Jan 7, 2010

January 2010

Well here we are...

Another year older and wiser......

Full of the proverbial piss and vinegar, ready for what comes in this near future, and trying (with vitamins and good living) to remember the past....

Could I possibly have drunk to much wine in 2009? Is my liver along with my memory going further down the trail of beyond middle age? (lets see:::: 40 + 40 = 80.......how long will I live? Exactly when did I hit my "middle" age? 38 for a man who with our averages lives to 76. So.....?
oh good:::::::::::what are we approaching after we reach the "Middle" Age of 38 years? I know: ask a 16 year old and they will tell me with fluidity: just plain old! Damn, I knew there was a reason I did not have children: I don't think I would have been able to take the mental abuse their honesty would have lashed out to me.)

But then I do take respite in the fact that "my kind" is gifted with incredible bodies, a great sense of style, and of course, we are all great dancers. And apparently, we can all decorate any house or building or yacht on the ocean. JUST --- LIKE --- THAT ("Saa-NAP!!")

It's the "gift".

Ask my mom.

She will tell you:

"Why yes; when he was little, he wore flannel shirts, a white T shirt with old Levi's and work boots. ("It's fun to stay at the Y ....M ....C ....A ....!")
And he hated to throw anything away (Watch "Hoarders" on A & E or think EBay). And yes, David used to be so smart......(think Alice B. Toklas)...... now what do we do?

You wake up each day, you brush your teeth, wash your face, comb your hair (??), and then you look in the mirror and tell yourself "Don't you ever die you handsome devil" or something like that....or maybe you just brush your teeth, wash your face and you comb what is left of your hair...it is all relative isn't it?

And your kids and your nieces and nephews and all the people around you are another year older too. The youngest kids maybe have started to lose that look that kept them babies. And the adolescents have started to grow wispy mustaches. (Boys and girls...) And then there are the adolescent boys with their voices changing in that "falsetto/deep-as-thunder-at- times' shrieks that seem to emit from their mouths, especially when they are trying to explain something to you that "is very serious Uncle David!" And the little-about-to-be-women girls in your life blush at everything you say.....

And we listen. We flash on when we were in the same boats, and how we handled it, and we hope that our children don't ever get away with what we got away with, and we hope that we can read them better than some of our parents or adults read us as kids...... (think Alice B. Toklas once again.....gawd:::::my poor Mom.....)

We have all been there.

And so, you do look in the mirror and you say "don't you ever die, you some-what handsome devil" and you go about your day, with the hope and desire not to embarrass any of your friends of family. (But then the little horns on the top of your head, kind of hidden by what is left of your hair, seem to rise up and you think to your self: "hmmmmm......what CAN I do to embarrass my friends and family???" now my day is really beginning....)

Note: Gary is going to go to Mexico in a couple of weeks, back to the spot on the Pacific coast we have mentioned on our site several times, Troncones, Mexico. Our friends Debbie and Mike, the hosts at the fabulous place we stay Casa de La Sirena (double click the name to go to their web-site) will be there, along with some of our very best friends. If you see me walking around town, dressed all in black with the back of my hand touching my forehead and dragging my foot around with an empty Margarita glass and an avocado in my other hand, its ok......I am just feeling the pangs of not going TO MEXICO.....

they will have fun...
Ryan and Teresa have left us for sunny San Diego so she can finish her education. We will miss them.

I am pleased to announce John Adams is now our full time chef here at the old Cafe and is now a registered Lunatic. We will be having some new items in the coming months that I am very excited about. I love food that is cooked by others. I love it when someone re-invents the wheel. I love it when someone can take a classic, add a hint more of this, or a smidgen of this or that, and create a whole new dish.

I love food.

Come in and meet John.....he will be the one running around in the clean white chef jacket with the full head of hair. And the great part for me? He is not afraid of hot and spicy food!!!! Yahoo!!

John Adams love affair with all things culinary developed at an early age, while learning to cook in the kitchen of his Sicilian grand-parents. Holidays and vacations were spent making homemade sausage with his Grandpa Joe, fishing for dinner, cooking huge traditional meals for the family, and helping at Uncle Sam's delicatessen.

While growing up John's parents ate out regularly, he would befriend the chefs at whatever eatery they were at and spent most evenings in the kitchen. He eventually was offered a dishwashing job at the age of thirteen at one of these frequented restaurants. John spent the rest of his teenage years studying cuisine, playing sports, and working his way up the line at an assortment of local establishments.

At the age of 17, John landed a job at Paragarys in Folsom, eventually moving up to Sous chef. This is where John honed his culinary skills. Specializing in fresh pastas, grilled items and pizzas, Paragarys was the spot to be in the 90's. Switching gears as an adult, John left Paragarys after 5 years to pursue an "Information Technology" (IT) career. Like in the kitchen, John excelled at a rapid pace and landed a chief information officer position for California's largest independently owned Title and Escrow Company. He thrived in the corporate environment; he would often cater corporate events and cook special meals for co-workers and clients.

In 2005 John partnered with local restaurateur Taro Arai and opened a sushi bar in Elk Grove. During this process Adams traveled to Japan and all over the United States doing research on food and restaurant design. While eating at some of the best restaurants in the world and building a restaurant, John realized what his true passion was. In 2007, he traded in his mouse and keyboard for a set of chef knifes.

Prior to joining Café Luna, John helped open two new Sacramento hot spots, Hot Italian and Matteos. Working with some of the finest ingredients and using a lot of local products Adams continued to develop his culinary skills. John prides himself in constantly learning new techniques in the kitchen. Having lived in El Dorado County for over 30 years John is thrilled to be cooking in his hometown.

So with this new menu, you will see some of his new ideas and dishes. A collaboration of the two "foodies" that we get to talk and discuss and play around with.

I love food. And now, lets get on with our new year....

Thank you for your business.

We are all excited about this new year. Changes here at Cafe Luna will be making things better, and more fun. We hope to see you all soon. We love seeing your faces, and miss seeing those we do not. Come in and say hello.
Drop me a line with an idea, or a suggestion and I will try to respond. It is a pen-pal situation here on the internet.....

Take care.

David at Cafe Luna

Printable copy of this months current dining menu

and our By-The-Glass Selections Pairings

Just Double-click on the under-line above to preview or download


New This Menu:

Main Entrees

Truffled Risotto - Italian Arborio rice slow cooked with white wine and winter truffle butter with roasted Butternut Squash, baby peas and Button mushrooms. Topped with Parmesan cheese and Truffle oil. Our vegetarian option.

"Jerk" Chicken - Our Hot-Head Special this Month. A "jerk" sauce is Jamaican in theory: but we take liberties.....a base of so many herbs and spices to combine to a great dish that we cook boneless chicken breast in with chiles and tomatoes, serving with Basmati rice and topping with a lime/cilantro/sour cream that cools down this dish. ON our heat scale 1 through a hot 10 = 9!!

Pork Shanks - Niman Ranch pork shanks slow braised in wine, apples, herbs and spices, sprinkled with a "Gremolata" made with fresh garlic, lemon zest and Italian parsley. This pork shank is along the lines of "The Flintstones" in size, with the meat so tender and rich. A wonderful winter dish.

Frutti di Mare - (Fruits of the Sea) A mixture of fresh shellfish and seafood with white wine, tomatoes and herbs, simmered together and served tossed with Linguine pasta, we are topping this with toasted Panko bread crumbs for some extra added crunch. Dee-lish!!!!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast - Grilled boneless chicken breast stuffed with Sonoma Goat Cheese and fresh herbs topped with a light salad of Arugula, bacon and tiny grape tomatoes.

Rib Eye Steak - We think this is THEE steak for flavor: well marbled, great beef taste, and juicy. We are dry-marinating this steak, char-broiling to your liking and serving it topped with a bit of green peppercorn butter. This is MEAT!

Appetizers, Small Plates and Light Entrees

Grilled Chile Lime Prawns - Large grilled prawns served with a smoky Chipotle chile remolade topping.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - these little house-made gnocchi's are so light and delicious. If you have had gnocchi before, you will love this presentation: light as air tiny pasta dumplings in a brown butter and Marsala wine sauce with sage and Gorgonzola cheese. Heaven in your mouth!

Our new Favorite Torta Rustica - this little dish has become so popular, we are going to be doing this regularly, and surprising you daily. We will tell you about each nights presentation and how wonderful they are. Ask Gary or Maria or any of us about tonights preparation.

January 2010 Promotions

January 2010 Promtions

Double-click here for a down-loadable & printable page of coupons

Here is our promotional plan for this month. These are available to only you, our customers who have signed up for our e-mails and looking at our web-page.

#1. On Wino Wednesday, all full bottle wines are 30% off the list price. The change here is it used to be wines under $35.00 and over 50.00......now 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!!!!!
(Does not work with by -the-glass offerings)

#2. BYOB Thursdays! On Thursday nights, diners wishing to bring in their own bottle of wine getting one free bottle corkage per table. That alone will be a $15.00 savings. Please don't bring in wines on our list though.....how gauche. Call us first if you have a question......does not include holiday evenings!

#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; limit 2 coupons per table. You must bring in the attached coupon in and be honored for the month oif January, 2010.

This Months Recipes
Double Click on the recipe title for a PDF copy. Enjoy

Cafe Luna Dry Steak Rub

This is one of the "restaurant" tricks people are always asking about: what do you do to your meat that makes it taste so great? Well, let me tell you, we do a "dry rub" - essentially a dry marinade that infuses flavor and tenderness to meats that are incredible. The sugar in the recipe helps break down tough fibers in the meat, and the paprika gives it not only wonderful taste, but a great color. Make enough of this to package up for your best buds. It is a keeper.


Wine Trivia Q & A:

Are there particular wines that go well with ethnic or take out foods? The more complicated the flavors in the food, the simpler the wine should be. The acidity in wine heightens the flavors in food.

Sushi and sashimi - Sparkling wine is perfect. Zippy whites like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc are winners, too.

Japanese teriyaki - Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blends. Spicy Szechwan Chinese dishes. Kung Pao Chicken or Mu Shu Pork, a Riesling or lighter-bodied red like Beaujolais.

Enchiladas, tamales, burritos - Chardonnay with little oak aging, Zinfandel or a young Chianti Classico.

Beef or chicken fajitas with salsa - Pinot Noir, a red Cotes du Rhone, Cab-Shiraz blend from Australia.

Greek roast lamb - Italian reds, California Zifandel, a Shiraz.

Pad Thai and piquant Thai dishes - German Riesling, Gewurztraminer or a fruit-packed Sauvignon Blanc. Indian curries and chutney. Riesling's a good choice; Semillon-Chardonnay blend.

Middle Eastern Dishes - Fruity Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Semillion-Chardonnay blend. Lighter-bodied Chianti, Temprnillo.

Pizza - Works well with many wines. Sangiovese, Chianti, Cabernet.

· Should I leave a wine to breathe? - Simply drawing the cork and leaving the bottle to stand for an hour or two before drinking it - allowing the wine to breathe' - does virtually nothing towards aerating the wine. Rather, pour the wine into a serving decanter or pitcher, thus exposing the wine to the oxygen.

· What should I think about when matching wine with food? - Remember it is a matter of personal taste, so choose combinations you find particularly pleasing. Many wine styles evolved to complement the cuisine of the region, and so this is a good starting point for finding a food and wine combination. Have fun, be brave and experiment. Many excellent combinations have been discovered this way!

· How many bubbles are there in a bottle of champagne? According to scientist Bill Lembeck there are approximately 49 million bubbles in a bottle of Champagne. (On a side note, here is an interesting story about the discovery of Champagne. The 17th century Benedictine monk, Dom Perignon, is credited with discovering the cork as a means to seal wine and champagne bottles. He is also credited with discovering the process of making champagne. It is said that upon his first taste of champagne he cried, "Come quickly, I am tasting stars.")

· What does the term "Blanc de Noir" refer to? The term "Blanc de Noir" refers to white wine made from red/black grapes.

· Is wine good for you? There is growing scientific evidence that regular moderate consumption of wine is good for you. Red wine in particular is said to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The cholesterol that blocks arteries is low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LPD). This is cleared from the blood by high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HPD). Both are carried in the blood.

· Why is cork used to stop wine bottles? Cork is used to stop wine bottles because its structure renders it light, elastic, and impermeable to most liquids and gases. Corks are produced using the bark of cork trees grown in the western Mediterranean.

· What are sulfites and should I be worried about them? Sulfite is a term used to describe sulfur dioxide and other sulfur derivatives. Sulfites are found in all wines as they are a natural product of fermentation. Sulfur dioxide is used in wine making to prevent oxidation, kill bacteria and wild yeasts, and encourage quick and clean fermentation. The U.S. government requires wine labels to include "Contains Sulfites" to alert those who may be allergic to sulfites. Approximately 1% of the population is allergic to sulfites.