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Randall Grahm Chinese New Year Banquet & More in the New Year

Chinese New Year Banquet at the Cellar Door in Santa Cruz

Winemaker provocateur and bon vivant Randall Grahm, founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard, is joining forces with Alexander Ong, executive chef of San Francisco’s Betelnut, for what promises to be one memorable Chinese New Year banquet, 5 p.m. Jan. 29.

The feast, in honor of the “Year of the Dragon,” will be held at Grahm’s Cellar Door Cafe in Santa Cruz.

The multi-course dinner with paired wines will feature pork and chive dumplings with crispy shallots; whole California black cod in miso, ginger and scallions, Betelnut’s famous “Beggar’s chicken” that’s baked in clay, and of course, long-life noodles with Dungeness crab sauce.

Price is $88 per person. For reservations, call (831) 425-6771. The Food Gal will be there, so stop by and say “hello” between bites.

Chef Joseph Humphrey Plans Pop-Up Dinners in Oakland in January

Joseph Humphrey, the noted chef who has helmed the likes of the Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena and Cavallo Point in Marin, has been working hard on his newest project: Dixie, a Southern-inspired contemporary Bay Area cuisine restaurant planned for the old Pres a Vi spot in San Francisco’s Presidio.

While that’s still under construction, he’s eager to get back in the kitchen. So, in January, you can find him serving up a sneak taste of his Dixie fare at Guest Chef in Oakland, a unique, full-service restaurant that allows established chefs to do pop-up stints.

The simple, two-course $35 prix fixe will feature choices for each course, plus a few little extras. Wines also will be available to pair with each dish. You also can add a third course for an additional $14.

Jan. 4-5, enjoy such dishes as chicken fried quail with roasted garlic waffle; and halibut with sassafrass and sea urchin remoulade.chick Jan 6-8 will feature the likes of roasted sweet potato soup with duck confit; and chicken and dumplings. Jan. 10-12, look for smoked parsnip soup with fried oysters; and king salmon poached in pecan oil. Jan. 13-15 will showcase albacore tuna carpaccio with buttermilk and pickled vegetables; and roast beef with cheese grits.

For reservations, click here.

State Bird Provisions Opens in San Francisco

It’s a new restaurant with a quirky name meant to invoke both the California Valley Quail (the state bird), and the act of providing food and drink.

And it’s brought to you by the very talented husband-wife team of Stuart Brioza, former executive chef of Rubicon in San Francisco; and Nicole Krasinski, former pastry chef at Rubicon.

State Bird Provisions, which dishes up globally-inspired California cuisine, opened just after the New Year. It sports a unique type of service: small plates carried out to the dining room almost like dim sum service, in which diners can see and choose what they want. They also can order directly, though, lest their favorite dish gets snapped up by someone else before it gets to their table.

Dishes, which will change frequently, include carnitas stuffed squid, spiced shrimp with yogurt whey, and chestnut buckwheat profiteroles. And yes, quail will be a signature dish — fried crisp with lemony stewed onions.

Yountville’s Third Annual Moveable Feast

The picturesque town of Yountville in the Napa Valley is serving up a host of specially priced dining and winery deals from now through Feb. 29. It’s all part of the third annual “Moveable Feast” celebration.

Look for such offerings as:

* Bistro Jeanty: A three-course lunch for $55 per couple or a three-course dinner for $70 per couple

* Bouchon Bistro: Late-night, three-course dinner for $30 per person (available 10 p.m. to midnight).

* NapaStyle: Complimentary cup of soup with any sandwich order.

* Somerston Wine Co.: Free cheese and charcuterie plate with the purchase of a wine tasting experience in the tasting room.

* Hill Family Estate: Two-for-one wine tasting.

For a complete list on events, click here.

More: Delicious Dishes at Betelnut in San Francisco

And: My Cooking Demo with Chef Alex Ong at Macy’s