Last updateTue, 17 Jan 2017 4pm

Manresa Bread rising: Tribute to grist & groat

Above Photo by Rhonda Mak/Town Crier; Below Photo by Joyce Oudkerk Pool/Special to the Town Crier; Right Photo courtesy of Manresa Bread
Nabeela Aijaz, above left, retail manager at Manresa Bread’s Los Altos location, teams up with baker Avery Ruzicka to man the counter on opening day. The bakery carries almond croissants, below, and kale and parmesan scones, right.


At the 6 a.m. start of head baker Avery Ruzicka’s day, 1-kilo slabs of French butter stack the length of a massive table in the Manresa Bread commissary. As they soften, she stacks and shapes the blocks of fat on a sheeting machine, preparing the arms-width-sized butter rectangles to interweave with dough détrempes, laminating pastry for croissants, pain au chocolat and kouign-amanns.

Vintner keeps winemaking a family affair

Courtesy of John Benedetti
Winemaker John Benedetti’s wife and son provide the inspiration – and vineyard company – for Sante Arcangeli wines.

The wine business is often a family business, with multigenerational hands wielding blades when it comes time to harvest, and in-laws and nieces enjoying first samples of a given year’s yield. Labels and vines are passed from mothers to sons and fathers to daughters.

The all-in-the-family focus is a great thing for wine drinkers, because the love these families share is evident in the wines they produce.

Balanced brews and brilliant BBQ highlight Dan Gordon's latest

Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Ribs are the star of the show at Dan Gordon’s new beer-centric venture in Palo Alto.

The original Gordon Biersch brewpub opened at 640 Emerson St. in Palo Alto in 1998 and closed in 2015. After a complete redesign of the physical space and menu, the new Dan Gordon’s Beer BBQ & Whiskey debuted in March.

The food menu features traditional barbecued meats such as 18-hour brisket, Coleman Ranch smoked pork shoulder and St. Louis ribs, as well as numerous fresh and inventive share plates and starters like grilled Happy Boy Farms baby gems and kale, smoked brisket poutine and smoked salmon rillettes.

Versatile mayo drizzle accents spring veggies

Rita Held/Special to the Town Crier
Whether it is griddled, grilled, roasted or fried, spring’s asparagus shines with a zesty sauce.

The lure of springtime asparagus got my creative juices flowing for this recipe.

Asparagus has a unique flavor, very different from most everyday veggies like broccoli and green beans. I wanted to do something different yet easy to suit my kitchen mantra: simplicity with flavor.

IPAs from LA? Yes way!

Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Golden Road Brewing’s Wolf Among Weeds Double IPA highlights the dank, resiny hop flavors prized by hopheads.

While the Bay Area and San Diego are known internationally for their craft beer scenes in general and IPAs in particular, Los Angeles has received far less attention for its breweries.

In recent years, dozens of breweries have launched in Los Angeles, and, unsurprisingly, most of them have included hoppy beers as staples in their lineups. Over the past couple of years, some hoppy brews from Los Angeles breweries have found their way to the Bay Area in kegs, cans and bottles.

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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