The Cup Runneth
Thursday, July 6, 2006
READY SET GO… The World Cup has really had me rethinking my life—a habitual indulgence that helps me avoid fully living the life I presently own. I can’t help feeling that somewhere along the path, the road that led me away from organized sports may have been the wrong one. Maybe I’ll convert this column into my own little weekly wrap-up of the world’s sports scene and its interrelationships to society at large.
As for the entertaining sport of local happenings: Thursday, July 6 at Peppoli Restaurant at The Inn at Spanish Bay, join Antinori winemaker and managing partner Renzo Cotarella for a special dinner in his honor. Contact Peppoli Restaurant at 647-7433 or peppoli.com. Then, just two nights later, on July 8, the California Rodeo is throwing a party to benefit The Breast Cancer Action Group of the Monterey Peninsula. Dress up in your Western wear (optional) and sashay—‘cause you can’t help but sashay in Western wear—to the Salinas Sports Complex for a unique dining experience among your fellow Rodeans (Martha, what the hell’s a Rodean? Is that sumbitch making up words again?). There will be live and silent auctions, food and drink plus dancing to the tunes of the Shan Johnson Band. Cocktails at 6, dinner at 7 and the $75 dollar ticket covers everything. For more info contact CHRIS MILLS at 755-2082 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAMILY STYLE… It had been quite a while since I’d eaten at Max’s Grill, on Forest Avenue just a lob wedge up the hill from Lighthouse in PG. I had been thinking about my old friend for a few days so SWEET THING and I went to see MAX and YUKO MURAMATSU. Of course, the first treat we got was a big, loving smile from Yuko, Max’s graceful, ageless and eternally beautiful wife. Then, we were fortunate to have their son Hideo as a waiter, making it a true family affair.
In addition to a complete selection of duck, steaks, chops, etc., Max always has something wonderful for vegetarians (Sweet Thing) and that night was no exception. We had an extensive dish of about 10 different vegetables, many prepared differently and perfectly: The most delicate tempura asparagus and sweet potato, grilled zucchini and artichoke, fire-roasted red pepper, amazing bok choy, and polenta made so airy and delicate I have no idea how—plus, on the side, a few avocado sushi rolls.
We had two different ravioli dishes too because Max’s ravioli is all homemade, light, and exceedingly delicious. One contained porcini mushrooms and brie (so delicate), the other, butternut squash and mozzarella. Each had a compatible sauce and we wiped the plates ‘til all that was left was enamel.
The food this man prepares each night involves no shortcuts, just simple dishes executed flawlessly. This is honest food, made with integrity by a very talented chef with a long history of excellence going all the way back to his days in Tokyo when he commandeered the kitchen at Maxim’s of Paris.
There’s a story I like to tell people that illustrates just how much character Max has. About eight years ago, I briefly worked as a bartender at Anton & Michel. Max was the chef. One night, we had had an unusually busy rush that lasted much longer than normal. Everyone in the front and back of the house was beat. Still, just like every other night, Max and his crew were scrubbing down the entire kitchen to spotless…’cause that’s who he is.
Now he has his own place, it’s running well, Yuko has turned into a true front-of-the-house personality, and I for one couldn’t be happier. Go rediscover my man Max and his family band first chance you get, maxgrill.com, 375-7997.
SPRINGTIME, PART II.… Love is in the air don’t you know. As you read (past tense) here, KERRY LOUTAS of L’Escargots just got married to ALLISON BOHNEN. As you haven’t yet read (past tense) here, ALBERTO REYES married SHARA HUGHES a couple of weeks ago. Alberto is manager of Cuqui’s Cars in Marina. Shara is a salesperson there. They’re really great folks and I wish them all the best. Stop by to say congratulations.
Also (I am definitely turning into a gossip columnist) MEGAN WALTER, wineslinging daughter of the Passionfish Walters, said yes to her beau, RYAN GLAAB. They met while both working at Torbreck Winery in Australia (I think) and have been inseparable ever since. Ted wept like a little girl when Ryan asked him and Cindy for Megan’s hand—probably figured he’d lose her as an employee (just kidding). I’m really happy for them all.
FUN FUN FUN… Surf ‘n’ Sand on Junipero near Bruno’s Market is organizing seminar number two at Piatti’s upstairs lounge. Fine Tequila is the theme on July 20 from 5-8pm. Stop by to see RYAN or FERMIN SANCHEZ at Surf ‘n’ Sand for more…Dinners Ready, a home takeaway meal preparation center, is opening in the Country Club Shopping Center on Forest and David in PG, right next to GEORGE EDWARDS’ Winemarket. Since George’s art is matching wines to food, it seems like the gods found the perfect location for both these businesses—maybe there might be another wedding in the future…don’t forget Mondays at Rio Grill for Hospitality Industry folks—a great deal and a great deal of fun…the AIWF Gourmet Golf Tourney at Pasadera Golf Club on July 24 will be fun. Call 624-0830 or 655-0970…Sweet Elena’s Bakery is known for its great fruit pies. Like proprietor ELENA SALSEDO STEELE, says: “Our pies are all made from scratch with real fruit fillings that we make from fruits in season (so no apple yet). We have peach, cherry, strawberry-rhubarb, ollalieberry, plus the best cheesecake in town.” Go check it out in Sand City or call 393-2063…now I’m checking out.