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Dining News: Patrick Mulvaney Defends Pricey Tower Bridge Dinner


There's been a minor (in the big scheme of things) controversy over the price of dinner spanning the Tower Bridge on Sept. 29. Some have said that the $175 price tag is inaccessible to the masses, while organizers have pointed out that the event is a fundraiser and that since its 600 seats sold out in 6 hours, clearly there was demand for those tickets at those prices.

In Sunday's Sac Bee, Patrick Mulvaney of Mulvaney's B&L and Shawn Harrison of Soil Born Farms, penned an op ed defending the price and the event.

Sadly, some have objected to the ticket price of this dinner and decided to denigrate this celebration with epithets such as "farm to silver spoon." Yes, the meal is expensive, but all the tickets for the Sept. 29 event sold out in six hours. Clearly, many residents recognize that this dinner isn't an end in itself. Instead, it is acknowledged as one way of recognizing a vast array of efforts focused on elevating our status as a food capital.

Our region is discovering the future by looking back upon its agricultural heritage. Beyond a river, our region shares the most committed and productive sustainable farmers in the nation. Why not celebrate that? And why not celebrate the far bigger picture that we can't afford to miss seeing?

Read the entire op ed in the Sac Bee.

That opinion piece sparked a spirited debate on Twitter between Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson (@BlaRob) Jess Milbourn, the chef at West Sac's The Eatery (@EateryChef), @PassmoreRanch (whom I assume to be Michael Passmore) and former journalist Ed Murrieta (@EdMurrieta). Click here to read the tweet that spanned more than 30 responses. (Twitter only lets you display 2 tweets in a coversation at a time, which you see below.)

As for me, I will not be attending.

I couldn't justify spending $350 on a pair of tickets, but it seems like there are plenty of people who can, or people who have decided to splurge on that dinner. I hope they have fun. Also, I understand there are free and much more affordable events that week that will be accessible to most. I hope to make it out to one of those events (like the cattle drive - that' seems fun and unique).

More News:

Hotel goes back to drawing board on renovating historic building - Designed by acclaimed architect Julia Morgan, the red brick building was last renovated in 2001 to accommodate the hotel’s lobby, restaurant space and 20,000-square foot meeting room. The hotel now wants to move the restaurant - Morgan’s - from the second floor to the first floor, where it would enclose the existing 300 square feet of the outdoor sidewalk café. The second floor, in turn, would be converted into a 2,500 square-foot junior ballroom. The changes would alter the equally spaced façades on J and 13th Streets, a fact that did not sit well with some commissioners and community members. Kibkabe Araya in Sac Press.

"Have an Offal Day" tickets going fast - "Have an Offal Day" now ranks as the year's most adventurous food festival, which will take place on Aug. 18 at Mulvaney's Next Door (1215 19th St., Sacramento). Such leading local chefs as Billy Ngo, Oliver Ridgeway, Ravin Patel and Pajo Bruich will whip together dishes based on gizzards, innards and much more. Also participating is Hank Shaw, who scored the James Beard Award this year for best individual food blog. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Gastropub Stirling Bridges opening in Carmichael - Andy Wylie, one of the three founders back in 1999 of The Streets of London Pub at 1804 J St. in Sacramento, is opening a new gastropub in Carmichael called Stirling Bridges. The new pub, which features a 50-foot bar made of river rock, opens Saturday with a pipe band. Wylie is originally from Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland. Mark Anderson in Sac Biz Journal.

As beer tastes change, Sacramento retailers and distributors race to keep up - Five years ago, the warehouse of Woodland beverage distributor V. Santoni & Co. was stocked with fewer than 300 varieties of beer. Today the company's inventory contains 1,800 brews, a change that reflects the exploding number of mostly small companies making craft beer. Santoni president Charley Santoni said he's had to install new shelving to make more space for the growing inventory. Jack Newsham in the Sac Bee.

VIDEO: Fire damages popular Old Folsom pub; Fire officials: Cigarette may be to blame - Arson investigators are working to determine what started a fire that damaged a popular spot in Folsom Saturday morning. The fire ignited just after 5 a.m. at the Powerhouse Pub along Sutter Street in Old Folsom. Leticia Ordaz on KCRA.


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