New Italian restaurant opening in Sonoma

Also, the annual Wine & Food “Crush” returns.|


Wine & Food ‘Crush’ returns

The 23rd annual Wine & Food “Crush” (formerly Affair) will return the weekend of Nov. 5-7 to more than 40 wineries throughout the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys.

On Nov. 5, there will be intimate winemaker dinners and late-evening wine receptions. On Nov. 6 and 7, guests can visit up to five wineries each day during time slots at 11 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Reservations are required for each winery throughout the weekend. Tickets are $75 per day on Nov. 6 and 7 and $20 for designated drivers. Friday reception and dinner tickets vary by location and can be purchased directly from the wineries.

Each participating winery will serve a wine and food pairing. For details about each winery’s menu and reservations, go to (Nov. 6 is already sold out.)

Once booked, reservations cannot be changed. Also, one person needs to purchase all of the tickets and book all of the reservations for their group. Groups are limited to six people.


Javelins and jack-o'-lanterns at Nick’s Cove

It’s spooky season on Tomales Bay, where the Nick’s Cove crew will be gathering from 2 p.m. until sunset Sunday for a Javelins and jack-o’-lanterns event.

Bring your eye for carving pumpkins and enjoy seasonal dishes and cocktails from Nick’s Cove to help inspire your creativity.

Nick’s Cove will provide the pumpkins and carving tools, but if you’d rather bring your own, feel free. Don’t forget your fall sweater. The community event is free, but food and drink are extra.

Nick’s Cove is located at 23240 Highway 1.


Larman trades smoker for wood-fired oven

Rob Larman, chef of Cochon Volant BBQ Smoke House who started his career in Sonoma 30 years ago with Rob’s Rib Shack, is hanging up his barbecue tongs and switching to a pizza peel.

Larman has replaced his J & R Texas Smoker with a Forno Bravo wood-fired oven as the centerpiece of Il Fuoco, a new Italian pizza restaurant.

“As much as I love barbecue, it is no longer a sustainable business model, neither financially nor environmentally,” Larman said. “With Il Fuoco, I can focus my creativity on local ingredients, when they are in season.”

Il Fuoco’s team will include Mike Zakowski, also known as Mike the Bejkr, who is developing a signature pizza dough from California-grown and milled organic flour sourced from Central Milling Co. in Petaluma.

The menu will feature classic and contemporary Italian-style pizzas, including the WTF pizza featuring house-smoked brisket and pork shoulder, sausage and maple cured bacon.

There will be a wide range of antipasti options, such as meatballs, frito misto with shrimp, salumi and wood-roasted artichokes. The dessert menu will feature Larman’s famous big pies, among other sweet treats.

Fans of Larman’s brisket can still enjoy it from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, when Larman will fire up his smoker for a pop-up BBQ joint, with eat-in and takeout options.

Il Fuoco will open to the public on Oct. 28. It will be open 4-9 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. 18350 Sonoma Highway.


Golden Hour at the Flamingo Lazeaway Club

The Flamingo Lazeaway Club at the Flamingo Resort is now offering a Golden Hour from 4-6 p.m. Sunda through Thursday featuring a special menu. There will be live music on Thursdays.

The restaurant specializing in Cal-Pacific cuisine is open for dinner seven days a week and offers a new Weekend Brunch menu.

Breakfast is served 7-10 a.m. Monday through Friday; brunch hours are 8 a. m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; lunch is served noon to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday; and dinner hours are 5-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The Flamingo Resort is located at 2777 Fourth St.

Staff Writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or On Twitter @dianepete56.

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