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On my trip to Oregon a few months ago, I met so many passionate, dedicated, friendly winemakers and was so impressed with the camaraderie within Willamette Valley. One of the best examples was between Brittan Vineyard and Winderlea Vineyard and Winery. These two wineries were founded by two different couples but the wine world has brought them together and now, while their brands are their own, their businesses are intertwined. You can read the story I wrote in the Napa Valley Register here. One of the things that fascinates me about the wine industry is the level of friendship, camaraderie and passion that exists in such a competitive industry. In essence, every winery is seeking placement in a very crowded market. But, friendship and collaboration seem to overpower the competition. A perfect example is Brittan Vineyards and Winderlea Vineyard and Winery, two wineries in the Willamette Valley.
On a recent trip to New York, I had an unexpected open night and decided to get a last minute ticket to a Broadway show. I rushed to Times Square at 5:30 pm to get a ticket for the 7:00 pm show of To Kill A Mockingbird. Once I had my ticket, I had some time to kill and was hungry for dinner. But, I was in Times Square and as I looked around, everything looked rather touristy. I wondered if I would be able to find somewhere in the area that was actually good. After a quick Google search and referring to a few articles in Eater, Thrillist and Time Out, I decided to head to Sushi of Gari located a few blocks away. As I entered Sushi of Gari, I was expecting to order a couple basic items but my eye caught the omakase menu and I inquired about it. Unfortunately, I did not have time to enjoy the entire menu but my server suggested that I select the Sushi Special which included nine pieces of sushi and one roll.
It is that time of year when the rosé wines from the last vintage will be released. Each year, Fiddlehead Cellars in the Santa Ynez Valley hosts a Pink Party. Guests dress in pink and pink wine is poured all night for a fantastic nite of fun. The Fiddlehead Pink Party takes place the weekend prior to Valentine's Day, which means that it takes place around my birthday (and in the past has occurred on my birthday), so it is a dual celebration. For five years I have been attending this event! It is an event I look forward to each year and that is why this week's Please The Palate Pick of the Week is the Fiddlehead Cellars Pink Party. This year, the party moved from the Fiddlehead Winery and Tasting Room in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto to the restaurant Root 246 in Solvang. Open for ten years, I had not been to the restaurant in years and was impressed by the exciting new change. The modern decor restaurant is now run by Chef Pink, aka Chef Crystal DeLongpré. Chef Pink has been featured in Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue”, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” and “Man vs. Child” on fyi,TM. Chef Pink took over Root 246 in December 2018 and has created a seasonal menu blending local ingredients with fine dining techniques.