1833 and 1
Restaurant 1833 hits a magic number and CRBC celebrates with spins and sliders.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Something quiet is coming.
This week Restaurant 1833 (643-1833) celebrates one year, and while it’s been a big, brisk, loud year of unprecedented epicurea – love from our readers for best new restaurant, best late-night hangout and best place to see and be seen, a best new restaurant nomination from James Beard Foundation and three stars from the San Francisco Chronicle – the first anniversary this Saturday, June 23, will be a hush-hush hoedown.
Picture a party that evokes a time when you had to whisper and scheme simply to sniff out 1833-quality nightlife, a 1920s speakeasy celebration with period dress sparked by a complimentary champagne toast and a DJ in the glowing era-appropriate bar area. A password might be in the mix, and a special first anniversary prix fixe menu for $65 certainly will be, with a sequence that drips with the personality and versatility that has come to define one of my favorite restaurants between Capitola and Cambria: bacon biscuits, surreal hamachi-avocado-citrus sashimi, tender gnocchi, New York steak and butter-bourbon pudding.
The last birthday I attended at 1833 happened before it was open, but co-founder David Bernahl’s 32nd, with its flaming absinthe and his rare fire-eyes dancing-behind-the-bar provide a preview of how hot this one’s gonna get. And hey, Ryan Zen Lama will be there.
A quietly cool aspect to the 1833 operation not many know about: GM Tobias Peach’s mama Betty Ewing places students in local kitchens like theirs as part of El Cajon Project. Her accomplishments just earned the Jefferson award from Bay Area CBS 5.
“[Students] learn how to work with all ages, they learn to switch jobs, they learn how to be patient,” she told CBS. “They’re wearing uniforms, talking to each other; they’re empowered.”
“It’s changed my life,” added Matteo Timpanaro-Perrotta, an autistic 18-year-old who’s already found a job.
Chef Levi Mezick’s menu empowers me to eat it all, from the chicken (truffle-butter-boosted roast chicken, $23) to the egg (crispy hen egg with proscuitto, asparagus and trumpet mushrooms, $12). And Wine Director Ted Glennon is well on his way to changing my life with his in-house spirits and intuitive wine finds.
And one year for 1833 means two for sister spot Cannery Row Brewing Company (643-2722), which claimed our readers vote for best selection of beers this year and best new restaurant the year previous. That party happens 11am-closing, with happy hour deals like sliders for $5, ahi poke for $6 and house beers for $3 all day Friday, June 22. DJ Hanif Wondir spins 9pm-1am, with live music in the offing, treats sent from the kitchen and a free midnight beer toast.
Like Bernahl says, “It kinda makes for a fun, no-holds-barred Coastal Luxury Management weekend.” Kinda does.
•The former Club XIX has a new name, The Bench, and a Chef de Cuisine (which in Pebble Beach Company parlance means shot-caller at that site), Lebanese-born Culinary Institute of America grad Yousef Ghalaini, who’s worked top spots Go Fish, Tosca, Redd and Max’s Tavern.
• Two new worthy wine spots in Carmel-by-the-Sea: Manzoni has a new Paseo Courtyard tasting room (620-6541) on San Carlos between Ocean and Seventh in downtown Carmel and next to Dametra Cafe (622-7766) on Ocean there’s Constance Wine Room (250-6482) and its laid back atmosphere. More on the blog.
•John Cox is the new exec chef at Post Ranch Inn’s Sierra Mar (667-2800). By way of what he calls his “dream job,” he wants to give Michelin-starred restaurants something to chew on, saying, “I want to create something extremely special, unique to Post Ranch. I think the owners will give me the support to do that.” More bites on the blog.
• Thomas Snyder, one of the underappreciated chefs of the area, hosts a festive tutorial on prepping paella ($75) on the patio at Esteban (375-0176) 1-4pm Saturday, June 23, seasoned with pinxtos cooked to order, sangria, cava, house wine, Spanish beer, churros and Spanish coffee.
•Other highlights from Morro Bay oyster odyssey (see previous page): Boating the sustainable shellfish beds with The Chablis and its tasty eats (805-772-2128); the eucalyptus-framed bird sanctuary, the “naked” snapper at The Galley Seafood Bar (805-772-7777); crab quesadillas ($9.99) and people watching at landmark Giovanni’s Fish Market and Galley (805-772-1276); nice bubbles by flavor and value at Laetitia Vineyard (805-481-1772), even incredible vegan soaps from Babylonian Soap Company (805-758-3248). The avocado-veggie-cream cheese sandwiches and cookies from DePalo & Sons (805-773-1589) are money as well, as are the accommodations at Embarcadero Inn (805-772-2700) – a big balcony, fireplace, a king bed (or two queens) and on-the-water wonder for less than $200 a night, even on summer weekends. And brand new craft beer outlet Libertine Pub is but a couple of blocks off.
• As the Weekly’s Kera Abraham reported, Monterey Regional Waste Management District is pursuing participants for the launch of a pilot program with a new CNG truck that runs on “trash gas” and picks up food scraps from local businesses. Call 796-2212 to help leftovers generate new life.
•Mortimer’s (384-6502), the only-in-Marina dive-bar, is now Buzz and Lee’s Cocktail Lounge. The bar seems a football field long and the pool table draws some nice action – and Thursday through Saturday there’s a DJ – but it’s the card room in the back that has made it an institution. This is where you go when you should go home but instead plan to triple what’s left in your wallet.
• The Orange County Fair’s sizeable California wines competition took on 2,762 with help from 87 pro winemakers. Richard Oh’s Otter Cove (320-3050) won silver for 2010 Pinot Noir Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands ($28).
• “The way I see it,” Paris Hilton says, “You should live everyday like its your birthday.”