Tag Archive for 'organic'

Downtown Art and Wine Tour

The Wine Bistro and Santa Barbara Winery will be participating in the upcoming annual Downtown Art and Wine Tour on Thursday, May 28.  Below you will find information on the bustling and local business highlighting event.

THURSDAY, May 28, 2009 5:30 – 9:30 pm

Eat, drink and be merry at the Downtown Art & Wine Tour on May 28, 2009. The tour offers participants an opportunity for leisurely strolling between downtown art galleries to see the latest exhibits, taste dishes from downtown restaurants and sample wines from leading Santa Barbara County vintners.

This popular downtown event is a community favorite and a complete sell-out each year! Participants receive a logo wine glass for tasting at downtown galleries/venues and a sampling of delicious hors d’oeuvres from local restaurants and food purveyors. The gallery tour is followed by a fabulous final party featuring live music from Tommy and the High Pilots, more food and wine, and a silent auction!

2009 participants include:
Galleries/Venues: 3D Studio Gallery, Brooks Institute Gallery 27, Bryant and Sons Jewelers, Casa de la Guerra, Churchill Jewelers, Contemporary Arts Forum, Eden, The Frameworks & Caruso Woods Contemporary Art Gallery, Patty Look Lewis Gallery, Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro, and Restaurant Roy.

Sample delicious food from these participating Restaurants: Bella Dolce Bakery, bouchon santa barbara, Café Shell, Coast, Coffee Cat, Elements Restaurant-Bar, The Greek House Café, Left at Albuquerque, Los Arroyos, The Melting Pot, Neo Chase Restaurant & Bar, Paradise Cafe, Pascucci, Pastavino, Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro, Restaurant Roy, Seagrass Restaurant, Sojourner Café and State & A Bar & Grill.

And taste remarkable wines from these participating Wineries: Alma Rosa Winery, Artiste Winery, Brander Vineyard, Buttonwood Farm Winery, Carina Cellars, Consilience, Kalyra Winery, Presidio Winery & Vineyard, Santa Barbara Winery, Summerland Winery, Also tasty beers from Hollister Brewing Company.

Tickets are $55 and will go on sale May 1st, 2009. Tickets are available by cash or check at the Downtown Organization Offices at 27-B East De la Guerra Street or at the Arlington Theatre Box Office, 1317 State Street, by cash or credit ($1 surcharge per ticket). Proceeds benefit the 2009 57th Annual Downtown Children’s Holiday Parade. For more information on the Downtown Art & Wine Tour, please contact (805) 962-2098 ext. 24.
Santa Barbara does a really fantastic job putting together heavily attended events that showcase our arts, culinary, and viticultural highlights.
Joanie Hudson, Assistant Tasting Room, Santa Barbara Winery

Winter Opera Dinner

The Winter Opera Dinner will feature a live performance by Carmen and The Merry Widow presented by Opera Santa Barbara Wednesday, February 11 at 6:30pm.

Carmen, a French opera comique by Georges Bizet, has been one of the world’s most performed operas since the 188o’s. It is #4 on Opera America’s list of the 20 most performed operas in North America.
The Merry Widow is an opertta by the Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehar.
Join us at the Bistro for an elegant affair featuring wine and food pairings.
Four course dinner, 60.00
with wine pairings, 90.00

First Course  Goat Cheese and Onion Tart

pairing: Veuve Cliquot, Yellow Label, Champagne, France


Second Course  Baby Spinach Salad


Third Course Choices

Slow Braised Lamb Shank

pairing: 05 Finca Antigua, Syrah, La Mancha, Spain


Seared Organic Salmon

pairing: 07 Txomin, Etxaniz Txomin, Hondarrabi Zuri, Basque, Spain


Roasted Delicata Squash

pairing: 07 Txomin, Etxaniz Txomin, Hondarrabi Zuri, Basque, Spain


Fourth Course  To Die For Wine Cake

pairing: 05 Chateau Roumier Lacoste, Sauternes, France

Opera Santa Barbara
123 W. Padre St. Ste. A
2009 Festival features Carmen March 7 & 15
Merry Widow March 14 & 22
Reservations Required 805-962-1455
Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro
516 State St.
Joanie Hudson, Assistant Tasting Room Manager, Santa Barbara Winery

Thanksgiving Menus

The Bistro’s Catering Company makes sure that you can enjoy Thanksgiving with as little stress as possible.  Instead of spending all of your time slaving and sweating in front of the oven, wondering why those meat thermometers never seem to work, place an order of our delicious holiday food.  Is a member of your family not a fan of Turkey? Order them a single portion of Butternut Squash Gnocchi or Cedar Planked Scottish Salmon

Choose Main Dish
Roasted Organic Free Range California Turkey
with Old Fashioned Gravy 38.00 /person
Prime Rib Au Jus 48.00/person
Cedar Planked Scottish Salmon 38.00/person
Butternut Squash Gnocchi 34.00/person

Choose any 6 of the following Side Dishes
Swiss Chard Soup with Poached Pear
Our Famous Cranberry-Orange Chutney
Blue Lake Green Beans with Glazed Pearl Onions
Caramelized Brussel Sprouts with Cider
Yukon Gold Mash with Crème fraiche, Roasted Garlic and Onions
Gratin of Sweet Autumn Yams
Homemade Traditional Stuffing
Down Home Corn Bread Stuffing
Artisan Bread and Butter
Homemade Pumpkin Pie or Granny Smith Apple Crisp

Family Plan

10lb Whole Turkey 6-7 persons 230.00
18lb Whole Turkey 11-12 persons 450.00

1/2 Prime Rib 6-7 persons 285.00
Whole Prime Rib 11-12 persons 575.00

To Order Call Bob Remak (805) 962-1455

Our chefs will also be preparing a Three Course Prix Fixe menu to be served in the restaurant on Thanksgiving Day.

Taste of the Town

The Pierre Lafond Bistro attended Santa Barbara’s 27th Annual Taste of the Town event, serving up shrimp with a tomato basil salad and parmesean gougeres (a French style cheese puff).  Ryan RalstonSanta Barbara Winery assistant winemaker, also attended and poured samples alongside over 80 of Santa Barbara’s finest restaurants and premiere wineries.  The event was held on Sunday, September 7 from noon-3 at the Riviera Park Gardens overlooking the ocean and all of the proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation.  This organization is the only nonprofit dedicated to discovering the cause and cure for arthritis.  While helping a great cause attendees got the opportunity to embark on an “epicurean adventure.”

Parmesean gourges are delicious appetizers that are perfect your your next dinner party.  They are easy to pass around, and they explode when paired with a glass of champagne or prosecco.  The light dough used to make these little balls is referred to as choux pastry (pate a choux).  It is the same time of dough that is used to make profiteroles, eclairs, beignets, and cheese puffs.  The ingredients are quite simple and consist of only butter, water, flour, and eggs. 

Joanie Hudson, Assistant Tasting Room Manager, Santa Barbara Winery

Delicious Cob of Corn

After much deliberation and excitement, I picked the first ears of corn today! I plucked an ear off, tenderly tore the husk and silk off and bit right into a DELICIOUS cob of corn! I could feel the magic of the earth carouse through my body, an exciting rush of natural sugars triggering my fantasy of rolling around the corn field devouring every ear in sight.

It made me giddy! I had to wait a few hours to drive I felt so high from eating it right there on the spot it was grown! I am surprised, because corn can be a tricky crop to grow and bugs love it. Organic methods of corn bug control are few. Because of the pollination requirements the wind is the only force that can pollinate corn, unlike open flowered crops like squash in which bees’ bumble around drinking nectar from flower to flower inadvertently pollinating the crop.

Since I don’t have even an acre to plant on, I was worried that I may not have planted enough close together. I grew peas in with the corn to provide a natural nitrogen boost to the soil and corn is a natural trellis that supports vines. I went ahead and planted sunflowers there, too, just for artistic effect. The choices of corn varieties are many so I decided to plant just one kind at that time to ensure proper pollination. The following 4 successions of corn plantings I had 50% success unfortunately.

Then the time came where I had to decide what to do with the two side shoots that occur on each stalk as the plant begins to gain in height. UC Davis and many other agricultural website I consulted advised to leave them on but with no explanation as why. Many of my Latino friends advised to get rid of them immediately, it was bad for the plant. So, I left some on a few and got rid of a few.

Months later the side shoots I left on formed ears that are short, stumpy and flat that popped out of their husk before any thing else was ready. The bugs loved those. Incredibly, the regular ears developed normally with NO insects! Nature made a little catch crop! The corn makes those homely little pretend ears of corn to protect the good stuff. Smart plants! Good information to know for the home gardener!

My co-worker, Mirella, at Lafond Vineyards, told me that she makes a creamy corn and pasilla soup with queso fresco cheese. The way she described it made my mouth water. I personally cannot get the corn home to cook it, I end up eating it raw the moment I touch it. I promise to restrain myself enough to bring to the Bistro and Market Deli for you to enjoy!

Weekly Sundowner Specials at Pierre Lafond Bistro

The Pierre Lafond Bistro (516 State St.) has introduced “Weekly Sundowner Specials” to their menu, which are offered from 5-7pm Sunday-Wednesday. It is now one of the few places in town offering a happy hour that extends throughout most of the week as opposed to just one day.

The Sundowner Special includes:

House Salad or Small Caesar Salad

Chicken, Salmon, Steak, or Pasta (from the menu, listed below)

Ice Cream, Sorbet, or Glass of House Wine


Shelton Farms Chicken Scallopini with spinach, wild mushrooms, roast garlic, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, white wine, and capers (regular menu, 18.00)

Grilled Organic Salmon with artichoke, corn native tomatoes, summer greens, and dijon glaze (21.00 regular menu)

Grilled Marinated Bistro Steak with roasted baby potatoes, sun dried tomatoes, arugula and tuscan salsa verde (21.00 regular menu)

Fusilli Pasta with smoked chicken, sun dried tomatoes, olives, pine nuts, basil pesto, fresh parmesean, and drizzled with local olive oil (17.00 regular menu)

Wild Mushroom Sacchetti Pasta with exotic mushrooms, sweet garlic, tomatoes, spinach, pea shoots, and Santa Barbara Chardonnay sauce (18.00 regular menu)

With plenty of options available for such a great price you can make everybody happy, especially the person paying the bill!

Joanie Hudson, Assistant Tasting Room Manager, Santa Barbara Winery

Cabbage from the Bistro Garden

Rose Moradian for the Bistro Restaurant & Wine Bar:
This week at the Bistro, we will have “Gonzalez” heading type cabbage.We were fortunate to have cool Spring time weather in order to get this cabbage, as it is a cold to cool season crop. And we’ve been fortunate to have avoided any major pests. Doing our garden organically and successfully involves lucky weather as well as skills from the farmer.

Cabbage is in the “Brassica” vegetable family that includes Broccoli and Cauliflower. Cabbage comes in many forms and is quite beautiful, I think. The shapes can be flat, conical or round, the heads compact or loose, the leaves curly or plain. Cabbages can be prepared cooked, raw or fermented. Kim Chi is the Korean version of the German SauerKraut, both using vinegar and salt to ferment the cabbage.

Kim Chi is thicker and spicier than the German Kraut. Of course, “Coleslaw” is an American favorite, which is used raw as well, mixed with mayonnaise and other veggies. Yummy. In the United States, the most widely used cabbage comes in compact heads of waxy, tightly wrapped leaves that range in color from almost white to green and red but Chinese Savoyed Cabbage is considered superior for culinary uses.

“Savoy” type of vegetables generally refers to curly and bumpy leaves and can be found in more than cabbages. We will have Chinese Savoy Cabbage in a few weeks. Cabbages are high in Vitamins and contain significant amounts of glutamine, an amino acid which has anti-inflammatory properties. Cabbage is a very important and age old remedy for arthritis. In general, cabbage is cleansing tonic type of plant. Many a smart mother has substituted Cabbage for lettuce in kids lunch sandwiches.

Its wonderful as a component in soup. Its a delicious and healthy vegetable. In England in the late 1950s, French language teachers taught from a textbook the phrase “ma petite chou” — my little cabbage — as an endearment from a man to a woman. This is still used today. In England, cabbage is a slang synonym for “cash”, especially paper money. Stayed tuned for the next crop of Savoyed Chinese Cabbages fresh from our Garden at Lafond Vineyards, ma petite chou!

Salads from the Garden

Rose Moradian Fresh Garden Salad from our Organic Garden

Salads we hope to offer on a regular basis at the Bistro.

Cauliflower, Broccoli, Baby Corn, Peas and Zucchini sauteed minimally with olive oil

“Salad Bowl” red lettuce, rinsed and intact as a whole head

Fresh white bulb onion, purple Ararat Basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt, sauteed and pureed into a dressing

Nasturtiums and Basil as a garnish

Sauté fresh sliced vegetables and chill.

Prepare dressing.

Place whole lettuce on a deep plate

Dress with balsamic dressing

Garnish with Nasturtium


This is great on a warm day, fresh from the garden!
In addition to this, for now, we will also have fresh onion and basil pesto AND Kim Chi type coleslaw.


Rose Moradian on Basil at the Bistro Organic Garden

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) of the Family Lamiaceae is also known as Albahaca, St. Joseph’s Wort, and Sweet Basil. It is a tender low-growing annual herb, originally native to tropical Asia. It grows to between twenty and sixty centimetres tall, with opposite, light green, silky leaves one and a half to five centimetres long and one to three centimetres broad.

It tastes somewhat like cloves, with a strong, pungent, sweet smell. Basil is very sensitive to cold, with best growth in hot, dry conditions.The word basil comes from the Greek âáóéëåõò, meaning “king”, as it is believed to have grown above the spot where St. Constantine and Helen discovered the Holy Cross. The Oxford English Dictionary quotes speculations that basil may have been used in “some royal unguent, bath, or medicine”.

Basil is still considered the “king of herbs” by many cookery authors.Basil is the main ingredient for Italian Pesto. Pesto is usually green, thats from using green basil. But did you know that Basil comes in many colors and is used in Asian food as well? Quite often, Asian Basil is red stemmed and/ or has red flowers and has a spicy flavor. Green Basil, or Italian Basil has white flowers and is more sweet than spicy. “Genovese” Basil is the classic Italian Basil we associate with Pesto. “Thai Basil” is the common Asian equivalent cialis generique prix.

There is a “lettuce leaf” type of basil names ” Dani” or simply “Lettuce Leaf Basil” that has aHUGE green leaves that are savoyed, or crinkly. There’s even an Eastern Indian Basil called “Holy Basil” that is quite unlike any basil I’ve encountered before. The classic Italian Basil also comes in Purple! “Red Rubin” is the name of the classic purple basil and is very much like Italian Basil, except in color.

This could mean that the Bistro Restaurant & Wine Bar may have Purple Pesto soon! Basil is a heat loving, full sun plant that needs air circulation. It is a natural companion to Tomatoes both in the garden and in the plate, as the flavors compliment each other. Basil is a beautiful plant and can be used as an ornamental cut flower in the garden, too. Basil is usually a short lived annual that cannot revive after harvesting, but there are some non flowering and woody types that can lived for years in a warm garden. Basil must be harvested frequently, before it flowers, or it will stop producing early.

By picking the tips where the flowers want to bloom before they bloom, you ensure a fuller plant with more to offer for longer. As usual with all my plants, I fertilize Basil weekly with fish emulsion and water. Do not over water basil, as it is prone to fungus and the flavor is better when the plant a bit on the dry side when harvesting. Try not to get the leaves wet. There are several fungus resistant strains of Basil, like “Nufar” which is an Italian type. As mentioned, “Holy Basil” is a very unusual basil with medicinal uses.

Its smell is a very mellow sweet and lingers like a fabulous perfume. “Holy Basil” is also fuzzy! I have has it as a “Tisane” type tea; put the fresh herb in a tea pot and pour boiling hot water on it and brew for a few minutes before serving. Its a relaxing and calming teas thats absolutely divine! All basils are some what medicinal. This site has a somewhat complete non scientific list of basil. Here is another link to a site that has many recipes using basil, both Italian and Asian.
Until next time,
Bon Journo!

For more on Basil go to Wikipedia