Edible Monterey Bay

VINTAGE REPORT

“We’re seeing a slight dip in yield, with smaller grapes
and clusters, but the quality of the fruit is phenomenal, and
I’m really excited about the vintages that we’ll be seeing.”

– Dean De Korth, winemaker at Bernardus


Morgan Winery’s Double L Vineyard

It’s early November in the Santa Lucia Highlands, and there’s a flurry of activity on the 49 acres of the Double L Vineyard, home of Morgan Winery. Pickers move down row after row of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and Reisling grapes, plucking fat bunches from the vines. Trucks ride along the dirt roads, loading up hundreds of containers ready for transport to the winery’s facility in Salinas, where they’ll be pressed and most will be placed into French oak barrels where they will be transformed into award-winning … Read More

FISH-FRIENDLY SUSHI


Rare fish: Chef David Graham is one of just a half dozen
or so sustainable sushi chefs in the nation. Photo by Ted Holladay.

As sun streams in the huge arched windows of Geisha Sushi, Chef David Graham beams.

“Just look at how beautiful this Arctic char is,” says Graham, showing off the plump, silky, 14-inch cuts.

“It’s sustainably farm raised in ideal conditions—no pollutants— and every bit as delicious as its cousin, the salmon.”

Moving down the row of fresh-as-can-be seafood, he holds up a slab of Tombo Ahi, a species of Pacific Albacore that isn’t suffering the same fate as its overly fished and endangered relative, the bluefin tuna. “It has a buttery taste, very mild and tender,” Graham says. As delighted as Graham is to display the … Read More

Point Pinos Grill Debuts New Fall Menu for Restaurant Week

ppg-feature2The bold lines of the Frank Lloyd Wright-style Point Pinos Grill were perfectly framed by the setting sun, the clouds over the ocean glowing in beautiful shades of red and purple. As a friend and I walked towards the restaurant door, we paused a while on the patio to drink in the magnificent view.

Coming off a renovation and revamping of their menu, we were truly excited to see what Chef Tom Stutzman—a New England Culinary Institute grad and renowned meal-maker in North Shore Lake Tahoe—had in store. From the moment we were seated and began to peruse the menu, we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed.

The new seasonal menu, which makes its debut for Monterey Bay Restaurant Week, brings forth all the delights of autumn in Pacific Grove. Using a palette of infinitely fresh, local ingredients, the carte du jour was an exercise in simple grace. Although it was very tempting, we opted to forgo the prix fixe offering and order instead from the standard menu. Broiled Castroville artichokes with a bacon aioli (“bacon makes everything great,” our server beamed) and superb Parmesan cheese started off our epicurean adventure, the artichokes perfectly cooked and bursting with flavor.

The entrees were venerable. Torn between pumpkin ravioli and fish, I ordered the latter. The California white sea bass—hook and line caught in accordance with the chef’s philosophy of serving only sustainable foods—was broiled to perfection, plump and still flaky and accented by a wild mushroom and bacon mélange rolled up in leaves of fresh chard. The seafood paella was nothing short of spectacular. Beautiful bay scallops, fresh clams and shrimp and a not-too-spicy sausage blended perfectly in the Spanish tradition, and the portion size was impressive.An autumn salad was next for me. It featured a heaping pile of fresh greens with tart green apple, chunks of persimmon, real-deal California white cheddar and light vinaigrette. My companion went for the classic Caesar, bursting with the essence of local anchovies and a not-overly-strong dressing.

ppg-feature

Coffee and espresso were all we had room for after the repast, but it won’t be long before we venture back to indulge in the “grown-up S’mores” and house made ice cream. And of course the missed apps and entrees—from salmon to ribeye, gnocchi to calamari—no doubt warrant a second trip to this cozy spot by the sea.

Point Pinos Grill, located at 79 Asilomar Boulevard in Pacific Grove, is open seven days a week from 7am until 3pm for breakfast and lunch. Happy Hour from 3-5 pm Monday through Friday. Dinner Wednesday through Sunday nights (last seating at 8:30 pm.)

Read morePoint Pinos Grill Debuts New Fall Menu for Restaurant Week

Tips for loving the planet—and your home—at Eco Carmel

homegrown compost
Guests were offered a complimentary bag of Waste Management’s
organic compost, part of the company’s EarthCare program

More than 50 eco-conscious souls packed the cozy and vibrantly lit space at Eco Carmel on San Carlos Street for a few hours of earth-loving education by Kristi Reimers, proprietor, and Jay Ramos, district manager of Carmel and Marina recycling for Waste Management and its EarthCare programs, Wednesday night.

While a representative from Heller Estate Winery—producer of 100% organically grown wines—kept everyone’s glass full, Reimers and Ramos answered questions from the curious on everything from the benefits of using completely organic compost and closed-loop landscaping (that diverts 1,000 tons of material from landfills every day) for their homes to Waste Management’s ongoing efforts to push single-stream recycling throughout the country.

Jay Ramos, district manager for Waste Management
Jay Ramos, district manager for Waste Management

“We love to be here supporting Kristi and everything she does to raise awareness of sustainable living,” said Ramos at the Feb. 8 event. “We even repainted our facility in Salinas using her store’s eco-conscious paints, and converted our lunchroom with her recycled products. She helped us be truly ‘green.’”

And as much as people reveled in perusing Eco Carmel’s seemingly endless list of eco-groovy solutions for home and garden, Ramos had some eye-opening things to report, including Waste Management’s success at providing 100% trash-free, zero-waste services for events throughout the region—including the AT&T Pro-Am—and the company’s constantly evolving product line, including Alcatraz Aggregate produced from recycled concrete and reused as drainage and base rock for roadbeds.

“The turnout was great,” said Reimers, who loves to share her limitless passion for green living. “Jay and his crew are so knowledgeable and helpful, and I’m so grateful for the relationship we’ve cultivated over the years.”

For more information about Eco Carmel’s products or Waste Management’s EarthCare program, visit www.ecocarmel.com and www.wmearthcare.com

Eco Carmel owner Kristi Reimers with Daniella Dimitrova Russo, executive director of Plastic Pollution Coalition
Eco Carmel owner Kristi Reimers with Daniella Dimitrova Russo,
executive director of Plastic Pollution Coalition

Read moreTips for loving the planet—and your home—at Eco Carmel

Go Wild at a Foodie Retreat in Big Sur

By Pete Rerig

EsalenTable

Looking to engage your hunter–gatherer spirit this winter? Or just interested in enjoying a spectacular meal of chanterelles and other local wild delicacies, prepared by a talented chef and served in a lush Big Sur setting where they thrive?

If so, the Esalen Institute has a winter getaway for you: The centerpiece of the self-directed Golden Chanterelle Wild Foods Retreat will be Chef Talia Rotter’s multi-course foraged foods extravaganza on Thursday, Jan. 26.

Big Sur’s climate is ideally suited to wild mushrooms, and one of the local favorites is the golden chanterelle. Orange or yellow, meaty and funnel shaped, the familiar fungus features a fruity fragrance reminiscent of apricots and a mildly peppery taste that makes it perfect for a variety of cooking applications.chanterelle1

The Esalen dinner will feature a variety of wild goodies culled from the region as well as produce from Esalen’s own farm and garden. Each course of the dinner will be paired with a regional wine chosen to perfectly accompany the dish. All in all, the dinner will reflect Rotter’s belief that “food is life and love made visible.”

Read moreGo Wild at a Foodie Retreat in Big Sur

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