A la carte: Special bites, sips, on the menu in early June

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North Coast Food and Wine festival uncorks

The North Coast Food & Wine Festival will feature the local foodshed from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at SOMO Village, with 25 of Sonoma County’s best chefs putting together a smorgasbord of tasty, global flavors.

The festival, which will also feature more than 90 gold-medal winning wines from the North Coast Wine Challenge, opens at 12:30 p.m. for VIP ticket holders, who also get special bites in the Subaru Wine Lovers Lounge, which includes sparkling wine from JCB and bites from Duskie Estates and John Stewart of the Black Piglet Food Truck.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Estes, who plans to serve a trio of small plates: Korean chicken wings; corn cobettes with smoked paprika butter, cilantro and Redwood Hill feta: and fried Liberty Duck bologne with pickled cherry.

“The duck dish got its inspiration from a trip to North Carolina to one of Ashley Christensen’s restaurants,” Estes said. “She had a fried bologne dish there ... served with grain mustard. I came back and asked John if he could make a bologne out of Jim Reichardt’s duck, and it is one of my favorite things he has ever made!”

While the pickled cherries give the dish a seasonal flavor, the duck provides the perfect foil for a glass of Russian River pinot noir.

The flavors of Sonoma County will be woven into many of the food offerings, which also includes bites inspired by Indian, Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Chef Mark Stark of Stark Reality Restaurants will be grilling up Niman Ranch pork belly shawarma, a Middle Eastern preparation of grilled meat served in a flatbread.

Chef Liza Hinman of the Spinster Sisters will serve up a twist on Vietnamese lettuce wraps, giving it a sustainable boost with Monterey Bay squid served with zucchini, cabbage, mint, peanuts and nuoc cham chili sauce. Chef Michael Degan of the Grove Cafe will be serving up vegetarian banh mi sandwiches.

Chef Niven Patel of Bollywood Bar & Clay Oven, will be handing out tastes of tuna bhel, a twist on the Indian street snack; as well as fusilli with tomato vodka sauce, representing Mercato Pasta & Produce.

Seafood lovers will enjoy Gulf shrimp a la plancha with cocktail sauce and kale salsa verde from Chef Shane McAnelly of Chalkboard; baby Oregon shrimp tacones from Chef Mateo Granados of Mateo’s Cocina Latina; and seared ahi tataki with soy kombu, wakame and sesame snow from Dustin Valette of Valette.

Hog Island Oyster Co. will return with their signature raw oysters with hog wash mignonette, perfect with a glass of sauvignon blanc; and Plaza de Caviar will be serving up classics tastes of caviar on blini, ideal for a sparkling wine pairing .

From 1 to 3:30 p.m., celebrity chef John Ash will provide a hands-on cooking experience on how to make exotic mushroom street tacos using locally farmed fungi.

“Most think of tacos as something that requires meat of some kind,” said Ash, who will be helped out by folks from the Kitchen Table Project, a nonprofit benefiting from the event. “We are doing tacos using exotic mushrooms from our friends at Gourmet Mushrooms (”

There will also be vegan fare from Perch + Plow, assorted chocolates from BACI, artisan cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery, desserts from El Dorado Kitchen and Sift Dessert Bar and nitro coffee from Taylor Lane.

Tickets are $95 for gold tasting, $135 for VIP, $50 for designated driver. To reserve: 1400 Valley House Drive.


A weekend of Drinks

Petaluma will celebrate its vibrant community of brewers, cider makers, winemakers and distillers on June 15 and 16 at various tasting facilities in and around river city.

Participating producers will be open for event tasting from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 15 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 16. Check-in for the event will be in downtown Petaluma. The weekend pass is $65.

New this year, there will be two add-on events: “Wet Your Whistle with the Whisper Sisters” at 5 p.m. June 15 at the cocktail bar at 190 Kentucky St. ($45) , and a “Petaluma Drinks Pairing Dinner” at 7:30 p.m. June 16 at Stockhome restaurant at 220 Western Ave. ($88)

To reserve:


Sniffing out truffle secrets

Investigative reporter Ryan Jacobs will discuss his new book, “The Truffle Underground: A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem and manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World’s Most Expensive Fungus,” at 6 p.m. June 13 at Copperfield’s Books on the Healdsburg Plaza.

The exposé documents the dark, sometimes deadly crimes at each level of the truffle’s path from ground to plate. The book talk is free. 106 Matheson St.


Father’s Day at Timber Cove

Timber Cove Resort will be grilling up baby back ribs, chicken wings and sausages for its annual Father’s Day barbecue from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 16.

Side dishes range from tortilla chips with guacamole and fresh salsa to Spanish rice and black beans. There will be live music from the ’90s pop band Telesound from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the great room. There will also be games, from bocce ball to board games.

Tickets are $45 adults, $20 for kids under the age of 12. Reservations required: 707-847-3231.


Gott’s got a new menu

Northern California favorite Gott’s Roadside is gearing up for summer with four new specials celebrating warm weather ingredients through July 31 at its locations in St. Helena, Napa and Greenbrae.

Summer specials include a BBQ brisket sandwich with housemade barbecue sauce, a watermelon wedges salad with mint and feta, and traditional Mexican street corn, plus handspun horchata milkshakes and a blueberry shake with Three Twins organic ice cream.

For more information, go to


Pop-up dinner at Idlewild

East Coast transplants Ali & Alix will collaborate with Idlewild Wines at 7 p.m. Friday, June 7, for a pop-up, five-course dinner with wine pairings at Idlewild Wines.

The dinner includes wine pairings and is a celebration of their shared passion for California and for the Piedmont region of Italy.

Tickets are $50. To reserve: 132 Plaza St.


Franco-American wine for D-Day

North Coast vintner Jean-Charles Boisset and his sister, Nathalie Boisset, are introducing a limited edition, Franco-American blend called “6.6.44” from their Boisset Collection winery in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Allied landing at Normandy.

The wine, which is available at BevMo! locations, is a tribute to their grandparents who served in the French Resistance.

“My grandparents served … on the side of freedom and felt a close connection to the American soldiers that came to their aid,” Jean-Charles said in a press release. “With this magical blend from equal parts of French and California grapes, we begin another chapter of celebration, commemoration, peace and commitment to our common culture and values.”

The wine has also been shipped to France for sale. A portion of the proceeds from each bottle will go to the American Legion.

The bottle is priced at $44.99 for members of ClubBev.


Locals Night out this summer

Every Wednesday night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 12 through July 31, locals and visitors will get a chance to mix and mingle at Locals Night Out in downtown Napa.

The free event includes appetizers from downtown restaurants and craft-brewed beer or wine, live music and handmade arts and crafts. Each week, three bartenders will compete in a Mix masters Cocktail Competition at 7 p.m. presented by restaurateur Charlie Palmer. Guests can sample the entries for $1 and pick the People’s Choice award winner for that week.

For more information, go to

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

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