GIN FOR THE WIN… Yes, there is still culinary good news out there: Lloyd Distillery, based in Gonzales, won the gold medal in the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition for theirBixby Gin. Bottles are available at Nielsen’s, Lopez Liquor, Surf and Sand, and Monte Vista Market. Kudos. lloyddistillery.com.
DATE NIGHT… Want to “go big” and impress your main squeeze by having a Michelin-rated meal in your home while you shelter in place? Aubergine’s Executive Chef Justin Cogley is creating weekly seasonal specialties and offering “Weekend To Go” meals. Order online by 1pm Thursdays and pick up Friday-Sunday from 3-6pm. The best part of all this fancy feasting is that 50 percent of proceeds (and 100 percent of gratuities) go to staff who can’t work during Covid-19. We give that three stars. 624-8578, auberginecarmel.com.
CLEAN HANDS… Christian Pepe, founder of Doc Pepe’s Lab, has whipped up 200 gallons of hand sanitizer at his distillery in Monterey, which under normal circumstances he uses to create barrel-aged cocktails. It’s a blend of lavender, aloe vera, tea tree oil and 80-percent ethanol by volume. Roughly $20 gets you a 16-ounce bottle at locations including Bruno’s in Carmel and Grove Market in P.G. Pepe plans to donate 2-ounce bottles to hospitals and nursing homes. docpepeslab.com.
SOMETHING FISHY… Fishing is an essential business, and Monterey Bay Fisheries Trustcompiled a list of local businesses that are open and selling local fresh-caught fish from Monterey Bay. Now more than ever, it’s important for all of us to support our local businesses and local industries. The guide is at montereybayfisheriestrust.org/local-catch-guide.
BYO GRILL… If you’re tired of canned beans and ramen, Poppy Hall is here to help. Their “Meat Pack” is chock full of seasoned, marinated, ready-to-go cuts of pork ribs, chicken and duck breast. Pick up a pack, toss it in the freezer, and throw it on the grill when the weather is nice. $50 for six meals. 204-9990, poppyhallpg.com; order by 3:30pm to pick up that evening.
NOT SO TRIVIAL… While they can no longer offer trivia nights, what they can do is supply your at-home trivia and game nights with wine. And bless them for doing that, because we are all probably spending more time playing games than ever before. Sovino Wine Bar delivers for free. Support local businesses, one glass of wine at a time. 641-9463, sovinowinebar.com.