Spread Catering, Sonoma Eats on the Move

Spread Catering Takes Location of Sonoma Eats

Cristina Topham, chef/owner of Spread Catering, has achieved her latest personal goal of finding a commercial kitchen here in Sonoma where she lives.

Topham will be streaming Spread in the current Sonoma Eats location. She says she “picked up the keys to the venue” on April 1.

Topham is super excited and told the Index-Tribune exclusively: “And we hope to have a smooth opening by mid-April, and we will still be at farmers markets and available for orders as we prepare Restaurant. because we will always have our kitchen in Napa.

“We will have casual counter service catering (shawarma, falafel, salads, dip plates) as well as take-out and will continue to offer our mezze boards and pita bars, take-out and delivery. We plan to have a small retail area with our spices, pita chips, swag and sundries. Along with all of Spread’s foods that sell at the Friday Farmers Market, Topham prepares the most beautiful platters of healthy and colorful foods as part of its catering business. She will also have access to patio seating just north of the building.

Sonoma Eats is moving to Barking Dog

Sonoma Eats fans shouldn’t panic. Efrain Balmes will move his popular “Latin and Oaxacan fusion cuisine” to the Barking Dog location. No word yet on what Barking Dog will do next.

Efrain Balmes tells the Index-Tribune that he has rented the entire building where Barking Dog is located and that Barking Dog will continue its coffee service while Balmes will add American and Mexican dishes to its brunch menu.

Balmes says he and his architects have been working on building the property for six months and he is looking forward to more indoor and outdoor seating, as well as proper parking. His last day at his current Sonoma Eats location is March 31. Topham and its Spread Catering take over the next day.

Long-time residents or even former vacationers of Springs may recall that the building previously housed a variety of dining and liquor venues, or perhaps liquor and food in that order.

Springs historian Michael Acker chronicled the building of Keller’s Club Hollywood in 1938, the COG Club owned by Oscar Larson (of Larson Park fame) and Western bands, then Denny Coleman secured the spot in 1949 and was still holding court at his bar when we moved here in the mid-70s.

A gas station owned by Major League Baseball player Sam Agnew occupied what is now the Barking Dog parking lot, the site where Balmes first parked his first food truck.

Balmes also bought the Girl & the Fig’s Fig Rig, but has now sold the two food trucks that branched off to Reno and Los Angeles.

Balmes hopes to open between April 15 and May 1, depending, as always, on the county’s approval schedule.

Great next steps for Spread and Sonoma Eats chefs/owners and their businesses.

Thai Curry Class at Vintage House

Ed Metcalfe, chef/owner of Sushimotos who just hosted a Ramen night at the Roche Tasting Room on West Spain Street, will be giving a demonstration class on how to make authentic Thai curry from scratch. This will be composed of fried rice with red curry and green curry with chicken and vegetables.

The course will take place on Monday March 21 at Vintage House. $40 members, $80 non-members. 2-4 p.m. 264 First St. E., Sonoma. Register by calling Vintage House at 996-0331.

Wine Country Women with Three Wands

Several Sonoma wine women, including Three Sticks co-founder and CEO Prema Behan, will gather to celebrate the release of a book titled “Wine Country of Sonoma County” at “The Adobe” on Thursday, March 24.

The entire event is timed with Women’s History Month (March) and the book highlights the diverse talents of a fascinating group of 45 active women and is open to the public.

Female stars who will be in attendance will include Prema Behan, Katie Bundschu of Abbot’s Passage, Michelle Mandro – founder of Wine Country Women, LLC, Stacie Elkoury of her family winery, Erinn Benziger Weiswasser of Glen Ellen Star, Amy Groth of Prohibition Spirits, Taylor Serres of Serres Ranch and Brittainy Haraszthy of Three Sticks Wines. 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to the event and proceeds from the book benefit “Every Mother Counts, a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother.” $45 or $95 with the book. 143 West Spain Street, Sonoma. More information at [email protected] or 996-3326, Ext. 105. Tickets at shop.threestickswines.com/.

Reel & Brand celebrates 3 years

Keven Kress and Reel & Brand are celebrating three years in business this month.

That’s quite a feat considering Kress opened the place, formerly Little Switzerland, just before COVID-19 sent us into a pandemic with lockdowns everywhere.

Loaded with space for tables far apart inside and out, Reel & Brand may be the only remaining place that dates back to the Springs as a vacation destination, and it still does.

All-American food, good drinks at the bar, loud music and dancing at night make it popular with many locals. 401 Grove St., Sonoma. 938-7204.

Shotsie and Kristine Gorman are leaving town

After 44 years of tattooing here in Sonoma, Shotsie Gorman and Tarot reader Kristine Gorman are leaving Sonoma Valley for Philadelphia.

The couple posted that “We are called back to the East Coast to focus on our art and international tarot and tattoo travel.”

While this isn’t a food story, many people got to know Shotsie and Kristine at Tuesday night farmers’ markets before the pandemic hit.

Saying they’ll be closing at “the end of April,” Shotsie is encouraging people who need their tattoos finished to pick them up before the end of March.

Personal note: This is the last weekend to see Kathleen Hill’s culinary collection at the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville. The exhibition has been extended three times, from August 2021 to March 2022.

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