Wine Club Newsletter - June 2020
The Brasserie and The Casual Side are Open for Dining In!
(And take out!)
This month, like last month, I want to step aside from our usual informational Wonderful World of Wine Newsletter, and give you some thoughts and news as to what is happening with us.
As of June 2, 2020, we will have resumed serving our dinner menu in The WineSellar & Brasserie, as well as drinks and appetizers in our downstairs wine bar, The Casual Side. For the time being, we will be closed for lunch, as many of our neighbors in our business park (Qualcomm, DexCom, Brain, etc.) are having their staff working from home.
Our hours for the restaurants will be from 4:00 pm to closing, Tuesday-Saturday. You can get the full Brasserie dinner menu anywhere in the building, and of course we will have reinstituted the menu for The Casual Side as well.
As I also stated in last month’s Wonderful World of Wine, we have been working on the décor, painting, wallpaper, and changing the color palette for both levels of our business. Our Brasserie Host, Morro, along with his daughter Carla and server Natalia, spent almost a week refurbishing the hand rail that leads up to The Brasserie.
After 32 years, it had been wood-stained once, painted four times, and was in need of serious woodwork. Three days of sanding, and three more days of staining and applying varnish, the finished product is absolutely lovely. Morro would love it if you mentioned how great it looks when you get in here! (Shhh, Don’t tell him I said that!)
Beyond this magnificent feat, we have been cleaning, scrubbing, sanitizing, and we have outfitted the seating arrangements to comply with socially distant parameters. We have hand sanitizers everywhere, have trained our staff on the CDC protocols, and we feel you will be returning to a warm, safe, welcoming, new environment.
We can’t wait to see you.
But then again, if you are not feeling safe going out, we have great take out menu options. I mentioned to you that the take out foods are finished at your home so that you get as close to the real Brasserie experience you possibly can. The foods generally involve just heating up a pot of water and dropping in our sous-vide style bags for a few minutes.
We’ve attached directions for the preparations, as well as a few instructional videos by yours truly. We have had many GREAT responses to these dishes, it has been very rewarding.
We also introduced a “winemaker dinner in your home” concept, which has been a total hit as well. Our first was with Merry Edwards Winery. This included a Zoom session with the Merry Edwards winemaker, and their house Sommelier was online as well.
We set up a menu, with a well-varied selection for food and wines. People could order any amount of appetizers, entrées, desserts and wine they desired. We had seven different Merry Edwards wines to choose from, to include five different Estate Merry Edwards Pinot Noirs. We had The Sauvignon Blanc and the Russian River Valley available in half of full bottles.
The five estate bottles Pinot Noirs were also available by the bottle, but how does one couple drink all that much? We put to use a four-ounce bottle that has a phenolic seal, so everyone could choose to have anywhere from one to five of the more expensive Estate single vineyard bottles.
Last weekend, we had the same basic concept for winemaker dinner in the home, “The Wines and Foods of Tuscany”. We Zoomed with yours truly again, along with a Master Sommelier who specialized in the region. It was fun, informative, and everyone got a chance to eat and drink to their hearts content.
On June 13, we will be having a real-life winemaker dinner with Ojai Winery, one of my personal favorites for decades. The wines are spectacular, and the winemaker will be making a personal appearance at the restaurant for the evening.
For those who are not yet comfortable coming out to a public dining event, we understand, as we take all the precautions we can to make it safe for all attending. But if that does not work for you, you can pick up the dinner and wines curbside to enjoy in the comfort and safety of your own abode.
So, you see, even though we have not had a restaurant that was open to the general public, we have been very busy. In fact, my personal home/recreation time has been nearly non-existent, as these projects and happenings have taken a lot of time, effort and coordination, not just from me, but from my entire staff as well.
Speaking of whom, I am so proud of what The WineSellar & Brasserie staff has done for the last six weeks while we were closed. A lot of love and dedication was on parade, as we all teamed and schemed and dreamed of what we were going to do now and in the foggy future that we are navigating today.
I have been blessed through this period, with the spirit of these people, you, our good friends, restaurant/wine shop customers, wine club members, and everyone who has stopped in (or peeked into my office) to tell us how much this place means to them. I am sincerely grateful and fortunate to be aligned with you, my staff, and all of us that share and believe in this culinary bond.
I hope I have successfully conveyed to you what this has all meant to me. I truly feel blessed.