November 3, 2020 – Are you hankering for some serious sourdough satiation after hanging up your apron for the summer? Mentone has you covered. They’ll be hosting a Manresa Bread pop-up at their location in Aptos, near New Leaf Market, every Saturday for the remainder of 2020, from 9am until 1pm. Finally, something good we can look forward to repeating for the rest of the year!
Plus, Manresa Bread will also be available at Stripe’s Pearl Alley Outdoor Market at 107 Walnut Ave. in Santa Cruz, from 11am until 3pm on November 7 and 14.
The Manresa Bread Mentone pop ups will include breads, laminated pastries, new specials like filled Kouign-Amann, and more. Cash and card purchases accepted, and you can also pre-order holiday specials like pies, pumpkin mousse cheesecake and triple chocolate orange panettone, through the Mentone website for pick-up during the pop-ups.
Pies include spiced apple crumble and rye pecan, and there’s gluten free pumpkin cake, whole wheat walnut chocolate chip cookies, bacon and broccolini quiche, broccolini and comte quiche and XL Breton style Kouign-Amann (serves 4 to 5). Don’t forget cranberry orange bread, their famous levain, luxurious sandwich loaf, croissants, and a must for Thanksgiving, butter buns.
In other news, Bernardus Wine tasting room is now open for club members only, in Carmel Valley Village, by reservation, on Thursdays and Fridays. Stay tuned to see if they open more widely. De Tierra has new hours in Carmel: they are now open every day except Tuesday and Wednesday.
Talbott’s new tasting room is well worth a visit, especially if you dig bigness in your Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. There is no other way to put it. These wines are getting huge scores because they have the kind of power that can barely be contained in a glass. Winemaker Dave Coventry is taking the Sleepy Hollow Vineyard and keeping it up very, very late, doing its homework to make the most of itself. There is no more sleeping in. These vines are putting out and out and then some. Coventry has gone the extra mile to coax the most out of each block of the hallowed vineyard, making mercurial decisions about barrels that will match and enhance each segment to its max.
We tasted on the ocean view deck on Lincoln, adjacent to the wonderful new restaurant The Pocket. The dominant element here is the larger than possible eucalyptus tree that stands guard at the edge of the sidewalk in front of the tasting room and restaurant. A smaller deck with two tables offers al fresco tasting with an ocean peak.
You can choose the Estate combo flight, which delivers a mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the all Chardonnay flight or the all Pinot Noir flight. I did the Estate Flight, which began with the 2018 Block 4 North Chardonnay, a very tropically oriented take, emphatically favoring guava and banana bread. Next up was the 2016 Audrey Chard from Diamond T, which I adored for its Meyer lemon and white peach Danish flavors, emphasizing the incredible minerality of this site.
Next was the 2017 Block 48 South Pinot Noir, which is dominated by black cherry, blackberry and raspberry jam, but graced by mouthwatering acidity and plush tannins. Really lovely! It won our hearts. The final in my flight was the 2017 Block 23 West Pinot Noir, very spicy and fruity, and accented by toasty oak notes. I also tried the 2015 Diamond T Chardonnay, available on the All Chardonnay flight, and found this to hit all the right notes, like a xylophone, with its apple and lemon aromas with a slight hint of ripe pineapple. In the mouth, it’s all racehorse sleek acidity and minerality, flying the colors of Burgundy.
Talbott is open Thursday through Monday, from 11 until 6pm, by reservation. Once indoor tasting is greenlighted, there will be lovely seated areas to enjoy. East side of Lincoln St. between 5th & 6th Ave.
Dining literally next door at The Pocket was delightful, on the very sunny courtyard deck, surrounded by flowers. The weekend brunch menu, served Friday through Sunday from 10:30 until 3pm, is a combination of brunch and lunch items: there are lots of ways to have eggs and many things to share, like calamari, nachos and shishito peppers. My choice was Alaskan Dungeness Crab Cakes with Hollandaise and Capers, accompanied by fried potatoes and eggs, while my companion chose the Halibut Fish Tacos, which she declared excellent. The burgers looked amazing, as did the avocado toast and Gambas with lemongrass and chorizo. The menu is sufficiently diverse and eclectic, including a Louisiana muffuletta on grilled ciabatta and skirt steak with salsa verde and spinach, making for a convivial place to celebrate, as some folks from three different regions of Mexico and El Salvador were doing next to us. They toasted a birthday with fabulous flutes filled with Schramsberg sparkling, and Far Niente Chardonnay, from the impressive wine list. The Pocket is open for dinner daily, with Brunch Friday through Sunday. Lincoln St, NE of 6th Ave. (831) 626-8000.
Life is good. Celebrate often.
Laura Ness is a longtime wine journalist, columnist and judge who contributes regularly to Edible Monterey Bay, Spirited, WineOh.Tv, Los Gatos Magazine and Wine Industry Network, and a variety of consumer publications. Her passion is telling stories about the intriguing characters who inhabit the fascinating world of wine and food.