Friday, October 16, 2020

HALL Wines Hosts Napa Valley Firefighters for Virtual Happy Hour Benefit

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Firefighters from the Rutherford Fire Department will Join Kathryn Hal for wines and laughs on Friday, Oct. 16.
  • Firefighters from the Rutherford Fire Department will Join Kathryn Hal for wines and laughs on Friday, Oct. 16.

As the North Bay assesses the damage and cleans up the mess left by the Glass Fire, the latest wildfire to hit the region since fires became an annual tradition in 2017, many residents and businesses are incredibly grateful to the first responders who bravely fight each year to save homes and lives in the Napa and Sonoma Valley.

One of those businesses is HALL Wines, which credits Napa Valley firefighters for keeping its employees and winery safe from damage during the Glass Fire.

Today, Friday, Oct. 16, at 4pm, HALL Wines vintner Kathryn Hall, who runs HALL, WALT and BACA Wines with five tasting room locations in Napa, Sonoma and Healdsburg, is launching a fundraising campaign during HALL’s regularly scheduled virtual "Happy Hour" series on Facebook Live to aid in fire relief.

HALL Wine's virtual "Happy Hour" series, which has aired on social media each week since Covid-19 halted gatherings this past spring, regularly invites celebrity guests to try new release wines. Past guests have included actors like Julia Luis-Dreyfus and the cast of Emmy-winning television show "Schitts Creek."

This week's fundraising Happy Hour welcomes extra-special guests from the Rutherford Fire Department, who will share wine and laughs with Kathryn Hall and another special guest, comedian Tom Dreesen. In addition to raising a glass in support of the Napa Valley firefighters, Hall will also announce the winery's new Fire Relief Fund campaign, which is launching this week in collaboration with the Redwood Credit Union.

To date, HALL Wines has helped raise millions of dollars for the community through events and other local efforts as part of the Strength Together fundraising campaign the winery spearheaded during the 2017 fires. Now, HALL is partnering with Redwood Credit Union to contribute to their Redwood Credit Union Community Fund. One hundred-percent of the money raised goes to help those in need, and the the Hall Foundation will match gift dollars up to $25,000.

Additionally, Hall has set aside $50,000 in funds for employees to share what organizations they would like to nominate to receive funds to a diverse selection of non-profits are being supported. Hall’s luxury hotel based in Napa, SENZA, offered free hotel accommodations including complimentary breakfast to anyone affected by the fires including staff and first responders.

All HALL Tasting Rooms are open for business and include all required safety protocols to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and guests and HALL welcomes visitors to the Valley. Safety information can be found at
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Friday, August 21, 2020

Safely Enjoy These Five Events at Home This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 12:45 PM

World-renowned musician Cory Pesaturo is one of several virtuoso performers appearing online as part of the Cotati Accordion Virtual Festival.
  • World-renowned musician Cory Pesaturo is one of several virtuoso performers appearing online as part of the Cotati Accordion Virtual Festival.

Now that the North Bay is adding wildfires to it's 2020 roulette wheel, going outside is not recommended for health reasons even beyond the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which was already forcing social distancing to become the norm.

Instead of getting out this weekend, try these online events; featuring music, food and poetry offerings streaming on Saturday and Sunday, August 22 and 23.

Virtual Music Festival
For three decades, the town of Cotati has been synonymous with the accordion, thanks to the internationally-known Cotati Accordion Festival that takes place each summer in the town's Plaza Park. This year's 30th annual event is not happening in the park for health and safety reasons, though the organizers are pivoting to an online format to present the Cotati Accordion Virtual Festival. The two-day online fest will be free to view, and the lineup includes internationally acclaimed virtuoso musicians such as Cory Pesaturo, Alex Meixner, Pietro Adragna and Gary Blair; all of whom will be performing live alongside streaming chats, interviews, raffles and more on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22 and 23, from 11am to 3pm each day. Free, donations accepted. Get the full lineup at

Virtual Food & Wine Pairing
People constantly ask Chef Gerard Nebesky, of Gerard’s Paella, how he makes his authentic Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Now, the popular chef and winner of Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay demonstrates his cooking for curious culinary minds in “A Taste of Spain: Pinot and Paella Virtual Event.” Join Chef Nebesky virtually as he cooks up several delectable offerings at Napa Valley’s Frank Family Vineyard, with wine pairings that bring out the Spanish flavors. The virtual event takes place Saturday, Aug. 22, at 2pm. Register for the event, find recipes and purchase wine to pair at

Virtual Fundraiser
Nonprofit organization Food For Thought feeds nearly a thousand people living with HIV, Covid-19 and other serious illnesses in Sonoma County. To do so, the organization depends on community fundraising, though this year’s signature benefit, Our Long Table, was canceled due to the pandemic. In place of the live event, Food For Thought moves to the web for Our Virtual Table, a livestream event featuring music performances, a keynote speaker and a chance to participate in an online auction that is open for bidding now. Our Virtual Table comes together on Sunday, Aug. 23, at 7:30pm. Register online at

Virtual Auction
The dedicated team at the Bolinas Museum collects, preserves and displays the art and history of coastal Marin with exhibitions and events that provide cultural enrichment and inspiration for locals and visitors alike. Each summer, the Bolinas Museum hosts a benefit art auction and party to raise funds for their thought-provoking programs and inspiring shows. This summer's party is going virtual, and the Bolinas Museum's Art Auction opens online this weekend, featuring works by dozens of artists and experience packages from local restaurants, wineries and more. The online bidding opens on Saturday, Aug. 22, and remains open online until the museum's virtual live auction on September 12. Register for free at

Virtual Reading
For more than 30 years, the Marin Poetry Center has brought the craft of writing and poetry to the Bay Area with a regular schedule of readings and workshops, and big gatherings like the popular Summer Traveling Show, in which poets perform at venues throughout Marin. This summer, the traveling show could not commence as usual due to sheltering orders, though the Marin Poetry Center used YouTube to broadcast the 2020 Virtual Summer Traveling Show. The virtual series includes eight videos online now, and the show concludes with its final video presented on Sunday, Aug. 23, at
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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Dream of the ’90s Comes Alive at Bear Republic Lakeside Brewpub

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2020 at 3:16 PM

Enjoy a Racer 5 IPA for 1995 prices during Bear Republic's throwback event on Aug 21. - PHOTO COURTESY BEAR REPUBLIC BREWING COMPANY
  • photo courtesy Bear Republic Brewing Company
  • Enjoy a Racer 5 IPA for 1995 prices during Bear Republic's throwback event on Aug 21.
The year is 1995. Space shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian Mir space station; Steve Fossett becomes the first person to cross the Pacific Ocean solo in a hot air balloon; millions watch the O.J. Simpson trial; the San Francisco 49ers win their fifth Super Bowl; and third and fourth generation Sonoma County locals, the Norgrove family, establish the Bear Republic Brewing Company.

Twenty-five years later, Bear Republic Brewing Company has become one of the most awarded and beloved independent brewers in the North Bay and across the U.S., best known for their hand-crafted, time-tested beers like the Racer 5 IPA.

In addition to their main brewing facility in Cloverdale, Bear Republic showcases their brews at their Lakeside Brewpub, located at Roberts Lake in Rohnert Park. Visitors to the brewpub enjoy the company’s wide selection of beers, specialty cocktails, pizza, burgers and more.

This summer, in the wake of Covid-19, the Bear Republic Lakeside Brewpub reopened its massive outdoor seating area on the lake for safe and socially-distant dining, and the brewpub now also offers curbside pickup and beer to-go, as well as a home-delivery option.

Now, in commemoration of Bear Republic’s 25-year anniversary, the company is turning the clock back for an anniversary event featuring a ’90s throwback menu on Friday, Aug. 21.

Old-school fans of the brewery will happily welcome back menu items from yesteryear including the Rocket Burger, featuring fire-roasted mild green chili and cilantro aioli, and The Press grilled chicken sandwich with brie, bacon and caramelized onions.

The special menu also features throwback prices on menu items such as the BRBC Wings and garlic fries, as well as Racer 5 IPAs. The ’90s menu is available on Aug. 21 until supplies last. The Lakeside Brewpub is open for outdoor dining, socially-distant indoor dining and to-go service daily from 11:30am to 9pm. Visitors are asked to wear a mask or facial covering and respect social distancing recommendations to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

For those who can’t make it to the 25th anniversary throwback event on Aug. 21, Bear Republic Brewing Company offers an easy way to find BRBC beers closer to home with its online “Bear Tracker,” which lets users search by Zip Code to find bottles and cans at a store near them.

In addition to classic beers like the Racer 5 and the Hop Shovel IPAs, Bear Republic is still creating new, tasty brews, such as the “Hoppy Pilsner” and “Bear Necessities.”

The latest addition to the company’s Brewmaster Series, the “Hoppy Pilsner,” blends clean malt flavor, classic Pilsner bitterness and hoppy aromas, and is described as a “decidedly West Coast take on the classic lager beer.”

The simple and straightforward “Bear Necessities” is an American-style ale brewed with cascade hops and pale barley. Bear Republic says the release “pays homage to the people who show up daily to keep us going.”

Bear Republic Brewing Company’s Lakeside Brewpub is located at 5000 Roberts Lake Rd., Rohnert Park. Open daily, 11:30am to 9pm. 707.585.2722.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

‘Grav & Go!’ Pop-Up Replaces Canceled Gravenstein Apple Fair

Posted By on Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 11:00 AM

  • photo courtesy Sonoma County Farm Trails

Sebastopol’s popular Gravenstein Apple Fair has celebrated the locally grown Gravenstein apple for more than 40 years with a weekend gathering every August that always features entertainment, education and lots to eat and drink.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the fair to cancel its in-person event for 2020. Agricultural organization Sonoma County Farm Trails, host of the fundraising fair, officially announced the cancellation in June, writing on the fair’s website, “Though we can hardly imagine August in Sebastopol without the Apple Fair, we are fully on board with the County’s decision to cancel large gatherings. We are so grateful for the health care workers and first responders on the front lines and for all of the essential businesses (farmers/producers, nurseries, grocery store workers, postage and parcel services, etc.) who continue to sustain and support our lives during these unprecedented times.”

Even though the Gravenstein Apple Fair is canceled, Gravenstein apples are still falling off of trees in West Sonoma County this month, and Sonoma County Farm Trails is setting up its first-ever “Grav & Go! Gravenstein Pop-Up” event in Sebastopol this weekend so that Gravenstein apple lovers can at least get the fresh Gravenstein apples and related products they love.

The pop-up will take place at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15 and 16, the same weekend the fair was originally scheduled. Anyone interested in purchasing apples or apple products must preorder online by Thursday, Aug. 13, at Noon.

Sonoma County Farm Trails farmers and producers make all the available products from local Gravenstein Apples. The apple and apple-related items that can be purchased include fresh organic Gravenstein apples, applesauce, apple juice, apple butter and hard cider (note: cider must be ordered on the Tilted Shed Ciderworks’ site due to alcohol sales rules). Other available apple treats include apple pies, hand pies, cider apple doughnuts and much more.

Upon checkout, shoppers will be guided to select which day and time they would like to pick up their order. Show up at your reserved time for contactless curbside pickup of your Gravenstein apples and related items, and enjoy.

For the health and safety of customers and Farm Trails staff and volunteers, facial coverings, social distancing and thorough hand-and-surface sanitization will be implemented at the “Grav & Go! Gravenstein Pop-Up.” Additionally, Farm Trails asks customers to abide by all County and State public health requirements.

Established in 1973, Sonoma County Farm Trails is a nonprofit promoter of local agriculture, and the Gravenstein Apple Fair is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser. Without the benefit of the fair this year, Farm Trails is in need of financial help to continue its efforts to preserve Gravenstein apples and keep farms a vital part of Sonoma County’s culture.

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure that Farm Trails continues to make good on its mission to preserve farms forever in Sonoma County,” says Farm Trails Board President Vince Trotter, in a statement. “With our main fundraiser off the table, we’re certainly facing some financial challenges this year, but our farmers are fighting through this, and so will we. We’re cutting our expenses to the bone and looking at some creative ways to bring in revenue and make the 2021 fair better than ever.”

“Grav & Go! Gravenstein Pop-Up” takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15 and 16, at Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. Online orders must be placed by Thursday, Aug. 13, at noon.
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Monday, June 29, 2020

Several North Bay Fall Events Already Planning Pandemic-Related Postponements

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 1:50 PM

The Gravenstein Apple Fair is one of many North Bay events canceling their plans this fall due to Covid-19.
  • The Gravenstein Apple Fair is one of many North Bay events canceling their plans this fall due to Covid-19.

Last March, Covid-19 forced California to cancel most social gatherings and events through the spring of 2020. Soon after, it was clear that summer 2020 would follow suit as fairs, festivals and other fun events were postponed or called off in the wake of the virus’s continued spread.

Now, autumn 2020 looks to suffer the same fate socially as the last two seasons. Many North Bay–based events and harvest celebrations are postponing their fall gatherings before July even begins, as Covid-19 continues to gain ground in the state and the Bay Area with increasing numbers of new cases each week.

In Sonoma County, fall traditionally begins prior to Labor Day—which is scheduled for Sept. 7 this year—as harvest-related events get rolling in August. One such event, now canceled, is Sebastopol’s popular Gravenstein Apple Fair.

Agricultural organization Farm Trails hosts the fundraising fair that celebrates the locally grown Gravenstein Apple. On the fair’s website, the Farm Trails team writes, “Though we can hardly imagine August in Sebastopol without the Apple Fair, we are fully on board with the County’s decision to cancel large gatherings. We are so grateful for the health care workers and first responders on the front lines and for all of the essential businesses (farmers/producers, nurseries, grocery store workers, postage and parcel services, etc.) who continue to sustain and support our lives during these unprecedented times. We are also appreciative of the sacrifices our entire community is making by staying at home to help flatten the curve.”

The fair organizers also note that Gravenstein apples will still be falling in Sonoma County this fall, and they hope to find ways to mark the occasion with virtual events or DIY activities.

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure that Farm Trails continues to make good on its mission to preserve farms forever in Sonoma County,” says Farm Trails Board President Vince Trotter, in a statement. “With our main fundraiser off the table, we’re certainly facing some financial challenges this year, but our farmers are fighting through this, and so will we. We’re cutting our expenses to the bone and looking at some creative ways to bring in revenue and make the 2021 fair better than ever.”

Other popular harvest and culinary events canceling their 2020 gatherings include the massive Taste of Sonoma wine-tasting extravaganza, the annual Heirloom Expo of food providers and enthusiasts best known for its giant pumpkin contest and the Sonoma County Harvest Fair’s Grand-Tasting and World Championship Grape Stomp Competition—though the Harvest Fair’s professional wine and food competitions will still be held remotely.

In Marin County, the arts are often a major part of the fall season, with festivals and fairs showcase both international and local artists and crafters.

One of Marin’s largest gatherings each fall is the Sausalito Art Festival, taking place on Labor Day weekend for more than 60 years. This year, the Sausalito Art Festival Foundation will pause production of this signature event due to the uncertainty of the pandemic and other current challenges associated with event production. On the festival’s website, the Foundation says it will plan a new iteration of the event “to meet a shifting arts and entertainment landscape.”

In addition to pandemic concerns, the Sausalito Art Festival Foundation writes that restrictions to access of the waterfront venue, competition for headlining musical talent and increased security costs and concerns are also factors in their decision to reimagine the event for 2021.

Another Marin fall staple, the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, also recently announced its 2020 fest would be canceled due to Covid-19.

“For over sixty years our little festival has been a wonderful celebration of Mill Valley’s unique culture and community,” says festival executive director Steve Bajor, in a statement. “This year the responsibility to act prudently to ensure everyone’s safety is our top priority. Like so much we are missing, we are hopeful that the festival will return next year for us all to enjoy.”

Artists previously juried into the 2020 show will instead be featured on the festival’s website and will be invited to show their work in person at the next event, now scheduled for Sept. 18 and 19, 2021, in Old Mill Park.

Other fall arts events in the North Bay forgoing 2020 include Open Studios Napa Valley’s self-guided art tours, usually planned for two weekends in September, and the Sonoma County Art Trails, normally scheduled for two weekends in October. Still other major events canceled this fall include the Sound Summit music festival that celebrates Mount Tamalpais State Park each September at the historic Mountain Theater, and the Napa Valley Film Festival that was slated to happen in November.

“We appreciate the tremendous support and well wishes from our community during these uncertain times,” said Cinema Napa Valley Chairman Patrick Davila, in a statement. “Rest assured we will use this time to strengthen our commitment to our mission and develop new avenues to fulfill our vision. I look forward to seeing all of you in 2021 for our 10th year anniversary.”
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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Safely Shop & Dine at These North Bay Markets

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 10:47 AM

Stay socially distant while enjoying shops and dining at the Barlow in Sebastopol.
  • Stay socially distant while enjoying shops and dining at the Barlow in Sebastopol.

As stay-at-home and social distancing restrictions are slightly relaxing in parts of the North Bay, many are looking forward to returning to the shops and restaurants they love. Yet, a recent surge in Sonoma County cases of coronavirus has shown local leaders that we are not quite ready for a full re-opening just at this moment, meaning take-out and curbside shopping is still the norm going into this weekend.

If you’re itching to get out, the best way to do so and support local businesses is to visit the shops and eateries at local outdoor markets like the Barlow in Sebastopol, Oxbow Market in Napa and Marin Country Mart in Larkspur.

The Barlow
Situated on a 12-and-a-half acre district in downtown Sebastopol, The Barlow open-air "maker's marketplace" features dozens of retail and dining spots with Sonoma County chefs, vintners and other artisans creating local products and experiences.

Since the March shelter-in-place orders closed the physical locations for these artisans, many have transitioned to online ordering with options for curbside pick-up and take-out. Recently, the Barlow announced that the marketplace’s restaurants and eateries are now open for outdoor dining.

Food and drink options in the Barlow currently includes Acre Pizza, Barrio Cocina Mexicana, Community Market, Crooked Goat Brewing, Fern Bar, Golden State Cider Pax Wines, Seismic Brewing, Spirit Works Distillery, Sushi Kosho, Taylor Lane Coffee, The Farmer’s Wife, The Nectary, Two Dog Night Creamery, WM Cofield Cheesemakers and Woodfour Brewing.

Shops in the Barlow include Barge North apparel and home goods store, California Sister floral arrangements, Elsie Green décor and gifts shop, JG Switzer textile and bedding shop, the Lori Austin Gallery, Rust Clothing Boutique and Scout West County gift and home accessories store.

Oxbow Public Market
In Napa County, where dine-in restaurants and retail are both seeing restrictions lifted in terms of social distancing, the Oxbow Public Market is reopening its spacious and recently remodeled outdoor Oxbow River Deck, which now includes retractable shade structures and lighting.

Beginning Saturday, May 30, open-air, socially distanced communal tables and seats will be available for visitors on the deck, and Oxbow merchants will continue to offer online and over-the-phone ordering and pickup options for guests. The market is soon creating a designated curbside delivery area in the parking lot east of the main market hall as a drive-thru option for those who want to dine at home.

For guests who want to shop at the Oxbow Public Market, the new deck is part of the market’s new set of health and safety protocols made in accordance with all state and Napa County health requirements. The market will continue to also track and regulate the number of customers on hand to comply with social distancing regulations.

Oxbow Public Market merchants that are open for dine-in, takeout and retail include Anette’s Chocolates, C Casa, Fatted Calf, Fieldwork Brewing Company, Five Dot Ranch, Gott’s Roadside, Hog Island Oyster Company, Hudson Greens & Goods, Kara’s Cupcakes, Kitchen Door, Live Fire Pizza, Model Bakery (re-opening May 30), Olive Press, Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant, Ritual Roasters and Whole Spice. Additional merchant re-openings will be announced soon.

Marin Country Mart
Located adjacent to the Ferry Terminal in Larkspur, Marin Country Mart’s assortment of organic eateries, boutique shops and other services are coming back online after closing down in March. The village-style shopping center’s new model, which it’s calling Dutch Door Shopping, allows for curbside and social distant services like online classes in lieu of in-person events.

Shops and services that are open for pick-up, take-out or local delivery at Marin Country Mart include Poppy Store children’s boutique, Clic women’s clothing store, Toy Crazy, George pet store, Hudson Grace décor shop, Sarah Shepard Gallery, Flora & Henri artisanal home and gift shop, Jenni Kayne wardrobe and home goods store, Hero Shop luxury women’s store and Copperfield’s Books.

To-go dining options at Marin Country Mart include Farmshop’s nightly dinner specials, Hog Island Oyster Company, Johnny Doughnuts, Pressed Juicery, Rustic Bakery, Shake Shack, Sushi Ko, the Siam and El Huarache Loco.

Visit each of these markets online first for full details.
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Friday, May 1, 2020

Desserts Go Digital For LBC Fundraiser

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2020 at 10:45 AM

  • Will Bucquoy; courtesy Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts’ long-running and super tasty benefit, The Art of Dessert, was originally scheduled for early last month, though the Covid-19 pandemic put the plan on hold, until now.

In the spirit of social distancing, the Art of Dessert Virtually takes the annual event online with an extravaganza featuring digital auctions for first-class wines, delectable and beautifully designed desserts and cakes, and one-of-a kind gifts and experiences to enjoy in the future.

Proceeds from the online auctions go towards LBC’s Education and Community Engagement programs, which currently provide virtual events and classes until the center’s campus re-opens.

Registration is open now to view auction items, bidding begins online, Sunday, May 3, at noon and runs until Saturday, May 9, at 9pm at
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pub Republic: Poetry in Poultry, and Thick Cut Bacon

Posted By on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Sometimes you just want to throw down about a dish. Thick cut bacon. A dish with healing powers. Thick cut bacon. A dish to thicken the blood, brighten the mood, and get yer mojo working. Thick cut bacon. A dish whose various elements come together in a combination of plain ol' googly-eyed comfort and crispy, primal bliss to satisfy the inner yowling caveman. The Brick Chicken & Brussels Sprout Bacon Hash at the friendly Petaluma outpost Pub Republic is one such dish. Thick cut bacon. Here's how it works: You take a brick, wrap in it some foil, stick it on top of the chicken, and cook the freaking chicken. Behold the result: Crispy, flattened skin of the bird, encasing some juicy white meat so tender a spork can cut it. Thick cut bacon. I'd have taken a picture but for the fear of stealing that dish's soul.

From the menu, it appears that the Brick Chicken is actually a poem, disguised as food:


Free Range
Crispy Boneless
Half Chicken
Brussels Sprout,
Potato Hash

Give that dish a MacArthur Genius Grant! Make it the poet laureate of well-tendered poultry! Thick cut bacon. And salute the power of the non-boiled Brussels Sprout, which also appears on the menu in a munchy-lunchy taco incarnation. Thick cut bacon. Is it time for lunch yet? And here's a question, for the ages: Why would you not order the jumbo Arugula and Pistachio salad to go with the Brick Chick? The $11 salad with the toasted nuts and juicy bites of luscious grapefruit? The one with a Mt. Tam-size heap of fresh, crisp, musky greens, a little shaved fennel throughout, and those little pebbles of pistachio. Thick cut bacon. Oh yes. And I love a restaurant that doesn't charge ya for seltzer water, and whose bartender doesn't give the stink eye for not ordering a beer with your supper. Did I mention the thick cut bacon? Or the thick cut bacon? They also have some thick cut bacon at Pub Republic.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

July 20: Battle of the Grill Takes Over Six Westside Wineries

Posted By on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 12:15 PM

What’s better than a grill loaded with meats and vegetables lathered up in a tangy, spicy BBQ sauce? How about six grills matched up with six chefs, who’ve set about to create the most delicious food and wine pairing that they can possibly imagine? The 1st Annual Battle of the Grill competition has created a grill scavenger hunt of sorts, sending event goers from one Westside Road winery to another, for a sampling of grill and wine pairings from each location. Chef and winery pairings include Alderbrook Winery and Healdsburg Bar and Grill; Mill Creek Winery and Michael Mazzanti; VML Winery and BBQ Smokehouse Catering; Gary Farrell Winery and Grapevine Catering; HKG Estate Wines and Kenwood Inn & Spa, and Thomas George Estates and Canetti Italian Roadhouse.

In the style of high-stakes cooking shows like Masterchef, minus the insufferable Gordon Ramsey factor, votes will be tallied at the end of the day and the winning winery and chef gets a Battle of the Grill Trophy and bragging rights for the entire year, until the next battle, that is. No tickets sold at the door. Ticket sales end on Wednesday, July 17. Battle of the Grill turns up the heat on Saturday, July 20 at an assigned Westside Road winery. 11am-4pm. $70-$40.

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Friday, June 7, 2013

'I Don't Want to Eat Octopus'

Posted By on Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I don’t eat octopus. It has a lot to do with respect. If I were less hypocritical, I would probably not eat any meat, even fish. But no, I have standards. An animal has to impress me somehow in order to stay off my plate. There are too many reasons to list why octopus meets this criteria for me, but they are damn smart, adaptable to any situation, can communicate with sudden changes in color, mimic other animals, can crush far more than its body weight, etc.

This kid (I believe he’s speaking Portuguese) doesn’t want to eat his octopus. Not because the taste, but because it’s a living creature. He then launches into a beautiful and articulate diatribe about why he doesn’t want to eat animals, and even makes his mom cry. The weirdest part is he looks a little bit like me as a kid.

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