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Italy’s Trentodoc makes history with Sparkling Wine, Giacomo Malfer reveals their Tasty Secret

Italy’s Trentodoc has a history of producing incredible sparkling wine, Giacomo Malfer reveals their tasty secret.

We had the chance to sit down with Revi Trentodoc’s Giacomo Malfer to talk about the Italian Trentino region, their multi-generational family business, favorite foods, and of course their legendary sparking wines.

 

Listen to the podcast here:

 

 

Giacomo, Can you share some of your favorite memories that include a wonderful sparkling wine celebration?

 

I’m very happy to talk about Revi and my family and my world. One of the best memories that I remember with sparkling wine Trentodoc was my 30th party. I invited a lot of friends. The bottles, one by one [were poured and put] on the floor [lined up] around the house. But, the most important thing was the joy, the happiness, to enjoy that party.

 

 

In history, Trentodoc sparkling wine is the best product for celebrations. So celebrating my birthday or other important things in life is one of the best things that we produce of that kind of product can make because We work our life to produce something people enjoy the best highlights of the life. So what’s better? And one of my best memories is my 30th birthday party.

 

 

You mentioned celebrating with your family. Tell me what it’s like growing up in a winemaking family.

 

Paolo, my father, for me is a common star because when I was young, I never wanted to go on with the winery. It’s funny to know because today it’s my life. Sometimes [I feel like] it is my girlfriend. Francesca is my real girlfriend. So it’s matches perfectly now with my life and with my private life.

Courtesy of http://www.revispumanti.com/

 

Someone said that if you love your work, you’ll never work a day in your life. I think that idea is very important. As I said earlier, there is something very beautiful about making something that people used to celebrate.

I remember when my father Paolo would talk about wine and producing wine, his eyes would shine. That shine was one of the first things that was useful for me to start and work in the wine industry. I remember that Paolo said to us to do what we wanna do, not follow the winery. Because it was his passion, not his first job. He said, ‘this is my passion. I want to work with Revi as a passion.’ In fact for 30 years that was not his job. He started when he was 13 years old.

He was in a classroom with only females.  He found a book with an article on Dom Perignon. He came home and asked my grandfather [for] some white wines because we were an agriculture family. And he said, I wanna make champagne now. And my grandfather laughed, because my Dad was just a young boy. But you know what? He said, okay, you can try a very small batch.

My grandmother made bread each week, so Paulo asked my grandmother for some yeast, and put it inside with the sugar.

And on Christmas of 1963, my family enjoyed the holiday with methodic champagne noir. Because in Italy at that time we could name the methodic champagne, the classic method with the second fermentation in the bottle. And so after that, he studied at school, and then he started with Revi in 1982. And for 30 years it was his hobby.

I believe it was one of the most important things, to grow up with passion, in my father, in my brother Stefano and in me, because he’s never forced us to follow that.

We both studied economics. But I remember many memories about when my grandmother would take the broth to the people who helped my father in the winery. I have some memories that is between the brain and the heart. I believe that premise was the first seed to grow the passion. After that, my brother Stefano, the producer and manager; we followed because we were tasting all the time with my family together. We are looking for a very clean, very fresh identity wine of our region.

The best thing that I believe our father gave us is a way to read the wine world. This is the identity. We always want to find in Revi our territory. He was one of the first to produce the zero dosage. We have been producing zero dosage or pas dose, you know, that is the same since 1983. The first harvest of the first vintage of pas dose Revi was 1981. It was very, very uncommon for that period, even just five years ago it was uncommon. But 40 years ago.

I believe inside that particular label is the philosophy of our winery, and we want go on with that. So the second generation, me and my brother Stefano, for sure, we wanna follow that.

 

There’s a lot less magic in economics than there is in sparkling wine. Was there a moment when you realized, ‘I need more magic?’

 

Yes, I remember. When I was 13 or 14 years old, and I was helping my father in the vineyard, I didn’t like it because it was very warm and some activities were very slow. My friends would go to the swimming pool, and I was with my father. So I said, I want my office, with my shirt and air conditioning and not be here.

But at the end, I really love the people and finding magic. Because it all starts from a piece of wood and arrives at the end in a bubble, in the most beautiful moment that you put that wine in a glass and enjoy with your friends and your family.

There was not a very clear moment when I changed my mind and said no economics, but wine making for sure.

I made the commercial part of the winery. So economics is important and now it’s the economics of a winery. I found a very good way to have a little bit economics and stay in the best [wine] world.

I always tell my friends and my girlfriend, we are working for something that others work for the Saturday night or the Friday night. That is super beautiful, because celebrating is the best thing. To enjoy life is to celebrate the big things and the small things. The small things could be simpler, pizza with friends.

 

I think the theme that I’m learning is the magic of celebration. Let’s seque to the magic of your region.

 

Yes, for sure. The [Dolomite] mountains area is one of the important things. And thanks to the mountain region, we can have the freshness, the aromas that come up from the difference in temperature between day and night.

At the same time, we have a region that goes from 200 meters in altitude over to 700 meters. More than 70% is over 1,000 meters in altitude. So it’s a very mountain region. And the valley also is a mountain valley, because the fresh air comes down from the mountains and goes through our vineyards. That’s increases the performance and the structure we find in our glass of trentodoc.

Wine Enthusiast awarded us as one of the best wine areas for Trentodoc because we can have the maturity of the grapes, and at the same time we defend the freshness. So we have a balance between the complexity, the perfumes, the aromas thanks to the mature grapes. We don’t forget and lose the freshness, the acidity freshness, very important to enjoy, because at the end, one bottle, one glass, you have to drink to enjoy it.
Another thing that is important here is the soil, limestone, there are different soils. And that gives us some different shades about Trentodoc. This is one of the most important things not only here in Trentodoc, but in the wine world.

Drinking is a way to take a trip in your life. It’s very nice to drink the same wine, the same grapes in the same area, but at the same time, find something different. Not only because its comes from different wine growers, but because the soil, the terroir.

For example, Albano, the small village where I come from, where Revi was born.
Re Vino [translates to] “king wine”, because it was one of the best areas in Albano, my village, to produce grapes for wine. Albano was named from Veronelli, one of the best and most important, wine journalists in Italy.

Why? Because many private people in the area made their own classic method, sparkling wine. It was an agricultural village, but they didn’t make only still wine. They made sparkling wine. So that is the terroir. That is the the know-how, the idea of one place, not only the type of soil or the wind.

 

Here in Trentino, in our vineyard we have some of the best soil, Cavaliere Nero.
Cavaliere Nero is 100% Pinot Noir, it’s clay and red marble. Now red marble was the motherstone. And we have clay. It is a very important Pinot Noir. It is a very important red pinot noir dressed by the bubbles.

 

Sticking with the region for a moment, tell us about what’s it like living in that area today?

 

It’s a mountain region so we have ski slopes we can enjoy in the winter season. But the mountains are really magic during the summer. On my summer holidays, I want to go to the sea. We have one of the best lakes in Italy, Llago di Garda.

 

 

A few weeks ago there was the Gambero Rosso event, where I tasted your sparklers for the first time. Let’s talk about the bottles.

 

You tasted the classic one, Revi Brut Trentodoc, the Revi Reserve 2012.
Revi Brut Trentodoc has 40 months on lees. Both are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The Chardonnay grown here in Trentodoc gives very good aromas, good acidity, good freshness. Pinot Noir in more in altitude, gives us the body.

Courtesy of http://www.revispumanti.com/

 

In the Pinot Noir of the brut, it’s only for the body. Not for the structure.

With aging, the wine comes out with notes of Pinot Noir. In fact, in the Reserva 2012 or other Revi, when it stays many months on the yeast, you find the perfumes of the Pinot Noir, we have the classic line: Revi Brut, Revi Rose, Revi Dosaggio Fero. They are all made with a cuvee of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 20% white and more in the rose, because we have 70%, helps us to give a lot of structure and body.

Chardonnay is a major part of it and that is very important for the Brut as for the Reserva, because it gives us the freshness in the Reserva.

People always ask me which is my favorite, the Brut or the Reserva?

It really depends. It depends on the time of day and my mood. In the summer when it is warm, I like really a glass of fresh Brut classic, because it’s simple. I want to chill out a little.

Then on the same day at dinner we drink a glass or a bottle of Reserva tasting and pairing with some foods.

With the Brut, the tasting notes are apples. One of the classic notes. Toasted nuts. All very light and delicate.

If you ask me what to expect if you taste a glass of Revi Brut, you have to expect some fresh apples, some flowers, a little toast, and freshness and joy on the palate.
For the food pairing, some salami or fromage, very simple aperitivo that you can have in your house.

One of the best pairings that I really love is with pappardelle or a pasta with white ragu and parmesano, because it’s delicate and a little bit salty. Parmesano’s taste is not so aggressive, it’s also delicate. And with the Brut I love a lot.

I love pappardelle, I love pasta for sure. I’m Italian, you know, so… I’m a pasta lover.
Thinking about Reserva, you can really go all over the world with the taste. You can also pair with fusion cuisine, you can have some more taste.

In our Reserva, we have the structure, the body, the complexity at the same time, the very freshness. So you can enjoy that glass with some fatty foods, because it’ll clean up your mouth and have structure. Carpaccio, branzino, fresh fish.

Is there a unique or surprising food that you wouldn’t traditionally think pairs well with your wines and yet it did?

I love surprising myself with pairing foods. As you were talking, I was thinking of risotto with porcini, with gouda.

During the [pandemic] lockdown I stayed with my family and during our Sunday meals, we had a violet rosemary [herb sprig] inside a glass was amazing.

I believe, one of the best important things, if you are in a winery, in a restaurant, you have to taste and try. Be curious.

Something we really aim for with our audience is helping someone who’s curious and eager, helping them understand what they’re trying so they can have more appreciation for the taste and the flavor.

 

 

 

Can you walk us through the process of the classic method?

 

The first part, it’s common, like still wine. You grow the grapes. It’s very important to have high quality raw materials at the start. Then you have harvest after one year. Then you press, you have the first fermentation, that is the vinification.

The very important different thing about sparkling wine and a classic method, for example, in 100% Chardonnay is when you want to have a chardonnay for a base of sparkling wine, you have to have more acidity. So your harvest is a couple of weeks [earlier]. It depends on the velocity of the maturation.

But we can say between one and two weeks before, because you have to preserve the freshness, the acidity.

Then after harvest, you have a different vinification. It depends if you want to, to make a rose or a white wine. In that case, you have a maceration on the skin of the grapes of Pinot Noir. If you want a Blanc de Noir, a white wine from Pinot Noir, you have to separate the skin of the grapes, from the juice.

After the first fermentation we make the cuvee. We sit with my family and taste, and discuss which kind of chardonnay goes inside with some percentage of Pinot Noir.
For example, we talked about the Revi Brut and 80% of Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Noir. So [a blend of] Chardonnay 1-2, and 7 with 20% of Pinot Noir or a [blend of a] couple of Pinot Noirs, it depends on the vintage of the year.

After that, we put inside the Liqueur de tirage, so yeast and sugar, like [if you] make bread. You put all inside a bottle and you cork. So, the yeast starts eating the sugar and give us the bubbles.

That activity let’s the yeast work.

One important thing for Trentodoc it it’s made with only grapes of the Trento area: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Blanc.

First of all, we use Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In Revi we use only Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

To be Trentodoc, it has to stay on the lees, for a minimum 15 months. To be Vintage Trentodoc, it has to stay for two years, 24 months. We have two years on the grapes of just one harvest.

For example, the 2018, to be Reserva Trentodoc has to stay minimum three years on lees, so 36 months with just one harvest.

After that, we have the bubbles inside the bottle, also the yeast. So we have to make the. [Years ago] we made it all by hand, today is automatic. It’s useful to clean up the wine from the yeast to have at the end of this activity a brilliant sparkling wine. Then we have the disgorgement. The isgorgement is made with glass, so we freeze that part of the yeast.
And with the pressure between six and seven bar with the disgorge. So we open the bottle, the pressure pulls out that cork freeze of yeast, and we have a very brilliant, sparkling wine.

If we don’t add [anything] because, sparkling wine is special wine, because we can add sugar, and with the sugar, we can define the type of Trentodoc sparkling wines who had, for example, de Natura, de Dossagio Ferro, after we have the extra Brut Brut, and go on with more sugar wine.

We can add something to create a very secret recipe of each winery. At the end, a couple of month minimum to recalibrate the sparkling wine, with this liquor disposition. We have the magic done. From some grapes to a glass full of emotional, nice moments and full of bubbles.

Outstanding. The magic and the science involved,.

Our payoff is when magic and technique meet, because that is sparkling wine.

 

As we wrap up, where can we find Revi, browse and shop?

 

I wanna ask your audience to be our ambassador. You have to go and ask [restaurants and shops] about Revi. When you find Revi, you have to try Revi.

When you don’t find Revi, you have to ask for it.

You can find us on Instagram and on our website Revi.com.

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Performance and Spirit:  ‘Lovers and Other Strangers’ at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio Fri-Sat nights only thru Feb 2024

 

Performance and Spirit Stand out with  “Lovers and Other Strangers” at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio.“Lovers and Other Strangers” runs at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio Fri-Sat nights only through February 2024.  The Taylor Acting Studio is an indie theater that hosts actors workshops, classes and shows at 2401 W. Magnolia Blvd in Burbank, CA.  

Cast attends Grand Opening of play “Lovers and Other Strangers” at The Taylor Studio, Los Angeles, CA, February 17th, 2024

 

Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

Starring cast of Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

For those unaware of “indie theater”, it’s a typical “black box” theater.  What it lacks in production budget, it makes up for in spirit and talent.  It’s a place where you discover hidden gems.  And tonight, we found several.

Singer Vanessa Bejine attends Grand Opening of play "Lovers and Other Strangers" at The Taylor Studio, Los Angeles, CA, February 17th, 2024

Singer Vanessa Bejine attends Grand Opening of play “Lovers and Other Strangers” at The Taylor Studio, Los Angeles, CA, February 17th, 2024

The concern was how well would a risque 1970s sex comedy play in LA’s woke 2024.

Let’s find out… 

Lovers and Other Strangers at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

I didn’t walk into the show thinking of it as a “Girls Night Out”, but tonight it definitely played in that direction.    The packed theater was 70% women, who laughed, giggled and gasped throughout.

“Lovers and Other Strangers” at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

Charly Taylor, Bradley Holzer, “Lovers and Other Strangers” at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

Scene 1: Brenda & Jerry

Starring Charly Taylor, Bradley Holzer

What if your best and worst date was the same date?  Holzer’s “Jerry” tries to make his date night a little sexier while Taylor’s Brenda terrorizes him with naive or not-so-much wishy-washy responses.   

Taylor’s Brenda is electric as she walks on stage against Holzer’s kinetic energy.  It’s a high energy, flirty scene that stays fresh thanks to the performer’s chemistry. 

Painfully relatable.  Hilarious.  And it sets the tone for the night.  Laughing. Squirming. Following these characters through a maze of love, romance, disgust, bitterness.  

Phillip Latini, Elizabeth Kyokwijuka

Scene 2: Hal & Cathay

Starring Phillip Latini, Elizabeth Kyokwijuka

Do you love dialogue?  Phillip Latini and Elizabeth Kyokwijuka clearly love their dialogue and are having so much fun.  

Like a tennis match where they volley their bleeding hearts (and heartache) back and forth.  Heartbreak, swing, betrayal, swing, jealousy, embrace. Then repeat.  Latini offers a sneering performance demanding Kyokwijuka’s intensity and delicious she delivers. Great scene!

Art Santoro and Eugenia Kuzmina at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

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Scene 3: Johnny & Wilma

Starring Art Santoro and Eugenia Kuzmina

If you’ve seen Kuzmina’s work on the big screen before you know how easily she holds her stage presence.  

Tonight Kuzmina’s “Wilma” steals the scene in the first few moments with a quiet confidence and a misbehaving perfume bottle. Then like a cat and mouse game, she taunts, teases and plays Santoro’s Johnny until he can’t take it anymore.  He’s a mountain of a guy who’s gentle until he’s not.  When Santoro fires back it becomes a chess match. Physically, emotionally, psychologically.  Tossing and turning – the more they fight, the more their chemistry builds and what does that say about love?

Charly Taylor and Nathaniel Wyatt

Charly Taylor and Nathaniel Wyatt

Scene 4: Susan & Mike

 

Starring Charly Taylor and Nathaniel Wyatt

In tonight’s opening scene, Taylor is electric.  Now she visits us again. In this scene she shows another side  – calmly keeping pace while Wyatt takes the spotlight burning through his dialogue.   He bares his soul with vulnerability, angst, anger, desperation. 

Nathaniel Wyatt has leading man relatability.  Think Tom Hanks in 1984’s massive hit “Splash”.  If he and Charly Taylor aren’t pitching themselves (Hanks and Darryl Hannah, respectively) to the studios for a remake, the movie-loving world is missing out.

 

Sergio Lopez, Jordan Whitney

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Scene 5: Bea, Frank, Rickie & Joan

 

Starring Eugenia Kuzmina, Sergio Lanza, Sergio Lopez, Jordan Whitney.

Throughout the night we’ve seen couples wrestling with every quirk and detail of relationships, healthy and not.  Here we see two married couples, one older, one younger – and how both couples are dealing with all of romance’s issues.

Sergio Lopez should win acclaim for his performance in this scene.  In a room full of bombastic characters, your eyes keep going back to him as he makes the subtlest of feelings quake the entire theater.

Sergio Lanza brings heart to the room and a baseline to Lopez’s reactions.  Lopez and Lanza should work together more often.  As Lanza’s internal boiling builds, he fills the room with emotion that all of the actors play off in the second half of the scene. The ensemble harmony is so flavorful and fun.  

Cue Jordan Whitney’s entrance who brings sunshine on a cloudy day.  Moments later, she informs Kuzmina’s performance in one of the highlights of the evening.

Eugenia Kuzmina reveals herself as a character actress

Eugenia Kuzmina reveals herself as a character actress. You know her best from several turns in Hollywood blockbusters, most notably gangsters and spies in big-budget Guy Ritchie movies.

But tonight she’s having a blast playing against type.  She’s moody and vulnerable.  Playing a lowly housewife with a lifetime of regrets. A woman in the audience goes from sobbing to full-on guffawing within seconds thanks to Kuzmina’s heartbreaking monologue in the second half of the scene.

One specific beat is so raw, honest, yet bitterly funny.  Kuzmina captures the mood.

It’s the perfect scene to end the show on.  

Eugenia Kuzmina

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Indie Theater at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio is a fun date night

Why is indie theater important? Because in a town like LA, you can be sure these guys aren’t doing it for the money or the fame.  They’re performing for you tonight because they love it.

Director Jennifer Taylor Acting Studio

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Years ago, I was sitting in a black box theater and after the show I noticed an Oscar-winning filmmaker getting up from his seat in the back row.  On the walk out, I nudged him about why he was there.  He replied, “Eh, I had a tough week.  Got me cynical.  These kids helped remind me that I love storytelling.”  

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If you love storytelling, give indie theater a try.  Pick a restaurant within walking distance.  Make it as date night.

Los Angeles’ A.O.C. Welcomes Celebrated Guest Sommelier Bobby Stuckey MS Feb 28

Los Angeles’ A.O.C. Welcomes Celebrated Guest Sommelier Bobby Stuckey MS Feb 28

Caroline Styne and Suzanne Goin welcome the co-owner of Frasca Food & Wine and Scarpetta Wines to A.O.C. on 3rd Street for an evening showcasing his boutique wines.

Caroline Styne and Chef Suzanne Goin will host a special evening at A.O.C. on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, featuring James Beard Foundation award-winner Bobby Stuckey of Boulder’s Frasca Food & Wine and Scarpetta Wines.

Bobby will serve as Guest Sommelier, showcasing the imported wines of Murva and his own Scarpetta Wines.

Caroline Styne has curated wine flights to be enjoyed during dinner, and guests can also choose from featured bottles from Murva or the Scarpetta wine library.

Additionally, A.O.C. will offer a selection of Italian cheeses for wine pairings. The menu will be à la carte, and reservations for the event are encouraged.

“I am beyond excited to have my idol,

Bobby Stuckey, working the floor with us at A.O.C.”

Caroline Styne

“His charisma and dedication to outstanding hospitality are inspirational.”

This evening presents a rare opportunity to meet Bobby Stuckey, a highly talented and charismatic figure in the hospitality industry.

WHEN:

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

5:30 – 10:00 p.m.

WHERE: A.O.C., 8700 W. 3rd Street Los Angeles, California 90049

Phone: 310.859.9859

Bobby Stuckey began his distinguished career in restaurants in his home state of Arizona, working his way from dishwasher to management, establishing his position as one of the leaders in the hospitality industry.

He joined the staff of The Little Nell restaurant in Aspen as a sommelier in 1995. During his five-year tenure, The Little Nell received numerous awards for wine and service, including Gourmet’s “Best Wine Service” Award; Mobile Travel Guide’s Five Star Hotel and Restaurant Rating; Wine Spectator’s Grand Award; and a nomination from the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Wine Service.

In 2000, Stuckey moved west to work with world-renowned chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry in Yountville, California.

Within his first year, Stuckey led the acclaimed restaurant’s team to earn the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Wine Service award and San Francisco Magazine recognized him as “Wine Director of the Year.”

The French Laundry received the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurant Service in 2003. It was during his tenure at The French Laundry where Bobby met his future business partner, chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson.

With the vision of opening a neighborhood restaurant reminiscent of the Italian frascas they had visited in Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, Stuckey and Mackinnon Patterson opened their first restaurant, Frasca Food and Wine, in August 2004, in Boulder, Colorado. Having researched and traveled throughout Italy many times, both were deeply inspired by this region in particular — the international influences of its cuisine, the profusion of local ingredients in its rustic yet elegant dishes, its passionate relationship between food and wine, and the gracious hospitality of the locals. Receiving his Master Sommelier Diploma in 2004, Stuckey has been bestowed with some of the restaurant and wine industrys’ highest honors such as James Beard Foundation nominations for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional, Outstanding Wine Service, and won the prestigious award for Outstanding Wine Service in 2013.

In 2007, Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson launched Scarpetta Wines to produce Friulian white wines. They now produce over eight varietals. In January 2011, Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson opened Pizzeria Locale Boulder, a full-service, contemporary pizzeria inspired by the traditional pizzerias of Naples, Italy located adjacent to sister restaurant Frasca with a similar attention to hospitality in a contemporary, laid back, interactive atmosphere. The partners also own and operate fast-fine versions of Pizzeria Locale Denver, with four locations in the Denver Metro area.

In the fall of 2017, Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson, along with partners Peter Hoglund, and Continuum Partners’ Mark Falcone, opened Tavernetta in Denver’s Union Station neighborhood. Located directly off the Union Station train platform, Tavernetta is inspired by Italy’s vast culinary traditions, with a menu that celebrates authentic regional classics from across the entire country in an approachable and welcoming environment. In December 2019, they opened Sunday Vinyl, a European-inspired wine bar & restaurant dedicated to providing the highest quality analog listening experience, adjacent to Tavernetta in downtown Denver.

Frasca Food and Wine celebrated 15 years in 2019 and the same year, under Bobby’s direction, the restaurant won the 2019 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Service (changed to Outstanding Hospitality for the 2020 Awards thanks to Bobby’s recommendation).

ABOUT SCARPETTA WINES:

Scarpetta — The drivers of Scarpetta Wine are Bobby Stuckey M.S. and Lachlan Patterson former chef de partie at The French Laundry. They conspired to open a restaurant in Boulder, Colorado and thanks to a fateful trip to the Alpine region of Italy they had their inspiration… the cuisine and culture of Friuli. Always digging deeper for Friulian inspiration, Bobby and Lachlan travel to the region several times a year, even taking their entire staff along for a week of eating, wine tasting and general Friuli-worship every summer. It was only natural that when Bobby and Lachlan dreamt about starting their own wine label they looked first to the beautiful whites of Friuli, and Scarpetta was born. Murva – Moraro and Mariano del Friuli, Isonzo – The wines produced by Alberto Pelos at Murva are pure and vibrant.  Alberto, who spent many years as winemaker at Vie di Romans, describes the vineyard soils that comprise Murva’s vineyards as dolomitic, with small pebbles rich in iron and aluminum, and a high sand and clay content (feretto). He farms 4 hectares of vineyards that he owns, and 1 hectare that he farms in the center of town which is part of a community outreach program to support troubled youth.  The Murva wines have distinct salinity and energy that are not to be missed by any lover of Northern Italian whites.

ABOUT THE LUCQUES GROUP:

With the opening of Lucques, their flagship restaurant, in 1998, James Beard Foundation award-winning Chef/Author Suzanne Goinand award-winning Restaurateur Caroline Styne planted the seeds for The Lucques Group, a Los Angeles hospitality company that comprises two fine dining restaurants – A.O.C. in both Los Angeles and Brentwood. Along with these culinary enterprises, the company also owns the Larder Baking Company and oversees Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine, which curates all the food and beverage outlets at L.A.’s iconic music venue. The duo also operates two new restaurants – Caldo Verde and Cara Cara, and the new Dahlia cocktail bar at the Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel. The Lucques Group is dedicated to seasonally influenced cooking and focuses on sourcing local, organic produce from which Goin creates soulful dishes that are bold in flavor, vibrant, layered and complex.

Pasadena’s Newest: Pez Coastal Kitchen Brings Incredible Taste and Romance with Upscale sea and farm-to-table, seasonal California cuisine

Pasadena Newest Pez Coastal Kitchen brings Taste and Romance with upscale sea and farm-to-table, seasonal California cuisine

Executive Chef & Proprietor Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez proudly announce the official Grand Opening of Pez Coastal Kitchen, their new upscale seafood focused eatery in Pasadena on Thursday, February 15th, 2024!

Grand Opening of Pez Coastal Kitchen Thursday, February 15th

Executive Chef Proprietor Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez proudly announce the official Grand Opening of Pez Coastal Kitchen

Executive Chef Proprietor Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez proudly announce the official Grand Opening of Pez Coastal Kitchen // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

Located on the corner of Union Street and North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena’s hottest culinary spot, Pez Coastal Kitchen promises a lively and innovative dining experience with a focus on sea and farm-to-table, seasonal California cuisine.

Pez Coastal Kitchen's Oysters on the Half Shell

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Executive Chef Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez are a dynamic husband and wife team that have made a significant impact in the hospitality industry. With their passion for culinary excellence and warm hospitality, they have created a signature name for themselves in the Los Angeles dining scene and beyond and they are now joined at Pez Coastal Kitchen in Pasadena with their magnetic team of top industry professionals Director of Operations Chris Mesa, Chef Joe Gillard, General Manager Brittany Player, and Bar Manager Mike Dane.

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Chef Bret Thompson’s culinary journey began at the renowned California Culinary Academy in San Francisco where he then honed his skills at esteemed establishments such as Aqua in San Francisco, Roy’s in Hawaii, and Pinot Blanc in St. Helena, California.

Seeking international inspiration, Bret traveled to Spain to study under Chef Martin Berasategui at Restaurante Martin Berasategui, a Michelin 2-star establishment in Lasarte, Spain.

He further expanded his culinary repertoire in Lebanon at Atlas Café, then studied under Chef Bernard Loiseau at La Cote d’Or his Michelin 3-star restaurant in Saulieu, France, and then L’Arpege, Chef Alain Passard’s Michelin 3-star restaurant in Paris.

Throughout his career, Bret also had an extensive tenure with The Patina Group, working at multiple restaurants, running catering operations and ultimately becoming the Corporate Executive Chef overseeing all restaurant operations for the entire group.

Pez Coastal Kitchen's Dining Room

Pez Coastal Kitchen’s Dining Room // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

In 2007 to 2022, Chef Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez owned Milk Ice Cream, and in 2015 they decided to embark on a new culinary adventure together as the proud owners of Pez Cantina, their seasonal, modern, coastal-inspired Mexican restaurant and bar, located in downtown Los Angeles which quickly became a beloved dining destination and in October 2021, they expanded with a new location in Montebello, California, LA Burrito Co.

Thompson and Thompson-Ramirez’s newest venture will continue their commitment to sea-to-table and farm-to-table cuisine, but as Chef Joe Gillard joins Executive Chef Bret Thompson in the kitchen, the focus at Pez Coastal Kitchen will be on innovative techniques such as curing, smoking, and the specialized dry-aging of seafood which will be a distinctive feature.

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Rosemary Paloma

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Rosemary Paloma // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

This new concept will focus on seafood, but will also extend beyond, encompassing meat, poultry, and a unique emphasis on the curing and smoking of meats and seafood, known as Sea-cuterie.

Executive Chef Bret Thompson is excited to go back to his European roots.

“I’m excited to serve seasonal cuisine with a big seafood nuance.”

Executive Chef Bret Thompson

“We will be showcasing shellfish towers like you might see in the streets of Paris at the brasseries. We’ll also be doing whole fish fries, and we have a massive open ice area where guests can see all the fresh seafood, we will be serving each night including whole fish, shrimp, oysters, sea urchin, and whatever is in season.”

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Seafood Tower

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Seafood Tower // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

The Pez Coastal Kitchen Menu starts off with Appetizers which include Chilled Beets with hazelnuts, burrata, winter greens and a hibiscus vinaigrette, the Pez Caesar prepared with gem lettuce, black kale, pepitas, colossal nori crisp, and white anchovies, Black Mussels a la Bouillabaisse with smoked pepper rouille and sesame griddle cake, and Crispy Sweetbreads Fritto Misto with a black lime aioli.

The Chilled Seafood and Crudos decadently spotlight Pez Coastal Kitchen’s seafood at its finest starting with a Chilled Seafood Tower for Two showcasing a ½ lobster, six jumbo shrimp, twelve oysters, four crab claws, and two scallop aguachile shooters, with a selection of sauces – black garlic aioli, mignonette, and salsa macha, Daily Oysters on the Half Shell, Dry-Aged Kingfish Crudo, Hokkaido Scallop Tartare, and Steelhead Trout Rillette served with American sturgeon caviar, forbidden rice cake, and pickled shallots.

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Spaghetti alla Chitarra

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Spaghetti alla Chitarra // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

Pez Coastal Kitchen Entrees

The Entrees are recommended to be enjoyed family-style featuring Whole Fried Fish, Alaskan Halibut, Seared Jumbo Scallops served with a smoked ham-celery fritter and truffled apple salad, Smoked Baby Back Ribs, Prime Center Cut Filet of Ribeye with a green peppercorn demi and Pez fries, Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Manila clams, mussels, and uni nage, and Crispy Half-Chicken with chicken “lule”, petite roasted carrots and radish, apricot, sage, and carrot demi.

Pez Coastal Kitchen Veggies and Sides

And finally, a selection of exceptional Veggies and SidesPotato Gratin with bacon, gruyere, and cippolini onions, Yam Skins with green tahini, whipped feta and Marcona almonds, Hickory Smoked Cauliflower Steak with a spicy kumquat glaze, and shallot yogurt, and Brussels Sprouts with Red Boat caramel, seed crunch, and black garlic vinegar.

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Citrus Olive Oil Cake

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Citrus Olive Oil Cake // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

Dessert

Dessert is equally exciting with innovative delights such as Warm Chocolate Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cake with honeycomb ice cream, Citrus Olive Oil Cake served with mascarpone pistachio cream, limoncello granité, and strawberry, Mint Chip Ice Cream Brownie Sundae with Chocolate Strings, and Chai Spice Poached Pear with hazelnut crunch, tart yogurt, and blackberry compote.

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Mint Chip Ice Cream Brownie Sundae

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Mint Chip Ice Cream Brownie Sundae // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

Bar

Complementing the mouthwatering menu is the well-stocked Pez Coastal Kitchen Bar, a long contemporary bar with a stunning emerald marble bar top, high ceiling, and magnificent fans making it a haven for cocktail enthusiasts and diners alike.

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Matcha Sour

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Matcha Sour // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

Bar Manager Mike Dane has curated an exceptional cocktail program, featuring the Rosemary Paloma, Matcha Sour, Chartreuse Colada, and the signature Happy Wife, Happy Life comprised of Redemption High-Rye bourbon and Liquid Alchemist Apple Spice with a sugared apple crisp, along with an extensive selection of Premier Spirits, Wines, and Beers

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Lounge & Bar

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Lounge, Bar // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

 

Pez Coastal Kitchen sits in a historical building that was built in 1896 and was completely transformed and redesigned by Margee Drews Design to exude a California-Mediterranean coastal feel across multiple spaces.

Guests enter a beautiful light and airy dining room with a stunning feature wall, large plush booths and banquettes with sleek wood tables surrounded by plush greenery, warm and welcoming lounge separated from the dining room by grand Mediterranean arches with high industrial ceilings and romantic Havana-style fans, a prominently placed cocktail bar and open kitchen.

drinks with friends, intimate dinners, group gatherings, or special events

Whether for drinks with friends, intimate dinners, group gatherings, or special events, Pez Coastal Kitchen promises an exceptional experience for all who walk through its doors!

 

As Co-Owners Executive Chef Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez continue to innovate and reinvent themselves, and Pez Coastal Kitchen in Pasadena promises a unique blend of California coastal cuisine, thoughtfully crafted cocktails, specially curated wines, and their dedication to excellence ensures an unforgettable dining experience that celebrates vibrant flavors and genuine hospitality.

The Pez Coastal Kitchen official Grand Opening is Thursday, February 15th, 2024.

Pez Coastal Kitchen will be open for Dinnerevery Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and every Friday and Saturday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

For more information about Pez Coastal Kitchen or to make reservations, please call 626.210.0775 directly or visit www.PezPasadena.com.

About the Author
Joe Wehinger (nicknamed Joe Winger) has written for over 20 years about the business of lifestyle and entertainment. Joe is an entertainment producer, media entrepreneur, public speaker, and C-level consultant who owns businesses in entertainment, lifestyle, tourism and publishing. He is an award-winning filmmaker, published author, member of the Directors Guild of America, International Food Travel Wine Authors Association, WSET Level 2 Wine student, WSET Level 2 Cocktail student, member of the LA Wine Writers. Email to: Joe@FlavRReport.com

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