Posts Tagged ‘Jacks Restaurant’

Monterey Peninsula Car Week 2014

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
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Portola Hotel & Spa lobby.

Whether you are a classic car aficionado like Jay Leno or just a casual observer, there is nothing like seeing the glimmering shine of a freshly detailed car or hearing the roar of an engine coming to life. Celebrities of the human and automotive kind will be on hand August 11-17, 2014 during the Monterey Peninsula’s Car Week. What was once a couple of events has transformed into an entire week of automotive excess with no less than 25 separate events including shows, auctions, rallies and entertainment. Most of the action centers on the major viewing competitions and the various auctions. From the tony Pebble Beach Concourse d’ Elegance and the horsepower and miniature might of Downtown Pacific Grove’s Little Car Show, to The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the RM Auctions Sports & Classics of Monterey auction, the multitude of offerings is almost too many to fathom.

The Portola Hotel & Spa is not only right in the thick of the action, but it also plays host to the RM Auctions Sports & Classics auction event. With secure covered parking and a number of alternate transportation options right at your fingertips, classic car owners or fans of the cars themselves can easily access any of the events around the Peninsula. As headquarters for Friday and Saturday’s RM auctions the Portola’s restaurants will be featuring special hours with Peter B’s opening for lunch at 11am on Thursday August 14th and Jacks Restaurant open for Dinner until 11pm on August 14th & 15th and Jacks Lounge open until 1am Thursday through Saturday.

If you need a break from the rev of the engines, the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail is located just outside the Portola Hotel & Spa. Wander along some of the most beautiful coastline in the country before returning back to the action. So put the top down and motor into the Monterey Peninsula for what some say is the greatest gathering of steel and wheels in the world. Car Week on the Monterey Peninsula is an event not to be missed!

Peter B’s Brewpub Goes Green

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
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While most of the news in the foodie world revolves around new trends at the table and from the bar, there is a growing movement behind the scenes to move towards a greener restaurant scene and not just the vegetable kind. Peter B’s Brewpub, behind the Portola Hotel & Spa, is at the forefront of this movement and incorporates these environmentally friendly practices just about everywhere.

One of the most visible green efforts from Peter B’s is the sourcing of local, sustainable and responsibly grown ingredients. Executive Chef Jason Giles and Head Brewer, Kevin Clark work diligently to make sure what is served is the best not only for their guests, but for the environment as well. Participation in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program® is also a critical component of the restaurant’s sustainable and green focused efforts. With a location so close to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, it’s only natural that Peter B’s focuses on the best sourcing of seafood possible. Furthermore, all to-go containers and cups are Bio-Pak, which is a compostable material.

Clark takes these green practices to new heights with upgraded brewery equipment and plumbing resulting in a savings of 41,000 gallons of water per year, an important initiative during California’s drought. In addition, he has implemented unique uses for the leftover spent mash utilized to brew his award-winning craft beers. Peter B’s has created a seal-shaped custom dog biscuit for the hotel and restaurant’s furry friends and also donates the remaining mash to local farmers for cattle feed, a process that elongates the use of the material and reduces the carbon footprint of producing the beer.

Most of us would be happy that the food and drinks we are being served are an environmentally responsible choice, but Peter B’s takes it a step further with their Food Scrap Program. Once you have finished that delicious meal, what happens to the scraps? Traditionally, scraps were taken to the local landfill, but Peter B’s, Jacks Restaurant & Lounge and the Portola Hotel & Spa participate in the Monterey Regional Waste Management District’s Organics to Energy compost program, where each week, over 2000 lbs. of food scraps and other organic waste is diverted from landfill disposal and after inspection, is mixed with mulch and turned into compost. The methane gas produced during the process is captured and used as fuel to produce energy and the compost is used by local farmers and winemakers to help grow their crops. In addition, all the cooking oil is specially recycled and turned into bio diesel fuel.

So the next time you are enjoying a fantastic meal or house-brewed craft beer at Peter B’s, take a moment to thank your server. Not only for the great food and drink, but for doing everything they can to make the Monterey Peninsula a happier, healthier and greener place!

Peter B’s Brews & Bites Contest

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
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And the Winner Is…IPA Braised Carnitas Over Polenta Cakes by Camilla Mann

Peter B’s Brews & Bites Contest

During the month of July Peter B’s Brewpub held one of the coolest contests around town! Rookie chef’s where challenged to design an original recipe for an appetizer incorporating one of the brewpub’s original craft beers.

Three very creative finalists were carefully selected they were (in no particular order):

  • Beer Fondue by Rachel N.
  • IPA-Braised Carnitas over Polenta Cakes by Camilla M.
  • Vegan Beer Caramelized Leek & Onion Dip served with Beer Pretzel Bites by Briana S.

After some serious tasting by a savvy panel of judges during KRML’s live broadcast of Pub Talk with Chris and Merideth from thebeergeek.com and KRML’S very own Mike Hale and Jeff White at Peter B’s on July 30th, Camilla Mann’s recipe for IPA Braised Carnitas Over Polenta was declared the winner in a very close race.

On behalf of the Peter B’s team, thank you to all those that entered and keep on cooking!!

 

IPA-Braised Carnitas Over Polenta Cakes by Camilla Mann

 

 

Legend of Laguna IPA-Braised Carnitas

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds skinless, boneless pork, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 12 oz Legend of Laguna IPA
  • 1 T pine honey
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Bring all of the ingredients – except salt and pepper – to a boil in a large, flat-bottom pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pork is fork-tender, approximately an hour.

Uncover pork; simmer until liquid evaporates and pork begins to brown, approximately half an hour. Continue to cook, for another 10 minutes, until the pork is nicely browned. Shred pork with a fork.

 

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 C polenta
  • 5 C warm water
  • 1/2 C Legend of Laguna IPA
  • 1 T pine honey
  • 1/4 C freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 C freshly squeezed kumquat juice
  • 4 T butter
  • Freshly ground sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Bring water, IPA, honey, and citrus juices to a boil in a large saucepan. Add freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper. Gradually whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring constantly, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in butter, and season to taste with more salt and pepper. Spoon into a buttered pan and let cool.

Once cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.

To Assemble:

  • Butter
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Freshly ground salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Melt a pat of butter in a skillet. Slice your polenta into serving size pieces – whatever size you want. I tried both bite-sized and larger. Pan-fry the cakes until a crisp crust forms, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Reheat the carnitas with 1/2 C water in a covered pot, adding more water if needed to keep pork moist.

Place the polenta cakes on your serving plate. Drizzle with salsa. Top with carnitas. Add a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

Unforgettable Beach Picnics on the Monterey Peninsula

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
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For many people summertime means lazy days in the sun, kicking back with good friends and good food!  In my opinion, there is no better way to celebrate this tradition then heading to the beach for an old fashioned picnic.  The Portola Hotel & Spa has some fun tips to create you perfect beach picnic!

 

Step One – choosing the right beach. The Monterey Peninsula is filled with amazing beaches and each one comes with unique scenery and features. Here are some favorites along with what makes each location so special.

Del Monte State Beach – Just a short walk from Portola is the Del Monte State Beach, which spans from the Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf to Seaside. The long stretch of beach allows picnic goers to find their own intimate spot in the sand or a grab a picnic table and watch the crowds go by on Monterey’s bike trail. Dogs are welcome on this beach and the water is perfect for boogie boarding and surfing. Great for activities for all ages, it is ideal for flying kites, playing catch or a game of volleyball with courts located right off the beach. For picnickers that are planning to stick around after sunset, be sure to bring ingredients for S’mores along with firewood, since beach fires are permitted.

Lovers Point – The teal waters, protected swimming coves and tide pools galore make Lovers Point the perfect spot for picnics! Make camp on the sandy beach or in the park just above the beach at the picnic tables. A protective cove makes this beach a little warmer than the others and once lunch is fully digested, wade into the Bay or take a dip in the Lovers Point Children’s Pool open daily from noon to 4:30pm.  Kayak and paddle board rentals are also available at the beach from Adventures by the Sea.

Asilomar State Beach – Just south from Monterey in Pacific Grove are the white sands of Asilomar State Beach. Asilomar is Spanish for “refuge by the sea,” and it lives up to this name. Picnickers and their dogs too, can spend all day walking the boardwalks surrounding the beach and the sand dunes, exploring tide pools and watching the surfers catch big waves, as a State designated beach, beach fires are also permitted.

Carmel Beach – Bright blue waves, white sand and dogs galore await you at Carmel Beach. The long stretch of beach with views of golfers on the Pebble Beach golf course, quaint Carmel homes and the luscious scenery of Point Lobos will keep picnickers entertained for hours. The world-renowned beach attracts people from all over the world to picnic by day, take in the beautiful sunset and set up bonfires by night.

 

Step Two – food and beverage. The Monterey Peninsula is jammed packed with great restaurants and cafés that serve food to go. We have picked a few that will delight the taste buds with a little local flavor!

Jacks Restaurant & Lounge – Located inside the Portola Hotel & Spa, Jacks is one of the Peninsula’s most popular spots for lunch and is available for take-out.  As a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® Program, Jacks is committed to using healthy, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients.  Jacks lunch menu features a Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwich, Whole Wheat Chicken Wrap and a Classic Club Sandwich, just right to pack in your picnic basket. For something a little lighter, try their Warm Chicken & Cashew Salad or a Crispy Dungeness Crab Cake Salad, pair these with the perfect wine and you’ll be all set!

Happy Girl Kitchen – Two blocks form the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Happy Girl Kitchen is a café and cannery that specializes in house-made baked goods. Delicious organic breakfast and lunch options include sandwiches, soups and delicious cheese and cracker plates. This spot also specializing in preserves so be sure to grab one of the jams, pickles or a jar of local honey.

Troia’s Market – Located just a few blocks up the hill from Portola, Troia’s Market is a great place to stop to pick up traditional quality deli sandwiches, a selection of sides such as potatoes salad and other homemade options such as mac and cheese, salads and lasagna. There is a vast assortment of snacks to grab and a nice beverage selection for those of age.

Whole Foods Market – Located right off the freeway at the Munras exit, Whole Foods is a great option for picnickers on their way to Asilomar or Carmel Beach. Offering a full service deli, sushi bar and big selection of ready food to go, Whole Foods is a great place to stop to ensure that everyone in the picnic party will be able to enjoy their favorite food on the beach.

Wine – What is a great beach day without a bottle of wine? Just steps from Portola are two great places to pick up world famous local Monterey County wines. Stop in Wine From the Heart or Terranova Fine Wines to taste a few before purchasing your new favorite bottle and heading to the beach.

It’s hard to go wrong on the Monterey Peninsula when selecting a location along with food and beverage for a picnic. Don’t forget sunscreen, towels, a blanket, chairs, sand toys and a football or volleyball!

When it comes down to it, finding the time to relax and be around loved ones is precious, so get out there and have day on the Peninsula that everyone will remember!

Staycations are the Best!

Friday, May 16th, 2014
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Calling all exhausted parents, worn out families, and couples in need of a romantic rendezvous in the 831; this post is for you!

Just because there’s no time for an actual vacation doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve a break.  Monterey’s Portola Hotel and Spa is here to provide the perfect solution!  Why not skip the hassle of booking flights and hotel rooms out of the area, and take a staycation instead.  You don’t have to leave the country to get out of the house.  All you need to achieve the relaxing staycation you so well deserve is a small bag and a quick drive to downtown Monterey.

Reserve a luxurious room and enjoy all of the lavish amenities that Portola has to offer.  Spend your days in rejuvenation at Spa on the Plaza.  Drop in for a facial or a heavenly massage, after, take a relaxing steam or kick back in the sauna. Perhaps taking a dip in the pool is more your style, cozy up in one of the private cabanas on the pool deck and read that book you’ve been meaning to finish for the past few months! After, stop by the concierge desk and play tourist for a day.  Explore the town you live in through a fresh set of eyes and try out new attractions you’ve been too busy to investigate.

You don’t have to go far to experience the bliss of being pampered.  Take a the day off from cooking and experience the Portola’s very own Jacks Restaurant & Lounge or Monterey’s first craft brewery, Peter B’s Brewpub.   After dinner, spend your evening on a moonlight walk along Old Fisherman’s Wharf or stroll nearby beaches and listen to the peaceful sounds of the tide going in and out.

You may not have time to be a full-blown jetsetter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in a local weekend getaway.  Make the Portola Hotel and Spa your next staycation destination.

Happy travels!