May 10, 2011
In case folks were looking for an excuse beyond the golden afternoons to abscond to Carmel Valley, I've got a few:
• A cute little newbie has cozied next to the sheriff’s outpost. Kathy’s Little Kitchen (659-4601) serves modestly priced Mexican and American classics for reasonable prices well enough to inspire a couple of locals to flag it for me. There are big breakfast burritos ($4.50) and pancake-bacon-egg plates ($4.99), rolled taco combos ($6.25 with six), burgers ($3.99-$5.99), tortas ($3.75) and menudo on weekends ($4.59). An impromptu riverside picnic could get a nice boost here.
• Corkscrew Cafe (659-8888) is starting a “Winemakers Uncorked” series, which its organizers (Walter and Sylvia Georis) are styling as “ a casual approach to wine tasting.” The complimentary tasting goes down every 4:30-6pm Sunday, light finger foods accompany and guests can sit down at a big “family table” with owners and winemakers for dinner. May 15 is Figge Cellars (224-4149)—who just opened a 18-foot-long Carmel tasting bar in Winfield Gallery on Dolores straight across from Cantinetta Luca, where Peter Figge (above) and team are providing a chance to taste his all-local, superb pours while cruising the gallery ($5/three tastes; $10/five; free/wine clubbers). Next up at Corkscrew comes Chesebro Wines May 22 and Rombi Wines May 29.
• Joyce Vineyards just opened a tasting room (659-0312) that one of my more stylish Carmel-savvy sources says is rather stylish itself, with a cool industrial feel and comfortable sitting areas—basically a great space for a party or some great wine tasting with a long bar—next to Parsonage’s tasting room across from the Running Iron. Oh for some big Black Mountain Chard out of Santa Lucia or the Franscioni Pinot. It’s open 11am-5pm Friday-Sunday.