February 4, 2013
Chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate berry martinis. Oysters, scallops and prime beef. Tuxedo linguine and blood orange martinis. Fig crostini and mascarpone mashed potatoes. Wine pairings with cheeses, chocolates and caramels. Fire dancing and a Frank Sinatra impersonator. Horseradish sorbet.
There's something for passionate foodies of all persuasions this Valentine's Day.
What follows is a romantic playlist of 14 foodie love tracks in a heart-shaped box.
1 • Let's Be More Than Friends • Dream in a tub on the edge of forever, soak up a massage and meditate in a roundhouse. Stay with a sweetheart, or just savor the solitude at Esalen in Big Sur. "Personal retreats" for the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day offered for new and current Friends of Esalen ($50 donation to become a Friend of Esalen). Feb. 1-10. 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur. Rooms rates from $130-700/night. 888-837-2536.
2 • Love Child • Conceived a year ago on Valentine’s Day, Sand City’s Independent Marketplace and its mix of art, fashion and farmers market hosts its Grand Finale around the theme Valentine’s Burn, complete with Burning Man fire dancing. "Come 'Share the Love' before it goes down in history," says manager Todd Champagne. The following day, construction on a permanent Independent Marketplace begins. 4-9pm Feb. 7. All ages free admission from 4-5pm. After 5pm: $5 ages 16 & up; $3 military and students with ID; free under age 16. 600 Ortiz Ave., Sand City. 750-9579
3 • Days of Wine and Rosés • Sip Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir, Kimberly Vineyard Arroyo Seco Merlot and a sparkling made from estate grapes, nibble chocolate covered strawberries ($5), and pick up a Valentine's gift package like the Hearts and Rosé, a Lula's chocolate covered marshmallow heart coupled with a bottle of McIntyre Rosé. Feb. 9-17. McIntyre Vineyards Tasting Studio, Hyatt Regency Monterey, 1 Old Golf Course Rd., Monterey. 649-9463.
4 • Cheesy Romance • This love story gets cheesy in all the right ways, with Joullian Vineyards—known for Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Merlot—pairings with chocolate and cheeses. Noon-4pm Feb. 10, Joullian Vineyards Village Tasting Room, 2 Village Dr., Carmel Valley, no charge to wine club members, tasting fee for nonmembers. 659-8100.
Love Game •
With a four-course menu that includes wild boar belly, cured salmon, hanger steak ravioli, grilled artichoke, black cod, heritage pork tenderloin, liquid chocolate cake, Grand Mariner strawberries, and goat cheese tart, TusCA Ristorante doesn't play with your heart.
5:30pm-9pm. Feb. 14-16. TusCA Ristoriante, Hyatt Regency Monterey, 1 Old Golf Course Rd., Monterey. $63; reservations required. 657-6675.
6 • I Didn't Know How Much I Loved You Til I Tasted Your Cookin' • In addition to smoked prime rib, baby back ribs, and beef brisket, Monterey Cookhouse serves up lobster bisque, grilled halibut salad, truffle mushroom risotto, Australian rack of lamb, halibut picatta, lobster tail, a chocolate berry martini, double chocolate torte, brioche chocolate chip bread pudding, creme brulée, and fresh fruit sorbets. 4 pm. Feb 14. Monterey Cookhouse, 2149 Fremont St., Monterey. 642-9900.
7 • Picture Perfect Love • This installment of the Salon of Culinary and Visual Art dinner series, acqua calda, is presented by fine art photographer Carol Henry and painter Rich Brimer and features blood orange martinis, tuxedo linguine, pan-seared scallops, and bread pudding with port wine candied pears and lemon gelato. 7pm. Feb 13. Hotel 1110, 1110 Del Monte Ave., Monterey. $75/person, dinner and 1-night at hotel $275 for 2 persons and $200 for a person. Reservations required. 655-0515.
8 • Two Hearts, Believing in Just One Wine • Two-for-one tastings of Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery’s Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé of Pinot Noir bring tasters together throughout the day from $5-10. 11am-6pm. Feb 14. The Holman Ranch Tasting Room, 19 E. Carmel Valley Rd., Suite C, Carmel Valley. 659-2640.
9 • My Funny Valentine • Frank Sinatra impersonator John Michael and Casanova and La Bicyclette alum Chef Robin Sachs bring you a unique candlelit Valentine's dinner concert at the Courtside Bistro at Chamisal Tennis and Fitness Club: polentas, risotto, pizzas, farm-raised steelhead trout, apple crisp á la mode and chocolate molten á la mode. 7-9pm. Feb 14. Courtside Bistro, 185 Robley Rd., Corral de Tierra. $40 for members; $45 for non-members. 649-1139.
10 • Voulez-Vous Bistro Moulin avec Moi? • Chef/owner Didier Dutertre's three-course menu includes crab bisque, escargots, spinach gnocci, steak au poivre, seared diver's sea scallops, and roasted chicken breast, and for dessert, chocolate mousse, lemon tartelet, and tiramisu-for-two. 4pm. Feb. 14. Bistro Moulin, 867 Wave St., Monterey, CA, $48. 333-1200.
11 • In the Mood for Love • All the aphrodisiac classics in five courses at 1833, starting with oysters with a horseradish sorbet, steak tartare with caper berries, mushroom ravioli with lobster, New York steak, and sea scallops and ending with chocolate mousse cake with candied hazelnuts and chocolate ice cream. 5:30pm. Feb 14-15. Restaurant 1833, 500 Hartnell St., Monterey. $85, reservations are recommended. 643-1833.
12 • Pinot is Red at Cima Collina • Winemaker Annette Hoff Danzer hosts this first installment of the new monthly Supper Club starting with a vertical tasting of Tondre Grapefield Pinot Noir from vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands with Pinot Noir vintages from ’05-’09, each paired with courses prepared by Executive Chef Sarah LaCasse from Earthbound Farm, ranging from fig crostini with blue cheese and pancetta, to mushroom-Madeira bisque with arugula salad, California halibut, and spice-marinated beef tri-tip, served sliced, with chimichurri sauce and mascarpone mashed potatoes. 6:30pm. Feb. 14.19-A E. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. $95, or $75 for members of Cima Collina Wine Club, includes all wines being poured. Reservations recommended. 620-0645.
13 • Edge of Desire • Executive Chef Matt Bolton’s menu includes Kumamoto oysters Rockefeller, Turbot heart of palm, pan seared Masami Ranch Wagyu New York steak, and a chocolate marquise almond cake, with passionfruit curd and raspberry-pomegranate sauce. 6-9pm. Feb 14. Pacific's Edge Restaurant at Hyatt Carmel Highlands, 120 Highlands Dr., Carmel. $125 per person, or $195 with wine pairings. Reservations recommended. 622-5445.
14 • After-Glow • On the Saturday following Valentine's Day, Pastry Chef Ben Spungin guides guests in a creating one-of-a-kind chocolate bars, Wine Director Mark Buzan leads a tasting of rosé champagnes, and Chef Cal Stamenov’s wine country buffet features an oyster bar, swordfish paella, Sonoma chicken, rosemary prime beef, and a dessert buffet featuring handcrafted chocolates and salted caramel ice cream sundaes. 11am–2pm. Feb 16. Bernardus Lodge, 415 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. $95. 658-3550.