October 11, 2013

October 11, 2013
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Interior of the new Graton Resort and Casino. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.

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Chef Martin Yan talks about his new M.Y. China restaurant at the Graton Resort and Casino. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.

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The back garden at the new 1226 Washington in Calistoga. Photo courtesy of 1226 Washington.

By 707 correspondent Heather Irwin. Sign up for the BiteClub Newsletter.

More deets on the upcoming ~GRATON RESORT AND CASINO~ restaurants: Hard hats aren’t exactly my thing (I mean really, the hair, people) but it was worth suffering a little hat head for a tour of the 12 restaurants opening in early November in Rohnert Park. Chef Martin Yan of ~M.Y. CHINA~ and countless television cooking shows was showing off his 250-seat restaurant on Thursday, which will feature an open kitchen, noodle bar, and wok station (you can sit just inches from the action) and will also showcase “noodle dancing,” wherein chefs, um, dance with some 75 feet of hand-pulled Chinese noodles on the dining room floor. “It’s theater; it’s like fireworks every day!” said Yan. “We are bringing 5,000 years of Chinese culinary art…for the meal of a lifetime.”

More details: Douglas Keane’s DK Wings will feature his take on the game day favorite, with some 30 sauces and Japanese pickled vegetables (noms!) in the Marketplace, which seats 500 and is open 24 hours.

No expense has been spared on the $825 million casino, which has luxe touches everywhere, including terrazzo floors, backlit marble bars, and a two-story marble sculpture that drips ice into a bar at the center of the casino. “It’s like an adult Disneyland,” said tribal leader Greg Sarris. Families and children will be welcome in all the restaurants, with outside entrances (and free parking) for each of the eateries.

Two surprises: Smoking will be allowed on the floor of the casino, though none of the restaurants will allow it. Reps say there will be state-of-the-art air filtration. Also, the casino will not offer a buffet. Sorry, no $3 all-you-can-eat-prime rib. “This is not a place where food is just sitting out. We wanted something more interesting than a flat buffet,” said Sarris. Penny-pinchers take heart: The Marketplace will offer plenty of lower-cost noshing.

Now open in the former Wappo Wine Bar location in downtown Calistoga is ~1226 WASHINGTON~, a gastropub and Sunday brunch spot. The chef is Cathy Harbour, who has been a chef on luxury yachts and boutique restaurants around the world. Her menu will be seasonally driven and inspired by her globe-trotting travels. There will be lunch and dinner Wed-Sat, with a three-course supper on Sun. 1226 Washington St., Calistoga, 707-799-5889.

Today (Friday), there’s a benefit for cheesemaker and Epicurean Connection owner Sheana Davis, from 1pm-4pm at the Maysonnave House. The lineup, not surprisingly for such a high-profile foodie, is stellar, and includes food from Wild Thyme Catering, Depot Hotel, Uncommon Brewers, Eric Ross Winery, and, of course, plenty of cheese from her friends.

Donations for the silent auction and raffle are from Treme writer and cookbook author Lolis Eric Elie, Bob Kantor of Memphis Minnie’s, and local restaurants Crisp, Hot Box, the Red Grape, and the French Laundry. The fundraising goal is $45,000 to help Davis get critical treatments and pay off bills for multiple surgeries. Tickets for the event are $50 per person at the door. You can make a donation online if you’re not able to attend. 291 First St., Sonoma.