Spreading the Love
Thursday, August 3, 2006
A WARM-WEATHER COCKTAIL…The hot spell that gripped California the past few weeks once again reconfirmed just how lucky we are to hang out here in our air-cooled almost-an-island. Of course those of us inland along the Salinas Valley, out in Carmel Valley and up to San Juan Bautista might disagree, except when that afternoon breeze blows down the Valley all the way to Paso Robles. But a short drive can get you to the refreshing fog bank for a withdrawal of fresh air funds.
MARIO MAGANA has applied some thought to one of his latest signature cocktails, the Margarita Cooler. He’s the affable (I think that word means something good) bartender at Stokes Restaurant & Bar in downtown Monterey. This refreshing, lively drink gives you the sensual thrill of a margarita without the weight—perfect on a warm evening. Stop down to Stokes and have him make you one—or three.
To discover the type of tequila you’d like to have Mario use, make sure to visit Surf ‘n’ Sand’s second seminar on spirits, etc. at Piatti’s upstairs patio on Thursday, Aug. 24, from 5 to 8pm…it’s about tequila.
DISC GOLF AND BEER… Coordinating is what Jeff Moses and I are attempting for the upcoming Monterey Beer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Fairgrounds. We’ve got most of it locked in, including a vast assortment of great beers from across the globe. But after having done five of these, my favorite thing about the Monterey Beer Festival is the Monterey Stinging Jellies, our local disc golf club. They always set up a fun area where folks get to try their hand at a really fun game, plus they are just the nicest people. In fact, our good friend SEAN ALLEN, owner of Trailside Café on the Rec Trail near Cannery Row, is a disc golf fanatic. Stop down to Trailside for great breakfast and lunch and nice disc golf items. Oh yeah, the Monterey Beer Festival, montereybeerfestival.com, 373-2843.
THE PARTY NEVER STOPS… Wow, Fifi’s Café & Bistro is poised to serve its one-millionth meal any day now. Owner and founder Michele Wilkes has been there for every one of them. Think about just how much human effort has been expended during that time, plus all the business for food and wine and service providers, plus the employment opportunities, the tax dollars and most of all, the enjoyment Fifi’s has brought to all those people. Congratulations and a big salute to Michele and Fifi’s.
Friday Aug. 11 at Spanish Bay will be the first Roy’s Hawaiian Festival. Actually, Roy’s has done the festival many times before, but this one will showcase the new style of a real Hawaiian luau, complete with hula dancers (it is rumored that both Beverage Director TOM HLASNY and I have agreed to wear grass skirts and coconut bikini tops to the party), a Hawaiian martini station, sushi and sashimi, roast pig and a host of delicious creations by talented Roy’s Chef YOICHI SAITO. ROY YAMAGUCHI himself will be there autographing books and hob-nobbing with the crowd (maybe I can get him to autograph one of my coconuts). Come to this, it’ll be a blast—those cats at Spanish Bay know how to throw a party, 647-7500.
MAX and YUKO MURAMATSU, of Max’s Grill in PG, paid a visit to Dishes Bistro in Marina to sample the fare and enjoy the ambiance. They got to meet ANDRE and GUDRAN VADAS, who own and run Dishes. It was the first time they had met, these four delightful and truly good people—so now Andre and Gudran will be stopping by Max’s soon—meanwhile, you can always check out both places anytime you want.
I really like what Bouchée has done with the new menu. Executive Chef WALTER MANZKE and Chef de Cuisine CHRISTOPHER “THE HUMBLE ASSASSIN” GORE have fashioned a menu broken down into categories: Light and Crisp; Medium Bodied; Full Bodied. This labeling by weight and texture is a great tool to help with wine pairings and also to match your particular hunger. Bouchée is on Mission, between Ocean and Seventh and mixes nicely on that block with other restaurant stalwarts like Anton & Michel and Flying Fish Grill.
Manzke’s latest addition to the dining scene, along with DAVID FINK, the suit at the head of the table, will be Cantinetta Luca, an authentic Italian establishment set to open in a few weeks. Along with homemade pastas, pizzas, breads and house cured salamis, a diverse Italian wine list overseen by THOMAS PEREZ is in the works.
Perez has returned to run the wine program at the three Fink-led restaurants (L’Auberge Carmel is the third). He was at Auberge when it opened, then went off to study winemaking. He has been working with Fink since all the way back to their days at Highlands Inn. It is obviously a good collaboration.
MORE FUN A’COMING… Saturday, Aug. 5, BRUCE FORMAN will be doing a benefit for Jazzmasters Workshop at Central Coast Creative Center in Marina. Jazzmasters transforms lives through mentoring and music. Check out jazzmastersworkshop.org or call 884-9672…39th Annual Monterey Scottish Games and Celtic Festival is happening on Aug. 5 and 6 at Toro Park, always great fun, 647-6311 or montereyscotgames.com…The Duck Club continues its monthly local wine dinner series with this month’s winery—which I don’t know. Call 646-1706 to find out who it is…If you see TOM NASH or SEALA MORGAN around, congratulate them on their engagement…Wednesday, Aug. 9, get to the Embarcadero in SF at Pier 35 for the AIWF Silver Shadow party showing off the cruise ship and its various great food/wine cruises, 722-6580 or email@example.com…Musical Marketplace at Del Monte Center, Thursdays in August…Cha cha cha.