Monday, May 19th, 2014
During the early golden age of Hollywood, Tijuana was a playground for the rich and famous. Only a four-hour drive, but across the border and a world away from the spotlight of the burgeoning paparazzi, Hollywood’s finest felt free to indulge in their insatiable appetites for tequila, illicit drugs and prostitution. It was the original Sin City, and just like modern Las Vegas, where there was money to be spent, the finest chefs followed.
Out of this environment was born the Caesar Salad. According to legend, after a particularly busy night of dinner service, some friends stopped by chef Caesar Cardini’s restaurant late night looking for a bite to eat. Having very little left in the pantry to choose from, he threw together a salad from what he had on hand; romaine lettuce, eggs, Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce (made with anchovies), olive oil, garlic, and croutons. And so a legendary salad was born. Of course the Caesar Salad is closely associated with Italian-American cuisine, but Mexico can lay claim to its invention.
Tonight, we will be rolling out a fun riff on a Caesar: Bitter Greens with lemon-anchovy vinaigrette, Manchego cheese, sieved egg and toasted almonds.
Monday, May 12th, 2014
Exciting times on the roof at Comal. We’re working closely with Josh Arnold, a grad student at CAL studying urban agriculture, to expand our rooftop gardening operation. We planted a dozen boxes last year as a trial run and were pleased with the results. This year we are quadrupling our total planting area. The focus will be on tomatoes and chiles, but we will also have epazote, chard and hoja santa as well as a number of boxes of beneficial “habitat” plants. The habitat plants will attract pollinators and in doing so help minimize pest activity. Stay tuned for more updates soon – plants going in this week!
Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
Unti Vineyards is a small, family-owned and operated winery specializing in red varietals with vineyard personality. George Unti and his son Mick believe Dry Creek Valley’s climate is ideal for making full-bodied, fruity reds from Zinfandel, Rhone and Italian varietals. The winery, established in 1997, produces small lots of estate grown Zinfandel, Syrah, Grenache, Barbera, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, a Dry Rosée and a Rhone White Blend. The winemaking includes artisan methods that enhance and support an ability to make wines with a sense of place. Almost all of the wines, and opinions, are unfiltered:
We believe the world’s best wine grapes come from vineyards where the vines are naturally adapted to their environment. This includes planting varieties that might be most expressive in our climate, regardless of the fact that they may not have been grown in our area. In order to facilitate self-sustaining vines, we farm according to the natural lunar cycles, emphasizing the relationships between plants, animals and soils without the use of herbicides and pesticides. We also apply organic compost according to the list of soil preparations prescribed by Rudolf Steiner.
On Tuesday, June 3rd, Comal will welcome Mick Unti for a special dinner showcasing a selection of Unti wines paired with dishes by Comal’s executive chef Matt Gandin. Dinner guests will have the opportunity to engage in lively conversation with Mick and learn firsthand about his winemaking approach.
This is the fifth in an ongoing series of wine producer dinners (previous dinners include Wind Gap Wines, Arnot-Roberts, Donkey & Goat Winery and Bedrock Wine Co.) held in Comal’s private dining room, Abajo. All previous events have sold out in advance.
DATE/TIME: Tuesday, June 3rd at 6:30 PM
PRICE: Tickets are $100 inclusive of food, wine and gratuity
RESERVATIONS: Space is limited – to purchase tickets, follow this link:
King salmon crudo English pea-serrano chile purée, verdolagas
2012 Cuvée Blanc, Dry Creek Valley
Sweet corn-squash blossom soup
2013 Rosé, Dry Creek Valley Estate
Duck and spring vegetable tamal mole coloradito
2012 Barbera, Dry Creek Valley Estate
Chilhuacle chile braised lamb leg green bean-herb salad (mint, cilantro, chile arbol-lemon vinaigrette)
2011 Sangiovese, Dry Creek Valley Estate
Arroz con Leche bing cherries, toasted pistachios
Unti Vineyards Winemaking Philosophy:
Our intent is to make the best and most interesting wines from our property with a willingness to work with Mother Nature rather than against her. This means planting grapes that are more expressive – because better suited to our site- regardless of the current market trends. The same principles that guide our vineyard practices are applied to the way we make wine.
Monday, May 5th, 2014
As if Cinco de Mayo weren’t enough reason to come to Comal this evening, a new taco will be making its first appearance. Introducing ancho chile-braised beef brisket with carrot, raisin and habanero slaw, perfect for washing down with a margarita!