Friday, November 22nd, 2013
This New Year’s Eve, Comal will once again clear out the tables, turn up the volume on our Meyer sound system and transform into a swingin’ dancehall. Doors will open at 9pm and longtime Bay Area DJ Jose Ruiz (KPFA, KPOO), who has an ongoing residency at Comal on Thursday nights, will spin his infectious mix of Latin and funk into the wee hours. Last year’s event sold out and was a spirited affair to say the least!
Chef Matt Gandin and his team will keep a steady stream of antojitos (little snacks) flowing throughout the night – expect some familiar items from Comal’s menu along with a few wild cards, with an emphasis on Oaxacan-style street snacks like quesadillas, de eses and flautas.
Matt Campbell, Comal’s lead bartender and one of the SF Chronicle’s 2013 Bar Stars, will be twisting up an original NYE cocktail for the occasion. This, along with Comal’s current list of craft cocktails, draft beer, wine and extensive selection of tequila and mezcal, will be on offer.
Tickets are $40 and are on sale at http://www.ticketfly.com/event/421561. All food offerings are included in ticket purchase.
Please make special note: BART is open until 3am on NYE and Comal is less than a block from the Downtown Berkeley BART station. Also, Comal’s large beer garden is uncovered, so use of this space is weather dependent. Additional tickets may be released December 30th if weather permits the use of the beer garden for the occasion.
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Morgan Twain-Peterson founded Sonoma’s Bedrock Wine Co. in 2007 in a 550 square-foot, former chicken coop with 8 foot ceilings and no fermentation space. Since then, they have moved to more spacious digs, but their ethos remains the same: “To dream big but keep production low.” The son of Ravenswood Winery founder Joel Peterson, Morgan made his first batch of wine at the age of five and has never looked back.
Bedrock makes over twenty different wines, ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay to Rosé, Zinfandel and a number of blends featuring a dizzying array of little-known heirloom varietals. As Peterson said in a recent interview with Santa Rosa’s Press Democrat, “My goal with Bedrock has always been to make delicious wines of place, usually sourced from very unique vineyards.”
On Tuesday, December 10th, Comal will welcome Twain-Peterson for a special dinner showcasing a broad selection of Bedrock wines paired with dishes by Comal’s executive chef Matt Gandin. Dinner guests will have the opportunity to engage in lively conversation with Peterson and learn firsthand about his winemaking approach.
This is the fourth in an ongoing series of wine producer dinners (previous dinners include Wind Gap Wines, Arnot-Roberts Wines and Donkey & Goat Wines) held in Comal’s private dining room, Abajo. All previous events have sold out in advance.
DATE/TIME: Tuesday, December 10th at 6:30 PM
PRICE: Tickets are $100 inclusive of food, wine and gratuity
RESERVATIONS: Space is limited – to purchase tickets, click here
ADDRESS: Comal is located at 2020 Shattuck Avenue (at University Avenue) in Berkeley
Chilled Dungeness crab cocktel avocado, ruby grapefruit
2012 Ode to Lulu Rosé, California
Sunchoke soup hoja santa, green apple salsa
2012 Campagni Portis Heritage White, Sonoma Valley
Chile relleno en nogada walnut sauce, pomegranates
2012 Evangelho Heritage Red, Contra Costa County
Beef brisket tamale mole coloradito
2012 The Bedrock Heritage Wine, Sonoma Valley
Flan traditional candied kumquats
2011 Monte Rosso Botrytized Semillon, Sonoma Valley
Bedrock Wine Co. Objectives:
- To channel the fruit of ancient vines into powerful, elegant, and distinctly Californian wines.
- To spread the gospel of Syrah in California by sourcing fruit from great terroirs throughout the North Coast.
- To proclaim the greatness of Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon by sparing no expense on wines of uniqueness and personality.
- To reclaim rose’ from the excesses of saignee and focus on precision, delicacy, aromatics, and food friendliness.
- To make fascinating and quixotic white wines from unique sites and interesting varietals.
- To dream big but keep production low!
Friday, November 1st, 2013
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
As part of our celebration of Dia de los Muertos this week, we are thrilled to feature four striking works by Catalina Delgado Trunk, one of the world’s leading papel picado artists and an internationally known authority on Dia de los Muertos and other Borderland artistic and cultural traditions and customs. Born and raised in Mexico City, Trunk’s work is included in permanent collections of institutions ranging from the Smithsonian to Santa Fe’s Museum of International Folk Art.
As the artist statement on her website reads: “Through the medium of cut paper, I explore and reflect the rituals, traditions, myths, legends, and history of my native México, so very rich in its culture of synthesis.” This is certainly true regarding the pieces hanging in our dining room.
The two on the top both feature Trunk’s take on La Catrina, Mexico’s iconic grand dame of death. La Catrina originated back in 1910 with Jose Guadalupe Posada, considered the father of Mexican printmaking, during the days leading up to the Mexican Revolution. It was a clever caricature of the lavish, superficial trappings of the upper class, and a reminder that death makes equals of us all. Since then, this mysterious, elegantly dressed female skeleton has become synonymous with Dia de los Muertos, appearing in cartoons, on posters and in the works of some of Mexico’s greatest artists. One of the two works features Catrina alone, the other shows her dancing with a partner, as if at a high society ball.
The two matching pieces below, titled “Coming and Going” speak to the cycle of life, to the theme of entering and exiting, becoming and dying. The skeletons on bicycles riding in opposite directions are perched atop elaborate floral patterns and almost seem as if they are entwined in spider webs.
These special pieces will be hanging through the weekend – we hope you get a chance to see them in person! Thanks to Catalina’s son Sean, who lives nearby in Albany, for his helpful assistance.
Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Preparations are underway for a big weekend at Comal to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. Our good friend and (not so) secret agent Jose Ruiz has graced our front windows with two matching “calaveras” painted with white tempura paint. Today we will be hanging four special pieces of “papel picado” by noted folk artist Catalina Delgado-Trunk on the lathe walls in the main dining room. I’ll be writing a more extensive piece about Catalina later this week – we’re honored to be showing her distinctive work at Comal.
Though the focus this week is primarily on Dia de los Muertos, our servers have been scheming some fun costumes for Halloween night – many of them are coming in costumes inspired by various Comal cocktails. Jack Satan anyone? Abuelo Sucio? Should be an interesting night…
By day, Jose runs Casa Latina, a panaderia and cafe on San Pablo – one of their specialties is Pan de Muertos, a special sweet egg bread adorned with “bones” on the top baked for Dia de los Muertos. They make countless loaves around this time every year and distribute them to schools, festivals and other gatherings. We will be sending everyone home with a piece of this very tasty Pan de Muerto on both Friday and Saturday night. We will also be adding other decorations throughout the restaurant, including marigolds and sugar skulls.
In addition to his normal Thursday night DJ slot, Jose will also be doing a special Saturday night stint that focuses on songs that nod to the theme of death in some shape or form.
We hope to see you out at Comal this week!