Carmel dining

Dinner TimeCarmel is hosting Carmel Culinary Week Jan. 19-26, exploring Carmel as the “Next Big Little Foodie Getaway.” It’s a new thing that sounds like a good excuse to binge eat. The week will be full of prix fixe menus, complimentary tastes and culinary demonstrations at over 65 Carmel restaurants and the Sur La Table test kitchen, including events like “All About Oysters,” a gnocchi-making class and an event called “Exploring Tequila and Mezcal Culture.” There's an app you can download that enters you into a grand prize contest each time you visit one of the participants. What do you win? A trip to Carmel, of course, so you can go on another dining binge. Learn more at carmelculinaryweek.com.

Agave Gathering…Lopez Restaurant Y Cantina is hosting a Tequila Tasting on Friday, Jan. 17 from 6-8pm. The tasting is in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Tequila and Mezcal Tasting Group (which is a thing, bless the Lord) and will be focusing on Añejo and Extra Añejo tequilas, aka the good stuff. A few things to keep in mind about the wonderful spirit that is tequila: it’s the fermented product of the agave plants of Mexico’s Jalisco Highlands and is one of the cleanest spirits you can find (if it's the good stuff), meaning you can indulge with less likelihood of a hangover. Tickets are $15 in advance and $25 at the door. 635 Cass Street, Monterey, lopezevents.com, 324-4260.

Found FoodDo a different kind of mushrooms this weekend at the Big Sur Foragers’ Festival The weekend will feature events ranging from dinners and forage walks to informational talks about the beauty and power of fungi. Events are being held from Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 16-19. ’Shroom on. bigsurforagersfestival.org.

Drunken History…The Carmel Mission Foundation is having a social on Thursday, Jan. 16 at Vino Napoli on Dolores and Seventh, 5-8pm. Vino Napoli will be donating 20 percent of all purchases from the night to the Carmel Mission Foundation, helping to restore and maintain the Carmel mission and California’s spotty history. Come for a drink, peruse some images of the mission and of Carmel in the 1800s and 1900s, or stay for dinner. carmelmissionfoundation.org.

Pretty Things…. Nautilus and Sway is a local maker of beautiful earthy jewelry and they will be having a pop-up shop at Sovino Wine Bar Saturday Jan. 18 from 5-9pm. Sip on some wine and peruse the selection. 241 Alvarado Street, Monterey, 641-9463.

Down On The… EcoFarm is an ecological farming association built on farmer-to-farmer education and sharing. EcoFarm is hosting their 40th Annual EcoFarm Conference at the Asilomar Conference Grounds, Jan. 22-25. We recommend getting tickets now so you can have your pick of educational events, from over 70 workshops, farm tours, tastings, seed swaps and organic produce sales. This conference is an absolute field day for the eco-minded food lover! Learn more or buy tickets at eco-farm.org/conference/2020/join-us.

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Get Crabby…Forest Hill Retirement Community of Pacific Grove really knows how to attract a crowd. Thursday, Jan. 23, they will be hosting a complimentary (let me say that one more time…. Complimentary!!) Crab Fest luncheon at 1pm. While breaking bread and snapping claw at the historic luxury hotel that now houses the retirement community, you will have a chance to learn about life in the community. The event is free, yet is limited to 60 guests so please reserve your spot at 646-6488 or at foresthillretirement.org.

New To YouWell, almost. The Happy Anchor in Monterey is close enough to opening that they are trying out their version of California comfort food—grilled cheese and tomato soup is on the menu, but doesn’t seem particular Cali-rooted. We don’t have a date yet for the official opening at 629 Pearl Street.

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