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The Number is Up: Two for Lunch: Ryan Ranch celebrates its second anniversary with Happy Hour specials.— Jane Morba

LUCKY, UNLUCKY, WHO CAN SAY?… Friday the 13th. For some folks, a day to curl up in bed and wait until tomorrow. For others, like my SWEET THING, a favorite (she’s always been a bit of a contrarian I guess). Don’t know if they still do this or not, but once upon a time they’d build buildings and leave out the 13th floor—think about that carefully: they’d number the floors by skipping from 12 to 14. I guess the very presence of that number seemed to be frightening to people.

Personally, I don’t get too concerned about it either way. I like certain numbers for whatever reasons but don’t really feel acrimony towards any numbers, or days of the week, or other such stuff…life can be difficult enough without courting more problems. I subscribe to the philosophy of really enjoying the good times; life will provide the opposite no matter what.

NEW AND ALMOST NEW… Good stuff that is here includes the new Pelican Tavern in the Tin Cannery just up the street from the Aquarium. I stopped in the other day and had a nice chat with JOE OPITZ, general manager. Joe’s been around here a while at Monterey Peninsula Country Club (where I am not a member) and other places. He’s a Baltimore guy so there are little touches from Baltimore around the place. There is Baltimore crab cakes on the menu too. The place has a good feel, really nice people and a lovely view of the bay so check it out for lunch, dinner or just to hang out, 647-8200, thepelicantavern.com.

This Friday the 13th finds The Grill at Ryan Ranch celebrating its second anniversary. Chef MOISES ROBLES and the crew have been knocking out delicious Pacific Rim-inspired dishes in a fun and friendly setting for lunch and dinner the past two years. Owner LEE CONNALLY is almost always on hand to greet, seat, help you eat, suggest wine, and always with a great attitude. The place has quietly carved out a niche for those in the know who just want to kick back, enjoy good food, drinks and a casual atmosphere that also overlooks the beautiful hills of that part of Monterey.

To celebrate the anniversary, during Happy Hour (4 to 6pm) there will be $2 beers, $3 well drinks and free appetizers, so folks can kick off the evening with good cheer and in the right mood. Stop by and say hi; 647-0390.

SPECIAL EVENTS LATER AND SOONER… Last week I hyped the upcoming “A Taste of Great American Chefs” event at Spanish Bay, with PAUL PRUDHOMME, NARSAI DAVID, et al…hold the presses (oops, too late), it’s been postponed. Contact KATIE BUNDSCHU, 510-643-0189 or rsvptocal@berkeley.edu for more info.  

As far as Spanish Bay is concerned though, check out the exciting things happening at Roy’s for lunch. Always one of the great spots for dinner, the lunch offerings are rocking. Manager STEPHEN DONAHUE, along with Executive Chef YOICHI SAITO and Sous Chef PABLO MELLIN are wowing locals and visitors alike with great Yamaguchi Sushi and Rolls, amazing salads and sandwiches. Get there right away…and oh yeah, Thanksgiving is coming up, just about five to six weeks away—Roy’s, as well as Peppoli are taking reservations right now for their fabulous special menus.

Go to “Under The Tuscan Moon,” Friday the 13th, a special collaborative dinner between Peppoli Chef ARTURO MOSCOSO and visiting Chef RUGGERO GADALDI of Antica Trottoria in SF. Each chef will prepare two original dishes and wine servers will be on hand to help you choose the perfect Antinori wines to go with them. Seating is from 6 to 10pm, call 647-7433.

FOOD WINE THEATER ART… Next weekend, Saturday, Oct. 21, will be Paraiso Vineyards’ second annual charity fundraiser to benefit CASA of Monterey County. CASA is an important organization that helps prevent abused, neglected and abandoned children from getting lost in the Juvenile Dependency system by working to find them safe, permanent homes.

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The event will feature great wine, food by the Hullaballoo Grand-Crew, special auction items including something specially made by Tiffany (I have a house charge there), dancing, wild performances by Cirque De Soliel-style performers, the great views, great people and wonderfully gracious SMITH FAMILY of Paraiso. Contact 678-0300 or visit paraisovineyards.com right now.

For the upcoming Culinary Classique d’Elegance, a benefit for Meals on Wheels started 10 years ago by BERT CUTINO, artist BLAGOJCE STOJANOVSKI has created a painting to be auctioned at the event. His gallery is a few doors down from the Running Iron out in Carmel Valley Village (blagoart.com). For more info on this wonderful event, call my friend JULIE ANN LOZANO at 383-0477.

Chef DAVID FREPPIA at Melange in PG sent me his list of upcoming wine dinners: First up, Storrs Winery on Oct. 17, then Leal on Nov. 14 and Seghesio on Dec. 12. Book at 333-0301 or better yet, go down there for dinner and book while you’re enjoying food and wine tonight.

THE TRUFFLE MAN CAN… I got an invitation in the mail for CAL “TRUFFLE LOGIC” STAMENOV’s 10th Annual Truffle Dinner at Marinus on Dec. 8. Just hold all your appointments for that day and the next (recovery time). NANCY OAKES and PAMELA MAZZOLA from Boulevard in SF (one of the best restaurants anywhere) are joining Cal and his crew for what will be a veritable truffle orgy—I guarantee it. Stamenov with truffles is like Liberace with ruffles; Gregory Hines with shuffles and Midas with muffles—mark your calendar. See you down the road.

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