May 6, 2010

Hi All you Lunatics;

I can't talk.

I can't talk because it is to beautiful outside.

I can't talk because there are tiny little weeds in my garden just waiting to sprout into huge monsters if I don't get to them soon!

I can't talk because our new rescue dog, Max, keeps running outside protecting us from the wind, the shadows, the bugs, the pillows, the blankets, and all of the other things he feels he needs to protect us from. And then he wants to make friends with every other dog and cat in the neighborhood.
I can't talk because we get so busy this time of the year with spring cleaning, with re-arranging, with re-modeling, and with projects that come out of necessity and whim.

I love this time of the year.


Cafe Luna got nominated for KCRA's A-List for Best New American Food Restaurant. (Double click on it to go there and vote for us!!!) What started out as a fun little event has turned into an all-out major production with people e-mailing me, and Facebook'ing us, and letting us know about their experiences here at the neighborhood restaurant over the years.

My mind, my mind....Gary has such a great memory about every detail and event, and alas, I can't find my socks. I believe anything he tells me ("oh really?") and all he has to do is tell me a name of someone or an event, and then he can remember where they sat, what they ate, what wine they drank and how their evening went. And he can remember things like that from yesterday, or from years, and years ago.

And I still can't remember where I put my socks.

But...............I believe him. Yes, every word.

I am just so sorry that I was not able to meet President Obama and Michelle and the Clintons, and Mr. Ford Coppola and Stephen King when they dined at the restaurant a couple of weeks ago. He told me how much fun they had and how ol' Francis kept going on and on about his wines, and Michelle kept calling their daughters to make sure they were cleaning up after their dog "Bo" and to be respectful of their grandmother while they were out of town.

Gary told me that Ms. Clinton was telling the funniest jokes to him, and that they all laughed and laughed, and how he sampled them on so many of the El Do County and Amador County wines, and how they loved our Zinfandels and Barberas.

And then the Hot-Head dinner came to the table. would think that people when they read "Heat level: 9 out of 10" would realize that this means HOT!....but oh no......Gary tells me that he and Richelle had to get a pile of napkins for them to wipe their brows with (I saved them all for Ebay!)

Which brings us my latest Rant: Hot. Heat. Scorching.

What is Hot to you and what is Hot to me. When we post that a Hot-Heads Heat level is an 8 or 9, you would think that a person would realize "close to scorching"...but oh no.....they sometimes think about heat levels along the lines of Taco Bell hot ("Listen, when I was your age, I used to live dangerously and have the HOT taco sauce ...ohhhhh::::I'm on fire!!!!"). But listen kids: Serrano, Jalapeno, Thai Bird, Habenero chilies - well they produce some wonderful fires in our mouths.....some you can't put out. And then I have my people who say it isn't hot enough (Ms. Debbie C: I admire you!!!).

So people who do not understand loving chile heat: how can I explain it? You have the first taste : FIRE. Then it cools down a bit and you start to taste the subtleties of the chile: believe it or not, a Habanero chile almost has a tropical aftertaste like melons or mango's ("You're crazy!"). Serrano's just taste like new green to me, with wonderful hints of cilantro, and maybe cucumbers and lime. With that fire first....but when the people on the floor talk to the un-exposed to our heat levels, they can't convince them that fresh raw chiles cooked quickly will send you over the edge if you are not used to them.....It's an addiction we have.....chile heat. Sweating brows, red foreheads......what is wrong with us?????

But I digress: When Mr. Clinton sat and ate his #9 level Hot-Head without blinking an eye, and Mr. King sat next to him crying real tears (is there a new novel coming out: "Chile Crazed Killers"), ahhhhh:::: the conundrum of life.......

And still we want hotter and hotter for those of us who love heat. It's funny. A former employee, Rosa, used to have "family" dinner with us after each shift. Most of us would have a slice of bread or a glass of wine or something to go along with our food. Rosa? one whole Serrano chile and one whole Jalapeno chile, raw, that she would just take bites out of while eating her meal. Hmmmm.....the true lover of heat.....

With that in mind, our little tribute to the heat lovers out their: Jalapeno Popper Fondue like appetizer. All the cheese ingredients you crave in a popper, in a dip-able little crock with tortilla chips and toasts for your spreading....heaven.....

We love Short-Ribs of beef any way we can have them. So, we are having a Short Rib Linguine pasta dish this month: slow simmered short ribs, in a rich simple braising sauce, shredding the meat and tossing with linguine pasta. Everything we love about this meat with Pasta!!! Gloria would be so proud!!!

We have added a new winery to our menu: Sean Minor's "4Bears" Wines. We are carrying their Cabernet Sauvignon, their Chardonnay and their Sauvignon Blanc. This powerful little winery is making a lot of noise by producing excellent wines in the Napa Valley with prices you won't believe considering the quality. And winning award after award... You will love these wines.

I have this passion for Prosecco wine. This sparkler from Italy has always been so much of a fun wine to drink with appetizers, desserts, and lighter meals. It is a celebration every time you have it. I have been looking for the same memories in a bottle that Gary and I experienced years ago in Italy, and found it. Tasting probably 20 or 30 of them, we found this one by "Bele Casel" who produces this light and exuberant bottle. Try this. It is great and fun.

Oh, and long story short. Gary ‘fessed up:::: The Obamas were not here with Mr. Ford Coppola and Mr. King. They were dining with the Clintons and Oprah and her best friend Gayle King.... I got the names wrong.....(and yes, Oprah did stay on her diet...).

We are on Facebook now, and I try to post all of our daily changing specials and notes....if you are interested, sign up for these notices, and I promise not to make you crazy....John told me no more that 4 a week!!!
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.

Thank you for your business and your continued support. Spring is eternal for all of us!

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 bolded red letters above to preview or download

May 2010

Wine Trivia:
Here are some interesting and fun facts about wine and other alcoholic beverages......
Wine has been enjoyed by many for quite a long time now. Its history dates back into ancient times when grapes was first known to be cultivated and fermented into an ancient brew that became the process that was eventually followed in the production of modern wines. The long and rich history of wines comes with a number of quite interesting trivia that revolved around this popular drink and how it was made. Here are just some interesting samples to think about.

1. For quite a number of wine loving people all over the world, the word Champagne easily strikes a familiar chord. And most people know that it was a certain French monk residing in the Benedictine Abbey in Hautvillers who was credited for "inventing" the process on how Champagne is made. The monk by the name of Dom Perignon, developed the way of holding the cork in place to help withstand the pressure inside the bottles that eventually became the Champagne. But it may be quite unknown to many that this humble monk was actually blind.

2. Sparkling wines are known for their bubbles, so most likely they would produce foam as they are being poured. In order to prevent excessive foaming, it is suggested that an ounce of the wine be poured first and left to settle for a bit. The remainder of the serving is then poured into this starter so that the sparkling wine would not foam as much.

3. Grape cultivation has become a very important industry all over the world. It has grown steadily over the years that there are now over 20 million acres of land planted to grapes worldwide. And not only that, wine grapes today rank as the number one among the world's fruit crops when it comes to the number of acres used for its cultivation.

4. Grape cultivation for use in winemaking really takes patience. It is known that newly replanted grape vines usually take four to five years before they are ready for a harvest of a commercial crop.

5. Today, there are over 10,000 varieties of grapes used for winemaking that exist worldwide.

6. The oldest wine review on record is over 200 years old. It was made by Pliny the Elder as he wrote the History of the Roman Empire around 70 AD.

7. There are over 400 species of oak trees that exist today, yet there are only about 20 species that are used in making oak barrels for wines. Of these 20 species of oak trees, only five percent of them are suitable for making high grade wine barrels. High grade oak barrels usually makes use of species such as the French oak tree which is harvested for use in wine barrels at an average age of 170 years old.

8.00Even in ancient times, wine has been considered as a drink for the classy lot. It was found in certain archeological findings that in King Tut's Egypt which existed around 1300 BC, it was the ordinary folk that drank beer while the upper class drank wine.

* Reproduced with permission from