Month: March 2018

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A Winemaker’s Thoughts on the Fire : A Bond Stronger than Business

From Lowell : Each year our photographer Dawn and I head out to visit a vineyard during harvest. In October 2017 we visited a merlot vineyard that Kenny and Lynn from Hobo Wine Company work with in the Sonoma Valley. The vineyard, and home of Ian Morrison and his wife, is nuzzled into the hillside on the narrow road heading up to Sugar Loaf State Park. It was a beautiful and crisp morning on the 3rd of October, and was an especially fun trip for me because the vineyard happened to be owned by my former high school art teacher at Summerfield Waldorf. Little did we know, less that a week later, the devastating fires of Northern California would lap up to the vineyards edge. After the fires hit, Dawn and I felt like we needed to head back a few months later, to understand what had become of the neighborhood. Over a dozen houses on this small street had been burnt to the ground, some no more than 100 yards from the vineyard and home of …

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Handline’s Roots and Shoots:  An Exploration of Seasonality

At Handline we celebrate the seasons of Sonoma County in a section on our menu titled “The Weather Report.” It is home to “The Mendo,” a medley of wild and cultivated mushrooms, served with creamy fonduta and an arugula salad. It boasts the Smothered Pumpkin, a warming bowl, filled to the brim with roasted and spiced squash, mole and pepitas. And it is here that you will find the “Roots and Shoots,” a staple season after season, changing as quickly as the weather outside. The Roots and Shoots was not a staple when we first opened our doors. However, the demand for vegetable-focused dishes from our community was strong. We often heard requests from some of our favorite guests to make an addition to our menu. “We wish you had something like the Macro Bowl over at Lowell’s,” they would say. And despite the craziness of a newly opened and very popular restaurant, we whole-heartedly agreed. The first conception of the dish began in the fall of 2016, just after our opening. Just like the nutritious …