Aug 10, 2009

Hi All You Luna/tics!!

Yes, yes, yes... I am seven days late with this - but for a valid (I think so at least) reason. We are trying a new concept here at Cafe Luna, that I wanted to make sure was workable in my tiny, tiny kitchen. And the fact that Ryan and Teresa are off getting married (many congratulations and success!!) and honeymooning, so it really is a solo effort.

We have included almost a whole page of new appetizers, light entrees and small plates, plus some new salads to the menu along with our page of entrees. This to shake it up a bit for ourselves, and mostly to make my regulars happy with items that they can share, or just have a small portion of. So I think you will be happy with this new rendering.

I have had four nights now of trying it out on unsuspecting souls, and have gotten the rhythm down to a roll, and am ready to proceed into the future. So here you go, new menu is downloadable below, our monthly promotions are here, along with a downloadable page of coupons, and on top of that, some new wine trivia and info of what we are doing.

Next week, you will be getting another letter from me with a great couple of recipes on it that will help relieve summer.

UPDATE: Tomatoes plants at house: Zero (0) on one bush, 18 on the other. But who's counting?

Now here is the real story: Gary and I have been in the middle of a major 12 week project that the builders of our home have been conducting. The paint on our house has bubbled and blistered off, and the contractor has had to strip the paint and then grind all the first 1/4" of plaster off the entire outside of the house. That took three weeks. We have been living with humongous amounts of plaster dust everywhere. And unable to get to the vegetable garden side of the house. So, with the tomato plants full of plaster dust, they dwindled to half their size. And to add insult to injury, these ugly green horned tomato worms from hell suddenly appeared out of nowhere and preceded to eat the rest of the plants leaves.

Now listen, if you have not seen these "things" let me give you a visual:
Imagine your index finger without a bone, all bright green and undulating as you touch them. Squishy and sticking to your tomato plant with Velcro-like strength. And imagine yourself trying to pull them off, and in the back of your mind screaming like a little girl because you have to even touch them, because you are also afraid that they might break in half or worse: squish in your fingers. Well... the butch guy that I am winds up having to lean against the wall and take a breath after just looking at these things, and then sterilize my hands for half an hour afterwards. (yeah, yeah, yeah: wear gloves you say.....well you have to understand I don't want anything of mine to touch these things....).
So this month, the worms win......

I love the Farmers Market.....

We hope to see you soon, and hope you might drop a line of your tomato plant experiences.....and your favorite recipes and things to eat in the hearing from you.

Take care.

David at Cafe Luna

August 2009 Promotions

Double-click here for a printable page of coupons

Here is our promotional 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. BYOB Thursdays! 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. 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?

#3. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights 1/2 off dinner coupons. Buy first dinner at regular price, second dinner is half off the menu price. Bring the attached coupon in and be honored for the month of August, 2009.


Double-click here for a printable copy of this months menu

New This Menu:

Main Entrees

Mediterranean Seafood Stew - Did you know Gary is half Portuguese? His Mom's family was from the beautiful Azores - an incredible tropical island that we will someday visit. His mom was also the kind of cook that could make mud-pies taste good. She taught me the benefit of Linguisa sausage and the role it plays in Portuguese cooking. Kind of like our bacon. The Linguisa renders its fat, and that is used to saute and other parts of the dish, gathering layer after layer of flavors. We are taking large prawns, cod fish and clams, sauteing them with Linguisa, tomatoes and white onions, finishing them with a great saffron stock and fresh fennel sauce, and serving with a mound of Basmati rice. Wonderful. So good sometimes it hurts.

Mr. Don's Pan Roasted Chicken Breast - Don is a great guy who loved this chicken dish, and if you love something and are the first to tell me, you get a plate named after you. Well, he and his lovely bride are two people who have opinions that I like to hear, and if he loves it, it must be great. We take a "Frenched" chicken breast - a breast with just one joint of the wing in it - pan-saute it until the skin is ultra crispy, finish roasting in the oven, and then serving it on a bed of baby gnocchi's, Fingerling potatoes, and roasted mushrooms in a rich pan-pan juice reduction with a bit of fresh basil. Heaven on a plate.

Jerk Pork - The "HOT-HEAD" selection this month. I love "jerked" meats and vegetables, and believe it or not, the first place we tasted it was in Cozumel, Mexico. The influenences of the Caribbean, Mexico, Cuba and South America on this little island made my gastronomical juices happier than they have ever been. Hot. No, I mean really, really HOT and spicy and sweet and aromatic and full of flavors that between sweating and dripping, I was ohhh-ing and ahh-ing so much that I wanted to forget about getting back on the cruise ship and just stay there and simmer away....That good. We are taking our Jerk sauce, made with about 25 ingredients of fresh herbs, vegetables and many spices, pureed to a smooth paste, and then cooking the boneless pork and vegetables until they are tender and full of this wonderfulness that HotHeads crave: a #9 on the heat scale. If you love hot spicy foods, you are in heaven. The nice part about this is it can also be a vegetarian option, as the base is meatless. So there Mr. at last.

Appetizers, Small Plates and Light Entrees

Whoo-hoo! Our best girl-friend Sally steered me into this new region of smaller plates and things to try. She is my food concious, the one in the white robe sitting on my right shouldar while I sit on my left shouldar - usually with red on and horns.....

Stuffed Figs: Fresh figs stuffed with Gorgonzola Dolcelatte cheese, wrapped in Proscuitto, and served topped with a bit of a raspberry and Balsamic "gastrique"... a wonderful slowly reduced sauce thick enough to stay on your plate and packed with flavor. Get them while they last.

Mixed Plate: 3 or 4 Artisinal cheeses, fresh fruit, sliced cured meats and Gary's "Pops" peppers - sweet bells roasted, skinned and pickled with onions. Wonderful served with breads to smear everything on.

Market Pasta: Angel hair pasta, tossed with a bit of butter, fresh chopped Heirloom tomatoes, topped with our house-made pesto sauce. Simple, flavorful and to the point.

Ahi Tuna: Rare Ahi tuna, on a bed of baby greens, topped with an Italian infused Meyer lemon olive oil, served with a red chile aioli with toasts.

Gary's Mac and Cheese: He still amazes me after all these years. Still my favorite version, having tasted hundreds of versions of this confort dish. Macaroni pasta, with minced sauteed wild mushrooms, three kinds of cheese, topped with a crunchy topping, baked and topped with a spoonful of sour cream. What could be better than this?

Torta Rustica: Individual puff pastry pies, filled with sauteed veggies, Mozzarella cheese, baked until golden, and served topped with a bit of a roasted garlic and basil cream sauce. Another vegetable dish that makes you forget about meats.

Pork Sliders: We love barbecued pork, slow cooked, shredded and simmered in our barbecue sauce. So we are serving three of these babies with some fun options: red pickled onions rings, vinegar cucumbers, and little French cornichons - tiny pickles. This is fun food.


Trade Notes / Rants & Raves

More Wine Notes and Cafe Luna Wine Club Information:::

Our local wineries are great. Great to visit, great to taste and sample, and even better because it is good money spent for your collection. We have maps here at Cafe Luna, and believe me, Gary loves to map out a route for you if you want.

Each week, I get to taste some of the very best this county has to offer. I am overwhelmed at what we have around us.....and I only wish that my Cafe and my pocketbook let me buy all of the great and wonderful wines I get to sample (eat your hearts out....)

But, yes, there are some not so great wines out there too. Be discerning. Develop a sense of what you like in a wine and grow from there. The wineries will help you developed your palate and if you learn to trust your own taste-buds, you will be happy. My Motto: you either love it or you do not: no one can convince you otherwise. Stick to you guns, and buy and drink what you love and can afford.

And right now, many of them are having winery only specials that can save you a bundle. Visit them or call them...You will be happy.

I am endeavoring to developed a list of like-minded people who are looking for some outstanding and very reasonably priced wines. This group will be for Case Purchasing only, at a very big discount. If you would like to be included in this Wine Club at Cafe Luna, drop us a line. It will be for pick-up here only, and we will be sampling these new wines a couple of times a month. We just sold an Italian Primitivo for $11.00 a bottle, and it was great!!

These are wines we won't be carrying here on our list, because they are usually small lots of production.

When you check out these wineries, make sure you check their Events pages if they have them. These are the upcoming days when you will be able to enjoy some of the special offerings that the counties have to showcase their wares. Those days are fun, and you get to do something out of the normal range. These summer days ahead are going to be a blast for us wine drinkers, and the wineries are trying to keep us amazed at what they can do. And you can buy incredible wines on top of it all. I love my job....


Thank you for your business, we can only hope that things are getting better for all of us.

We love seeing your faces, and miss seeing those we do not.
Drop me a line with an idea, or a suggestion and I will try to respond.

Take care.

David at Cafe Luna

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