Welcome to our old friend Spring!!
It's Our 15th Year Anniversary!! We opened up in April 1995, and we are still here and having fun! Thank you to each and everyone of you for your support and friendly faces!!!
I can tell something is happening: the strawberries, asparagus and artichokes are making themselves known to all of us in the food biz...The strawberries this time of year do seem to be the biggest, the most red and the juiciest of the season.....and the artichokes? We get the tiny baby no bigger than your thumb, up to some as big as baseball mitts.....and they all have their purpose....those tiny ones are those that get braised in wine and butter with herbs and are served as a bed for some glorious meat or braise. Those huge ones? They are here to feed the planet for those who only want "one" item to munch on.......
Soooooo......have been looking at Main Street, Placerville. It is so very strange to see all the empty shops available here. And more strange to see Placerville on a Friday or Saturday night, at 8 or 9 PM empty. So what has happened to our fair little town? What has the economy done to us in particular? We all know that businesses in America are hurting, and we all know that we are hoping for the states to get more involved with the "little guys" - the "Mom & Pop" businesses that are the back-bone for our country's financial health: the places we can depend on. And yet.....here we are with close to 25 empty shops and spaces on our little Main Street.
Creekside Place, where we are located, has three of its small shops going out of business. Our fabulous art gallery is already closed up, and two more are leaving. This is such a blow to our little community, because it represents the small business man who is unable to maintain financial stability, even by cutting back and working harder.
The intention of Creekside Place was to have smaller shops, affordable and maintainable by the small, sole-owned and run business person. When a small shop of less than 500 square feet is struggling, what are we to think?
So, this brings me to a memory of several years ago, when the "Downtown Association" had a vote for most requested new businesses needed on Main Street, Placerville. Where are we with that now? I remember that the #1 spot was a Thai Food Restaurant, and in the top 5 was a mens shoe store. With our economy, what is needed in Placerville now?
I love the fact a new wine tasting room is joining our Main Street where Auriga Wine Tasting room was. This is indicative of where Placerville might be going. We are an INCREDIBLE wine area, but sadly, not everyone is able to go out to the wineries. So why not have more tasting rooms available for the public to see what we have to offer. This is something I have always wondered why a group of the wineries have not banded together to establish: a tasting room or two that would combine many of the wineries together, to get a "taste" of El Dorado County Wineries.
Gary and I were treated to a wonderful afternoon several months ago on a maiden journey of our friends Dan and Jim's new motor home. We went to Lodi, and there was this great tasting room representing at least 20 wineries. This was like one-stop shopping for the wine-whore!!! And guess what? The people behind the counters knew information about each of the wineries, and were not representing just one. And all my questions were answered and I am a more educated wino now. We loved it!!
So: I am advocating more of these on Main Street!!!! Fun, and they do not take away from the wineries, but enhance them because we are exposing the walking public on Main Street, Placerville, to something that they are not expecting: our bounty!!!
(And we have some spaces available if interested!!! Plug.)
Speaking of wines:::(double click on the underlined winery names to jump to their websites...)
We got our new shipment ofJeff Runqist Winesin: his new Barbera, his new Cabernet Franc, and his new Zinfandel. If you are unfamiliar with these wines, come in and enjoy. His style is high fruit, but so great with food, or just sipping. We love them.
A couple of years ago, we had a Zinfandel on our wine list from Opolo Winery in Paso Robles that knocked our socks off!.. We probably went through at least 20 cases of this wine (and that was just Gary and I ....not really...well maybe close to that....I am going to hell well preserved at least....). This was one of the "fruit bombs" that Zinfandel has sometimes gotten right. And the next year? well, not so great. But we tasted their new vintage: IT'S BACK with a vengence!
Tolosa Wineryis a sustainably farmed vineyard in the coastal hills of San Luis Obispo. We are carrying their Edna Valley Chardonnay and their Edna Valley Pinot Noir. Both have been very high scorers with the wine reviewing sorts, and are well deserved. Sometimes Chardonnay is a hard-match for foods, but this one? Lovely.
Their Pinot is so approachable with our foods and we love the fact that the price is one we can pour by the glass with our foods.
And Holly's Hill Vineyards, which we carry several of their beautiful Rhone's, has a new Viognier that is hot! (not hot in a wine way, but hot in an incredible taste way....). Viogniers in general, are a great food wine with great aromas and clear taste that goes so well with our summer foods, and cheese, and fruits and fish and chicken, and sauces, and salsa's....get my point? A great addition to our menu....
Enjoy our weather, go to the wineries, go to the nurseries, get involved in spring. Come to Cafe Luna, see Gary and Richelle and Maria, and Courtney and Chelsey, and say hello. We love to see you, and I love to hear back from you.