Lil' Nibbles: 1833's Latest Ambition, Tarpy's Tasty Drinks, Plus Half-Price Pizza and Beer
December 28, 2011
Given the Newt and Mitt mess, you’d be forgiven for not noticing there’s another type of campaign going on.
The Restaurant 1833 (643-1833) team is making no secret that they would love to crack the list of nominees for James Beard New Restaurant of the Year, which would mean a big bump in visibility for the wider local foodie scene.
"Most of you know, these are the Oscars of the restaurant world," writes GM Tobias Peach. "This has always been a significant goal."
Register to nominate folks for the 2012 James Beard by clicking through here.
In related news, the San Francisco Chronicle postponed food critic Michael Bauer’s 1833 review, the first from this area in more than a decade, until Jan. 8.
Other nuggets for consumption:
• Tarpy’s Roadhouse (647-1444) has some new lively liquids going, with a new seasonal cocktail lineup—think “sweetheart tart” and licorice martini. There's also the ongoing Wine Down Wednesdays pouring into 2012. From 5-7pm each humpday local growers offer free tastings and Tarpy’s serves the same wines at half-price along with a discounted three-course prix-fix menu customized to complement them. Today Roederer hosts the tasting; the January rundown includes Bianchi (Jan. 4), Pessagno (Jan. 11), Ventana (Jan. 18) and Rodney Strong (Jan. 25).
• Tuesdays at Casa Sorrento (757-2720) pizzas and beer are half price starting at 5pm. The karaoke, at 7pm, is priceless.
• Wild Plum Café and Bakery (646-3109) remains my favorite breakfast/brunch haunt in downtown Monterey. A terrific mixed berry gallette ($3.95) and a four-cheese veggie grilled cheese ($8.95 with salad) helped remind me why this weekend. Post a love poem to breakfast burritos on its Facebook page and earn a chance to win a burrito during January, which is National Egg Month (if you somehow missed the memo).
• There goes my overdue Christmas shopping strategy: Stone Creek Kitchen (393-1902) is closed until Monday, Jan. 9. But fear not, it will be back.
• Compagno’s (375-5987) near Forest Hill deserves affection for its aircraft carrier-sized deli sandwiches, its hard-to-find international beers, its amazing cakes and salads (like the Reese’s and the broccoli-bacon, respectively) and sandwiches which often earn our readers’ Best Sandwiches of Monterey County vote (including the chicken-bacon-avocado-pepper jack #27). Another reason I love the place: Owner-operator Bennett Compagno’s abiding support of the neighboring Presidio people. On Friday, I heard him quietly ask a uniformed Army woman if she’d had lunch and then gift her a meatball sandwich.
• People like to mock the “It’s happening in Soledad” axiom on the billboard there. This much is true: It’s happening at sturdy diner The Windmill (678-1775), which dominates the Best Restaurant in Soledad slot in the aforementioned poll. I was impressed with their depth of chicken sandwiches, like the Buffalo, the Big Sur with bacon and avocado and the Gilroy with sauteed garlic, mushrooms and onions, plus Swiss and pepper jack ($8.95 with fruit, potato salad or fries). There’s also a $14.95 all-you-can-eat-ribs bargain and a deal where up to three kids eat for $1 each with purchase of a meal.