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Side Dish 

Eating Winona; Doon Town; Pictionary; Fore; Star-ing

Wednesday, May 3 2000
Eating Winona
It was a gathering of great minds and still greater dirty jokes at the Regency Building last week. The occasion? The Peter J. Owens Gala of the San Francisco International Film Fest, honoring inveterate disaffected teenager Winona Ryder. The great minds? I'm referring, of course, to the gathering of chefs who volunteered to feed the monkey-suited masses. Le Colonial, Jardiniere, and Flying Saucer were in the house, as were Mark Franz of Farallon, Gordon Drysdale and his fine eats, and Joseph from Globe, the latter talking up his new Glen Ellen project. Ms. Ryder sure looked cute, but I think more fun was had by the knife-jugglers in the back of the house.

Doon Town
It's a match made in heaven: Elka Gilmore has invited her old pal Randall Graham of Bonny Doon to create the wine list at her eponymous restaurant. Mr. Graham, who has brought us such goodies as the Cigare Volante and Cardinal Zin, as well as the ever-popular Vin de Glaciere, has created an aggressively anti-chard and anti-cab menu in keeping with his championing of underrecognized varietals. Elka's prix fixe (vegetarian available) pairs a Manzanilla sherry with Ms. Gilmore's chawan mushi -- custard broth soup with sweet shrimp and dried mushrooms -- and my favorite, off-dry Montlouis le Tuffaux from the Loire with foie gras and mango. I don't know of many restaurants whose wine list is put together by a vintner. It's a nutty idea, and that's why wacky Randall Graham is just the man for the job.

What's for dinner? Pesce, poulet, or bouef, according to the latest Drink and Eat Selections wines released by Tri-Vin Imports. The labels help solve the age-old problem of what wine to serve with which dish: The bottles are clearly marked with the suggested accompaniment spelled out in French, Italian, and English. There are also perky pictures of frisky animals for those who can't read any of these languages. The wine has launched abroad and in the Texas, Georgia, Rhode Island, and New Jersey markets among others. Hmm.

The Ben Ulrich Memorial Golf Tournee and Auction raised $10,000 for a scholarship fund to the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp. Harry spent most of his 18 holes at the ever-present beer and tequila cart while 116 friends of Ben whacked the little white ball around Lincoln Park. The after-party was at Mars. Thanks to John Guinea, John Cain, and all the participants for giving us the chance to remember our friend and donate to a good cause.

Joan Collins was at Foreign Cinema, dressed as a star should be -- in head-to-toe white. When offered an easy escape through the back door, a brave and poetic Ms. Collins replied, "Oh, nonsense. We must move forward and face the world."

Know something Harry doesn't? E-mail and sweep the dirt out from under the rug.

About The Author

Harry Coverte


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