Sunday, August 23, 2009


Tickets for the Sun. Sept. 27 Langley Chefs Dinner to be held at Mukilteo Coffee Roasters will go on sale this Thursday Aug. 27 at 9 am at Mukilteo Coffee Roasters. This dinner will benefit the Good Cheer Garden program. If you're not already familiar with our series, each of us prepares a course and pairs a wine with it. The chefs include Sieb from Prima, Matt from the Inn, Jess from Mukilteo Coffee, Des from Useless Bay Coffee and Donna from Chef's Pantry.

Here are some details regarding ticket sales -
  • No advance or phone sales - tickets must be purchased in person at Mukilteo Coffee Roasters on Crawford Road
  • No credit cards - cash or checks only - checks should be made payable to Good Cheer, with "Garden" written in the memo line
  • Limit of 4 tickets per person - there are 28 seats available
  • Tickets are $75 per person - they include 5 courses with 3 oz. wine pairings
  • 100%of the proceeds is donated to the charity.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


We are so lucky to be surrounded by such an abundance of amazing local farms and farmers here on Whidbey. One of our main purveyors of local, fresh, seasonal veggies is Georgie Smith of Willowood Farms. It's been a pleasure working with her and the amazing product we receive from her on a weekly basis. It allows Sieb to create truly fresh and seasonal items with products from right up the road!

I asked Georgie to send us some info on her business and here it is, straight from the horses mouth...

“Willowood Farm, located in heart of the Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve on central Whidbey Island, was started by 4th generation Ebey’s Prairie native Georgie Smith in 2002. “Willowood Farm” was the historic name of Georgie’s farm, first used by the descendants of pioneer Isaac Ebey in reference to the once abundant willow trees that grew on the waterlogged prairie soil (which was later drained by an extensive system of ceramic tiles installed by Chinese laborers). The Smith family began farming the property in the 1890s and has lived on the property since.

Georgie has reinvigorated her family’s tradition of farming with new emphasis on sustainable and organically grown practices and direct marketing techniques that have sparked a revitalization of small family farms across the United States.

Willowood Farm grows produce that thrives in central Whidbey Island’s mild, maritime climate and the rich, loamy soil of Ebey’s Prairie. We grow without the use of harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers and we utilize healthy farming practices to ensure we put as much into our land as we take out.”

Find out more at :

Monday, August 10, 2009


Many of you have been interested in our back room's a link to Betty's website. She's awesome. Buy her photos! We have our next show booked, but please let me know if you are interested in getting into our line up. I'm most interested in local artists...spread the word...THANKS!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

THE PERFECT Sam rep and great friend

Excuse the length of this post...sam doesn't really ever know when enough is enough...I suppose that's why he ends up spending the night on our couch so often...

What would make a wine perfect? Is it big? Is it really expensive, and hard to find? Is it allocated, and only meant for restaurants? Is it red, or is it sweet? How is perfection in a wine quantified? Perhaps it's a 100 point score from Robert Parker or James Laube, or 3 glasses in the Gambero Rosso, or 5 stars from Decanter. Or maybe its none of these things. Maybe perfection in wine is such a personal thing, that there is no way to quantify it. Maybe it can't even be explained. Well I'm going to try.

I've had a lot of different wine, more than some at least, but certainly not as much as others. I've come across some wine that really made me stop for a second and focus in on it. I've tasted $300 bottles, and I've bought a handful of $200 bottles, hoping for something close to perfection, and we'll have to wait for a while on some of those. I even had, what I like to call an "emotional experience" with a glass of wine. An emotional wine experience is really cool. It happens when you dive into a glass of wine, and it stops your heart for a moment. The people in the room were loud a second ago, but now you can't even hear them, not that you care. You close your eyes, as if that will allow you to take in the nose even deeper. You hold the wine in your mouth and don't want to ever swallow it because that would be a half of an ounce that you will never be able to taste again. You want to cry because its so beautiful. Or at least that's how mine went. It was a bottle of Bruno Giacosa 1998 Asili Barbaresco Red Label. I also happened to be at Bruno's house, in the dining room, with Bruno at the head of the table, quietly watching me freak out over his artwork. Wow. But was it perfect?

While the Giacosa was amazing, I don't think it was perfect. What all the wine critics are missing is that at the end of the day, wine is a beverage. It's a consumable product. It is designed to go away, and if you're in my house, it goes away pretty quickly. I think that a perfect wine will show versatility in it's drinkability, value and availability, and yet it will retain extreme significance every time that first glass is poured. I think the perfect wine will be able to answer two questions. One, and as a person in the wine industry, I get asked this a lot, "what is your favorite wine?", but a more important question is, "if you could only drink one wine for the rest of your life, what would it be?" Think about that one. The perfect wine must be multifaceted.

Well, the good news is that I found it. I've never had an answer to either question, but now I do. For those that know me, or even for those that have been near me while a bottle of this magic was opened, you know exactly what I'm talking about: 2008 Les Domaniers Rose de Provence from Domaine Ott. Cinsault and Grenache wound together and laced with Syrah in the most seamless glass of wine I have ever had. Actually, it's the most seamless case of wine I have ever had. Okay, three far.

So here is where I gush about the wine. When I say seamless, what I mean becomes apparent once it hits the palate. There is plenty of vibrant acidity, but you can't tell its there. The alcohol is 13% but you'd swear it was 11%. The fruit is opulent, but not obvious. The nose is actually capable of taking you away to the wine's birthplace, with its pungent salt air breeze and orange blossoms and melon. I describe the wine's role during a meal by comparing the meal to the painter's canvas. Rather than competing with the food, the Ott is the white paint that covers the entire canvas to set the stage for the painting. The Les Domaniers creates the environment for a great meal to happen. The Les Domaniers is perfect.

So when the Wine Spectator rates this wine a year late next summer, and they give it the 88 or maybe 89 that they pretty much do every year, I want you to remember that you had the opportunity to drink perfect wine. I for one, am taking full advantage of that fact. Please join me.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


even though it's drew in the picture...

Muddle lime and basil, shake with a shot of gin, top with a dash of chambord and a float of soda.

This spring we planted a rooftop garden. We're harvesting a lot of our own herbs for our dishes, pastries, and cocktails from these beds, and our staff is enjoying the space during their breaks. My current favorite is our version of a caprese salad - but we use burrata (cream infused mozzeralla flown up from the Gioia cheese company of Southern California), local heirloom tomatoes, and basil picked from our roof - it's too good.

Our bartenders are using the herbs to come up with a bartender rooftop special cocktail...this is what Nick came up with a few days ago. yummo!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I fought off the urge to blog for quite awhile, but alas, I've finally been overpowered. And so it begins...the need to be witty at every turn, to always make sure I'm spelling things correctly, and certainly never posting something that could offend anyone, anywhere, at anytime.

Let's just start out with some upcoming nitty gritty:

Friday Night Flights...this Friday, August 7th, featuring everyone's favorite...Chardonnay in its many incarnations! Participating venues include Prima, the Chef's Pantry and the Edgecliff. $20/ticket - available at each venue.


START PLANNING YOUR OKTOBERFEST NOW! We'll be hosting Oktoberfest Langley style the first weekend of October...Alsatian wine flights on Friday, beer garden, oompah band and polka lessons on Saturday, and LOTS AND LOTS of other crazy activities TBA.