Show 375, May 30, 2020: Chef Frank Ostini of Hitching Post 2 Restaurant & Hitching Post Wines

Frank Ostini of Hitching Post IIIt’s hard to believe but until fairly recently Hitching Post Wines (made famous in the Oscar-winning 2004 feature motion picture, “Sideways,”) never had a tasting room. That all changed for the better in August of 2018 when acclaimed winemakers Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini debuted a mid-century farmhouse, destination Tasting Room (with the bonus of lunch service delivered from Hitching Post 2) adjacent to Chef Ostini’s prominent Hitching Post 2 Restaurant in Buellton.

The Tasting Room is still on temporary hiatus but Hitching Post 2 has reopened for pick-up and delivery. Hitching Post Wine packages available, too. Lunch service with wine available by the glass has returned outside under a covered canopy in the picnic area adjacent to the Tasting Room. (Closed on Monday & Tuesday.)

“The Hitching Post 2 blends traditional Santa Maria Barbecue with eclectic local ingredients and award -winning wines for an exciting cuisine that is uniquely its own.”

Chef Frank has put together an impressive Take Home Dinner for Four (Hitching Post BBQ Box) that is delivered to Los Angeles (pick-up at Mar Vista Restaurant every other Tuesday) via Los Alamos Delivers. It includes 1 lb. Prime Top Sirloin Steak, 1 lb. Natural Pork Back Ribs, ½ BBQ’d Fresh Natural Chicken and sides of BBQ’d Baked Potatoes, Rice Pilaf, Assorted Vegetables, Roots Farm Green Salad, Garlic Bread and Salsa. Comes chilled and ready to re-warm at home.

We nudge Chef Frank away from his Santa Maria style BBQ grill to share the details.

Play

Show 374, May 23, 2020: Winemaker Clarissa Nagy, c nagy Wines

Clarissa Nagy of c.nagy winesPreviously we’ve met passionate winemaker Clarissa Nagy who has her own boutique label, c nagy, with a rustic tasting room in historic Orcutt. C nagy wines are “A pure expression of grapes from a vineyard celebrating the experience of Santa Barbara County.” Clarissa has a particular affinity for Pinot Noir but other available current releases include Syrah, Grenache, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Blanc.

Curbside pickup of wines by the bottle is currently available at the Tasting Room while the signature tastings are on hold. Clarissa is also hosting a regular series of entertaining and informative virtual tastings.

“People often ask how I started in the wine industry. It was never my plan to make wine. Actually, my original intention was to work with food. Thankfully, food and wine are often paired together. Through that means, wine found me.”

“Pinot Noir and Syrah were my main focus for the next 6 years. I made a Viognier in 2010, but frost would prevent me from doing so in 2011. The loss of Viognier opened the door to work with Pinot Blanc as well, and my journey continued to unfold. The newest chapter of my story is the addition of the tasting room.”

“Winemaking has become my passion. Sharing that joy with others is a priority. I’d love to be able to bring everyone into the vineyard and cellar to experience winemaking firsthand. Since that isn’t realistic, I offer you a taste of my labor. Here is that experience captured in bottle. I hope to share this passion with you in person. Until then, enjoy!”
– Owner/Winemaker Clarissa Nagy

Winemaker Clarissa Nagy is our encore guest.

Play

Show 368, April 11, 2020: Executive Chef & Proprietor Rob Wilson, Glasspar, Dana Point

Rob Wiilson of Glasspar“As executive chef and proprietor of the newly launched Glasspar in Dana Point, Rob Wilson draws upon decades of elite culinary and operational experience and childhood inspiration to present Glasspar’s menu of thoughtfully sourced, respectfully prepared, and creatively presented American seafood.” With dine-in not allowed during the ongoing health crisis Chef Rob has shifted his operation to create the Glasspar Seafood Market providing hard-to-find fresh seafood at better than supermarket pricing on Wednesday (2 to 6:00 p.m.) and Saturday afternoons (Noon to 4:00 p.m.)

For the duration Glasspar has artfully converted into a fresh seafood market. The restaurant, which originally ceased operations all together after the state-mandated dine-in closure, has now morphed its raw bar into a fresh seafood market.

“We saw an opportunity to meet a need in our community,” comments Chef Rob Wilson. “Supermarkets are barren, but we have access to fresh-caught, high-quality seafood from our partners at Superior Seafood and our raw bar is equipped to safely store and display it all. We’re in the business of feeding people and we’re happy to do our part by providing the community with the fresh seafood they can’t find at the market at better-than-supermarket prices.”

Guests are encouraged to place special seafood orders in advance by calling the restaurant at 949.240.6243.

In addition to fresh-caught seafood, the restaurant is selling bottles of wine from its cellar at a discount. Allowed by the temporarily relaxed ABC regulations, Glasspar is offering a selection of its signature pre-batched cocktails packaged in sealed containers to-go for at-home enjoyment.

We’ll reel Chef Rob is to provide the details.

Play

Show 367, April 4, 2020: Food Writer Yasmin Fahr, Keeping it Simple – Easy Weeknight One-Pot Recipes Part One

Food Writer Yasmin FahrAfter a long day at work (in normal times,) heading home to cook a fussy, complicated meal is the last thing anyone wants to do. Keeping it Simple – Easy Weeknight One-Pot Recipes by Yasmin Fahr is the ultimate collection to have on hand for these moments, featuring over 60 quick, impressive, healthyish, and delicious one-pot/pan/tray dinners that can be whipped up in the time it takes to have a glass of wine.

“Inspired by her column for Serious Eats, One-Pot Wonders, author, food writer and recipe developer Yasmin Fahr’s recipes offer sneaky gems and low-key showstoppers that work every time, and promises each recipe will teach readers a new skill in the kitchen. The ultimate goal is to get dinner on the table quickly, but also to create something truly delicious as a weeknight reward.”

Yasmin Fahr joins us.

Play

Show 366, March 28, 2020: Chef / Proprietor Suzanne Tracht of Jar Restaurant in Los Angeles

Suzanne Tracht of Jar RestaurantJar, a modern chophouse in the heart of Los Angeles, commands the attention of Angelenos with the allure of Chef / Proprietor Suzanne Tracht’s familiar retro dishes from the American culinary repertoire. Since it’s debut in 2002, Jar’s devoted fans return again and again to enjoy her signature Pot Roast, Kansas City Steak, wild and sustainable Seafood, Lemongrass Chicken, Black Mussels with Lobster Bearnaise & Fennel Salt, award-winning French Fries, market-fresh sides and perfectly mixed martinis.

During the prohibition on dine-in Jar continues to serve guests with Jar to-go, Jar Cocktails to-go, Wines to-go and a boxed Dinner for four.

Chef Suzanne has a long tradition of hosting a welcoming Passover Seder at Jar. While that can’t happen this year she will, instead, create a special Passover family dinner for take-out.

Chef Suzanne joins us with all the salivating menu details.

Play

Show 357, January 25, 2020: Dancin Vineyards with Proprietor Dan Marca Part One

Dan Marca of Dancin VineyardsDANCIN Vineyards (Medford, Oregon) is a lush, Tuscan Italian-esque vineyard estate known for award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay where tasting is an experience of enjoyment and relaxation, where wines are served alongside harmonious food pairings. The hospitable proprietors are the gracious husband & wife team of Dan and Cindy Marca. We last visited the picturesque hillside estate in 2015 and the facilities for guests have expanded since then.

The Marcas take only one thing more seriously than hospitality – growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes of exceptional quality and making premium wine that expresses the terroir of their special site while spotlighting the grape’s essential character.

“Our winery and tasting room are set magnificently on the forested foothills of Southern Oregon overlooking the Rogue Valley, one of the most unique terroirs in the wine making world. You’ll imagine you’ve been transported to Tuscany or Burgundy, or both!”

Dan pulls the DANCIN Vineyards cork for us with an update.

Play

Show 357, January 25, 2020: Dancin Vineyards with Proprietor Dan Marca Part Two

Dan Marca of Dancin VineyardsDANCIN Vineyards (Medford, Oregon) is a lush, Tuscan Italian-esque vineyard estate known for award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay where tasting is an experience of enjoyment and relaxation, where wines are served alongside harmonious food pairings. The hospitable proprietors are the gracious husband & wife team of Dan and Cindy Marca. We last visited the picturesque hillside estate in 2015 and the facilities for guests have expanded since then. Time for an update.

“DANCIN is the discipline of cultivating seven separate clones of Pinot Noir along with four distinct clones of Chardonnay to create several exquisite expressions of Oregon Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We blend these clones the way an artist mixes hues on a painter’s palette. We also artfully craft Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah, Zinfandel and Port-style Pinot Noir. This, our various wines and vintages are named after movements within ballet, a form of dance wherein dedication and discipline are integral to the grace and beauty of the final performance.”

Proprietor Dan Marca continues.

Play

Show 356, January 18, 2020: Bruce Cakebread, Cakebread Cellars and Mullan Road Cellars Part One

Bruce Cakebread of Cakebread CellarsCakebread Cellars in Rutherford, Napa Valley, has been a pioneering and prominent California winery since 1973. A newer venture for Cakebread is Mullan Road Cellars of Walla Walla in Washington State producing Bordeaux blends. The first release was in 2012.

“Bruce Cakebread, representing the 2nd generation of Family ownership, has worked alongside his father since the founding of the family winery in 1973. He officially joined the winery in 1977, and after graduating with a degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California at Davis, in 1979 he took over as winemaker, overseeing all vineyard and cellar operations for the next twenty years. In 2002, Bruce became the winery’s President and Chief Operations Officer, also leading international distribution efforts, and today he serves as co-owner and a board member.”

“We are very fortunate to have an excellent collection of vineyards as well as long-term relationships with some of the best growers in Napa Valley,” says Bruce. “Great vineyards, plus the fact that we’ve had only four winemakers over the past forty-five years (Jack, myself, Julianne Laks, and now Stephanie Jacobs), have allowed us to produce world-class wines of extraordinarily consistent quality and style.”

“Bruce has served on the Viticulture and Enology Executive Leadership Board at UC Davis, as a member of the Executive Committee for the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, as a member of the Napa Valley Vintners Board—which he chaired in 2010 and 2013—and as Chair of the Napa Valley College Foundation Board.”

Bruce Cakebread joins us to pull the cork on Cakebread Cellars.

Play

Show 356, January 18, 2020: Bruce Cakebread, Cakebread Cellars and Mullan Road Cellars Part Two

Bruce Cakebread of Cakebread CellarsCakebread Cellars in Rutherford, Napa Valley, has been a pioneering and prominent California winery since 1973. A newer venture for Cakebread is Mullan Road Cellars of Walla Walla in Washington State producing Bordeaux blends. The first release was in 2012.

“Since its founding in 1973, Cakebread Cellars has developed a reputation for producing world-class wines. Its success is built on quality, consistency and continuity, characteristics which apply equally to the grapes, the wines, the people and the operation of the winery. The Cakebread family remains committed to creating fine Napa Valley wines.”

AVEO Table + Bar sat the Monarch Bay Resort in Dana Point is hosting an exclusive evening with Cakebread Cellar Vineyards. “AVEO is proud to offer its first winemaker dinner of 2020 on Thursday, January 23rd at 6 p.m. Winery co-owner and chief winemaker Bruce Cakebread will be present to connect with guests and unveil a new red blend. Executive Chef Jason Adams and Chef de Cuisine Donald Lockhart are preparing a five-course dinner paired with exclusive bottles from Cakebread Cellars including the all-new Mullen Road Blend from Columbia Valley.”

For reservations & more info – 949.234.3900, Ext. 2

Bruce Cakebread has finished the decanting and now continues.

Play

Show 354, January 4, 2020: Executive Chef Vince Terusa, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach Part Two

Vince Terusa of Selanne Steak TavernSelanne Steak Tavern, an upscale tavern and steak house, is located in a historic 1934 converted residence on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach serving modern American fare, a stellar wine collection, artisan cocktails and a range of beers in a light and airy ambiance. The various dining rooms include a warm tavern-style bar, a bistro-style wine room, a more formal upstairs and beautiful outdoor dining.”

“Selanne Steak Tavern, located at 1464 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, opened in November 2013 and is owned by Hockey Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne and local Orange County businessman Kevin Pratt.”

“The discerning wine list is primarily focused on Napa cult wines as well as wines from other California vineyards, including chardonnays, cabernets, cabernet blends and pinot noirs. The list is also recognized for its collection of wines from Burgundy, France. Many of the list’s wines are highly allocated, low production, big-scoring selections. The list has wines by the glass, half bottles and large format selections for special celebratory meals. In addition, the champagne and sparkling list offers distinctive choices, many at guest-friendly prices.”

Selanne Steak Tavern was awarded the Golden Foodie Award for Best Wine Program 2019 for the second consecutive year at Orange County’s Golden Foodie Awards gala held September 29, 2019 at the Newport Beach Marriott.

“Offering a fresh interpretation of classic design, the restaurant is residential in style – infused with an element of whimsy. Materials throughout are influenced by the history and the beachfront appeal of Laguna Beach, with highlights such as slightly distressed wide planked oak wood floors, a color palette of muted grays, whites and cognacs and a rich mix of textures and materials to blend the old and new.”

Executive Chef Vince Terusa, who has been in the busy kitchen since the beginning, continues the sizzling conversation.

Play