Nevada County Restaurant Week is promoted at VisitCalifornia.com

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VisitCalifornia.com continues to promote Nevada County Restaurant Week as part of their “California Restaurant Month: Prime time for foodies” on their website and through emails. Click here to read the list of participating Nevada County restaurants and their special Restaurant Week offerings.

Final performances of “Home for the Holidays” through this weekend

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Synthetic Unlimited presents Home for the Holidays, a heartwarming, original holiday musical for the whole family, from November 28th to December 21st.

This kid-friendly play, full of traditional Christmas songs and sing-alongs, dancing, and antics by the Marko Puppets, plays at the Synthetic Unlimited Opera House, at 120 Joerschke Drive, Grass Valley for four weekends, on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Come as early as 7 pm for drinks and desserts. Tickets are available at 1-888-95-SHOWS, the Briar Patch, and SyntheticUnlimited.

Love local trails? Say no to mud this rainy season

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Love Local Trails? Say No to Mud This Rainy Season

With the increase in precipitation from December storms in the Sierra Nevada foothills, a number of local trails are taking a beating.

Bear Yuba Land Trust asks the community to be responsible trail users and stay off the trails when the ground is water logged and muddy to avoid further damage to the soil, trail widening, unnecessary erosion and higher maintenance costs. Bikes and horses can cause the most damage, but foot traffic is also destructive when the ground is wet.

“We are appreciative that you use our trails, however when the trail surface is displaced it creates maintenance and erosion issues. During these wet conditions please find a hard surface trail until soggy trails can drain and dry sufficiently for use,” said BYLT’s newest Trails Coordinator, Shaun Clarke.

Already this season, Hirschman Trail is showing big ruts from mountain bicycle use near the pond. Crews will have to bring rock in to raise the grade. Hiker boots can become a problem when people step around mud puddles and widen the trail.

After recent storms, downed limbs littered the Tribute Trail. On Banner Mountain, the Orene Wetherall Trail was closed temporarily after a slide over the weekend. Volunteers quickly corrected the situation but it is still recommended to stay away until there’s a break in the weather and the soil has a chance to drain.

“We don’t recommend they go down there because it’s so wet and muddy. When you get six inches of rain it gets pretty saturated,” said BYLT’s senior Trails Coordinator Bill Haire.

Besides damaging the trail, hiking in a storm can be dangerous. Tree roots can lose their footing with flooding and rockslides. A wind storm can break branches and topple trees overhead.

It might be better to stay home, eat soup and read a book or use alternative trails like the Litton Trail, the paved bike path around Western Gateway Park or the Hardrock Trail at Empire Mine State Historic Park.

“It’s a bummer but that’s the climate here, you have to wait until it dries out,” Clarke said.

To find trails in Nevada County, click here or here. Learn more about Bear Yuba Land Trust at BYLT.org.

(Source: Laura Peterson, Bear Yuba Land Trust)

More great ink this week for Grass Valley and Nevada City

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The San Jose Mercury News wrote about our old-fashioned Christmas celebrations in an article that ran yesterday. The travel writer, Ginny Prior, visited Nevada County through a Familiarization Tour coordinated by Lani Lott with Nevada County Tourism.

Happy Wanderer: For old-fashioned Christmas, head to Gold Country “All that glitters is not gold. Some of it comes from the twinkling lights heralding Christmas in California’s Gold Country.

“It was a shop owner who first spread the word that James Marshall had struck gold in the Sierra foothills.

“San Francisco literally emptied overnight. And in 1849, when President James Polk confirmed the rumor, it triggered a mass migration that saw 90,000 people come to Gold Country in the first year.

“What a cross section of humanity. Enterprising and eclectic, they paved the way for what you find today in Grass Valley and neighboring Nevada City — a strong sense of community and celebration of preservation.

“Take the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley. A tunnel from Empire Mine led to the bar at this boomtown hotel, where a miner could tie up his mule, turn his gold into cash and down a whiskey or three in the saloon.

Today, the Holbrook and most of downtown Grass Valley are on the National Register of Historic Places. Likewise with Nevada City, where the Victorian downtown is so perfectly preserved.

“Hallmark made a movie here called “The Christmas Card.” In 2005, folks came together to support the production, using Nevada City’s diner, hotel, church and even fellow citizens as supporting artists.

“The twin towns are known for their music and live theater — art forms on steroids during the holidays.

“Downtown Nevada City holds its Victorian Christmas on Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons through Dec. 21, where costumed carolers stroll along gas lamp-lit streets as the aroma of roasted chestnuts fills the air.

“Just outside town, Empire Mine State Historic Park punctuates the holiday experience. Docents dressed in elegant Victorian costumes host tours in the Bourn family mansion and working machine, wood and blacksmith shops.

“And since many mine workers were of Cornish descent, Grass Valley hosts an authentic Cornish Christmas on Friday and Dec. 19.

“With downtown streets closed, it takes on the aura of an old-fashioned Christmas with carolers, jugglers, musicians and plenty of handmade gifts for Santa to pack in his sleigh.

“What are your favorite local adventures? Drop me a line, and I’ll share them with readers. You can reach me at ginnyprior@hotmail.com or online at www.ginnyprior.com.”

To view the full article, click here.

FYI

“Nevada City’s Victorian Christmas: NevadaCityChamber.com/Nevada-City-Events/Victorian-Christmas/
47th annual Grass Valley Cornish Christmas: DowntownGrassValley.com/Downtown-Grass-Valley-Events/Grass-Valley-Cornish-Christmas
Empire Mine State Historic Park: EmpireMine.org
Grass Valley lodging: GVCourtyardSuites.com, TheGoldMinersInn.com

(Source: San Jose Mercury News)

Nevada City native Joanna Newsom speaks about the New Moon Cafe

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In The New York Times Style Magazine online blog this week, Nevada City native Joanna Newsom talks about her favorite in film, furniture and fashion and includes the New Moon Cafe.

“In both her songs and her personal style, the singer-songwriter and harpist Joanna Newsom hearkens back to the era that saw the ascent of women like Joan Baez and Karen Dalton. (For a short film collaboration with the fashion line Wren, Newsom covered Sandy Denny.) Now, Newsom’s distinctive voice is primed to become familiar to a new audience, thanks to her role in “Inherent Vice,” the director Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly anticipated adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s hallucinatory noir detective novel. In addition to narrating the film, Newsom plays Sortilège, a useful confidante to Joaquin Phoenix’s detective Larry “Doc” Sportello. The character is possessed of quasi-mystical powers that would not feel out of place in Newsom’s own personal mythology,” writes Ken Miller of The New York Times Style Magazine.

“New Moon Café, Nevada City, Calif. “Nevada City is my hometown and I try to go there at least twice every time I’m home. I’ve known the people who own it since I was a baby. It’s delicious food — I don’t really know the genre. It’s got farm to table, local, organic, influenced by all sorts of different cuisine. The chef, Peter Selaya, has won all kinds of awards,” says Newsom.”

To read the full article, click here.

(Source: Ken Miller, Photos: Annabel Mehran, David B. Torch)

Daniel Tosh, Andy Samberg, Bobby Flay, Jerry Brown and other notables enjoy dining in our region

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When he was governor the first time around, Jerry Brown and singer Linda Ronstadt would eat at The Willo Steakhouse, a Nevada County institution on State Highway 49. The Willo has served more than 1 million choice New York Steaks, carefully aged and cut daily.

Comedian Andy Samberg also is a regular visitor to our region. Andy married Joanna Newsom of Nevada City last year. The newlyweds from Hollywood enjoyed Thanksgiving with friends and family in Nevada City.

The late Robin Williams had strong ties to North Lake Tahoe. “Aside from skiing, Williams also enjoyed dining out locally with family and friends,” as Squaw Valley Times owner Bill Jensen wrote this summer. “He was a regular customer at Wolfdale’s in Tahoe City and became close with owner/chef Douglas Dale.

“He started coming in about 20 years ago,” Dale told Jensen. “He liked to dine, he liked his food, he liked his wine. I once served him a roasted, stuffed pheasant breast and that became his favorite.”

This week comedian Daniel Tosh, who hosts the Comedy Central television show Tosh.O, enjoyed breakfast at the Squeeze In in Truckee. Tosh is performing on the South Shore this weekend.

In 2010 the Squeeze In was selected to be featured on “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” on the Food Network. The family owned restaurant was honored and humbled when world renowned celebrity Iron Chef Bobby Flay visited their restaurant and said they were “the nicest competitor in the history of Throwdown.”

For its part, Nevada County is hosting its first Restaurant Week January 23-February 1. Nevada County Tourism and GoNevadaCounty.com, the official tourism website of Nevada County, in partnership with the Grass Valley Downtown Association, Greater Grass Valley Chamber, Nevada City Chamber, Penn Valley Area Chamber, South Nevada County Chamber, Truckee Donner Chamber and Sierra FoodWineArt magazine, are sponsors.

The event will be held in conjunction with Visit California’s statewide California Restaurant Month. During Nevada County Restaurant Week (Friday, January 23 to Sunday, February 1), restaurants located throughout the County will be offering “deals,” specials and prix-fixe menus enticing local “foodies” as well as visitors to come and experience a new restaurant, one of your favorites or both.

“As the top U.S. destination for culinary travel and one of the leading agricultural producers in the country, there is a vast array of culinary experiences to be found in California. There’s no better time to visit than during January’s California Restaurant Month, when this special program treats visitors to offers they won’t see any other time of the year,” says Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and CEO.

Below is a list of participating restaurants in Nevada County. Check back often to see which new restaurants have been added to the list and learn what special dining opportunities each restaurant will offer during Nevada County Restaurant Week.

GRASS VALLEY AREA

Apple Alley Café
13469 Colfax Ave., Grass Valley (530) 273-9266


Bear River Pasta Co.
109 Bank St., Grass Valley (530) 274-1760

Charlie’s Café
145 So. Auburn St., Grass Valley (530) 274-1839


Christopher’s Old World Deli and Catering
206 West Main St., Grass Valley (530) 272-8919


Cirino’s at Main Street
215 West Main St., Grass Valley (530) 477-6000


Culture Shock Yogurt
106 Mill St., Grass Valley (530) 274-3442

Diegos Restaurant
217 Colfax Ave., Grass Valley (530) 477-1460

Happy Apple Kitchen
18532 Hwy. 174, Grass Valley (530) 273-2822

Kane’s Family Restaurant & Lounge
120 E. Main St., Grass Valley (530) 273-8111

Maria’s Mexican Restaurant
226 E. Main St., Grass Valley (530) 274-2040

Summer Thyme’s Bakery & Deli
231 Colfax Ave., Grass Valley (530) 273-2904
Breakfast Eggs Summer Thyme’s with a choice of any beverage ($10); The Ploughman’s Lunch: A Bowl of Soup with a chunk of Dubliner Cheddar, Salad and housemade ciabatta with any beverage (beer, wine, espresso, etc.) ($10)

Old Town Café
110 Mill St., Grass Valley (530) 273-4303

South Pine Cafe
102 N. Richardson St., Grass Valley, CA 95945 (530) 265-0260
Either a small freshly squeezed juice OR a natural house made soda with the purchase of an entree item if Restaurant Week is mentioned

The Owl Grill and Saloon
134 Mill St., Grass Valley (530) 274-1144

The Restaurant at The Holbrooke
212 W. Main St., Grass Valley (530) 273-1353

Tofanelli’s Restaurant
302 W. Main St., Grass Valley (530) 272-1468

Trattoria Milano
124 Bank St., Grass Valley (350) 273-3555

NEVADA CITY AREA

Bistro 221
221 Broad St., Nevada City (530) 265-0221
10% discount when Nevada County Restaurant Week is mentioned

Hoover’s Restaurant
211 Broad St., Nevada City (530) 265-4551
Complimentary glass of house wine or soda with purchase of entree

Lefty’s Grill
101 Broad St., Nevada City (530) 265-5838


Matteo’s Public
300 Commercial St., Nevada City (530) 265-0782
Complimentary glass of house wine or soft drink with purchase of dinner

Nevada City Classic Cafe
216 Broad St., Nevada City, CA 95959
20% off Christmas Card Club Sandwich

Old 5 Mile House Restaurant & Bar
18851 Hwy. 20, Nevada City (530) 265-5155

The Willo Steakhouse
16898 Hwy. 49, Nevada City (530) 265-9902

Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co.
211 Commercial St., Nevada City, CA 95959 (530) 470-8333
A special prix-fixe seasonal pizza and salad with choice of Three Forks Beer

PENN VALLEY

Blue Cow Deli
17500 Penn Valley Dr., Ste. A, Penn Valley, CA 95946 (530) 432-5500

Caleb’s Creamery
17329 Penn Valley Rd., Penn Valley, CA 95936 (530) 432-3129

Crazy for Yogurt
10136 Commercial Ave., Penn Valley, CA 95946 (530) 432-2490

Pleasant Valley Grill
10120 Commercial Ave., Penn Valley, CA 95946 (530) 432-9201

Tack Room
17356 Penn Valley Dr., Penn Valley, CA 95946 (530) 432-1126

SOUTH NEVADA COUNTY AREA

Alta Sierra County Club
11897 Tammy Way, Grass Valley (530) 273-2868

Dark Horse Golf Club
24150 Dark Horse Dr., Auburn (530) 269-7900

El Agave Taqueria
10007 Combie Rd., Auburn, CA 95602 (530) 268-3554

Pacific Mountain Bike Works & Coffee
15686 Johnson Pl., Grass Valley (530) 274-2878

Round Table Pizza
10894 Combie Rd., Auburn (530) 268-0433

TRUCKEE AREA

Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar
10142 Rue Hilltop Rd., Truckee (530) 587-5711


Diego’s in Truckee
10130 W. River St., Truckee (530) 550-9900
Burrito with chips and a drink for $7.50


JAX at the Tracks

10144 W. River St., Truckee (530) 550-7450



Marg’s World Taco Bistro
10164 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee (530) 587-6274


Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats
10007 Bridge St., Truckee (530) 587-8688

Morgan’s Lobster Shack & Fish Market
10089 W. River St., Truckee (530) 582-5000

“Clara and the Nutcracker” performances this week

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The Miners Foundry and Holt Ballet Conservatory will present “Clara and The Nutcracker” on December 10 & 11, 2014. Enjoy a delightful evening of holiday cheer and tradition in historical Nevada City with a beautiful cast of dancers, colorful costumes, magical sets, and the wonderful music of the holidays. The Miners Foundry offers time-honored hospitality and H.B.C. dancers bring vibrant energy and faithful dedication to the art of ballet and this classical favorite.

“Clara and The Nutcracker” is a delightful abbreviated version of the classic holiday tale “The Nutcracker Suite” by E.T.A. Hoffmann, featuring choreography by Royal Ballet’s famous choreographer Sir Peter Wright. The cast runs the gamut, from youngsters making their stage debut as dancers to advanced accomplished dancers performing en pointe, and all levels in between.

Holt Ballet Conservatory’s “short story” tells the tale of Clara, whose Christmas present of a toy nutcracker solider inspires a magical dream for Clara, and an opportunity for classically trained ballet dancers to showcase and share their carefully crafted talent.

Children will be enchanted and adults will be inspired by this evening to remember!

The Box Office opens each night at 6 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the performance begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17.00 for General Admission and $14.00 for Students, and are available online, in person or by phone at the Miners Foundry, (530) 265-5040, or in person at Briar Patch Co-Op. Ticketing fees may apply. The evening will feature a no host bar and refreshments will be available for purchase.

(Photo: Jenni Bond)

Cool new video about Truckee!

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The Town of Truckee Chamber of Commerce produced a cool new video about locals’ favorite things to do. Check it out!

“A Christmas Carol” running through December 28, 2014

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LeGacy Productions presents the return of their most popular Christmas show yet, “Tiny Tim’s Christmas” at the Nevada Theatre November 28th through December 28th. Judy Blake once again directs.

The delightful story reminiscent of Dicken’s classic “A Christmas Carol” brings audiences to New York City, where “Tiny” Tim Cratchit, all grown up, fulfills his childhood dream of owning a toy shop. However, Tim has become jaded and miserable in his life, much like his “Uncle” Ebeneezer Scrooge was before his visit from the three spirits on Christmas Eve. When Tim finds out about the passing of his “Uncle” Ebeneezer, he is visited by Scrooge’s spirit, and confronts his mistakes and wrong doings.

LeGacy cofounder and producer Alvis LeGate takes on the title role of Tim Cratchit, joined by Sacramento’s own Steven Minow as Scrooge. LeGacy veteran Nadia White joins in as Grace, Tim’s shop manager. The rest of the twenty person cast is a mix of LeGacy veterans and newcomers, who sing and dance their way through the shops and streets of London and New York City. Shawnna Frazer choreographs. LeGacy favorite designers Darryl Stines on the set, Sharon Sciabaca on costumes.

Tickets to “Tiny Tim’s Christmas” are $20 in advance, $20 at the door, available at Harmony Books, The Bookseller, online at legacypresents.com or by calling (530) 268 5419.

The Center for the Arts purchases iconic California Worldfest (video)

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The Center for the Arts has purchased the iconic California WorldFest from its founders, Sierra FoodWineArt has learned. It has been held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds since its founding in July some 18 years ago.

It is a coup for The Center, which has succeeded in bring world-class talent to the foothills, from Joan Baez to Willie Nelson.

For its part, the County Fairgrounds is hosting more major festivals, including the Strawberry Music Festival.

The WorldFest, started by Dan and Christine, is now going to be in its 19th year. “We’ve decided we’ve come to the end and want to infuse new energy and take a step back,” Dan told Sierra FoodWineArt.

Next year’s WorldFest will be held July 16-19

The California WorldFest began as a showcase for some of our world’s finest artists performing music and dance from the United States and around the world.

Drawing inspiration from the Vancouver Folk Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, MerleFest in North Carolina, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and the Newport Folk Festival, the California WorldFest includes eight performance stages, a complete children’s program, a community outreach history and a pledge to present the finest artists and performers from throughout our world.

From Afro/Pop to Bulgarian Harmonies, Latin to Bluegrass, Scottish fiddle tunes to Rock & Roll, Jumpin’ Jazz to Gypsy, Folk to New Acoustic, Mariachi to Russian Folk, Swing Jazz to Gospel, Bollywood to the newest Celtic incarnations, the California WorldFest is the home of our globes finest music and dance.

Watch a video of Tommy Emmanuel and Brittni Paiva at the 2012 California Worldfest below:

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt.com)