We had the fortunate opportunity to go to the Sunset Savor the Central Coast ‘Strings at Sunset Opening Night Party’ at Vina Robles Amphitheater on September 24. Although we have attended Savor the Central Coast events in years past and have also been to the amphitheater many times for concerts…this event was completely and utterly unique.
Why was it unique? Well, like most events we attend there was food and wine. There are a few interesting notes on this though. The layout was perfect. There were ‘food stations’ sprinkled throughout the venue which made it convenient to meander around to get your sip of wine and grab the next tasty bite.
The bites (copy and pasted from the Sunset Savor website):
A signature Paella from James Beard Award-winning author of Kitchen Gypsy (September 2015), international cooking teacher and chef, Joanne Weir;
Dungeness crab mac& cheese with popular food blogger, culinary instructor and author of Eating Up the West Coast (April 2015) Brigit Binns;
Specialty treats from the Border Grill Truck with modern Mexican cuisine ambassador, Mary Sue Milliken;
Duck confit and smoked trout deviled eggs with Executive Chef James Siao of Finch & Fork Restaurant; and
Almond French Toast Souffle, Sweet Heat Chocolate Brownies, and more at the Torani Dessert Bar.
I tried all but the last one and all I can say is that there was no disappointment whatsoever. The paella and mac & cheese were outstanding. The trout deviled eggs were unique and full of great flavor. I had not heard of the Border Grill Truck (out of Los Angeles) before but they had a Corn Esquite Pop, Baja Ceviche, and Churro Tots…all amazing!
How about the wine? There were too many there to list but the wineries pouring were all Sunset International Wine Competition winners. So how could you go wrong? Exactly. We did sample everything from sparkling to Albarino to Grenache. I also sampled some ciders from Sonoma Cider which hit the spot.
Amazing food, award winning wines, and some cider…if you still aren’t impressed let’s discuss the music of the evening. There were two local musicians, Phil Cisneros and Jon Stephen, that each played in different areas on the main walk. I thought it was a nice touch to have live music up top where attendees were sampling and chatting.
Once you left the main walk and went down to the stage…that’s where things got interesting. First up was DJ violinist, Spags. I had never heard of her before and only caught some of her show due to being up top tasting, but she was magnificent. She roamed around with her violin rocking out and clearly entertaining the guests.
The next act up was String Theory. Yet another one I hadn’t heard of before but before the night was over they had a new fan. It seemed almost each member of the group played multiple instruments and a few of them sang as well. It was truly a musical orgy of talent. If you have not seen them before I urge you to check them out. You can see some iPhone video I took below.
Two things that stood out about String Theory other than their amazing talent. 1) The stringed instrument that you see the lady playing in the video below, well, the strings went from the stage out over the audience to the grassy seating area. It was impressive. 2) As you’ll see in two other videos below, the drum wall was, in my opinion, pretty spectacular too.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Hope to see you at Sunset Savor next year!