Oct 5, 2010

Cafe Luna Rants & Raves
October 2010

Hi All you Lunatics;

Oh my gawd: my hands......my hands are tired from signing all the autographs......
(well...I may be stretching that a bit...ok, ok, it is an outright lie....nobody requested my autograph although I did set up a booth outside of the Cafe with a little table full of brand new 'Sharpie' pens and with cute kid-pictures of me as a fireman and a fisherman from when I was little....just something that I knew the public would love to see......HAD THEY ASKED!!!! But don't worry----I'm not bitter....)

BUT:::if you didn't read our little e-mail supplements sent out on September 19th, you will know that Cafe Luna got a really great review from the Sacramento Bee's food critic, Blair Anthony Robertson, obviously a writer who is so very intelligent, witty, and insightful (kiss-kiss...). I was phone interviewed by him after he had been to the Cafe several times, and can only attest to the fact he is all of the above. He knows his foods, and I found out we have a hobby in common: he loves to bake breads of all kinds.

Blair Anthony(This photo is what I am sure he looks like due to his great writing skills...) He noted that he, due to the nature of his job, is not able to be a regular at restaurants because he must remain anonymous. That just sucks. But now that the review is out, I would like to meet him. Wonder how that will happen? Wait and see......wait and see......

Here is the link to the review if you want to check it out:

In the review, he made a statement I wanted to address:

First of all, we are going to re-model the inside of the restaruant. We have decided to go with a beige interior covering the walls with oiled burlap to signify the covered wagons of yore....we have also decided to rid the restaurant of any electricity and use oil burning lamps only. This will further the ambiance of the "olden daze". We are going to paint the floors a shiny gold to signify the gold rush, and then finally, we will be having large branches jutting out from the walls to signify the hanging of certain men during these Placerville days. We think that way all of the locals who have probably forgotten what it was like to live in those days will be reminded once again. Oh, also: the menu will consist of only river trout, baked campfire beans, and also beef and buffalo jerky, gourmet style of course.

What the???

Well, just kidding of course. This has been the biggest item of discussion about this wonderful review: making the restaurant more likened to the area. So what is our area in regards to design? Victorian, modern, 50's style? I am to lazy to figure that out, so I am afraid it will have to stay the way it is....with all my little bits of memorabilia that customers have brought in to us, items from our travels, and wines of wonder we have loved.

After the article came out, we have been so busy with returning customers, new customers, and the customers who have not been here in a long while. It has been great for us, and to all of you - Thank you!!!

The main question we get from our regular customers is wanting to know if they have to make reservations now:

WHAT??? You weren't making reservations before? Hey! We are a small little establishment, that only seats 38+ people inside. We need you to make reservations so we know what kind of meats, produce and seafood's to order nightly.

We can always try to get you in, but sometimes on a busy night, we hate to have to tell regulars that they have to wait for a long time for a table. You don't like that!

So, yes, we love reservations!!!
Hey all you gift-starved people! Gary and I recently had to send out a wedding present to someone we knew marginally. Best friend of a relative, you know. So what do you get something for someone you barely know? So we talked to our friends at Arnold's for Awards, and they came up with this idea: a bottle of their favorite California sparkling wine, with the names and wedding date engraved on it. Perfect!!! I am sending you a link to their site. Just an idea for you to ponder. They also did several of our wine bottles at the restaurant, along with the etching on our wine glasses. They do everything!!! And we love them too!!! Great friends who have a great business in Shingle Springs. Ask for Mike or Sheri.....they know their stuff.
Click on the line below to go there....



Our menu is basically GLUTEN-FREE!! Now don't get crazy on me, we do have gluten products, of course: pasta's, Panko bread-crumbs, flour, etc. But these are specifically noted on each dish.

Most of our dishes are saute's, grilled, or roasted. We do not use breading on most of our dishes, we do not use processed items, and we do not use pre-made items. So there are no "hidden" ingredients we need to worry about. And in most cases, if we do use a breading or flour, we can not use it for your meal. JUST ASK!!! But pa-leeze do not assume.....

We also served several gluten-free desserts!!! Our Coconut Flan with Bananas, our Creme Brulees are all gluten-free. And we always have fresh fruit available for you.

So, in our own way, we are patting ourselves on the back being able to make another group of people happy!!!

Here is something that customers ask us all the time: how to store their fish properly. This article from about.com is great. and it answers the age old question: is my fish going to stay fresh?

How to Freeze Your Fish - - Tips on Freezing Fish

from about.com
Any fish you are not planning on eating within a few days must be frozen. And properly freezing a fish does not mean tossing it will-nilly into the icebox. Here's what you need to know to have top-quality fish for months:
Air is your enemy. Any air that touches your fish will destroy it. It's that simple. So you must prevent air from contacting the fish by vacuum-sealing it, glazing it or wrapping it tightly -- this is in order of preference.
If you catch a lot of fish or buy lots of fresh fish from the market, buy a vacuum sealer. They're worth every penny.
If you choose not to do so, you can glaze the fish by dipping them in cold water and putting them on a sheet pan in the freezer. Let that water freeze, then repeat the process several more times to get a 1/4 inch thick ice glaze on the fish. You can then put your glazed fish into a plastic bag for storage.
You can wrap your fish in plastic wrap, then put them into a plastic bag, but I don't really recommend this for more than a few days. It just is not as effective at preventing moisture loss and freezer burn as the other methods.
Remember that the weather in a freezer is just fine for many fish. What do I mean? Think about cold-water fish such as cod or haddock: They spend their lives in water that is only a few degrees above freezing, so putting them in the freezer will not be as radical a change for the meat as it would be for, say, a steak or a chicken. This means you will get less of a loss in flavor with many frozen fish than you would with frozen terrestrial meats.
How long can you freeze your fish? Never longer than 6 months. After that, you will notice a serious decline in quality. Fatty fish, such as salmon or trout, go down hill even faster: Don't freeze them longer than 3 months.
And some fish should never be frozen. These are the fattiest ones, the bluefish, herring, mackerel and sardines. You can glaze them, but they still decline in quality a lot. If you find youself with a surfeit of bluefish -- this happens a lot -- vacuum-seal them and know that you will be making fish cakes with them down the road; that's all they'll be good for.
When you thaw your frozen fish, do it gradually. Never put them in the microwave to thaw!! Let them thaw in the fridge or in cold water. Thawing at room temperature is also a bad idea.

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!!!

Scroll down this page to got to our new menu and this months promotions and recipe. This is the fun part!

Enjoy our weather, go to the wineries, go to the nurseries, get involved in what is the rest of our summer. Come to Cafe Luna, see Gary and Richelle and Maria, and Courtney and say hello. We love to see you, and I love to hear back from you. We love being your guilty pleasure.

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

By the way, if you would like to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, contact me to sign up. We have much more information about the local wineries, events, and more to look at.

Take care.
David at Cafe Luna

This months promotions for our internet friends:

Double-click here for a down-loadable & printablepage of Dining Discount 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 and e-mails.
#1. On Wino Wednesday,all full bottle wines are 30% off the list price.
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 to be honered for the month.

and our By-The-Glass Selections Pairings
Just Double-click on the under-line above to preview or download
This Months Recipe
Double Click on the recipe title for a PDF copy. Enjoy
Roasted Halibut with Orange & Avocado Salad and Salsa Lulu Sauce

Seafood: it has become such an expensive treat anymore, that you have to get the most out of each dish you cook. This dish shows the easy methods in which we cook fish: simple and quick, with the main criteria a hot clean saute pan. Presentation is beautiful: the "salsa" is kind of 'smeared' on the bottom of the plate, the halibut placed on top, and a hefty spoonful of the salad on top. Simple, and a great looking main course.

Don't be afraid of fish. It is easy to cook. Turn on your broiler or oven. Make sure everything is hot before you start your cooking. A clean, saute pan heated up (stainless steel is my favorite, but aluminum will work too), and then oiled up with just a bit of olive oil or butter or other oils will almost guarantee success.

Cooking fish is something that does not take a long time. Have all of your ingredients ready to go, your table set, and your friends ready to eat. This kind of fish cookery takes about 10 minutes, start to finish. The 'Salsa Lulu' is a great "keep on hand" type condiment that works well with many different dishes, just remember to have it hot and finished. The salad is a room temperature salad that you can just place on top when the fish is finished. This has a great "restaurant" look to it when presented. YOU will love this! Enjoy!