So Damn Cute
Miss Delish’s gets a storefront and the C Restaurant delivers the deals.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
They appear at weddings as a stylish substitute for mighty (and once mandatory) $2,000 confections. Folks flock to ’em at farmers markets. A cupcake trailer at this year’s South by Southwest in Austin had a line that stretched a Texas block. Their flavors are multiplying like Crayola colors. In many municipalities they outnumber humans. They represent convenience, creativity and none of the commitment of their elaborate cousins.
Cupcakes are king: What once appeared to be a trend is a full-blown revolution. Cupcake Wars is more than a program on Food Network. It’s how the world will solve conflict in the future.
And, as of this weekend, after conquering the local farmers market scene, Mrs. Delish’s Cupcake Boutique (612-1884) will be ready for battle. The storefront opens Saturday, July 3, at 800 Lighthouse Ave. in Monterey.
The Mrs. says her cupcakery craft started in the toilet. Sort of.
“I looked all over for jobs when we moved here,” Pacific Grove’s Mary Font says, “and didn’t find anything I loved enough that it was worth sending my daughter to daycare. So I became a stay-at-home mom… I’d say, ‘If you have a great day potty training, we’ll make cupcakes.’ We ended up making a lot of cupcakes, and I thought, ‘I can do this.’”
She studied the science of baking and soon booked a booth at P.G. Farmers Market. “We had such overwhelming support,” she says, “we expanded to Monterey’s farmers market.”
Now the next step. “We looked around for a storefront, but not very seriously,” Font says, “but it was so cute we jumped in. I’m excited and freaked.”
People freak for her Red Velvet and go gaga for her “over the top” Oreo. This summer she’s planning on seasonal s’mores and lime margarita editions and a strawberry-strawberry number built on P.G. Farmers Market fruit. The boutique will sell 15 flavors a day from 11am-10pm – a single is $3, a box of six $15 and a dozen $30 – and though she isn’t zoned to brew coffee, she will have chilled drinks and joe delivered.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday there’ll be free samples (while supplies last), drawings for prizes like a cupcake a day for a year and mani-pedis, balloons and beaucoup cupcakes.
Resistance is futile.
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C Restaurant (375-4500) is now doing distinguished wine dinners like July 8’s co-op with Stag’s Leap. The lineup looks lavish, even for $85 (plus tax and tip), given the Napa wines they’re pouring and Chef Jerry Regester’s penchant for fresh tastes, local ingredients and sustainable seafood. Here come things like wild king salmon tartare and lightly smoked lamb rib chop with porcini mushroom bread pudding paired with the ’07 Sauv Blanc and ’06 Cab, respectively.
Quintessa is on the bill for August’s dinner but the sequence of oenological excitement is but one element of the InterContinental’s current draws.
On the perfect-for-summer Ocean Terrace and in the comfy Reading Room, you can enjoy wines from A Taste of Monterey (646-5446) – which carries scores of great local labels at its gorgeous next door tasting bar – or Sheid bottles from their sleek lounge (386-0316) across the street… without corkage. Happy hour 4-7pm Sunday-Thursday means half off everything: draft beers like Scrimshaw, Longboard, and Leffe Blonde ($2.75 after discount), Jekel house wines for $4-$6, signatures flight ($9 for four 2-ounce pours) and small plates like oysters on half shell, lobster bisque and garlic fries (as little as $2.25).
There’s live music Thursday-Saturday from Bryan Diamond and Terrence Farrell; Sunday brunch 11:30am-3pm with stuff like smoked pork loin tonnato ($10) and croissant French toast ($11.50); a three-course chef’s menu every Friday that runs $39-$45 and spotlights Regester’s creativity and sourcing; and a 10 percent discount for locals.
The C gets an A for summer school.
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Red’s Donuts is so much more than a donut joint – it’s a gossip caucus, an institution and a weapon to dent man-eating Mondays: A dozen standard donuts runs but $5 every Monday and Tuesday at their Monterey (372-9761) and Seaside (394-3444) stops… Marina’s own rizome rockstars The Ginger People scored big at the Academy Awards of its industry, the New York Fancy Food Show Awards, earning the 2010 sofi™ (or Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation) for “Outstanding Product Line” – and the golden chef statue that comes with it… Fourth of July Big Sur Bakery (667-0520) style – music, barbecue, sunshine noon-4pm Sunday… Local beer master Jeff “Holy” Moses is putting out new brands available at Salinas’ BevMo (442-2411) including Hoptopia Double Imperial IPA. Talks between Moses and the Cannery Row Brewing Company people – who could be seen strolling the fairgrounds grass at last month’s event – about the sale of MBF are alive and ongoing… The CRBC is certainly alive. Opening night was packed and the party went past 1am. Check out the Special Edible blog for a photo tour… “If you don’t like cupcakes,” my colleague Walter Ryce said, “you have no soul.”