Thursday’s special is fried chicken for two. This weekend’s special is pulled pork, macaroni salad, corn on the cob, sliced bread and ranger cookies. Family meal $79, individual $20 .
Owner Suzette Tyler said: “Outdoor dining is open. Heaters will be full blast, the food will be hot, the drinks cold and the TVs will be playing your favorite sports teams.”
Our concern is that people will feel liberated, run out to celebrate, wear their masks to restaurants or friends’ homes, and take off their masks the minute they sit down at a table. We all know this happens. Our numbers could just zoom back up again.
As HopMonk’s pubic relations spokesperson Michael Coats put it, “Let’s not screw this up. Wear the masks.”
Wine growlers – why not?
Growlers are usually glass containers, usually with screw tops, that hold either 64 or 32 ounces of beer, following a centuries-old tradition of taking home beer from the pub. For sure we know that Olde Sonoma Public House and Reel & Brand offer their own growlers and allow customers to bring them back for refills.
After all, you can fill and refill similar containers to take home olive oil, water and even kombucha.
Maybe filling a growler with wine would add a decanting process to the wine, but refilling a large glass container also may affect the wine if another varietal filled it previously.
Wine Country Chocolates hits Valentine’s spot
Looking for local sweets for your local sweet?
While Godiva chocolates will close its 128 retail stores and cafés in the United States and Canada after Valentine’s Day, we look to support our local chocolatiers, Wine Country Chocolates and the Chocolate Cow.
Last week we featured Sonoma Valley Soroptimists’ Valentine’s chocolate sale of 4- and 6-packs of Chocolate Cow truffles (still available) and this week we remind you of Wine Country Chocolates, owned by Betty Kelly and her daughter Caroline. They have been joined in the kitchen in Jack London Village by Caroline’s husband, Tyler Phillips, who has made spectacular bean-to-bar chocolate bars.
Wine Country Chocolates has been known for its generous in-person tastes, which of course are not available during our pandemic shutdown.
In normal times, they produce oodles of truffles filled with individual wineries’ wines, both for sale in their shops and through the wineries. Often the fillings are made of cabernet, zinfandel, port or sparkling wine, depending on each winery’s specialty.
Kelly and family produce a wide variety of packs and attractive boxes. Snag some coffee and liqueur-inspired truffles.
Betty Kelly says, “We make everything from scratch, so please order soon for Valentine’s. It’s not like pulling something off the shelf like Amazon can do.”
For now, their Jack London Village shop is closed for retail and dedicated to production, while their downtown Sonoma store in the Mercado is popping.
Wine Country Chocolates: 414 First St. E., Sonoma. 996-1010. Winecountrychocolates.com.
The Chocolate Cow: 452 First St. E., Sonoma. 935-3564. Thechocolatecow.com.
Valentine’s Brunch class from Sonoma Community Center
Lisa Lavagetto and Julie Steinfeld have a fun virtual cooking class scheduled at the Sonoma Community Center on how to make a Valentine’s Day brunch on the day itself, Sunday, Feb. 14. Learn how to make a “fool-proof Hollandaise sauce and how to poach multiple eggs simultaneously” to make Eggs Benedict. Make a heart-shaped scone and a “yummy apple cranberry crostada.” As Lisa says, “such a great way to make a pie without a tin.”
Lavagetto was manager of the Ramekins Culinary School for 25 years until the school was closed last April, under its new ownership Sonoma’s Best Hospitality Group. Former Ramekins kitchen manager Julie Steinfeld has cooked and baked for restaurants throughout the country.
Sign up at sonomacommunitycenter.org. When you sign up you will receive the recipes, a tool list, and the link to log into the class via email. $25. 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Dry January – How did that go?
Some of us made a New Year’s resolution not to drink alcohol for the month of January.
For many it apparently didn’t go very well. Feeling locked up and cut off more or less, many of us resorted to oh-what-the-heck, it’s Wednesday, or whatever day. And, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.”
Hence, alcohol sales have been up throughout the pandemic, and local wineries have had to dance the creative hustle to sell their wine.
Alcohol sales in bars were down 20 percent in the U.K., and even down more here since the bars and restaurants haven’t been open during stay-at-home orders.