Thursday, March 18, 2004
A lot of stuff to report this week, and although you may have read some of it by now in other local publications (those other correspondents always seem to be just one or two steps ahead of my lazy assumptions) they’ll be worth rereading. For instance, Meals on Wheels, that wonderful organization housed in Pacific Grove that feeds and helps out seniors and other needy folks every day, all year long, just given a nice donation from last month’s Masters of Food and Wine at the Highlands Inn. We always like to hear about donations to our great local organizations. Right on Masters and Meals on Wheels.
ONLY GOOD FISHES…Another nice piece of info floating around (mild pun) is about the most recent local restaurateurs to go sustainable regarding their seafood choices, joining Passionfish, Montrio and Portola Cafe. The Shake Brothers (now if that don’t sound like a ‘70s soul band, nothing does)—Chris, Sabu Jr. and Tene—are making the change in all of their restaurants: Fish Hopper, Old Fisherman’s Grotto, Wharfside, Cabo’s Wild Mexican Seafood, and Peninsula Fish Market and Oyster Bar.
As I’m sure you’re all aware, the whole sustainable seafood thing is about trying to only fish and sell those species that are in abundance, without using methods that are devastating to other species.
Without overdoing the morality, it’s a no-brainer for enlightened businesses. The conscious dining-out population is going in that direction and the unconscious population needs to be educated about it. The Shakes are doing both. They’ll be handing out little pamphlets explaining the whole thing to their customers. This is a commendable move by one of the more quick-thinking restaurant groups around, a move that will increase their costs overall. You’ve got to give them kudos.
WINE-O…Tuesday March 23, from 2pm to 5pm, get to know what Monterey County wines are all about at “An Introduction to Monterey Wine Country.” The afternoon event is a collaboration between Ken “Former Heavyweight” Rauh’s Taste of Monterey, a bunch of local wineries like Scheid, Blackstone, Hahn Estates, J Lohr, Joullian, Paraiso, Bernardus and more, the MCHA, the MCVGA, and the Monterey Plaza Hotel, where it’s being held. There will be interactive panels of experts, a sensory evaluation session and all types of information about the how, the what and the where regarding Monterey County wines. Of course, a bit o’ the old tasting will be included. $10 for members, $20 for nons. Call 626-8636.
WINE BLOW-OUTS…Hyatt Regency is continuing its aggressive policy of offering great reasons to visit. One is the regular jazz evenings inside its Café Monterey. Usually you’ll find real nice jazz on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday. This Tuesday the 23rd, they’ll be doing a special jazz evening beginning at 7pm. Thirty (yes, 30) local wines by the glass will be available, making it a jazz and wine jam session. Good idea for a great evening.
Call Tom Fichera right now. He’s the Food & Beverage Director at Ventana Inn in Big Sur. Reserve space for the March 31st Talbott wine dinner at Cielo, Ventana’s restaurant. Matt Millea and Charles McKibben will be rocking the house with great food to go along with a full lineup of Talbott’s great wines. There’s a special room rate to make it the perfect overnight. There are only going to be 18 spots available and that was while I’m writing this last week, so there might not be any left by now. Call Tom immediately, 667-4242.
MOMENT OF FAME…The word’s getting out. Food Finds, a national show that airs on The Food Network (by the way, have I mentioned lately how incredibly thrilled I am that we have that network available to us?), spent time in our area recently and shot footage in The Cheese Shop, Gary Pisoni’s Vineyard, Lazzerini Farms and Gizdich Ranch, as well as The Tuck. Unfortunately, if this is the first you are reading about it, and you’re not a TFN junkie like me, you already missed a couple of the airings. Catch the one on March 27 at 2:30 pm and look for the others on reruns.
PLAY BALL…For you Arizona Spring Training junkies…hit the Italian Grotto in Scottsdale every Saturday where Fox Sports Radio 1380 broadcasts Gabbing at the Grotto. It’s the place to be for Cactus League aficionados. Strike three, I’m out.