Thursday, December 13, 2001
Due to the Silicon Valley''s slide in the past year, much of the small-conference business was already depleted--not to mention the swashbuckling spending soirees regularly unleashed on local businesses by giddy high tech professionals. All that is now history.
And after September 11, the citizenry polarized itself into two camps: One group, fearful of the current threats to our safety, withdrew and is holding back on spending, traveling, having fun. The other group, fearful of current threats to our safety, figured, what the hell, if the world is going into the toilet, might as well enjoy the ride. This group is carrying a disproportionate portion of the load in our capitalist society. I strongly urge all of you to face up to your responsibilities as members of a consumer-oriented system...go out to eat. Go out to your local taverns and restaurants and spend, spend, spend.
There are too many joints on the verge of collapse...and for completely arbitrary reasons. We all know that there are too many restaurants and small businesses around to be supported by locals only. However, under these extenuating circumstances, the noble and honorable behavior is to support the local small businesses on our Peninsula. I propose that we all try to invest our dollars into local small business. So what if you may have to pay a few bucks more here and there by passing up the big-box stores and chains and buying in the small shops. It''s just until the tourists return.
Consider it an investment in the community.
NOT FADE AWAY...Sweet Thing and myself invested a few skins in TITA''S CAFe the other night. It''s a cute little Mexican joint on San Carlos, in Carmel, just a couple doors down from Nico''s. Here''s a place that saw 60 percent of its business fall off after September 11.
One of the many family-run operations around, Tita''s helps to color the restaurant landscape with its unique appeal. Don''t let it and others like it disappear.
One place that will never disappear is FISHWIFE, on Sunset, in Asilomar. One of the many reasons is the presence of ANITA, the ultra-premium hostess. If you have ever eaten there when she is working, you simply cannot help observing her tireless and selfless style as she sweetly and warmly greets, seats then says farewell to every single guest that walks through the door.
Recently, Sweet Thing stopped in for lunch (she was craving the crab salad). As is always the case, Anita captivated her...this woman is truly a gift from God. In a brief conversation, it was discovered that Anita visited the Peninsula 14 years ago this April. She had come for three weeks and never left (how often have you heard that type of story around here?). I must do a full-length feature story on this beautiful human being.
DOCK OF THE BAY...A group of us ate a full-length feature dinner recently at the new joint in Moss Landing, CHARLIE MOSS''. PHIL DIGIROLAMO of PHIL''S FISH MARKET is behind the project, along with talented chef MICHAEL JACKSON. There were nine of us in the group so we tried many dishes from the extensive menu. I was genuinely blown away by the quality and preparation. From the baked oysters to the phenomenal cracked crab to a wonderful duck with ginger sauce, great chowder, excellent rack of lamb, bouillabaisse, filet mignon, etc., etc., every bite of every dish was great. We were washing everything down with Lockwood VSR Chardonnay and Meritage, which made the meal that much more satisfying.
The setting is casual and fun and is worth a regular trip for lunch or dinner. Give this place a look-see.
--RAYMOND NAPOLITANO (RAY@COASTWEEKLY.COM)