Thursday, June 28, 2007
POPPIN’ OFF...I am awash in Monterey Pop Festival history after last week’s great night at Golden State Theatre with DA PENNEBAKER and his epic documentary, Monterey Pop. Our local music man, MAC MCDONALD, editor of the GO!, emceed the affair, and interviewed the filmmaker who captured that singular weekend genesis of the modern rock and roll multi-band festival gathering. It was three days of ceaseless partying, dope-smoking, LSD-taking joy, happiness, good vibes and musical genius, with nary an arrest, serious injury or major disturbance. No less than HENDRIX, THE WHO and OTIS REDDING usurped crowns from reigning champions of popular music like THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE AND SIMON AND GARFUNKEL. RAVI SHANKAR and his hand-drumming partner opened a hole in the sky and pulled down some of GOD’s mojo for the throng to revel in.
Short years after that time, cultural heroes were murdered, society’s dreams were thrashed and stark realities like discrimination, Vietnam, the adolescent growth stage of the military/industrial/petrochemical/pharmaceutical/monetary/agricultural/media monster, advent of drugs like cocaine and heroin and all around chaotic discord rocked the peace, love and happiness right out of all of us. But oh, what a moment this Peninsula froze into the time space continuum. I envy those who were lucky enough to be there and exalt in being able to vicariously revisit that triumphant tribute to humankind’s best inner qualities.
FEELIN’ IT...It is the gathering of kindred souls united by love of food, drink and fellowship that makes a restaurant swing. That’s why I also have a good feeling about Brophy’s Tavern, that very homey pub on the corner of San Carlos and Fourth in Carmel. LYNN AND JOE CINGARI have taken over what was Kinger’s Klubhouse and are slowly tweaking the food, the wine selections and the overall vibe. The new feel continues to attract newcomers along with a lively, interesting group of holdovers from the previous incarnation.
Good feelings are prevalent at the new Bistro Moulin on Wave Street, just a block up from the Aquarium, where DIDIER DUTERTRE and COLLEEN MANNI serve up very tasty European influenced bistro style food and wine. It has quickly become a hangout for industry folks. One day YANN LUSSEAU of the famed Parker-Lusseau Pastries here on the Peninsula came in with his adorable son TRISTAN. They were on their way to Tristan’s surfing competition on Carmel Beach. Yann has great stories about opening and running a food business around here.
STRICTLY BUSINESS...It is not easy to open a restaurant, then 10 times harder to build business, then five times harder to maintain and grow that business. I applaud (and occasionally pity) folks who take the plunge. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula, before you do so, please contact me— seriously. I will help you calculate your chances and give you the reasons why you should or should not continue. I’ve seen too many people invest their life’s savings and more in projects that were doomed from the start.
I DOIN’ IT...I’ll tell you who was doomed from the start… THOMAS “SHOTGUN BRIDE” PEREZ. When he met Christie (or is it Kristie, or Kristi?), well now CHRISTIE PEREZ, it was clear how good they are for each other. Now they’re married. I think it took about 35 minutes from when they met to when they got married, something like that. Naturally they’ll have a big ceremony and proper wedding in the fall. Big congrats to two extraordinarily nice people.
Another wino who was felled by Cupid’s cute little bow is MARC CUTINO. ANGELA “EL CAPITAN” CARSTEN wowed the Sardine Factory heir apparent and locked him in her private cellar. Another great duo, more than likely with marriage plans somewhere in their future (I may have just made that up, but it seems logical), they epitomize the meaning of the term loving couple. This is great: I’ve become a gossip columnist.
BIG UPS...Sierra Mar Restaurant, at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, is going strong during its redesign. The temporary structure features the same great food of talented chef CRAIG VON FOERSTER, a killer wine list compiled by DOMINIQUE DACRUZ, great service and all the grace and style associated with that wonderful property.
This year’s Monterey Beer Festival is almost here. The sixth annual event takes place on Saturday, July 7, from 12:30 to 5pm at the Monterey County Fairgrounds and continues to shine as the top beer festival in this region. There will be craft beers from dozens of top breweries around the world, great music from three bands, delicious food from stalwart food vendors that have been with the Monterey Beer Festival since its inception back in the boatyard those six years ago. Tickets are on sale everywhere, so look for ads in the Weekly and other media, or call the festival hotline at 373-2843.
The JEGAT FAMILY, Sonja, Vivianne, Jackie, and Eric have built Paris Bakery into a local hotspot. Now you can have wine or beer when you stop in for their delicious lunches (or breakfasts). Ahh, a truly Paris Bakery… Monterey Plaza Hotel is doing barbecue and Independence Day goodies all day on the deck July 4, plus, MICHELLE “MAMA” LAGANA is back… Taste of Monterey Last Fridays Wine Bar June 29, 6 to 9pm— KEN “COWBOY” RAUH rides a dolphin… Melange in PG is now open for lunch, try it, it’s good… Coast Range Brewery in Gilroy is confronting the stifling Garlic Festival policy of awarding all beer concessions to one distributor, more to follow… Check out ANTHONY “SHOCKWAVE” VITACCA’s new concoctions at Montrio’s Bar. He’s there Tuesday through Saturday thrilling cocktail lovers nightly… cheers.