MENDOCINO Co., 5/4/23 – This week many Mendocino County foodies are focused on two things: planting vegetable gardens and making Cinco de Mayo plans. As an apartment dweller, I am limited on my veggie garden opportunities, so I picked up two tomato plants and two chili plants already housed in large pots at a local garden shop. One of those chili plants is the hottest chili pepper in the world: the Carolina Reaper. Suffice to say, it’s going to be a hot summer. If you have a favorite hot sauce recipe, be sure to email me!
Regarding Cinco de Mayo, I envision tacos and margaritas in my future. The most happenin’ Cinco de Mayo party in the county is at Los Gallitos (230 N. Franklin, Fort Bragg, (707) 964-4519) which features Norteño band Los Llanez band performing live, tequila bottle service, beer and margarita specials, and a food menu filled with specially priced tacos, nachos, ceviches and more. If you’re inland, head to Cultivo (108 W. Standley St., Ukiah, (707) 462-7007) for special Mexican appetizers and live music from Boonville’s Mariachi Hernandez. Or keep it chill with take-out from El Mexicano (166 S. Main St., Willits, (707) 459-5702) and enjoy your margaritas and cervezas at home. Happy Cinco de Mayo and please don’t drink and drive!
Hopland’s Dancing Crow Vineyards open to the public for wine tasting
Wine enthusiasts have a new opportunity to swirl and sip with the opening of Dancing Crow Vineyards’ tasting room at their winery and estate in Hopland. The winery, located just off Highway 101, opened for tastings in April.
Founded in 2013 by Tony Cartlidge, Dancing Crow crafts sauvignon blanc, rosé, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and blends from sustainability certified Lake County vineyards, including its namesake Dancing Crow Vineyard near Clear Lake and its Old Stake 1901 vineyard near Kelseyville, planted in 1901 and now home to over 24 rare heritage grape varietals. The brand also crafts a zinfandel from Mendocino County fruit. Winemaker Scott Kirkpatrick’s style is French-inspired. Dancing Crow describes its wines as “more delicate alternative[s] to the traditionally bolder Napa Valley wines.”
In 2022, Dancing Crow purchased a 44-acre property in Hopland owned by Danny Fetzer, owner of Jeriko Estate. The property has estate vineyards, a working winery, an indoor tasting room (with a bar and lounge) and the centerpiece of the property: an expansive courtyard centered around a 150-year-old olive tree surrounded by views of vineyards and the Mayacamas and Mendocino mountain ranges.
Dancing Crow offers a $15 tasting of five wines and an elevated $25 tasting of the winery’s upper echelon wines. Guests can order cheese and charcuterie boards or bring their own picnic. The winery is dog-friendly. While visiting, guests can enjoy a wide range of games including chess, cornhole, and more. Walk-ins are welcome, though reservations are recommended. Dancing Crow Vineyards, 12141 Hewlitt & Sturtevant Rd, Hopland, (707) 230-6174, dancingcrow.com.
New summer menu launches at Harrison’s Pub in Leggett
Harrison’s Pub, the English-style pub with a Big Foot theme in Leggett, has launched its summer menu. New items include a giant pretzel served with warm beer cheese and mustard ($9); a jalapeno burger with cheddar cheese, pickled jalapenos, crispy onions and Sriracha-infused sauce ($14); and a chipotle chicken melt with grilled chicken, onions, peppers and provolone cheese smothered in a chipotle sauce ($14). Both come with fries. Harrison’s Pub is open from 5 to 9:30 p.m. nightly and is located at Redwoods River Resort, 75000 Hwy 101, Leggett, (707) 925-6249, harrisonspub.square.site.
Senior Meals on Wheels expands to Calpella and Redwood Valley
Plowshares Peace and Justice Center has expanded its Meals on Wheels program to serve seniors in Calpella and Redwood Valley. The program delivers healthy, freshly prepared meals to adults ages 60 or older daily. Meals are free with a suggested $2 donation per meal if the senior has the means to contribute. The program is confidential, and no adult over 60 will be turned away. To get started, print the Meals on Wheels Intake Form, fill it out and email it back to [email protected], FAX it to (707) 462-0320, mail to PO Box 475, Ukiah, or drop it off in person at 1346 S State St, Ukiah.
Annual drive-thru barbecue supports Plowshares Peace and Justice Center, May 13
Speaking of Meals on Wheels, Plowshares Peace and Justice Center is hosting its second annual BBQ on Wheels event. The drive-thru fundraiser will raise funds to provide free, healthy meals daily to approximately 150 disabled and homebound seniors totaling 50,000 meals annually. A $75 ticket includes a meal for four with your choice of tri-tip or chicken, potato salad, green salad, bread and a dessert of your choice. For $100, ticket holders can get both tri-tip and chicken. There is a vegetarian option and an extra add-on option of mac and cheese. The event is sponsored by Big Earl’s BBQ and the Ukiah Redwood Empire Lions Club. Sat., May 13, 4 to 7 p.m., 1346 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 462-8582. Tickets on sale here.
Supper club-themed farm-to-table dinner to support Little Lake Grange, May 13
A black-tie fundraiser will be held to raise funds for the building maintenance costs of the Little Lake Grange in Willits. The dinner, which has a candlelight supper club theme, will feature a steakhouse-inspired dinner by Black Dog Catering, Mendo Ferments, Mindful Meals, and Grant’s Goodies; live music from San Francisco swing jazz band the Velvet Vipers; special jazz performances by members of the Real Sarahs, Funkacillin and Pura Vida, and more. A no host bar will be available and a silent auction will take place. Tickets are $100 and available at Flying Dog Pizza (65 S. Main St., Willits, (707) 459-4747). For more information contact [email protected].
Dine and donate to support Noyo Center for Marine Science, May 18
The HarborView Bistro and Bar in Fort Bragg will donate 10% of all sales on Thur. May 18 to the Noyo Center for Marine Science. Funds raised will support the center’s research, education programs, citizen science projects and events. HarborView serves breakfast and lunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., happy hour from 3 to 5:30 p.m., and dinner starting at 5 p.m. nightly. HarborView Bistro and Bar at the Noyo Harbor Inn, (707) 961-8000, 500 Casa Del Noyo, Fort Bragg, noyoharborinn.com.
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.
May register round-up in Ukiah supports the Humane Society for Inland Mendocino County
Shoppers at Ukiah Natural Foods in Ukiah can round-up their purchase at the register to support the Humane Society for Inland Mendocino County. 721 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 462-4778, ukiahcoop.com.
Small but equally important updates
The MacCallum House Restaurant and Grey Whale Bar in Mendocino is open seven days a week. Call (707) 937-6759 or visit the inn’s website for more information.
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.