach in your pocket) wine bar by Estancia. Go, see, feel, absorb, transcend, get cultured. If you miss it this week, there'll be another good one in a month. Monterey Museum of Art, 372-5477.
LOS LAURELES SHINDIG...Here's a little more notice on a super event coming up at Los Laureles Lodge in Carmel Valley. On Thursday, March 27 at 5:30, treat yourself and a loved one or two to a great wine dinner at one of the coolest spots around, the restaurant at Los Laureles Lodge. Chef Lisa Magadini, a local treasure with severe cooking chops, will be whipping up hors d'oeuvres and a four-course meal while guest sommelier Ross Allen, one of the masters of the wine universe, pours wines from two of Carmel Valley's sterling wineries, Talbott and Chateau Christina.
Friends, this is a real opportunity here. If you haven't tasted Lisa Magadini's food, this would be a great way to introduce yourself. I guarantee you will love it and make Los Laureles Lodge a regular stop on your dining rotation. The ambiance is perfect--the place has wonderful individual character based upon when it was a country retreat for Muriel Vanderbilt Phelps back in the early part of the 1900s. It exudes a warmth and charm that can only come about after decades of life, after many souls have visited and left behind their resonance.
That's why Talbott and Chateau Christina will be there. Those folks are no dummies. You don't see them doing any old wine dinner. Ross Allen, who knows as much or more about the wine and food scene as anyone around, would not show up to do some routine dinner with the same old Salmon on life support dishes you sometimes find at these shindigs (that's actually a bit of an exaggeration).
What I am trying to tell you is that if you don't go to this event, you will have missed a great one. Any chance to drink Rob Talbott's wines as well as the tiny-production, fine Chateau Christina wines of Frank Joyce, plus have the extra added thrill (it will be a thrill) of eating Lisa Magadini's food--jump at it. This one is a no-brainer. Call, write, send a pigeon or an owl, drive up in person and make a reservation--in fact, bring a group--to Los Laureles Restaurant, March 27 at 5:30, 659-2233. This one will book early and sell out soon.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY...Now that I am officially Cheryl and Dan Warner's personal public relations director, it is my duty to announce the upcoming family reunion celebrating Walt Warner's 85th and Beverly Warner's 80th. That's Dan's Papa and Aunt so it is quite the big deal for old Danny Boy, not to mention the family members coming from as far as New York, Arizona and all over California. All kidding aside, I only do these things for Dan and Cheryl because I think they are two of the nicest, most important people in the recent history of our area's hospitality scene who both give relentlessly in their day-to-day lives. Obviously, any person like Walt and Aunt Bev who have been so directly responsible for creating the likes of a Dan Warner, deserve praise (and a healthy dose of sympathy). Happy Birthday to them both. Needless to say, the party is scheduled for an entire weekend, from the 21st until the 23rd--we're talking about professionals here.
PACIFIC'S EDGE FACELIFT...Speaking of professionals, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the press coming-out party showcasing the stunning renovations to Pacific's Edge Restaurant at Highlands Inn. What a work of art that whole space has become. They've opened up the sight lines throughout and added a modern-classic temp-controlled see-through wine room where the top wall used to be, instantly creating an open, yet cozy setting for each table. In fact, the two deuces (restaurant lingo for a table for two) abutting the new wine room are great. Look out and see the incredible views and the entire dining room, look in and see the magnificent wine bottles.
Catch the review of Pacific's Edge in this week's issue, pg. 86. And I'd like to applaud all the folks working so hard to carry this jewel of the Carmel Highlands to the next level of excellence, maintaining its ranking as one of the West's most important dining destinations.
--Celebrate with Ray at email@example.com