News of the Food
Oh! The Olio!
By Gretchen Giles
The "In" basket runneth over as we rush to deliver just about everything we haven't of late. Beginning in the glorious raptor-filled skies of our western climes, the Station House Cafe in Pt. Reyes announces that during the winter, its goosing business with the new "Happy Hour and a Half," from 5pm to 6:30pm, Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday. Free food in the bar, where the fireplace resides, followed on Fridays by free acoustic music. The Station House, a West Marin institution and home of the best chiplike fries in the universe, is a cozy spot to warm up after a wet day on the dunes (11180 State Route 1, Pt. Reyes Station, 415.663.1515). . . .
Speaking of which, former Station House executive chef Denis Bold has talents away from the stove, appearing on Sunday, Feb. 6, at Pt. Reyes Books to read his poetry with St. Louis poet Mary Jo Bang, whose latest work is The Eye Like a Strange Balloon, and local author Albert Flynn DeSilver at 3pm (also State Route One, Pt. Reyes Station. 415.663.1542). . . .
Quivira Vineyards--long hailed for its Zinfandels, commitment to the environment and owner's Henry and Holly Wendt's ancient map collection--announces that the winery's operations are now almost wholly solar. Devoted to biodynamic farming, in which the rhythms of nature dictate the crop, and currently in the midst of the certification process that will allow them to eventually label their wines as organic, Quivira has also just completed restoration of its stretch of Wine Creek, ensuring that the area remains a safe spawning environment for salmon. With its move off the electrical grid, Quivira continues its innovative farming practices, putting the green back in the land. For more details, go to www.quivirawine.com. . . .
Organized people like us don't need any help preparing thoughtful and loving surprises for Valentine's Day, uh-huh, no way. All sewn up: got the candy, the flowers, the naughty in-joke card, the special plans--dang! The special plans! For those who have yet to pick up the phone, cagily note that now is the time to make restaurant reservations for Saturday, Feb. 12, the early bird night most people will choose so they can rest up on Monday, Feb. 14.
Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg plans to tempt and delight with aphrodisiacal oysters, phallic asparagus, a virile truffled "pot pie" and a yummy garlicky rib-eye with an arousing chocolate finish. This tasting menu is $150 per couple. For reservations, call 707.522.5399. Before such a smashing dinner, warm up the taste buds at the Benziger Family Winery's Pinot Passion tasting Feb. 12 from 11am to 4pm ($10-$15; 888.490.2739), or spend the weekend in Hopland at Fetzer's 20th Annual Red Wine and Chocolate weekend, featuring live jazz, sweet candy and good dead grape Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 12-13, from 11am to 4pm. Some 1,000 people are expected, so plan to arrive early ($20; 800.846.8637). And finally, those who are really prepared will start the lovefest a week early at Rodney Strong's Wine and Chocolate Fantasy on Sunday, Feb. 6, from 1pm to 4pm ($15-$20; 707.431.1533). That New Year's diet never had a chance. . . .
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From the January 26-February 1, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.