We all know C CASA for its innovative take on tacos, but have you checked out their salads and small plates? Loaded with colorful fresh vegetables and tossed with intriguing salad dressings the salads make for a refreshing light, yet filling lunch option. Add your choice of protein and you can feel quite virtuous about your healthy lunch. Each of their salad options has a unique twist; choices include chopped, Caesar, mixed greens, shaved cabbage, or baby spinach. Ho hum you might think, but it’s all about that unique twist that makes them an exciting meal option that you’ll come back for again and again.

Looking for a nice new Kosher wine to go with your Passover festivities? Then the Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant has exactly what you need. Come in and ask the staff about their new Kosher wine selection. You won’t be disappointed!

Long gone are the days when Kosher wines were either treacly sweet or pure drek! Jeff Morgan makes these two wines for his Covenant label, and if somebody didn’t tell you they were Kosher you would never know from tasting the wines themselves.

The 2014 Mensch California White, Lodi, $20 “Mensch” is Yiddish for someone who is a genuinely good soul, the kind of person you would turn to when you needed help or support, and they would be there for you. This wine is a blend of Roussanne and Semillon harvested in Lodi. It was barrel fermented with native yeast, but only shows a little bit of oak on the palate. The fruit character is mostly yellow apple with just a hint of melon. Medium-bodied, dry but not austere.

The 2014 The Tribe Red Blend, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, $38.50 This fine red is a filed blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel, all from one Dry Creek Valley vineyard. The 3 varieties are picked together and co-fermented. It is a fairly rich red, with ripe plum and dark berry fruit, a bit of oak and soft tannins. It is reminiscent of a southern Rhone blend, although those usually have Grenache in a starring role and here there is none. Like the white Mensch, you would never know this was Kosher if you weren’t told. The name is, of course, a reference to the 12 Tribes of Israel and the Old Testament.

Earth Day is a movement to inspire and motivate people to action. Start with simple small changes perhaps in your home. Napastak offers a line of cleaning products with no harsh chemicals. Their products are 99 percent or more natural and they actually work. All the ingredients used are all natural, non-toxic, non-flammable, ideal for use around prep, pets and children. They are superior to other Eco-friendly housecleaning products both in efficacy and non-toxicity because they remove bacteria and the grime they feed on. Some of the products you can find are dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, floor cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, glass cleaner and even pet products! Because we only have one earth.

Hudson Greens and Goods takes water very seriously, and is committed to offering the most environmentally, socially responsible, and delicious bottled water available. Castle Rock still and sparkling water fulfils all of these criteria. “From glacier to glass,” the company’s motto, describes the Mt. Shasta based company.  Thomas Greither, a noted environmentalist and president of Castle Rock Water Company, says, “We’re renewing a tradition that began nearly 125 years ago from the source of the water to the use of glass bottles. We decided to bypass single-use plastic bottles in favor of glass, which is better for the environment. Glass bottles are more readily reusable and recyclable, and better for the person drinking the water since glass doesn’t infuse the water with anything unwanted. And our bottles contain more than 50 percent recycled glass.” Castle Rock is a family-owned, community-based joint venture with the City of Dunsmuir.

Pastis is Napa Valley Distillery‘s California inspired homage to French Pastis. It is light, refreshing, and delightful on ice all year round! So what is Pastis? Almost every country has an interpretation of an anise flavored spirit. Think: Absinthe, Aguardiente, Anisette, Arak, Galliano, Herbsaint, Oghi, Ouzo, and Sambuca. At the turn of the 19th century, Absinthe — the infamous “Green Fairy” and beloved companion of many bohemians of the day — was the most consumed anise flavored spirit. In 1914, in order to protect the wine industry, all alcoholic products over 16 percent were outlawed in France. These laws were repealed at the end of the Great War in 1918, with the exception of Absinthe. Fearing the return of Absinthe, anise flavored spirits were authorized on a case-by-case basis. In the vacuum created by an imbalance of demand and supply, an enterprising young salesman, Paul Richard, launched a new anise flavored spirit called Pastis, which quickly gained worldwide popularity.

As an avid enthusiast of all distilled spirits, especially fine French spirits, NVD proprietor Arthur Hartunian sought to create his own California-inspired homage to French Pastis. The result is a delightful Papillon Pastis, which is expertly crafted using a proprietary blend of all natural herbal essences. Papillon Pastis is distinctive in flavor, and in color, as they have bottled it at 40 percent alcohol. This is just below the point that the full characteristic Pastis louche (clouding) occurs. Enjoy with ice or serve chilled with a splash of water to experience the ultimate “Pastis” experience. A Votre Santé!

Ora King is definitely the Waygu beef of salmon, where each fish is carefully monitored its entire life with tags, cameras, and digital chips. Rated Green as Best Choice by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, see why Ora King salmon is the most sustainable salmon available. The main sustainability concerns for farmed salmon are feed ratio, ecosystem pollution, risk of escape, and antibiotic and chemical use. Many people are afraid of farmed salmon because of lack of information and traceability to address the above issues. Ora King salmon does not have those issues and is farmed sustainably in New Zealand from Sacramento River roots. Read more about the Ora King salmon available at Eiko’s at Oxbow.

We were all waiting for spring season and its beautiful weather. Picnic days are here and there’s nothing like good cheese, a delicious spread and crackers with a glass of wine. Napastak spreads like ancho chile or pineapple apricot pepper are perfect with cheese and you can choose between red wine or white wine snaps made by Napa Cookie Co. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the purchase of three Napastak spreads, jams, olive oils or balsamic vinegar get a fresh baguette! Don’t forget to taste a variety of delicious gourmet delights offered by the Napastak team.

Legend has it the recipe for this Meyer lemon-infused brandy liqueur is a generations-old Italian limoncello recipe that Napa Valley Distillery (NVD) proprietor, Arthur Hartunian, won in a poker game from a famous Italian chef. One thing’s for sure… it’s distinctively different than any other Italian Lemon liqueur.

How unique is it? It won a platinum medal at the World Spirits Competition as a limoncello less than a month after it was launched. Impressive? Try it and see for yourself.

When Life Hands You Lemons…Meyer lemon variety was the very first product that Napa Valley Distillery created. Before there was a physical location for the distillery, Arthur, his wife Lusine, and their three children, used to make this liqueur at their kitchen table (the kids peeled the lemons). They have come a long way since then, and they now completely handcraft this flagship product at their distillery in Napa. Yes, the Meyer lemons are still local, and yes, they are still peeled by hand. This unique Meyer lemon-flavored brandy liqueur is still handcrafted only once a year, and right now the latest batch is gently resting, contemplating the meaning of the universe, and preparing to be bottled. Though exquisite served chilled after a fine meal in an antique cordial glass; NVD’s award-winning Meyer lemon liqueur loves to mingle as well. Create unique craft cocktails by trying it in your Margaritas, Whiskey Sours, Ramos Fizzes, Gin and Tonics, Palomas, Pimm’s Cups, Side Cars, or a splash in sparkling wine before a meal!

Click here for more cocktail ideas.

If you haven’t tried Indian Dal Seasoning, ask for a jar of it at Whole Spice, and then try this recipe for Indian Spice Soup. It is absolutely delicious with red lentils! Whole Spice will be offering a 20% discount the last three days of the month so start your wish list now and stock up April 28-30.

Indian Spice Soup

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)
1 cup chopped onion
4 Tbsp Indian Dal Seasoning
1 cup dal (red lentils or other legumes)
1 cup chopped carrot (about ½ carrot)
1 cup yellow zucchini (about ½ zucchini)
1 tsp sea salt 6 cups water
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions:
In a large pot heat up the oil on medium-heat then add the onion. Fry until golden brown. Add Indian Dal seasoning, salt and stir for 10 seconds. Now add the dal, carrots and zucchini then stir for 1 minute. Add the water then cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 45 minutes. Add the tomato and cilantro. Serve with flatbread of pita bread.

 

 

Celebrate spring with Ca’ Momi Enoteca’s glorious Carciofi Pizza, topped with seasonal grilled artichoke hearts and luscious artichoke cream. Pair with a glass of Bianco di Ca’ Momi and enjoy $4 off every Tuesday night. Like all of Ca’ Momi’s traditional Neapolitan pizzas, the Carciofi perches on an organic hand-made crust (with or without gluten) layered with organic San Marzano tomatoes and organic, housemade fior di latte mozzarella. If you’re not into artichokes, no worries…all pizzas are available for the Tuesday night deal, with choice of house white or red wine as your pairing.

Spring has sprung at least, and we crave lighter meals like seafood and veggies. The April C CASA Enchilada Plate Special fulfills those cravings on all counts. A house made corn tortilla is wrapped around a delicious filling of shrimp, green onions, four cheeses and avocado tomatillo salsa, then topped with corn relish and avocado serrano crema. A mixed field green salad and a Mexican chocolate brownie bite complete the plate, and it’s just $13.50.

National Beer Day is fast approaching (Thursday, April 7) and as spring marches on, what better time to find your next favorite IPA, Porter or Stout? Napa Bookmine at Oxbow has spent hours curating a fine selection of publications to help you in your quest. Rifle through the pages of The Beer Bible: The Essential Beer Lover’s Guide. Perhaps take a peek in the pages of quarterly magazine, Pallet, which is dedicated to people who “…like to think and drink.” More of a graphic novel reader? Try The Comic Book Story of Beer: The World’s Favorite Beverage from 7000 BC to Today’s Craft Brewing Revolution! Happy National Beer Day!