Seaside Obon (copy)

Monterey Peninsula Buddhist Temple’s 73rd annual Obon Festival is Sunday, July 14, from noon-5pm. The afternoon celebrates Japanese culture with food and entertainment. Look for Japanese favorites like teriyaki, udon, sushi, gyoza and more for sale, plus Taiko drumming, martial arts demonstrations, tea ceremonies and more. Free admission, donations accepted, 394-0119 for more information.

Word is a new Irish pub—O’Callaghan—will be opening in the former Flanagan’s spot upstairs in the Barnyard. The popular watering hole shuttered earlier this year after struggles with financing. New ownership plans a remodel and rebranding debuting soon.

Trio has added a new winery to its portfolio: Flywheel Wines. The label was founded in 2012 by Laura Hoover and Scott Shapley and features small-lot wines from Monterey County. Try Flywheel’s Chardonnay, rosé, Grenache and Mourvèdre at Trio’s tasting room in downtown Carmel. 

McIntyre Vineyards hosts a Rosé Soirée every Sunday this month. Enjoy frosé and small bites in the winery’s Carmel Crossroads tasting studio. $20, $15 wine club members, includes two glasses of frosé and small bites.

Summer marks the return of seasonal favorites to the menu at jeninni kitchen + wine bar. The fig tartine (with labneh cheese, za’atar and pomegranate molasses, $11) returns, as does the grilled flatbread (this time topped with potatoes, Taleggio cheese and herbs, $14). The cult favorite broiled local sardines (with fennel salad and pan de tomate, $16) are also back for summer with limited availability. And there’s a new (vegetarian) corn raviolo with white corn, ricotta, corn jus and Grana Padano cheese ($14).

Don’t sleep on the Tuscan spareribs, a special addition to the menu on Mondays and Tuesdays at il vecchio. The savory spareribs are slowly simmered in red wine and served with mushrooms and polenta for $19.

Rio Grill has new cocktails for summer. New additions include Burn Bright (tequila, St. Germain, grapefruit juice, basil leaves and Aperol float), New Amsterdam (whiskey, pomegranate juice, sweet vermouth and rosemary bitters), Monk Juice (Green Chartreuse, lemon juice and simple syrup) and the Bermuda Triangle (rum, pineapple juice, Velvet Falernum and allspice).

Save room for dessert at Salt Wood Kitchen and Oysterette. Executive Chef Paul Corsentino has overhauled the dessert selections at the Marina hotspot. New sweets selections include a pavlova with tropical fruit curd, mango chutney, lime sorbet and Thai basil ($11), chocolate pot de crème with strawberry-hibiscus sauce and fresh whipped cream ($12) and a blondie sundae with toffee and white chocolate, dulce de leche, black-and-blue (berry) compote and vanilla gelato ($13).

Revival Ice Cream now stocks frozen cookie dough for sale in the downtown Monterey shop. Each package includes six balls of cookie dough to bake at home—or since it’s egg-free dough, you can enjoy raw.

Aubergine courtyard

A trio of events this week at Aubergine:

On Thursday, July 11, Pastry Chef Yulanda Santos explores summer sweets for Aubergine’s next pastry class. With the summer bounty of berries, learn how to make cobblers, crisps and shortcakes (11am-1pm, $125). 

The next Thursdays in the Courtyard happy hour is also on Thursday, July 11, from 4-6pm. Sip cocktails, wine and beer on the outdoor courtyard and score two complimentary Morro Bay Oyster Company oysters with each beverage purchase. Executive Chef/Director Justin Cogley and team also have a menu of a la carte food. Reservations aren’t required.

And Aubergine’s next Redefining Flavor is coming up on Wednesday, July 17. This month’s theme is Renaissance: a tribute to art and artists of the Renaissance period including Raphael, Vermeer and Bach. The evening features a four-course dinner from Cogley and crew, plus wine pairings (6-9pm, $125). 624-8578 for reservations.

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The gardens at Bernardus Lodge boast more than 1,000 lavender plants and they’re in full bloom for the annual Lavender Celebration on Saturday, July 13. Tour the fragrant gardens (with a glass of rosé, of course) with horticulturist Mark Marino, then enjoy a lavender-inspired grand buffet lunch from Executive Chef Cal Stamenov and team. 11am-2pm, $105, 658-3400 for reservations. 

Chesebro Wines hosts a cider sale and party on Saturday, July 13, from 4-6pm. The winery’s Carmel Valley tasting room will be pouring its Basque-style hard apple cider alongside tapas for snacking ($10, free for wine club members). And through the end of the month, Chesebro’s popular cider is on sale (while supplies last): three bottles for $36, six for $60 or 12 for $100.

Bastille Day is Sunday, July 14. Celebrate la Fête nationale with dinner at local French favorites, like Bistro Moulin, Carmel Bouchée and L’Escargot.

And at Puma Road Winery, winemaker Olivier Rousset and Carmel Bouchée’s Jacques Zagouri are teaming up for a wine and hors d’oeuvres walkabout at the Soledad tasting room for Bastille Day. Sip Puma Road’s Burgundian, Bordeaux- and Rhône-style wines with small bites from Zagouri. 2-4pm, $15, space is limited and reservations are recommended, call 675-3548 or email to RSVP.

PS. Puma Road’s new tasting room in the Portola Plaza in downtown Monterey offers locals 10% off on Tuesdays, from noon-8pm. Just show an ID with the 939 zip code at checkout to snag your discount. 

Temple Beth El’s Picnic Pak Sale returns to Salinas, Friday, July 19. If you can’t wait for the temple’s annual winter Kosher-style lunch and bake sale, this summer sale should tide you over in the meantime. Picnic Paks include one pound of pastrami or corned beef, a loaf of rye bread and four dill pickles for $20. Some assembly may be required, but the temple promises it’s well worth it—just add coleslaw. Advance reservations are recommended: call 424-9151 or visit

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