Have a Zinful ‘Cinco de Vino” at Rosenblum Cellars in Alameda

Zinfully delicious

Get ready to party on Cinco de Mayo– Mexico’s Independence Day which is celebrated with a passion throughout Los Angeles and most of California. Every Mexican restaurant worth its margaritas with salt in Los Angeles puts on a party on the 5th of May. Downtown bursts with piñata parties and fiestas and people pretty much use the day as a good excuse to get well, blotto with tequila, beer and wine.

Speaking of the latter, if perhaps you’d like to get away from it all but still have fun, you might enjoy a drive up the coast from Los Angeles to Alameda (well you have to go to San Francisco and hop a ferry because this  quaint, picturesque place just across the Bay.

One of the best little wineries of northern California, Rosenblum Cellars, known as the original “urban wine experience”, winery is tucked away in an old railroad building in the center of Alameda shipyards. It is there you will taste some zesty Zinfandels. If you go up there for Cinco de Mayo, you can also enjoy a wine soaked barbecue picnic from Noon to 4 p.m. (prices are $29 for club members and $39 for others when booked on-line).

The Zinfanatic winery staff exude an old town warmth and friendliness with any of the pomp and ceremony of Napa, but with wine just as good. It’s just a short ferry ride across San Francisco Bay. You can fly up to SFO from Los Angeles on Southwest (www.southwest.com)  or Virgin America (www.virginamerica.com), or drive. If you pick the road route, go on-line for directions at www.rosenblumcellars.com.

B-ring it on for New Year’s Eve with the “Hot Box”

B-ring it on for New Year’s with a fine bottle of champagne (the Diva prefers Cristal, and perhaps a feisty red like Merryvale Cab) along with a special boxed meal from San Francisco’s  Fork and Spoon

The newest “Hot Box” is typicallya Valentine’s Day favorite, but they are packaging a special one  for NYE filled to the brim with a feast any classic food lover will crave.

Your “Madman-esque” dinner for two includes: House-Spiced Nuts; Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail with Sauce Remoulade; The Wedge Salad with Radish, Bacon, Pickled Carrots and Rogue River Blue Cheese Dressing; 12 oz. Beef Wellington with Chanterelle Mushroom Duxelles and Himalyan Black Truffle Cream Sauce; Classic Creamed Spinach with a Touch of Horseradish; Pomme Duchess Potatoes; and, Individual Chocolate Lave Cakes with Preserved Cherry Compote.

 If that isn’t enough to ring in the New Year in Style, the box will also include poppers and noise makers, just to make sure when you watch the ball drop, they can hear you! Just heat up a few things and you are ready to celebrate. Cost is $195 plus tax for two and it must be ordered by 12/28 at 4 PM.

Pick up your Hot Box and Fork and Spoon Productions (“www.forkandspoonproductions.com“) , 2161 3rd Street, SF Limited Supply. Order now by calling 415-552-7130.

Martinis & Wine a With the Diva on the Go

The latest Martini at the Bridge at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, a special al fresco spot that’s filling the gap while the hotel’s Dakota Restaurant undergoes a face-lift transformation.


 dry martini at Ty’s at the Four Seasons Santa Barbara Biltmore whets the appetite for dinner.

A glass of Chardonnay for moi and a dry Martini  for him at the bar at the Bellavista at the Four Seasons Santa Barbara Biltmore.

Wine at Ty’s.

The Diva at Ty’s at the Coral Casino at the Santa Barbara Biltmore.

Another perfect Martini at the Loew’s Santa Monica Beach Hotel

New Year’s Eve at Michael’s Santa Monica

  Just got this message from  Michael’s Santa Monica, one of my favorite places for super delicious and romantic dinners.  The perfect, candle-lit spot for couples to ring in the New York–or to give her a ring….

Come celebrate New Year’s Eve 2009 with an awesome party at Michael’s Santa Monica. The joint will be jumping, looking more beautiful than ever. The drinks will be flowing, with Champagne included with your meal.

And the kitchen, led by executive chef Mikey Stern, will be humming, producing special menus featuring our renowned fresh, seasonal, regional California cuisine. General manager Mike Nicol and sommelier Andrew Turner will provide great service and wine advice about our award-winning wine list.

Take your pick of two separate seatings:

First Seating (reservations available between 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm): 5 courses, $95 per person
(exclusive of tax and gratuity), including one glass of Champagne. (Click Here To View Menu)

Second Seating (reservations available starting at 8 pm): 6 courses, $175 per person
(exclusive of tax and gratuity), including free-flowing Champagne and dancing past
midnight to music from renowned jazz musician Don Allen and his band. (Click Here To View Menu)

For reservations, please phone Michael’s Santa Monica at 310-451-0843.
Or make your reservations through .

Tables are limited, so please book quickly.

We hope to see you here for a great New Year’s Eve Party!


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Michael’s Santa Monica | 1147 3rd Street | santa Monica | CA | 9043

The Diva Drops In for a Drink on the Rooftop of the Peninsula Beverly Hills


What a wonderful spot to meet for drinks on a summer’s afternoonview from the Penn–perched on the rooftop of the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel with an awesome view of the city and beyond… I wanted to shoot the pool but the security guys wouldn’t let me photograph lest I might capture one of the “beautiful” people sunbathing or chatting on cell phones in the privacy of their cushy cabanas.  Real eye candy  bronze, toned and self assured men and women enjoying la dolce vida at the Pen, because they still can (reference to the economy if you don’t get it). 

 Anyhow I met my long time friend Karen Murphy for a mighty fine Steel Chard.  We’ve been pals ever since she was the youngest PR person on the block manning the department for the Hyatt in Maui. Now she has her own major PR firm, Murphy O’Brien with her husband, and handles the Pen hotels, too, among many upscale clients.  KarenThat’s Karen Murphy,  one of my favorite people and special  friend.  While  the Steel Chard cost $16 a glass, it’s  certainly worth the price considering the quality of the wine and the setting. Food is also served on the Rooftop  during the day and it’s really good, too. 

for diva siteThat’s yours truly, Patti the Diva with Karen at the Rooftop bar.  Non-guests aren’t allowed by the lovely pool, but can sit at tables in front of the guarded gate that leads to the pool/cabana area.

FYI: rooms and suites at this hotel are exceptional. Your Diva has tried each variety from regular room, suite to private bunaglow and we’re talking the lap of luxury with great service and attention for a price of course. But worth it and in these times you might be able to work out a deal.

The Peninsula Hotel, 9882 S. Santa onica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-551-2888 or 800-462-7899. www.pbh@peninsula.com.

Update on Little Black Dress Wines–dressed to drink

Okay I tried the little Black Dress Wines’ Chardonnay last night. It’s outstanding. We polished off the whole bottle. It’s smooth with a great nose of oak, apple and citrus and well, goes down easily, maybe a little too. Learned more about the company from their exceptional Public Relations person, Maggie who is based in Kentucky. Anyhow the parent company is Brown Forman–they also have Jack Daniels, Jeckle, Five Rivers, Sonoma Cutrere and other fine wines and spirits. Little Black Dress Wines were launched about a year and a half ago to appeal to discerning women. With a retail tab of only $9.99 they make perfect everyday drinking wines or great gifts. Available in Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio and Merlot (tasting the Merlot next). www.lbdwines.com

Little Black Dress Wines

Just got a couple bottles of wine with a twist. Cutest idea they’re called little Black dress wines from Hopland, California and come in Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Merlot and Chardonnay (will be tasting the Chard tonight and let you know). Clever name for wines but also altruistic as the company does a celebrity dress auction of you guessed it, black dresses, to raise money for Clothes off Our Back Foundation (COOB). Lots of celebs participate such as Edie Falco, Elisabeth Hasslebeck, Teri Hatcher, Tina Fey, Marla
aples and others. Anyhow check it out at www.lbdwines.com and I’ll keep you posted on my tasting. Cheers

They Call it Limoncello And it Tastes Great

The Dining Diva Discovers Limoncello 

July 20, 2008 by The Dining Diva

 The Dining Diva  just drank her first Limoncello–a zesty beverage with just the right kick. The one I sampled is called Ventura Limoncello –a traditional Italian/Amalfi Coast beverage hand made with  Ventura County lemon varietals by James Carling and Manuela Zaretti-Carling.  Available only in Southern California, Ventura Limoncello can be purchased at Bristol Farms and The Wine House.  Drink it as a cocktail or ice cold after dinner. Actually I did both, first had one outside by the pool, then another after dinner. Worked great both times. Get a bottle and see for yourself.