A lot of people stop at Wine and Swine, and why not? Great wines along with meat prepared by top local chefs (Nov. 9 6-10pm, $125). But the Big Sur Food & Wine Festival offers so many more cool events that are worth exploring. Hiking with Stemware (the only way to appreciate the outdoors), a Pinot Walkabout (OK, there is a second way), a mystery tour (without mystery meats) and the schmoozy opening night reception (Nov. 7 6-9pm, $175). Cut the disco from the Bubbly Disco Brunch and that’s pretty cool, too. The festival runs Nov. 7-10. Look it up at bigsurfoodandwine.org.
Do you really need a reason to celebrate beer? Probably not, but when someone creates an occasion, you might as well take advantage of it. Edgar’s at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley gives us Beerfest Nov. 7-10. That’s four full days of brewskis, sausages, cheese, pretzels and other foods that go great with beer. And there’s plenty of the latter. 5-9pm. 620-8910. You need to make a reservation.
More beer, this time for a cause. Hops for Housing is Yeast of Eden's way of donating to the Housing Resource Center of Monterey County. The concept is simple: You eat, drink and be merry. They donate 10 percent of sales from 4:30-9pm on Nov. 7 to help provide housing for families in need. Yeast of Eden is in Carmel Plaza at Mission and Seventh in Carmel. Call 293-8621 for more.
Scotch this time. And Portola Hotel in Monterey is pouring. Macallan’s Sherry Cask 12 Year, Macallan’s Double Cask 12 Year, Macallan’s Triple Cask 15 Year and so on. The occasion? A Macallan dinner, which amounts to a reception and four courses (with a different scotch for each course). Nov. 7, 6pm. It’s $125 and wraps with Macallan’s 18 Year, so it’s quite a deal. Reservations required. 649-7874.
Poppy Hall takes Throwback Thursday seriously. On Nov. 7—that’s a Thursday—DJ Leo spins vintage vinyl 45s at the Pacific Grove restaurant while the kitchen cooks up things like fricassee and old-fashioned skillet cornbread. The prix fixe menu is $45 (clever). 6-9pm, call 204-9990 for reservations.
Cantinetta Luca in Carmel decided to take the prix fixe concept a step further, with a four-course menu featuring white truffles. Shavings of the prized fungi appear in scrambled eggs, with Wagyu carpaccio, pasta—even in gelato. The menu runs Nov. 9-19, $150 per person.
Regular Bingo is boring. Wine bingo, on the other hand...Yes, wine bingo at Joullian Vineyards’ Carmel Valley tasting room happens the first Thursday of every month (which happens to be Nov. 7). $5 gets you a board and a glass of wine. Winners get discounts on wine or other related prizes. And wines by the glass are just $5 for players. 5-7pm. Call 659-8100 for more.
Carmel Mission in Carmel hosts a banquet benefitting survivors of sex trafficking. Grace Williams, executive director of Children of the Immaculate Heart will share information about the organization’s program assisting adult trafficking survivors, as well as a program in planning that will help trafficked minors. There is no charge for the dinner, but donations are encouraged—it’s an important cause. Nov. 8 at 6pm. RSVP at 619-431-5537.
The Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project wants salmon numbers to grow. What better way than with an albacore dinner. The 42nd Annual Albacore Feed takes place on Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Recreation Center in Castroville. There will be an auction, a raffle, door prizes and albacore—all you can eat. Dinner is $20, $10 for kids 12 and under. Available at the door. No-host cocktail bar at 6pm, dinner at 7pm.
Football. It’s what’s for breakfast at Peter B’s Brewpub in Monterey. Watch the games while digging into French toast, huevos rancheros, banana pancakes...OK, so it’s not traditional tailgate food. Big deal, it’s better. And it comes with drink specials, because beer should always be served for breakfast. Peter B’s opens at 9:30am and breakfast is served until 11am on Sunday, Nov. 10.
Local Jamba Juice stores now have oat milk smoothies. Never mind that you can’t really milk oats, it’s trendy and probably pretty healthy, as well. They have a matcha (also trendy) lemon smoothie and a low sugar mango smoothie made with oat milk. Jamba Juice can be found in Monterey, Salinas and Sand City.
OMNI Resource Center in Salinas is looking for volunteers to help with their annual Thanksgiving lunch. The Nov. 28 feast is served to those in Interim’s affordable housing program, as well as local homeless, people living on limited incomes and those with no local family. Volunteers are needed to cook, usher, register guests and clean up. Can’t volunteer? Donate non-perishable food (by Nov. 12) and fresh food (by Nov. 15) at the Wellness Center, 339 Pajaro St. #A, Salinas. Call Lisa Corpuz at 831-800-7530 ext. 431 to help out.