9 upcoming Petaluma foodie events: Restaurant Week, beer and wine paired meals and more

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Join the world-wide movement to “Open That Bottle” of special wine this Saturday, Feb. 23. Started nearly 20 years ago by Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, the two hoped to encourage wine lovers worldwide to crack “open that bottle” and celebrate with friends and family, instead of letting those wines go un-enjoyed in the back of the cellar. “Open That Bottle” is now celebrated on the last Saturday of February every year, so pull out that special bottle of Petaluma Gap wine and show off the age-ability of our older vintages, like those prior to 2012. If you send a photo to the Petaluma Gap, they’ll post it to their Facebook page.

Mario & John’s will hold its five year anniversary party on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 5-10 p.m. M&J’s will team up with Heaven Hill Distillery to offer special cocktails. Visit Mario & John’s Facebook page for more info.

The Shabbat 100 dinner is a Shabbat dinner for 100 organized by Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma. Spearheaded by Rabbi Dovid Bush and wife Devorah, who also does all the cooking, this communal dinner will be hosted in the ballroom at the Hotel Petaluma. Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest, which is the seventh day of the Jewish week, and in strict terms starts at sundown on Friday night. (It is also known as the Sabbath.) Shabbat 100 is a chance for 100 like-minded Petalumans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to come together and celebrate community. On Friday, March 1, pre-dinner hors d’oeuvres and wine (or juice) will start at 5 p.m., followed by appetizers of challah, the traditional Jewish braided bread; fire-roasted tomato dip; olive tapenade; Asian pasta salad, roasted sweet potato and kale salad; and tomato basil gefilte fish. The main menu includes chicken soup with matzo balls, wild rice medley, rabbi’s favorite chicken, butternut squash kugel, roasted baby potatoes and garlic green beans. The meal’s finishing sweets will include three types of bundt cakes (cinnamon, citrus and mocha), zebra cookies, blueberry muffins, chocolate chip sticks and assorted fruit. For tickets visit JewishPetaluma.com/Shabbat100.

Sip Petaluma Wine Tasting will be held on Saturday, March 2, at the Keller Street CoWork space. Along with a dozen wineries, from as close as the Petaluma Gap to as far away as France, there will be live music and a display of work from local artists. Running from 2 to 5 p.m., guest can enjoy wine from Keller Estate, Paul Mathews, Cline, Fogline Vineyards, Leghorn Wines, Two Shepherds, Silver Oak, Singer Cellars, Tonti Family Wines, Champagne LeLarge, Brooks Note, Pax Mahle, La Pitchoune and La Follette, just to name the ones I’m aware of at the time of this printing. Ananviv Catering will provide appetizers, Clay Bell will handle music, and art will be on display from the likes of Jonny Hirschmugl, Deanne Williamson, Alex Cole and Sons of Salvage. The purpose of the event is to showcase local wineries, artist and music in partnership with the Keller Street location. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Special Lift organization, which offers fitness programs for people with special needs. More info and tickets can be found at SipPetaluma.com.

Stockhome and Bucher Wines are joining forces to offer a winemaker dinner on Tuesday, March 5, at the Western Avenue restaurant. The evening will start with a welcome reception from 6:30 to 7 p.m. with the first of the evening’s bright Nordic flavors from Chef Roberth Sundell, paired with Flaunt Brut sparkling wine, made by Dianne Novy Lee, wife of Bucher Wines winemaker Adam Lee. Guests will sit down to a four-course meal at 7 p.m., starting with Alaskan halibut ceviche with citrus, chili, pineapple and lavage crackers, paired with Bucher’s 2017 unoaked chardonnay. The second course is Dungeness crab with squid ink pasta, cherry bouillabaisse and sourdough, paired with Bucher’s 2015 Russian River pinot noir. The third course is the very unique licorice braised beef cheek with raspberry sofrito and Wrångebäck cheese, paired with Bucher’s 2017 OPA’s Block pinot noir. The dessert course will be milk chocolate bodini with caramel, salt and orange cotton candy, along with Bucher’s 2018 late harvest sauvignon blanc. This is a 21 and older event and because there will be a photographer on-site, guests may be included in future Stockhome promo materials. Tickets are $75 per person for the prix fixe menu, including wine pairing, at stockhomerestaurant.com.

During a recent visit to Stockhome, we ordered one of the best French onion soups I can remember ever tasting. I am told that without the Swedish cheese this dish is vegan, but you vegans will have to double check for yourselves. While ordering, we learned two new things about Stockhome. First, they are no longer offering brunch, instead simply keeping a breakfast item on the menu through their weekend lunches. We also learned that Stockhome now offers a frequent buyer plan. For every $30 or more spent on your bill, you earn 1 point. If I recall correctly, at 10 points, you get $30 off your next meal.

Brewsters hosts their monthly brewers dinner on Wednesday, March 6, and this month’s highlighted brewer is one of my favorites, Barrel Brothers out of Windsor. I have an advanced copy of the menu, which may change after today’s printing, but as of now will start with chicories (endives) filed with goat feta, Marcona almonds and Cara Cara orange, paired with Blond Voyage (blonde ale). Next up expect sardines a la plancha, with cauliflower, capers, chili, raisins and dank brown butter, paired with Naughty Hops (West Coast IPA). The main will be a lightly smoked pork belly porchetta stuffed with spring alliums, Pt. Reyes blue and saba, paired with Leather Bound Books (pinot barrel aged sour), followed by a dessert of vanilla soft serve affogato with chocolate-peanut butter cookies, paired with Dark Sarcasm (porter).

Mary’s Pizza Shack on the west side of town will hold a “dine and donate” for Petaluma Community Access on Wednesday, March 6, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Guests may run into PCA staff, board members and programmers of PCA and KPCA, while watching 15 percent of the bill benefit PCA. Visit PCA or their Facebook page to print out the flier, which must be shown at Mary’s in order for the donation to apply (or show it on your phone). The dine and donate is good for dine-in, take-out or delivery, from open to close.

The 2019 Food, Wine and Craft Beer Festival is a “Taste of Petaluma” put on by the Petaluma Host Lions Club as a fundraiser for Project Graduation and other local charities. It will be held at the Vets Building, Saturday, March 9, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. with over 30 of Petaluma’s finest restaurants and caterers offering up samples. There will also be live music performed by our local school bands, and plenty of craft beer and wine to go around. Tickets are available at the door for $40 or from your favorite Lions Club member.

Sonoma Restaurant Week is a great way to try restaurants you have been wanting to try, or maybe visit old favorites, at a time when all participating restaurants go out of their way to show off their best. Running from Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 10, over 140 restaurants across Sonoma County will participate in this year’s Restaurant Week.

Currently, there are about two dozen ultra-local participating restaurants, including Petaluma, Valley Ford and Bodega Bay. The Kynbo app reportedly lets you keep track of all the offerings, which in our area include the likes of Pearl, Lunchette, Stockhome, Taps, Sake 107, Seared, Petaluma Pie Company, Palms Grill, Flamez, Wishbone, Central Market, Cattlemens, Mary’s Pizza Shack, Sift Dessert Bar and Taylor Lane. Heading out west you will find specials from Rocker Oysterfeller’s (Valley Ford), Litchfield’s (Bodega), the Tides (Bodega Bay), Bay View (Bodega Bay) and Ginochio’s Kitchen (Bodega Bay). Ginochio’s Kitchen turned out a pretty mean clam chowder, with house-made parmesan crusted oyster crackers for the recent Bodega Chowder Day and I hear rumor they make excellent barbecue, too, so this is definitely a spot I’ll visit during Restaurant Week.

No tickets or passes are required in order to experience the unique prix-fixe menus only available during Restaurant Week. All foodies have to do is dine at any participating restaurant, although reservations are recommended. sonomacounty.com/restaurant-week

Petaluma Gap wins again

A big congratulations to winemaker Julian Gonzales of Guarachi Family Wines for the outstanding scores that three of his wines received from Wine Enthusiast, including 91 points for the 2016 chardonnay (Sun Chase Vineyard), 92 points for the 2016 pinot noir (Sonoma Coast) and a whopping 94 points for the 2016 pinot noir from the Petaluma Gap’s Crown Vineyard. Gap’s Crown benefits from the cool breezes and the trapped coastal fog that just before harvest helps to ensure that the fruit ripens slowly and evenly. Guarachi Family Wines was one of the main sponsors behind securing the Petaluma Gap as its own AVA. Another Petaluma Gap sourcing winery is Sojourn, which is constantly topping various “100 best” wine lists. Sojourn’s Petaluma Gap spring releases can only be ordered until Feb. 22, and includes Gap’s Crown pinot noir, Sangiacomo Vineyard pinot noir, Rodgers Creek Vineyard pinot noir and Sangiacomo Vineyard chardonnay.

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