Love is in the Air
Thursday, May 11, 2006
MY GIRL… I’m sitting here, it’s night, I’ve got a jazz station from Vancouver playing on Windows Media (forgive me GARY HAMADA and GEORGE FULLER at KRML Jazz and Blues Radio in Carmel, home to the best honking music anywhere, that’s a fact. It’s just that I don’t really know how to download the player I need on the Web site to stream your wonderful station into my ears, and now’s not the time to figure it out).
I’m trying to clear the work zone because tomorrow I’m leaving for Florida for my beautiful daughter SARA’s graduation from the University of South Florida. I remember back when she was still a preschooler. I was working in a nightclub so I had daytimes off. She and I would hang out all day together just doing silly stuff. She was always so smart and fun to be with. One of our favorite things was escalator practice (did it with both the kids). We’d go to a department store and just ride up and down the escalators. Those kids in diapers were both wizzes and I never had to worry about them hurting themselves—great entertainment value.
I called my little pachooka “Sarita Mein Sweetah,” after I
heard my man Papi, a Uraguayan guy I worked with in
restaurants back in NYC, call her “Sarita.” She’s been through
a lot that girl o’ mine, and now she’s entering the phase of
adulthood just after college, when it’s either on with school,
out to work, chill and figure things out, or D) all of the
above. Congratulations Sara, you’re the greatest…oh yeah,
graduated cum laude with like a 3.8 or so. (I know, she gets
it from her mother.)
MY OTHER GIRLS… Mother, did somebody mention Mother? Sunday is Mother’s Day (where I come from, every day better be Mother’s Day), one of the busiest days of the year in the restaurant world. One family fun spot that notified me about its happenings is Lugano’s Swiss Bistro in the Barnyard. ANDRE and NARGIS are standing by to make your mother and y’all hap, hap, happy. In addition to the regular dinner menu, including all those fondue dishes, there’s a three-course special menu just for that day, from 11:30am to 9pm. Call 626-3779 or visit swissbistro.com.
Jack’s Restaurant at Portola Plaza Hotel is doing a Mother’s Day brunch from 11:30am to 4pm. Enjoy fantastic creations prepared by Executive Chef JASON GILES, a pianist making pretty music for Mom, a special kids’ buffet and outdoor seating if you wish. Call 649-2698 for details.
I might go out this Mother’s Day. Normally I avoid that day
because it is so crowded and I don’t like to feel the stress
levels most restaurants endure. Maybe this year I’ll go out
and celebrate for my own mother, who died quite a number of
years ago, for my stepmother, and for SWEET THING’s mother,
who is going strong but across the country, plus all the
mothers in my life past and present, with an especially fresh
salute to my man KEITH LINDSTROM’S MOM, who recently passed
away unexpectedly. To all of the courageous women in this
world that carry the endless responsibilities associated with
mothering—cheers, and thanks.
SUSTAINABLE GREATNESS… Take your mother and the rest of the clan up to Paraiso Vineyards Saturday May 13 from 10am to 4pm for the Fifth Annual Paraiso Vineyards Air Show. Great food—Chef TODD FISHER, WILL REYNOLDS and the Hullaballoo dancers (huh?)—wine galore, music, fun, fresh air and amazing feats of aeronautics from the Wayne Handley flying wing-nuts. Call 678-0300.
Whoaa, a couple of monster food/wine happenings: May 19 and 20 is Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Cooking For Solutions, the gala food and wine and agriculture and fishing and goodness for the earth gathering of star chefs, winemakers and other industry types pulling together for awareness about how to promote healthier, sustainable sources for feeding the world. Simple concept—difficult, necessary task.
RICK BAYLESS will lead a gaggle of gastro-goblins toqued up
to rock the fish tanks and wow the assemblies, all the while
encouraging folks to learn about and insist upon taking better
care of the wheres and hows regarding our resources. Call the
Aquarium now to get tickets to as many of the happenings as
you can, 647-6886, 644-7561…come on, don’t just sit there,
push some buttons.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME… It’s almost here. Sunday May 21, at 6pm, at the elite Casa Palmera in Pebble Beach. The first ever of its kind in the United States Royal Tokaji Wine Dinner, matching the spectacular late harvest Tokaji wines of The Royal Tokaji Wine Company—seven different ones—with a specially prepared seven-course feast created by Club XIX’s stellar Chef LISA “QUIET STORM” NAKAMURA.
Here’s one of the courses: Kurobuta Pork Medallion Infused
with Espresso, Smoked Paprika Sauce, Crisp Potato Cakes and
Red Wine Braised Cabbage—paired with Royal Tokaji, 1995 Mézes
Mály, 1st growth, 6 puttonyos. I’d show up just for that.
622-8761 to secure a spot.
GREAT GUYS… You know how much I love good restaurant people. Their hospitality of spirit differentiates them from most people. The daily grind imposed on each of them by that brutal business makes really nice people doubly impressive. One such gentleman is DAVID BROWN. “The Monsignor“ can be found tending the flock at Bistro Giovanni, across from CLINT EASTWOOD’s building and KRML Jazz and Blues Store in Carmel. He’s got all the qualities you hope for in this business: a good heart, a good brain and a good sense of humor. Stop down there and see what I mean—Happy Mother’s Day, Dave.
Everybody’s main man, ROSS “I PUT THE BUTT IN TALBOTT” ALLEN (I’m not sure that nickname works) told me to check out Paradise Wine Bar out in Carmel Valley Village. It’s at the Oak Deli and is run by JON KASKY and NANCY ROHAN, who do Bird of Paradise Catering. It’s a really sexy-looking room with lovely wines, great ambiance and Tuesday dinners to boot. Call 659-3419 or stop by…ever-creative Fifi’s is kicking it with two funky fresh wine dinners coming up right away: Saturday May 20, shrimp cocktail with 2003 Chalone Chard, butter squash apple soup, and then Kobe beef burger with ’02 BV George Latour Private Reserve Cab—how cool is that? $60 per person, not inclusive, book for anytime during the evening, 372-5325…bye.