The New Napa Thousands of wineglass-toting party people hit the streets of downtown Napa on Nov. 17 for the grand opening of COPIA: the American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts, the three-year, $55 million project largely funded by Robert and Margrit Biever Mondavi. The kickoff event included a cornucopia of music, demonstrations, and presentations, including a book-signing and lecture by Julia Child and more than 100 wineries offering samples at $1 a pop. Harry's favorite part of the day: Hawaiian chef Sam Choi's lecture and demo, "Fun With Pork." On opening day the Mondavi family noshed in Julia's Kitchen (named after Child), ex-Tra Vigne chef Michael Chiarello signed his new book, Napa Stories, and a crowd alleged to consist of 500 people clamored for the two remaining slots in Child's Nov. 19 lemon meringue pie class. On the wine-tasting "boulevard" Harry rubbed elbows with what looked like the entire wine community. A wonderfully bad rendition of the Beach Boys' "California Girls" played in the background as one gent commented, "It's barely noon and I'm already trashed."
In the Cosmos Cosmopolitan Cafe has branched out with Cozmo's Corner Grill at 2001 Chestnut, a location some argue has been jinxed since Original Joe's left the building. Cosmopolitan Cafe Executive Chef Steven Levine and Chef de Cuisine Max Martinez (formerly of Yabbies Coastal Kitchen) now preside over the rustic California menu, with most dishes priced under $18. The dining area seats 45 on the ground floor and 30 on the mezzanine. The best change: a new cocktail lounge.
Saint Francis It seems apparent that Francis Ford Coppola likes to eat. But on Sunday, Dec. 2, the wine- and filmmaker will prove that he also likes to cook. Participants at a benefit for North Beach Citizens, a nonprofit founded to address the needs of North Beach's homeless, will enjoy a family-style pasta dinner whipped up by Coppola at the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, accompanied by music and revelry. Tickets are $50 for North Beach residents, $75 for everyone else; call 788-7500 for details.