Whale of a time at Bodega Head
Published: Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 9:38 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 9:38 a.m.
Whale-watching season at Bodega Head: The annual migration of blue and gray whales has begun and continues through May. One of the best vantage points for spotting these extraordinary creatures is the Ocean Overlook at Bodega Head.
As long as the weather cooperates, volunteers from Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods are onsite every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. to answer questions and help visitors see the whales. Be sure to bundle up before heading west and consider bringing a thermos of hot tea, cider or coffee. You might also want to stop at Spud Point Crab Company (1910 Westshore Road) for clam chowder on your way. It's open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except for Wednesdays. For many Sonoma County families, whale watching and clam chowder in Bodega Bay is a beloved annual tradition.
Some Like It Hot: If you prefer your Dungeness crab served hot, this Saturday's crab feed at the Rohnert Park Community Center (5401 Snyder Lane), hosted by the Rohnert Park Chamber of Commerce, may be for you. All-you-can-eat hot crab will be accompanied by an appetizer, salad, pasta and bread, with beverages available at a no-host bar.
Cost is $50 in advance, $60 at the door and $20 for children aged 12 and under. For tickets, call 584-1415.
There will also be a drawing with restaurant and wine packages going to the winners.
Got Olives? On Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Don “Olive Don” Landis hosts an olive curing workshop at B.R. Cohn Winery (15000 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen).
Landis, an acknowledged expert on the curing of olives, has been hosting these popular workshops for several years. He'll talk about the history of the olive, including its history in California, and explain how to cure olives without the use of lye so that you can cure your own olives at home.
There is no charge for the workshop, but space is limited and reservations are essential. Make yours by calling (800) 330-4064 ext. 124.
Landis hosts another complimentary olive curing seminar at Cline Cellars (24737 Arnold Drive, Sonoma) on Jan. 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The workshop is part of the three-month Sonoma Valley Olive Festival, which kicked off in December and continues through Feb. 17. For a complete list of all activities and festivities, including Jan. 11's Martini Madness event, visit olivefestival.com.
Winemaker Dinner at Inn at the Tides: On Friday, Jan. 18, The Inn at the Tides (800 Highway 1, Bodega Bay) welcomes winemaker and proprietor Walter Schug of Schug Carneros Estate of Sonoma for the kickoff event of their 2013 Winter-Spring Winemaker Dinner series.
The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a no-host reception, with dinner following at 7 p.m.
Schug 2010 Carneros Chardonnay begins the meal, with poached salmon and saffron puree. Next comes Schug 2009 Carneros Pinot Noir paired with duck confit and porcini risotto with truffle oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Lavender-crusted smoked rack of lamb with horseradish mashed potatoes and baby kale will be served with Schug 2009 Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir.
For dessert, it's a salted, dark-chocolate tart with a cabernet glaze and a glass of Schug 2009 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cost is $90 plus tax and gratuity.
Schug Wines are suave, elegant and handsome, like their maker, and Ms. Mouthful puts this event at the top of the month's best-bet list.
For reservations and to view menus for the 2013 season of dinners, visit innatthetides.com or call (800) 541-7788.
Tasting for Locals: Dutton-Goldfield Winery (3100 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol) has a special tasting offer for Sonoma County residents this month. A VIP tasting will including a special wine not offered on the regular tasting menu. This tasting is complimentary with a purchase or $15 without.
The tasting room is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The winery is best known for its single-vineyard pinot noir and chardonnay.
Shake out your kilt, dust off your bagpipes: If you've been itching to don your favorite kilt, tuck into traditional haggis and sip Scotch in honor of Scottish poet Robert Burns, you should make your reservations soon. Hurley's Restaurant (6518 Washington St., Yountville) honors the poet each January and, in recent years, the dinner has sold out so far enough in advance that we've never been able to tell you about it.
This year's fete will be held on Jan. 30 and, as of press time, there were seats available. Things get under way with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.
A high point will surely be a recitation of Burns' “Address To a Haggis,” complete with a piper and a dramatic presentation of the haggis itself. I'd expect a “Toast to the Lassies” and a “Reply to the Toast to the Lassies,” as well.
What's all this about? Why not go and find out? We guarantee a good time.
Cost is $70 per person, which includes tax and gratuity. Reservations, which are required, must be made by calling 944-2345.
Winter Luau: By the end of January, we'll all likely be ready for a bit of Hawaii warmth and aloha, and Rancho Nicasio offers a perfect opportunity on Jan. 27.
Led Kaapana, slack key and ukulele master with a sweet falsetto, plays that evening and there will be a special Hawaiian menu, in addition to the regular menu.
If you want to come for dinner, you'll pay $20 for the show plus the cost of your meal. Seating begins at 5 p.m., with dinner at
If you want to come for the music only, it's $25.
Tickets are available by phone at (415) 662-2219.
Kaapana will be in Northern California for several days at the end of the month, with appearances at Harlow's in Sacramento on Jan. 24, at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley on Jan. 31 and Freight & Salvage in Berkeley on Feb. 1. He'll be at the Dance Palace in Point Reyes Station on Feb. 2. For more information about his music and tour, visit ledkaapana.com.
Michele Anna Jordan hosts “Mouthful” each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM.
E-mail Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You'll find her blog, “Eat This Now,” at pantry. blogs.pressdemocrat.com.
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