“Drinking rum before 10 a.m. makes you a pirate, not an alcoholic,” says country singer Earl Dibbles Jr., and I would bet Captain Jack Sparrow would agree. Thankfully, the Petaluma Museum’s rum-paired dinner won’t test that theory, as they will wait until 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, to start rumming it up. The PMA has really stepped things up this year for their annual fall spirit-pairing dinner by encouraging costumes, and who doesn’t like dressing up like a pirate?
This multi-course dinner will feature rum from Wilibees, and an expertly paired dinner by chef extraordinaire Amber Balshaw of Preferred Sonoma Caterers. Both chef Amber and Wilibees staff will educate guests on each course and how the food and spirits meld into perfect combinations.
Yours truly will either be there serving, or with a bit of a past penchant for rum myself, may actually be captaining a table. Tickets are available at rumpairing.brownpapertickets.com for $60 for PMA members and $70 for non-members, although I recommend grabbing your very own membership. The base membership is only $35 and entitles you to all sorts of special benefits, including discounts to future events and reserved seating for the Butter and Egg Days Parade, just to name a few. For costume help, I highly recommend a visit to Custom Costumes at 927 Petaluma Blvd. N. 778-8833.
The Aquarium is hosting a Fall Spaghetti Feed fundraiser for Lincoln School, which although in Marin, is out on Hicks Valley Road, so it’s basically Petaluma. Yes, that Aquarium — the bar in the “Old Lucky’s” shopping center, and yes, their food is good. The feed is tonight, Thursday, Sept. 20, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 in “advance” at 763-0045 or $12 at the door, if there are any left.
Butcher Crown Roadhouse is still setting up their new space, at the corner of Bodega and Eastman, with plans to open any day now. Their sign, made by Petaluma Sign Company, looks inviting, as does their backyard patio. Although owner Pete Schnell is still experimenting with his menu, he is definitely shooting to introduce Petaluma to a broad cross section of Latin American dishes. We tried conchinita pibil, which is a pork dish from the Yucatan Peninsula, and lechon asado, which is a Cuban pork dish made with mojo, a citrusy garlic sauce. Both are slow-roasted, and in this case, that means spending many hours in one of several smokers Pete has on-site. Both were excellent.
We were warned that these were just experiments and that the final product would be even better, to which we responded that if it gets any better, the place is going to be packed from dawn till dusk. We also saw a ropa vieja in mid-prep, and hear that they smoked a pretty mean beef and chorizo meatloaf today, topped with a chipotle glaze. Consulting pit master Dustin Vaught comes from Georgia, and is now a Bay Area butcher and chef. Adding a bit of spice to the mix, Dustin’s wife Anna teaches university level Latin American studies, which certainly helps expand the menu’s culinary influences. The grand opening date will be announced any day now.
In late-breaking news, Pete just gave me the scoop that he has hired Christofer Gutierrez, formerly of Brewster’s and Bistro de Vine, to run the kitchen at Butcher Crown Roadhouse.