Tasty Summer News and Happenings in the 707

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Go Fish goes Brassica; photo from tripadvisor.com.

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The arugula salad at Carneros Inn’s Boon Fly Café; photo by Deirdre Bourdet.

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Obscenely delectable; from the website of Vintner’s Collective.

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Heirloom panzanella, the height of summer; photo courtesy of Simi Winery.

By 707 correspondent, Deirdre Bourdet.

Cindy Pawlcyn announced recently in the Weekly Calistogan that she is transitioning her sushi and seafood restaurant ~GO FISH~ into ~BRASSICA~, a Mediterranean concept featuring the wine-friendly flavors and dishes of that delectable region. The word Brassica is the Latin name for the mustard family of plants, and a slick reference to Cindy’s wine country flagship Mustards Grill. Brassica’s menus will include inspirations from all the continents touched by the Mediterranean, with items like spiced lamb and eggplant kabobs, summer ribollita, “winemaker” pork and orzo, seasonal flatbreads, and stonefruit galettes.

Cindy and her managing partner Sean Knight are also ambitiously planning to pour over 70 wines by the glass, with 10 local champs on tap, and a slew of original cocktails. Brassica’s new wine bar space will serve the full restaurant menu as well as a selection of smaller plates, plus all the tasty drinks. The restaurant is being redesigned and updated by architect Howard Backen this summer, but remains open for business during the transition, serving the Go Fish menu (sans sushi) until Brassica opens officially in early September. 641 Main St. at Mills, St. Helena, 707-963-0700.

Big news in Carneros, as well. ~THE CARNEROS INN~ just upped their game with the addition of pastry chef Anna Springer (ex-executive pastry sous for Robuchon’s Las Vegas restaurants), FARM chef de cuisine Andrew Budnyj, Boon Fly Café chef Cody Williams, and culinary gardener Peter Stonebraker. Stonebraker designed the new half-acre culinary garden on the property, which will start supplying much of the produce for the Inn’s three restaurants. Since Budnyj formerly worked with Jeremy Fox at Ubuntu, he knows his vegetables and will help oversee the development of this new garden. On the Sonoma side of Carneros, the ~CARNEROS BISTRO & WINE BAR~ welcomes new chef de cuisine Andrew Wilson to the kitchen. Wilson replaces Janine Falvo, who left in April to open a new Renaissance Hotel restaurant in Atlanta. Wilson’s menus at Carneros Bistro should go live this fall.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Summer is still in full swing, and there are tons of feasts and bacchanals going on. Saturday August 13th, ~VINTNER’S COLLECTIVE~ in downtown Napa hosts their annual Slurps ‘n’ Sips party from 3pm-5pm. This year wines from Vinoce Vineyards will be the beverage of choice to wash down luscious raw and barbecued oysters from Hog Island, and/or the grilled chicken skewers provided for the bivalve-averse. Tickets to the oysterfest are $40 for wine club members, $50 for everyone else, and are limited to the first 40 reservations. Call 707-259-1980 or email to RSVP. 1245 Main St. at Clinton, Napa.

~MA(I)SONRY~ in Yountville hosts Juslyn Vineyards for an Artist’s Palette dinner on Saturday August 20th. Juslyn principals Perry and Carolyn Butler will be on hand that night to discuss the wines and join in the alfresco revelry. The evening begins at 6:30pm with wine, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a curated tour of Ma(i)sonry’s art gallery with the artists and winemakers du soir. At 7:15pm, everybody sits down together in the gorgeous garden for a multi-course plated dinner designed by chef Cindy Pawlcyn. Tickets are $155 per person, and space is limited, so call 707-944-0889 or buy online to reserve a spot. If you miss the Juslyn dinner on August 20th, look for Lail, Renteria, and Tor dinners coming up later this fall. 6711 Washington St. at Burgundy, Yountville.

Moving north to Healdsburg, ~SIMI WINERY~ is hosting food truck roundups the second Wednesday of every month this summer, and continuing through mid-October. The party features tasty nibbles from Sonoma-based trucks like Karma Bistro, Foxy Cupcakes, Matchbox Diner, and La Texanita (which was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives). On weekends Simi is also cranking out seasonal salads and pizzas itself from the new Landslide Terrazzo Pizzeria, serving Fridays from 12pm-6pm and Saturdays from 11am-4pm, also through mid-October. The current menu includes a gorgeous panzanella with local heirloom tomatoes, and an assortment of pizzas like the droolworthy “Parma,” topped with roasted garlic, prosciutto, smoked mozzarella, baby arugula, and roasted peppers. During the pizzeria’s opening hours, the winery is also offering $1.35 wine tastings right now in honor of their 135th anniversary this year. That’s practically Old World, yo. Who says California has no history?