MENDOCINO Co., 4/28/23 – Spring is a fabulous time to be a foodie in Mendocino County. Vegetable gardens are being planted, farm stands have reopened, and festivals filled with food trucks are back. If you’re a beer lover, you might be heading off to the annual Boonville Beer Festival on Saturday. Wine enthusiasts, it’s a great time to crack open a bottle of sauvignon blanc and swirl and sip on the patio. Even better, enjoy that glass while reading the latest food and drink news in Mendocino County.
Fort Bragg’s Sip Wine Bar now offering Italian pizza and bar bites from Cucina Verona
Imbibers at Sip Wine Bar in Fort Bragg can now pair their wine with the fine Italian food at nearby Cucina Verona. Sip is now offering Cucina Verona’s full dinner and weekend brunch menus and a menu exclusive to Sip from 2:45 to 4:45 p.m.
Sip Wine Bar owner Mahkayla Raudio wanted to expand the bar’s food offerings beyond charcuterie boards. She thought Cucina Verona, which is located two doors away from the wine bar, would be a perfect partner. She walked over to Cucina Verona, mentioned the idea to chef-owner Joe Harris, and within minutes the concept was born. Harris created a special menu of bar bites, salads and pizzas for Sip in addition to offering his full brunch and dinner menus.
Guests at Sip simply order their food via the bar’s iPad, and the food is delivered to the bar. Delivery is free, and Sip customers can use the code SIPS10 to receive a 10% discount on their order. The food comes in to-go boxes with utensils, napkins and anything else guests need to enjoy their meals at the bar. Sip Wine Bar is open daily at 1 p.m. and is closed Tuesdays, 142 E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg, (707) 409-5003, instagram.com.
Saucy fundraiser in Point Arena raises over $1,500 for school field trips
Point Arena’s Pacific Community Charter School hosted its pasta dinner and sauce competition fundraiser on Friday, Apr. 21. The event raised over $1,500 for students to take spring field trips, including one to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Community members competed for the best pasta sauce recipe, sharing slow cookers filled with tomato-, cream- and pesto-based sauces. The winning sauce was Jessica Price’s bolognese. Price is a school parent and also serves on the school’s Governance Council. Attendees enjoyed a hearty meal of pasta, salad, bread, desserts and drinks all for a good cause.
Slam Dunk Pizza opening new location in Redwood Valley
Locally owned Slam Dunk Pizza announced this week that it will open a new location at the Blacklocks building in Redwood Valley. The new location is a partnership between Slam Dunk Pizza, which has locations in Ukiah and Willits, and Testa Vineyards’ Coffee & Wine Shop, which opened in late 2022. Slam Dunk Pizza anticipates opening the new location in May. slamdunkpizza.com
Black Oak Coffee’s Steve Cuevas wins second place in the “Super Bowl of coffee”
Steve Cuevas, head roaster at Ukiah’s Black Oak Coffee, won second place in the annual U.S. Coffee Championships in Portland, Oregon. The competition took place Apr. 21-23 with Cuevas competing against roasters from all over the country. Competitors green graded coffee, made a roasting plan, and roasted the coffee. “We are enormously proud of Steve and the passion, care and dedication he brings to his craft every day,” the company posted on Facebook. “It’s amazing to be recognized for something that we know from tasting his creations every day, Steve is one the best!” Black Oak Coffee Roasters, 476 N. State St., Ukiah, (866) 390-1427, blackoakcoffee.com.
Schat’s Bakery and Cafe vandalized
The planter box at Schat’s Bakery & Cafe in downtown Ukiah was vandalized this week. The planter box, which sits outside the cafe’s entrance, was tagged by an unknown vandal using an orange marker. Schat’s was one of a handful of local businesses and homes tagged by the same person on the night of Wednesday, Apr. 26. Lucky for Schat’s, the tight-knit Ukiah business community rallied to help clean up the vandalism. Nor Cal Powder Coating removed the graffiti and Chris Powell Painting Co. is painting the planter. Schat’s is asking anyone with tips to contact the Ukiah Police Department ((707) 463-6262). Schat’s Bakery & Cafe, 113 W. Perkins St., Ukiah, (707) 462-1670, schats.com.
You need this michelada in your life right now
Ellie’s Mutt Hutt in Ukiah is known for its hearty comfort food, including a large plant-based menu. However, if you follow Ellie’s on social media you’ve maybe noticed something new popping up in its feed beyond the usual salads, waffles, burritos and burgers. It’s a michelada – Mexico’s finest contribution to hangover recovery. The drink comprises beer, usually tomato juice (or my favorite: Clamato), soy or Worcestershire sauce, chili peppers, spices and other ingredients that are often a bartender’s secret. Ellie’s takes its michelada ($10) to the next level by topping it with fresh fruit, chamoy paste, a tamarind straw and a skewer of various colored gummy bears. Yes, gummy bears. If you’re not a michelada enthusiast, opt for Ellie’s mimosas, also decorated to the nth degree. 732 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 468-5376.
Would you like nachos with that coffee?
April Mays Drive Thru Espresso in Willits is now offering hot dogs and nachos. Offerings include nachos supreme (nachos with black olives, jalapeños, tomatoes, cheese sauce, chili and sour cream) and beef chili cheese dogs. They also have hot dogs for dogs. The drive-thru coffee stand is open Monday through Friday 5 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 110 N. Main St., Willits.
Tickets on sale for 25th annual Boonville Beer Festival, April 29
Over 80 breweries and cideries will serve liquid gold to thousands of festival-goers with the goal of raising money for local nonprofits. There will also be live music, food vendors and local craft and art vendors. Learn more here.
Tickets on sale for 24th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, May 19-21
Anderson Valley Wines hosts its annual weekend of all things Anderson Valley pinot noir. The weekend features over 50 wineries from Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties that craft pinot noir, sparkling wine, and rosé made with Anderson Valley fruit. The weekend includes a grand tasting; winery open houses; tasting seminars with winemakers; barbecue party; silent auction; food pairings and more. Tickets range from $75 to $150. Learn more here.
Dine out to support Fort Bragg Middle School soccer, May 2
Round Table Pizza is hosting a dine and donate event for Fort Bragg Middle School’s soccer program. Proceeds from dinner sales and a special bake sale will benefit the program. Tuesday May 2, 5 to 9 p.m., 740 S. Main St., Fort Bragg, (707) 964-4987, roundtablepizza.com.
April register round-ups support the Willits Kids Club and Community Care
For the month of March, shoppers at Mariposa Market in Willits can round-up their purchases at the register to support the Willits Kids Club, an afterschool program that provides a “safe place for the children of Willits to play, learn and grow.” 500 S. Main St, Willits, (707) 459-9630, mariposamarket.com.
Shoppers at Ukiah Natural Foods in Ukiah can round-up their purchase at the register to support Community Care, which provides “affordable, competent help to enable people with disabilities or illnesses continue to live independently at home.” 721 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 462-4778, ukiahcoop.com.
Small but equally important updates
Izakaya Gama in Point Arena closes May 1 and reopen May 11 with new summer hours of 5 to 10 p.m., 150 Main St., Point Arena, (707) 485-9232, izakaya-gama.com.
Lula Cellars in Philo is open for summer hours. The tasting room is open Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tasting is at 4:15 p.m.), for walk-ins and appointments, 2800 Guntly Rd., Philo, (707) 895-3737, lulacellars.com.
Note: Sarah Stierch covers food, beverage, culture, weather and breaking news for The Mendocino Voice. Contact Stierch at [email protected]. The Voice maintains editorial control.