By Mark C. Anderson (copy)

Tall flowers at Bernardus Lodge’s gardens.

Sad news from Bernardus Winery: founder Bernardus (Ben) Marinus Pon has passed away. Born and raised in Amersfoort, Holland, Pon fell in love with Carmel Valley during a visit here in the 1980s and eventually made the valley his second home. Pon leveraged his appreciation for wine to establish Bernardus Winery and Vineyards on the belief Monterey County could produce exceptional Bordeaux-style red wines. In 1999, his love for Carmel Valley grew into Bernardus Lodge, which 20 years later is a world-renowned fine dining destination among international epicures. (In 2015, Pon sold Bernardus Lodge, but the resort still bears his name.) A celebration of life will be planned for the future.

The 2019 Taste of Carmel is Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Carmel Mission. The annual event celebrates Carmel’s food and wine scene. This year features food from Allegro Pizzeria, Anton & Michel, Basil Seasonal Dining, Carmel Bouchée, Carmel Private Chef, Coffee Bank, Crossroads Barbecue, Cypress Inn, Earthbound Farm, Etats-Unis French American Bistro, Flaherty’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar, Grasing’s Restaurant, Il Fornaio, Italian Cowboys BBQ Catering, Nielsen Bros. Market & Deli, Percy’s Pies, Pescardero, Re:Think Ice Cream, Rio Grill, Stationæry, Sweet Reba’s Bakery & Kitchen and Village Corner. 26 local wineries will pour wine and Carmel Craft Brewing Company and Yeast of Eden will bring the beer. The Money Band will be on hand for live music for the event. 6-9pm, $105, $150 VIP tickets include access to VIP lounge at 5pm reserve wine selections and valet parking, advance tickets available at tasteofcarmel.org, 21+ only, no pets.

Join Pacific Bowls and Rolls for another pop-up dinner with The Ugly Dumpling on Friday, Oct. 4 starting at 8pm. The concept from Folktale Winery chefs Todd Fisher, Danny Leach and Aaron Rayor returns with a menu featuring Ugly Hog pork dumplings (with trotter butter and crispy pig skin), Ugly Duckling dumplings, shrimp toast-inspired “dumplings,” vegetarian Little Squash Dumplings (with ssam-smoked kabocha squash, bok choy and shiitake mushroom XO sauce) and O.T.T. kimchi mac and cheese (with poached duck egg, house “Hot Cheetos” and masago) available a la carte. The trio also teases a “Drunken Dumpling” sake speakeasy in the kitchen for the 21+ crowd. The last pop-up sold out quickly, so be sure to get there early.

Earthbound Farm teams with Sacramento chef Matt Masera—from popular downtown restaurant Hook & Ladder Manufacturing—for an organic cooking demo on Saturday, Oct. 5. Learn how to make roasted organic pumpkin ravioli with sage brown butter sauce, and take home ingredients to make dinner. 10-11:30am, $30, includes DIY meal kit. earthboundfarm.com.

Bernardus Lodge celebrates winegrape harvest with the fourth annual barbecue, grape stomp and oyster shuck on Saturday, Oct. 5. Partnering with Bernardus Winery, Winemaker Dean DeKorth and Vineyard Manager Matt Shea invite you to stomp grapes and taste wine in Ingrid’s Vineyard while slurping fresh Pacific Gold oysters from Morro Bay Oyster Company and a family-style barbecue lunch. 1-3pm, $85, call 658-3400 for reservations.

The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History hosts its annual gala on Saturday, Oct. 5. Sip wines from Blair Wines, Flywheel Wines, McIntyre Vineyards, Morgan Winery and Twisted Roots and beer from Carmel Craft Brewing Company and Martha’s Hopyard. Local chefs and restaurants—including Beach House, California Market at Pacific’s Edge, il grillo, la Balena, Lugano’s Swiss Bistro and TusCA—will serve small bites and Parker-Lusseau will have dessert covered. Dance to music courtesy of DJ BAD DJ aka Steb Montez. 6:30-9pm, $100, tickets at pgmuseum.org.

Revival Ice Cream celebrates its third birthday on Saturday, Oct. 6. The shop will be open 11:30am-9pm and serving up mini scoops of a special birthday cake flavor—with proceeds going to Community Partnership for Youth—plus games and prizes.

YASS Monterey is reviving After Dark—the queer-friendly New Monterey bar and club that shuttered in 1999—with the After Dark Reunion on Sunday, Oct. 6, at The Dali Expo. The party will feature DJs and dancing, plus tacos and cocktails for sale. 2-10pm, free admission, all ages welcome.

Seventh & Dolores Steakhouse’s 7D Mixology Throwdown cocktail competition returns on Monday, Oct. 7. Eight local bartenders will be competing for the cocktail crown with a different duo going head to head each month before semifinals in February and March and a grand finale in April. First up? Melissa Crisafulli (Salt Wood Kitchen and Oysterette) versus Michael Searles (Carmel Valley Ranch). First, the two must make a cocktail with Ron Zacapa rum and a secret ingredient, then they’ll show off their bar prep skills before trying their hand at most creative cocktail. The bartenders will be competing to impress a panel of judges—including last season’s winner, Josh Perry, formerly of Cultura Comida y Bebida—and snag the people’s choice. The winner will proceed to the semifinals next year. 8-10pm, $20, tickets and info 7dsteakhouse.com. 21+ only.

The holidays are just around the corner (gulp). Try a new holiday tradition this year: tamales. Stone Creek Kitchen has a few spots remaining for a cooking class on masa and tamales on Tuesday, Oct. 8. Learn how to make two tamal recipes: green chile with slow-cooked pork and guajillo chile with tender beef and roasted pumpkin. 6-8:30pm, $80 (includes recipes, instruction, menu tasting and a glass of beer or wine), not recommended for vegetarians, call 393-1042 to sign up.

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Gusto’s next Italian Night is Wednesday, Oct. 9. Enjoy a three-course prix fixe dinner with choice of appetizer, pasta or pizza and dessert from the daily dinner menu, plus a glass of wine and limoncello. The evening also includes live music from Mike Marotta, Dave Dally, Erasmo Aiello and David Marzetti. 6-9pm, $55, additional beverages available for purchase, reservations required, 899-5825.

Aubergine’s Redefining Flavor dinner series returns on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Executive Chef/Director Justin Cogley and team take diners “back to the future” with a four-course menu highlighting the rich culinary history of Lyon, France, and drawing signature dishes from the famed Mères lyonnaises, Paul Bocuse and Daniel Boulud. 6-9pm, $125, includes wine pairings, reservations recommended, 624-8578.

Pearl Hour debuts a new cocktail menu this week. New signature selections from owners Katie Blandin and Chris Garrecht-Williams include Jersey Roots (applejack, ginger, lemon and bitter), Sam Cooke (Cognac, rye, Italian vermouth and fennel), Pearlescent (mezcal, gin, dry vermouth and yarrow), After Dark (rum, honey, lemon, bitter, absinthe and flaming passion fruit), It Was All a Dream (gin, lemon, ginger, poppy and sparkling), Modern Love (mezcal, lime, shrub and bitter) and Gin and It (gin and Italian vermouth). The bar is also offering a new housemade ginger beer as a zero-proof option. Pearl Hour is open 5pm-midnight Thursday and until 2am Friday-Saturday. Starting Wednesday, October 9, Pearl Hour will be open Wednesday-Sunday. Just remember, this cozy cocktail hideaway is cash only.

Fall is here and The Beerded Bean has rolled out new fall beverages. Seasonal additions to the Salinas coffee shop’s menu include pumpkin maple latte, pumpkin spice latte (of course) and maple latte. The new flavors are vegan-friendly with no charge for substituting alternative milks. 

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