FoodChiain: Something To Do Here
Thursday, March 24, 2005
NOT-SO-SILENT-MOVIES… I’ve got to tell you, I experienced one of the coolest things of my life last week in downtown Monterey at the newly refurbished Golden State Theater. Sarita Mein Sweeta, my lovely daughter, had arrived earlier in the day along with her gentleman friend, Michael, for a week’s stay. Along with Sweet Thing and myself, we joined about 1,000 other folks for the unbelievable combination of two classic silent films accompanied by live music.
The first, Payday, a Chaplin film I had never seen before, played to the accompaniment of Robert Israel playing the Wurlitzer Organ. The outstanding quality of the film, accented by Mister Israel’s spot-on performance, elicited belly laughs, hoots, hollers and applause from a lively, obviously enthralled crowd. Then, for the main event, Maestro Israel brought on the orchestra, all women, to join him for the amazing classic film Grandma’s Boy, withHarold Lloyd.
Not only was the film itself magnificent, but the live music, seamlessly woven into the action by Israel’s great score, added an element of grandeur and spectacle I’ve not experienced before at any motion picture. The diverse audience erupted in a rousing double standing ovation at the conclusion and left buzzing about future events at this grand venue, made fresh and new again by the dedicated efforts of Warren Dewey. I bow to you, sir, for your great resurrection of our unrealized treasure and support you fully. Bravo.
MORNINGTIDE… Sean Allen is one of those guys you wish you could come back as in another life. He’s kind and considerate, patient, talented, good looking, hard working, sincere—basically, all the qualities my mother knew early on she’d never get to see in me.
Sean owns and runs Trailside Café, on the bike path just below Wave Street, down near the beginning…end…(what?) of Cannery Row. It’s a delightful breakfast and lunch place with a great patio, wonderful food and loads of great energy. Sweet Thing and I stopped in for a perfect breakfast on the patio, breathing in the fresh air, digging the chirping birds, reading the local papers (you know, this is a pretty good paper) and leisurely enjoying our fresh, perfectly made delicacies. Naturally, we had to finish it off with a few homemade beignets, a favorite since my days in New Orleans (actually, about three days).
Anyway, Sean’s Trailside Café definitely adjusts your perspective on the day. He also does great catered evening dinner parties as well as lunch affairs in the country chic adjoining dining room. Check out Trailside Café at 550 Wave Street, 649-8600 or trailsidecafe.com.
GOOD JOB… Congratulations to Christopher Caul at Christopher’s on Lincoln in Carmel. He is celebrating his first anniversary and is thrilled with his success the past year. As a thank you to his patrons he’s pouring a complimentary glass of bubbly for all his customers during the month of April. He also has put together a special chef’s list of older vintages of Heitz, Diamond Creek, Girard, Rochioli, Ridge and others for those discriminating diners looking for a little excitement. Way to go, Chris. Ross Allen, one of Christopher’s good friends, is off the street. He’s been the sales rep for Talbott Vineyards around here and has become the local wine world’s favorite son. Rob Talbott got him off the local scene and is sending him on the road to handle a bigger chunk of the country. Congrats to Ross for the new gig—nice going Rob for sharing our guy with the rest of the world.
Speaking of Talbott, don’t forget about the ultra cool music, wine and apps happening at the tasting room on Saturday, April 2 from 6-8pm. Richard DeVinck will be playing his rock in a classical guitar style to the tinkling of tasting. Call 659-3500 to join the fun. You should be coming there from the Bella Bocce event at Casa Pacheco in Monterey. It runs from 3 to 6pm and benefits Meals on Wheels and the Sally Griffin Center’s Active Living Programs. Both Mike Marottas will be there, one of them will be running the bocce ball tournament and one will be playing the accordion—chances are they might both be doing both. Call Linda Strohl at 375-4454 to get some tickets. If you can’t attend, send money.
The next night is the American Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year Dinner at Spanish Bay. Come join local dignitaries, a bunch of stout guys with really tall white hats and medals and me at this fun, heartwarming affair. One thing is always guaranteed at this yearly soirée—Bert Cutino will bring down the house with his engaging wit, heartfelt love of the profession and the deep respect everyone around here feels toward him. Call 484-2599.
Don’t forget Roy’s Spring Festival March 31 and April 1. Roy Yamaguchi, namesake and creator of the concept, will be on hand for a number ofexciting events from cooking demos and lunch to great wine dinners. Call 647-7500 to book a table.
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL… L’Auberge Carmel, the great new/old hotel that David Fink has meticulously renovated, has become a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a collection of 329 independently owned, exclusive hotels in 57 countries. Located on Monte Verde and 7th, L’Auberge Carmel features individually designed rooms with beautiful appointments. You feel like you’re in a country estate. The very hip restaurant, with cuisine by Walter Manzke, boasts a mere 12 tables, so you know the utmost care and quality are assured. Call 624-8578 to make it the first stay on a journey that takes you to all 329 Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
CHECK US OUT… Jeff Moses and I are hooking up with the Hyatt Regency to introduce our new event. Around the World of Spirits will take place on May 6 at the Hyatt and feature all types of exciting spirits, cocktails, and other liquors. There will be local bars/restaurants showcasing their cocktail specialty of the house, plus bartender competitions, music, food and loads of fun. Contact Jeff at 521-7921 or me at 648-8566 or email@example.com for more details.
THIS WEEKEND… There’s excitement in the air again about Rancho Cañada’s first Friday crab fest. Let’s face it, for quite some time, the crab at that thing was plain nasty. Sure, there was plenty of food, but it was nasty, plain and simple.
Well, Christian Sprecher, the James Brown (hardest working man) of the local restaurant scene, contracted with owner Nick Lombardo to take over the entire food operation at Rancho Cañada. This Friday, April 1, (don’t be a fool and miss this bash) is “New Flavors—Crab Fest and Prime Rib” at Rancho Cañada from 4:30 ’til 9pm.
Huge buffet, Dungeness crab, prime rib, pork loin, all kinds of serious good eats, all for $26.95, or if you’re one of those who can’t wait (and will do anything to save two bucks), $24.95 before 5pm. Call 624-0111, make a ressie and thank Mister Lombardo for bringing in a real pro to feed us all.