Wyatt Miller Hellam's

Another new face…There's a new chef at Pacific Grove's Wild Fish. Nico Long took the helm last week after Margaret LaVetty's brief stint in the kitchen. Long was born in P.G. but served as chef all around the world—as a private chef on luxury yachts, at resorts and so on. If you're keeping score, that's four chefs in two years for the restaurant. Think they are leading.

On the Rise…Rise + Roam's opening is "imminent." Chef Aaron Rayor and his crew at the Carmel Plaza bakery and restaurant will serve pizza ordered by the meter (or half, or quarter—and no, we can't translate metric), baked good and other items. The finishing touches may be complete even as you read this.

Smoke and LearnWhat’s the binder, a belicosa, a bloom or a bouquet? Smoke your way to knowledge at Hellam’s Tobacco Shop in Monterey. On Thursday, Jan. 23, Hellam’s is hosting a cigar tasting event featuring Debonaire and Indian Motorcycle Cigars. Phil Zanghi, owner and founder of Debonaire will be there to speak, puff and answer all of your cigar-related questions. $25 for non-members. Members? Step right in. 423 Alvarado Street, 373-2816.

Cellar RaidIt’s not every day that you get the opportunity to drink aged wines from someone else’s wine cellar. But that’s exactly what Jack Galante from Galante Vineyards does once a month. Friday, Jan. 24 from 4-7pm, the tasting room in Carmel will be pouring a 2001 Cabernet, 2004 Cabernet and a 2016 Pinot Noir alongside small-bites. $30, 624-3800, galatevineyards.com, on Dolores between Ocean and Seventh.

Bow Wow Wow...Join Hofsa House on Friday, Jan. 24 at 5:30pm for a charity wine event. The evening benefits Peace of Mind Dog Rescue, a resource for both senior dogs and their owners alike on California’s Central Coast. Enjoy human snacks and local wine for a cause. The event will feature McIntyre Family Wines. Space is limited to 40 people so reserve a spot ahead of time by contacting Carrie at 624 2745 or carrie@hofsashouse.com.

Spud Awards...Friday, Jan. 24 from 5-9pm, the Monterey Elks Lodge will be hosting the 10th annual John Spadaro Hospitality Awards Dinner. The meal is a traditional Italian dinner, followed by an award ceremony. The awards go out to individuals who have demonstrated excellent hospitality in the Monterey community. And to ensure that the excellence continues, the organization also provides hospitality scholarships at Monterey Peninsula College. Tickets are $38 in advance and $42 at the door. Purchase tickets at montereybaytickets.com. You can assume the service will be great…

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Sunday Night Supper…Coast Big Sur is starting a new culinary tradition: Sunday Supper. Although this Sunday night dinner is cooked by professionally-trained chefs and isn’t at your Aunt Betty’s house. Coast is launching this new monthly event Jan. 26 from 5-8pm to encourage the community to break bread with one another in a relaxed (and beautiful) setting. It’s billed as a Central European feast with James Beard Award-winning chef Nick Balla doing the spread. Tickets from $15 for adults to $7 for kids 12 and under. Purchase tickets or ask questions at 667-2301. 49901 Highway One, Big Sur. info@coastbigsur.com.

Mission RoseNope, that’s not a band name. It’s a real live event. The beautiful Mission San Antonio de Padua, established in 1771, hosts their annual brunch and rose-cutting on Sunday, Jan. 26, allowing guests to take home cuttings of the roses around the mission for their own personal gardens. For anyone interested in attending service at the Mission’s 207 year old Great Church, an entirely optional mass will take place at 9am, followed by brunch at 10am and a Mission tour at 11:30pm. $10/brunch, $6/tour. The event raises funds for the rehabilitation and maintenance of the Mission. Near Jolon in Monterey Country, missionsanantonio.net, 831-385-4478 ext.17.

Book It…Make Tuesday night date night. Grasing’s Restaurant in Carmel is pairing up with Booker Vineyard for a wine dinner on Jan. 28. With food like rabbit tostada crostini paired with Rosé and squid ink linguini paired with Grenache, this meal looks irresistible. It’s hard to type when you’re salivating this much. $145. Contact Chris for information or reservations at 624-6562 or email chris@grasings.com

Feeding FrenzyRemember Carmel’s first Culinary Week? Well it’s happening right now. As a little sneak peek into the food being offered, a few things that caught our eye from Etats-Unis French American Bistro’s menu are the fresh burrata starter with roasted beets and balsamic, pappardelle carbonara and a flourless chocolate cake dessert for $20.20. Special menus like this will be offered at participating restaurants until Jan. 26.

Get Hooked…Not a pun, but rather another restaurant week concurrent with Carmel Culinary Week. This one—Get Hooked 2020—encourages diners to support sustainable seafood and local commercial fishing. Participating restaurants include Bistro Moulin, Osteria al Mare, Poppy Hall and The Forge—18 participating restaurants, located in Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel. It runs through Jan. 27. No prizes for this one, except a better planet. More at gethookedmontereybay.com.

Vegan CultTo assist with your new year’s resolutions to eat fresher, Cult Taco offers vegan options and non-alcoholic beverages. Also, try the new Beyond Meat taco for a beyond taco experience. Indulge without remorse or regret...Well, we don’t really know what else you’ve done that may need a little remorse. 481 Alvarado Street, Monterey.

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