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Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week 2012 gets under way this weekend, starting with a Kick Off Party at Underdog Wine Bar at Concannon Vineyard on Friday, January 20.

Partygoers will be treated to an intimate event with live entertainment, food and wine. Acclaimed Bay Area chef, Barbara Llewellyn, has a tempting menu of decadent hor d’oeuvres, delicious dessert bites, and seasonal small plates made from local produce. Award-winning wine and a bubbly toast make for a perfect evening in Livermore Valley wine country evening.

Tickets are available online or by calling 925-583-1581. Use code UWBPARTY for an exclusive $20 discount on ticket prices.

The culinary celebration of the region doesn’t stop there. Enjoy exclusive prices on pre fixe menus all week long at thirty participating restaurants from Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon and Danville.

From upscale wine country restaurants to charming downtown cafés and innovative local favorites, visitors to Tri-Valley can explore the region’s diverse culinary offerings without breaking the bank during Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week. The eight-day celebration provides food lovers the opportunity to dine at Tri-Valley’s vibrant and distinctive eateries for a fraction of the normal expense.

Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week is Saturday, January 21- Sunday, January 29, 2012. Thirty restaurants throughout the region are participating with $15 2-course lunches and 3-course dinners for $20-30. The challenging part will be deciding which restaurants to visit!

Here’s a current list of participating restaurants.

Anarkalee Restaurant, Pleasanton
$15 Lunch | $20 Dinner   
Baci Bistro & Bar, Pleasanton
$15 Lunch | $30 Dinner
Blue Agave Club, Pleasanton
$30 Dinner 
Cafe Main, Pleasanton
$15 Lunch | $20 Dinner For Two  
Campo di Bocce, Livermore
$15 Lunch | $20 Dinner 
Chicago’s Metropolitan Deli, Pleasanton
$15 Lunch | $20 Dinner
Coco Cabana, Dublin
$30 Dinner 
Eddie Papa’s American Hangout, Pleasanton
$15 Lunch | $30 Dinner 
El Charro Mexican Food & Cantina, Livermore
$15 Lunch | $20 Dinner For Two 
El Nido Mexican Restaurant, Danville
$15 Lunch | $30 Dinner  
Esin Restaurant & Bar, Danville
$30 Dinner    
Faz Restaurant, Pleasanton
$15 Lunch | $30 Dinner  
Garre Vineyard and WInery, Livermore
$15 Lunch 
Great American Grill, Livermore
$15 Lunch 
The Hop Yard Alehouse & Grill, Pleasanton
$15 Lunch  
The Hop Yard Alehouse & Grill, San Ramon
$15 Lunch 
Maria Maria, Danville
$15 Lunch | $30 Dinner 
McNamara’s Steak and Chop House, Dublin
$30 Dinner 
Milano Joe’s Cucina Italiana, Livermore
$30 Dinner 
Nonni’s Bistro, Pleasanton
$30 Dinner
Porter’s Restaurant at Poppy Ridge Golf Course, Livermore
$15 Lunch 
Patrick David’s – An American Bistro, Danville
$15 Lunch | $30 Dinner   
Norm’s Place, Danville
$15 Lunch 
The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, Livermore
$15 Lunch | $30 Dinner  
Sanctuary Ultra Lounge & Restaurant, Livermore
$20 Dinner 
Stixx and Steaks, San Ramon
$15 Lunch | $20 Dinner 
Stomp! Wine Lounge & Restaurant, Danville
$15 Lunch | $20 Dinner  
Tomo Sushi Bar & Grill, Pleasanton
$20 Dinner  
Underdog Wine Bar, Livermore
$15 Lunch | $30 Dinner  
Yiping Restaurant, San Ramon
$15 Lunch | $20 Dinner   

Check out the Tri-Valley CVB website for a sneak peak at the tempting menu selections to look forward to.

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Faz- Pleasanton showcases simply elegant Mediterranean cuisine prepared with fresh, quality ingredients. Set in a unique dining room with redwood grove in the heart of the restaurant, a wood burning oven produces fragrant pizzas and flatbreads.

Chef Faz Poursohi is sharing the recipe for his delicious Grilled Avocado with Jumbo Prawns, which will be featured on the restaurant’s upcoming Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week menu.

grilled avocado jumbo prawn

Chef Faz Poursohi's Grilled Avocado with Jumbo Prawns

Chef Faz Poursohi’s Grilled Avocado with Jumbo Prawns

Serves 4 people

Chipotle Aioli – filling for center of grilled avocado half

Blend in small blender or hand held emulsion blender

2 cups mayonaise                                                                               

1 small green onion diced fine                                         

8 sprigs cilantro – leaves only – chopped                                  

2 Tbls or ¾ oz chipotle pepper juice or pepper             

¼ cup Lemon Juice                                                                 

1 small clove garlic                                                           

Touch of salt and pepper                                                                     

Chili Lime Vinaigrette – dressing for baby greens

1 cup orange juice

½ cup raspberry vinegar

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon sugar or more depending on tartness

1 cup corn oil

pinch of crushed dry chilies

pinch of salt & pepper

Grilled Avocado

2 ripe avocados skin on cut in half

salt and pepper

Directions

Oil fruit side – Grill over hot coals or on grill pan, fruit side down, until nice grill marks appear.  Turn over and grill skin side.

Baby Greens and Mango

Toss 4 cups of baby greens with chili lime vinaigrette. Divide onto 4 plates

Dice 1 ripe mango 

Jumbo Prawns (butterflied)

Oil prawns slightly and grill over hot coals or use grill pan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place grilled avocado half on tossed dressed salad greens, sprinkle with diced mango and place two grilled prawns opposite avocado.  Fill center of avocado half with 1 tablespoon of chipotle aioli. Garnish with wedge of lime.

More than 30 restaurants will showcase local ingredients and signature dishes at Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week, happening January 21- 29, 2012. A complete list of participating restaurants and pre fixe menu details is available online.

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The Single Vineyard Series Cabernets will be showcased at an evening of food & wine pairings

The Steven Kent Winery  continues its 2011 Winemaker Pairings Series on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 with a food and wine walk-a-bout. The evening features The Steven Kent Winery’s Single Vineyard Series Cabernets and the artfully crafted pairings of Chef Neil Marquis of Marquis Catering, and formerly of Eddie Papa’s in Pleasanton.

This event will take place in the Barrel Room where guests can casually stroll from station to station tasting the tempting pairings of food and the highly-regarded Single Vineyard Series wines.

Wondering just what kind of pairings to expect? Check out these descriptions:

First Station

2008 Home Ranch Cabernet, Livermore Valley
Cabernet Beef Bourguignon over Black Pepper Pasta with a Cabernet infused Sour Cream

Second Station

2008 Smith Ranch Cabernet, Livermore Valley
Cabernet-marinated and Smoked Flank Steak with Chimichuri Sauce on Sourdough Crostini

Third Station

2008 Ghielmetti Vineyard Cabernet, Livermore Valley
Mini Pulled Pork Sliders with Cabernet, Black Cherry BBQ Sauce and Cajun Coleslaw

Dessert Station

Steven Kent Cabernet Port
Coconut Black Bottom Cupcakes

This ultimate evening of food & wine pairings is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26. Reservations are required as this event is an intimate occasion limited to 50 guests. The cost is $55 per person for the general public and $50 per person for Steven Kent or La Rochelle club members. Call 925-243-6442 to reserve your spot.

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After months of renovation, Las Positas Vineyards will open its doors in a new location on Sunday, August 14, with a grand opening celebration. The public is invited to get a first look at the new facility, taste award-winning wines, enjoy food pairings and entertainment from noon to 5 pm.

Las Positas Vineyard started in 2006, when the Maier family purchased a 20-acre vineyard in Livermore. The wines have been available in another tasting room, online, and in several Tri-Valley restaurants. Last fall, the owners purchased an existing winery and 20-acre vineyard on the corner of Wetmore Road and Arroyo Road.

Las Positas Vineyard

Las Positas Vineyards in Livermore, California.

The new winery location is in the middle of Livermore Valley wine country, among the vines and rolling hills of south Livermore. The new tasting room will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 pm, and by appointment.

Las Positas Vineyards is located at 1828 Wetmore Road in Livermore. For more information about the winery, check out the website or call 925-449-9463.

 

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The agricultural heritage of Tri-Valley comes alive at the farmers markets in each of the region’s five cities. The San Ramon Farmers Market at Bishop Ranch is no exception. Unique and new to the San Ramon Farmers Market, is the seasonal mid-day Thursday Artisan Food Market.

With many vendors making crepes, calzones and pizza on site, the market is a great place to grab lunch.

The Artisan Food Market is open 10 am-2 pm every Thursday from June-October. Featuring more than 40 booths, the market includes the Bay Area’s best food vendors and premium local growers.

A great way to grab lunch on Thursdays and stock up on fresh produce for the weekend, the Artisan Food Market offers a great selection of freshly prepared foods, fine bakeries, and in-season, organic and locally grown produce.

Pleasanton-based From Sea to You is a regular vendor at the Artisan Food Market.

The market includes full range of local culinary products including:

Feel Good Bakery combines old world baking techniques with new world creativity to produce exceptional hand crafted breads, pastries, French macarons, cookies and pizza.

The San Ramon Farmers Market’s commitment to the artisan food community and small regional producers has created a localized gathering place that celebrates culture and fine cuisine, while promoting producers who practice sustainable methods of agriculture.

In addition to the seasonal Artisan Food Market, San Ramon Farmers Market also has a year-round traditional farmers market every Saturday from 9 am- 1 pm.

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Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week, January 23-30, 2011

 

Campo di Bocce offers an exlusive prix fixe during Taste of Tri-Valley.

Campo di Bocce in Livermore offers an exlusive prix fixe during Taste of Tri-Valley.

Restaurants throughout the region are gearing up for the first-ever Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week, happening January 23-30, 2011 as part of California Restaurant Month, as designated by the California Travel & Tourism Commission.

The finest, most renowned chefs and restaurants in the Tri-Valley will showcase their culinary styles and signature dishes for diners. The event features an array of well-known restaurants, casual dining establishments and local purveyors that will provide one of a kind dining experiences offered during this week only. Visitors can also experience the bounty of Tri-Valley by visiting Livermore Valley wineries, farmers markets and local farms.

Cafe Garre has a menu full of tempting entrees perfectly paired with Garre wine.

Food lovers can indulge in a prix fixe meal, specialty dish or special offer at the more than 25 participating restaurants. Many participating restaurants have Livermore wine available that pairs perfectly. No tickets or passes are required for Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week. Diners simply dine out at as many participating restaurants as they like all week.

All the details are available on the Tri-Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau website. Be sure to check out the complete list of participating restaurants and offers. This is a great opportunity to try a new restaurant or revisit an old favorite. The challenge might just be choosing which restaurants to visit!

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Signature dishes and Livermore wine take center stage at Swirl on the Square.

Take the time to venture  to the outskirts of Downtown Livermore to discover a local gem that does not disappoint. Swirl on the Square is friendly, laid back wine bar located in Blacksmith Square.

Inside large, comfortable chairs provide a casual lounge feel that invites patrons to relax, linger and enjoy a unique wine list and lunch or tapas menu. This is the perfect wine bar for any fan of signature, small lot local wines. The wine list changes weekly, always includes more than 95% Livermore Valley wine and never includes wines that are mass produced. The wines selected for the menu often include rare finds, reserve wines and vintages that haven’t even been released yet.

Wood Family Vineyards, Fenestra and Cuda Ridge are just a few of the local wine options at Swirl on the Square.

Just one visit to Swirl on the Square will give you a true taste of the bounty of Tri-Valley. In addition to the inventive local wine list, Swirl partners with two neighboring businesses in Blacksmith Square. Green Leaf BBQ often grills carnitas, tri-tip and more for Swirl’s lunch and tapas menu. Victorine Valley Farms olive oil and balsamic vinegar are also included in recipes to give the dish a special touch.

Swirl on the Square routinely hosts special events including local bands, wine tasting nights, four-course winemaker dinners and artist receptions. Perfect for your next luncheon, girls night out or relaxing evening with friends, Swirl on the Square is a wine bar that should not be missed.

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