An icon lives, fresh and healthy delivers and Big Sur rocks.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Not long ago, Clint Eastwood knelt low over “No. 36” – one of Mission Ranch’s iconic sheep.
When my colleague asked me if I heard what happened next to the sheep with the shattered leg, there was only one word to mutter: “Mutton?”
Nope. Banquet Director Michelle Alway reports Eastwood “decided that he deserved another chance, and gave the OK to drive him to UC Davis Large Animal Teaching Hospital for surgery.”
No. 36 got a cast and a new name. He’s now Clyde, after Clint’s sidekick orangutan in Every Which Way But Loose. Somehow that makes me hungry for Mission Ranch (625-9040) brunch.
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Meet last Friday’s lunch: a half turkey sandwich with red pepper pesto and caramelized onions on ciabatta, packaged with a peach and mixed greens armed with apple, avocado, walnuts, blue cheese and a tangerine dressing, plus a mini caramel-apple cake.
Not bad, huh? It gets better. The packaging is compostable, from the bags to the fork. The fresh goods are delivered for free if eight amigos jump on board ($3 otherwise). And it costs $8.
Such is possible Wednesdays and Fridays thanks to a new venture called KT’s Sweet Lunch (214-7465), Monterey Culinary Center grad Katie Martin’s answer to what she sees as a preponderance of overpriced and unhealthy lunch options.
“I love cooking and baking for other people,” she says. “It comes naturally.”
Sign up to get her menus by e-mail at the start of the week by way of ktsweetlunch.com and log your order by 2:30pm the day before. She compiles them with farmers market goods at The Kitchen in Sand City and rolls out. You can combine half orders of sandwich, salad or soup or get after a full serving of your favorite.
My sandwich was delicious, with a sweet and smoky note from the onions balanced by the earthy ciabatta and rich red pepper pesto. The salad’s stars always play great together, but do so more socially with the help of the smooth tangerine dressing, a nice surprise. I also tried the curried sweet potato chowder, with peas and pepitas. The only thing missing was some heat to counter the sweet.
The bonus closer, a caramel apple cake, underwhelmed, which is surprising because the treat is Martin’s signature and the first dessert I’ve had from her that didn’t rock. Call it an aberration.
This Friday’s fare includes a pulled pork sandwich on Bakery Station onion bread with mozzarella and barbecue sauce, a roasted pumpkin-chicken sausage salad and a beef-shitake-barley soup. If life is to be sweet, lunch should be too.
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Latitudes at Lovers Point is over. Owner Tene Shake says the lease was up and renewing didn’t seem smart. “The business was doing well,” he says, “but we’re working on a new season of the [Coastal Cuisine] cooking show, and [a concept] nobody else in town is doing.” He says the timeline for the new project is six months. Unconfirmed word around the picnic table, meanwhile, is that John Pisto is eyeing the empty spot.
Insiders also tell me Amarin Thai across from the Aquarium is also closing, not because folks weren’t piling in for tom kha gai, but because of a family emergency. Appears the building will revert to Aquarium offices.
And though Piatti appeared to be bye bye by the sea, landlord-restaurateur superstar Rich Pepe tells me folks would do well not to finalize the exit of Piatti just yet. OK, Pep.
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Big Sur Food & Wine is coming quicklike Nov. 4-7. Don’t wait until the last minute – folks who did that last year were turned away from Hikes With Stemware and the Pisoni-Nepenthe dinner. Get on the website to scope pairings like Treebones! and Heller, or the breakthrough Gateway to Big Sur with dozens of chefs and winemakers like Randall Grahm and Rob Talbott at the newly renamed Hyatt Carmel Highlands. Then there’s always the best value of the weekend, the grand tasting at Henry Miller, where Jim Gordon will debut the baddest wine reference guide yet, OPUS VINO. www.bigsurfoodandwine.org, 667-0241. Proceeds boost local health, safety and education.
Speaking of Big Sur benefits, props to the peeps at Nepenthe (667-2345), who are organizing their 30th Big Sur River Run this Saturday to benefit the fire brigade and health center.
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Wild turkey. Wild boar. Wild lobster. Pheasant. Venison. Talk about a party with some serious game. The Wild Game Barbecue to benefit Carmel River Steelhead Association hands that catch to chefs like Village Fish House’s Rose Girolamo, Cachagua General Store’s Mike Jones and Wills Fargo’s Jerome Vail, 1-4pm Sunday, Oct. 24, at Carmel Valley Trail and Saddle Club $40 ($20 under 16), 626-6586… New life at the former Zocalo. Mondo’s Restaurant (373-7911) retained chef Adan Rosilis, who’s doing the old favorites plus pastas, burgers, and some “levantamuertos” (“raise the dead”) seafood soup. New owner Armando Cruz welcomed Pagrovian powers to a grand opening Tuesday… Our own Mary Chamberlain has a book out called The Traveling Soup Pot, and she’ll discuss it 7-8pm Tuesday, Oct. 26, at Wave Street Studios, 655-2010… Hit em, Albert Einstein: “In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself.”