Mar 12, 2009

March 2009

Hello All You Luna/tics:::

Welcome to March....


I went out in my garden today, and I see some Spring lifting out of the ground!! It was the brightest green and made me realize winter is coming to a close.....

This will be our first year in the new house with a definite garden planting....can't wait to see what six months in the ground does for plants.....

Some interesting stuff going on in our neighborhood of Placerville/El Dorado County:::::::

Two very public restaurants closed down, Lil' Johnny De Carlos (formerly Mama De Carlo's) right on Main Street, Placerville, and The Redbud Cafe in Cameron Park. This is such a shocker because - as you know, we have so very many restaurants to choose from up here. It is always sad to see any business shut down, but, being close to "home", it is even more wondrous as to the reasons why. (Obama: wave your magic wand.....)

Of course, I understand about the financial aspects of not being able to maintain the same staffing, food items, and such, but more so, the absolute frustration knowing that things WILL turn around,

but not soon enough,......

and that is killing many small businesses.....

Our restaurant community is in crisis financially. The restaurants in all the country are trying to decide how to re-invent themselves to appease our current dollar market, and the ideas are flowing nationwide.....I just read in one of my restaurant magazines that a large and very popular L.A. establishment that went from dinners averaging $150.00 per head, now has nothing on the menu more than $20.00 per item. Sounds good in theory, but that also means that now at his restaurant, the main course is now a separate price, from the side vegetables, the potatoes or rice, the topping on the potatoes or rice, and if you want a sauce or butter on your main course, guessed it::::::::extra.

So how does this help? By letting the customer decide what to spend his money on? Good. But the same value sense should also be tallied up. Appetizer, soup, salad, main course + vegetables + starch + toppings/ sauces + desserts.........creeps up there doesn't it???

So what is a little guy like me to do to keep you, my customer base coming in? Well, we will try to entice you with something extra that might be the one thing to #1 save you some money, and #2 to make you feel better about spending it.

So here is our plan for this month (oh you Wino's will be happy!!)

#1. On Wino Wednesday, all wines are 30% off the list price. The change here is it used to be wines under $35.00 and over $ you get to have any one on the menu, bottles only. So now, a $40.00 bottle will run you $28.00 on Wino Wednesdays......Yahoo!!!!!

#2. On Thursday nights, we will be having diners wishing to bring in their own bottles of wine getting two free corkage per table. That alone will be a $30.00 savings. Please don't bring in wines on our list gauche......(refer to last months e-mailing to see what I am talking about......) Call us first if you have a question......or better yet, how about if I download a copy of our current listings with this mailing?
Listed as "Wine List Only March 2009" on the attachements above....

This could be a fun night for you and your friends to have a night out and bring some new bottles of wine to share and enjoy dinner out (again!!!)......hope this is a good thing......

I was invited to an event I have never been to that was so much fun! It was held at Madrona Winery (double click on their name to go to their webside) in Camino, and it was a "Quintet" blending party. "Quintet" is one of the wines that Madrona has been specializing in for many years now, and we love it.

It is a blend that Paul Bush, the owner/wine-maker makes each year and comes up with a brilliant tasting red Bordeaux style wine that cellars beautifully and also drinks well now. It is one of my "fire-place" wines that we love to just drink by itself, with just a bit of an earthy cheese, some fruit and a nice fire in the place.

At the event, we all got our own 'pipettes' and were able to come up with a bottle of wine that we decided on the amounts of variatals involved. Our choices for the blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot, and Malbec. These wines were 100% of its varietal (no blends in these at all...), and believe me, each of us (35 plus people) had our own formula for a great blend. (I am positive that in two years, mine will need to be if you know me now, two years, I may be one of those famous wine-makers who wears sunglasses in the dark, drives around in a limo and a driver, and has new sheets on his bed every day, staff for everything ("peel me a grape sweet-heart...."), and will probably develope an know, alot like all the winery owners here in El Dorado County.....) But not to worry: I will still have time for all the "little people" in my life......("peel me a grape sweet-heart....")

Our wine mixes were bottled, corked and labled by the fabulous Maggie Bush (grand wife and partner of Paul), and we all took them home to age perfectly.......We also got to name our wines, and that is where we all took different turns (thank you Bob D. for your help...) Mine? The Fifth Chandelier. (why yes, there is a story to that, one that was so very funny and insightful at the time, especially after you have drank the equivilant of two bottles of wine by yourself! I am a riot when I drink, and an especially good dancer....) Other names? "Cutesie Pie", "Mama's Drinking", "Daddies Feet", "Obama's Secret Weapon" ..... the names were endless, and made about as much sense as mine did). But, you know? It was fun to be around people you like, want to like, and especially those you have fun with.

It was hosted by Sheri and Mike Arnold, two incredibly great friends, who take good care of us. Gary and I. Thank you to all for a great evening!!!_________________________________________________________________________

I have tasted another bit of heaven here in El Dorado County: Boeger (double click again for their site) has released a new bottle of "Reserve" Barbara. This wine is so flavorful and rich and everything I love about wines. If you get a chance, get a bottle of this wine. We will be selling it here at Cafe Luna, but I do encourage you to go out to the winery itself for a great tasting. That Justin sure knows what he is doing!!! To think I knew him when he was a baby........Tell our little Sara in the tasting room Cafe Luna sent you. She will take care of you and tell you stories. (Some of them even true.....)

Good for us that we can grow such good wine grapes in this county!!

And another wonderful experience??? Iverson Winery (double click again...) in Fairplay. Mike and "D" Iverson have made a wonderful event-place out there in Fairplay. Mike has been developing incredible wines and blends, and a Sparkling Chardonnay that is so refreshing and fun. Going to their place is always fun because of their absolute hospitality and warmth.

Something I really do believe we have so much of here in this county at our wineries. Fun and a great afternoon tasting delicious wines.

Go have some fun you guys.....
This months menu::::

We are featuring our Beef Stroganoff on the menu (recipe is on the blogsite). We make this with filet mignon strips, wild mushrooms and sour cream.....Quite wonderful for this time of the year......and Ryan, my sous-chef, loves it because Ryan loves anything with meat in it.....He is a happy man......

We also are featuring Pork Tenderloin served with a fresh roasted pineapple and lime salsa that is just incredible. We are brining it for a couple of days, then rubbing with our spice blend, and grilling it over an open flame all the while brushing it with a tequila and lime glaze. Fantastic!!! The brining has a tendency to leave the meat pink; it is still completely cooked but by brining, maintains the juiceness, the tenderness and the flavor of the glaze and it is wonderful. You will love it!!!

Skirt Steak is back on the menu, marinated in a dark beer, garlic, lime and soy concoction, then gilled, and sliced served with a fresh made "Lulu" salsa, guacamole, and Cotilla cheese. Order this meat medium-rare, just to maintain its juiciness.

Let me say, I love this dish! Wild mushrooms, roasted butternut squash, shallots, thyme, mixed with Sharp Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella and Gorgonzola cheeses, topped with a wonderful bread-crumb and Parmesan cheese topping, and baked until golden and bubbly. And all this heaven goes so good with a good glass of red or white wine.....(Shelly at The WineSmith and I had a date eating this.......).....this is going to warm the cockles of your heart....(what tha? what is a cockle of my heart anyway???).
This months recipes:::
Gary and I owned a restaurant in Coloma for many, many years (when I was a boy I am sure...). One of the desserts that became so famous during the 70's was a dish a man named Narsai David did called "Chocolate Decadence" . This is a cake that is almost all chocolate, and butter and eggs, with just a tablespoon or two of flour.

At the Vineyard House, I would make this as our "special" dessert, serving it with pureed raspberries and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. I worked on this for many years, adding, subtracting, and going nuts on variations. Try the regular recipe. Enjoy it, and then realize how many other ways to enjoy this.

The beauty of it? It freezes beautifully! And at the bottom of the recipe, you will see some variations that are great. We just had a surprise birthday for Ms. Sheri, and served this dish as 1-1/2" cut up squares, but have rolled them up, dusted them in cocoa powder and done all sorts of things with this dessert. And did I tell you it freezes beautifullly??? The good thing about this is you can double up on this cake, make two of them, use cake pans or use 8" square brownie pans. Wrap them first in plastic wrap, and then in foil to keep them air-tight and ready to go when you take them out of the freezer. They only need an hour or two at room temperature to get perfect once again.....Chocolate lovers will be in heaven!!!!

As always, the menus and recipes on the blogsite will follow this letter, and let me know if you have people that would like to get signed up for this montly e-letter. We have all this on our blogsite, along with old puplications, recipes etc at if you want to see more.....and PICTURES TOO!!!

Our second recipe: That same birthday party we had for Ms. Sheri also had a theme: Mexico. Since she and her beaux Mike, had just gotten back from the place where we got to go before with them......So, I did an enchilada dish that got raves: Enchilada's with Mushrooms, Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Potatoes. We had a similar dish like this in Trancones, Mexico, by one of the local dirt-floor restaurants that was sooooo good... This one? Came out really, really, really well......(And it freezes beautifully!!)

Don't forget:::: we are open on Tuesday nights thru Saturday nights at 5PM, we are always happy to see you and want to see you. Let me know if you have any good ideas for us to implement to get more of you out for dinner. It is tough out there I know, but we want to be your safe haven for eating out.....

Take Care.

David at Cafe Luna

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