Terra d’Oro Winemaker Dinner: 4/21

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Terra d’Oro 6-Course Winemaker Dinner w/Chris Leamy
at The Riviera Supper Club
Monday, April 21st, 2014 at 7:00pm

Please join us for our April Winemaker Dinner!

We’re very excited to bring you a fabulous night of Terra d’Oro wines and our April Winemaker, Chris Leamy! Most well known for thier zinfandels and Italian varietals, Terra d’Oro makes wonderful high quality wines with super affordable pricing! Come learn a bit more about the Sierra Foothills and what this historic wine growing region has to offer! Each wine will be paired with its own dinner course. Expect a fabulous evening of wine, food, great stories and winery insights! Please note this dinner will be held at our sister location, The Riviera Supper Club in La Mesa.

See more at:  http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e94o7cd5e2ddb607&llr=6xlbncdab.

Coronado Brewing Brewmaster Dinner: 4/14 7pm

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Coronado Brewing 6-Course Beer Dinner
w/Head Brewer Ryan Brooks at The Riviera Supper Club
Monday, April 14th, 2014 at 7:00pm

Sample 6 beers from one of San Diego’s oldest breweries!!

We’re very excited to bring you a fabulous night of Coronado Brewery’s epic beers! Don’t miss out on a fabulous night of Coronado brews, including Orange Ave Wit, Frog’s Breath, Jurata Porter & some other Coronado favorites and seasonals! We’ll be featuring THREE collaboration beers, so this will definitely be a great night of creative brews. Each beer will be paired with its own dinner course. Expect a fabulous evening of beer, food, great stories and insights from Coronado’s own Head Brewer, Ryan Brooks and some other charismatic members of the brewery team. Please note this dinner will be held at our sister location, The Riviera Supper Club in La Mesa.

See more at:  http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e94m17w06eba8b3e&llr=6xlbncdab.

Catering to lovers of vino and music!

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The following article is a great piece by Jen Van Tieghem in San Diego City Beat on 2/21/14:

In the spirit of this Local Music Issue, I gave some thought to which wine bars in town also serve up musical entertainment. There are plenty of places to enjoy a glass with some swanky jazz, but if you want something a little more rock ‘n’ roll, the Riviera Supper Club’s Turquoise Room is a superb spot. 

Most nights, bands are featured in the bar, as has been the case for several years. Alternative rock, alt-country and soul-fusion are some of the genres on the calendar in coming weeks. But with Michael Rammelsberg of Proprietor’s Reserve Wine Bar taking ownership in 2011, the wine also became a high priority. 

With more than 75 wines by the bottle and around 20 by the glass, the list boasts many California offerings and a few other regions. One of my favorites is the 2010 Ballistic by Tobin James, a Zinfandel from Paso Robles. This lush, complex red opens with a touch of sour raisin on the tongue. The flavors smooth into rich cherry and currant notes. 

On a recent visit, I decided to try something from the Provocative White section—the 2011 Clayhouse Adobe White. The blend of predominately Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc presents the best characteristics of both, with grass and grapefruit flavors. The mellow finish is easily palatable, tasting of lemon custard.

Riviera (rivierasupperclub.com, 7777 University Ave. in La Mesa) has furthered its wine focus by adding a wine-bar section that opened on Valentine’s Day. The front patio was converted with chic bar and high-table seating. For now, it’ll be open Friday and Saturday nights with a special menu featuring wine-friendly foods like stuffed mushrooms, cheese plates and more. 

With this, The Riv now offers the best of both worlds for fans of wine and music: for wine lovers, an inviting ambiance, food that complements our drink of choice and stellar wine selections, and for music lovers, a comfortable place to let loose and check out killer bands. 


The wine bar is open!

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The Proprietor’s Reserve Wine Bar at Riviera is now complete!  Open Wednesdays through Sundays, the wine bars allows guests to order from the menu, or enjoy tapas and cheese boards to go along with their favorite wines.  With 76 wines to choose from, you’ll be sure to find a favorite.  The opening of the Proprietor’s Reserve Wine Bar at Riviera now gives East county and La Mesa a destination wine bar.  We look forward to seeing you!


Hess Brewery Dinner 2/17 – the menu is out!

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The brew selection and the menu is all set for the big Hess Beer Dinner in the comfy confines of your own private dining room at Riviera!  That’s right, the dining room is closed on Mondays so we can have events like this.  More privacy provides a VIP feel where you can listen to Mike Hess without contending with a crowd and the exhaust fan above the grill.

This event will be a great one, and here is the lineup for the Hess dinner:

Mike Hess Brewing Claritas Kolsch Style Beer

Roasted Corn Croquette | Lavender Goat Cheese Filling | Trio of Accompaniments | Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam | Smoked Tomato Reduction | Meyer Lemon Butter

Mike Hess Brewing Jucundus Orange Honey Wheat

Tri-Potato Tortilla Espanola | Fresh Sage | Gruyere | Linquica Portuguese Sausage | Red Onion | Sage + Chive Infused Creme Fraiche

Mike Hess Brewing Grazias Vienna Cream Ale

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Saltimbocca | Sage + Gouda Stuffing | Lentil Duo | Green Corn + Chile Puree | Leeks | Carrot | Celery | Crispy Pancetta + Rosemary

Mike Hess Brewing Solis Occasus India Pale Ale

Jumbo Sirloin + Lamb Meatball | Hickory Bacon | Gorgonzola | Caramelized Red Onion | Portobello + Smoked Bacon Risotto Fritter | Oregano + Basil Pesto

Mike Hess Brewing Ficus Belgian Dark Ale with Figs

Hess Ex Umbris Braised Leg of Lamb |Cilantro | Ancho Chile | Dried Fig | Pepita + Cilantro Pesto | Cotija Polenta | Cumin + Cilantro Oaxaca Crema

Mike Hess Brewing Ordeum Rex West Coast Barleywine

Salem Blue Cheese + White Stilton Cheese Cake | Dried Apricot | Gingersnap + Walnut Crust | Bosc Pear | Caramel Sauce | Candied Walnut

Exciting February Events

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Many of our guests know that we have been working on the Proprietor’s Reserve Wine Bar at Riviera, and we are pleased to announce that it is near completion!  The addition to the front patio at Riviera will be a great experience for wine lovers!  Guests will be able to enjoy 76 different wines in a cozy outdoor setting.  Guests will enjoy the new construction, including wine barrels from Cline Cellars.  The addition of the Proprietor’s Reserve Wine Bar will bring exciting things to the restaurant including an increase in the amazing wine dinners we have been offering on a semi-regular basis.  Look for more of these, beer dinners, and more pairings in general!  Small bites will be added so our guests can sip, linger, have some snacks, and enjoy the new space.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and many of our guests look forward to the Prix Fixe meal for two that is offered.  We will be offering our delectable Prime Rib dinner for happy couples on Valentine’s Day, and this includes sides, dessert, and a bottle of champagne!  We will have some fun entertainment that night, so be sure to move into The Turquoise Room for the rest of your special evening, as Sure Fire Soul Ensemble will close out your Valentine’s Day night with a fun, free show!  We are accepting reservations for Valentine’s Day, so don’t hesitate to call and reserve your spot!



Hess Brewing 6 Course Dinner!

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We’re very excited to bring you a fabulous night of Hess Brewery’s epic beers!  Don’t miss out on a fabulous night of Hess brews, including Grazias Vienna Cream Ale, Jucundus Honey Orange Wheat & some other Hess favorites and seasonals!  Skip the Valentine’s Day crowds and celebrate a little later with a beer in hand.  Each beer will be paired with its own dinner course.  Expect a fabulous evening of beer, food, great stories and insights from Hess’ own Head Brewer, Jason and owner, Mike Hess.  Sign up and more details here:  http://tinyurl.com/mt2mubo

 Here is what the Hess Brewing site says about their history:
In late 2009, during the process of moving from East County San Diego to the coast, Mike Hess relocated his financial services office into a light industrial park along Miramar Road, close to his children’s school and his new home. This new industrial office was chosen with full knowledge of an added bonus—an 800 ft² garage that was originally procured to hold his home brewing setup, which outgrew his new home. Several months later, an article on the concept of “nano” brewing piqued Mike’s interest. As a home brewer for 15 years, Mike had always dreamed of turning passion into profession, but that seemed out of reach. However, given Mike’s history as a serial entrepreneur, this “nano” idea seemed worthy of at least exploring—was it really a viable business? Was working in the beer business rewarding as it seemed? Would his wife even let him? As it turns out, the building was zoned properly for a brewery (Industrial-Light in our case) and the size was right. After searching and researching for information on “how to build a nano,” Mike’s frustration in finding no singular source led him to write the Hess Brewing Odyssey, a chronicle of our start up process, while also detailing the steps needed to open a similar operation. In July of 2010, after 8 months of hard work, including building the brewhouse from scratch with the help of his brother, sourcing a cold box from a liquidator in Phoenix and tapping the skills of Court, a friend and fellow craft beer lover, the Mike Hess Brewing brand was born and opened to the public. Opening day was a huge success – so much so that we closed for the next two weeks to replenish! Brewing on a 1.6 bbl system, we brewed a whopping 14 barrels (28 kegs worth) in our first quarter. Demand increased, so did production, and we’ve never caught up, despite brewing 90 barrels a quarter on that same system, adding fermenters and a bright beer tank along the way and doubling up our footprint to 1,600 ft². Originally staffed with a rotating crew of volunteers, many of those have now bought into our expansion and/or are on the team, including Frank and Neal in production and Tim in photography. Mike Hess Brewing now employs 10 full-time and 8 part-time employees and is always looking for enthusiastic, friendly, reliable and beer-centric people to add to its staff. – See more at: http://www.hessbrewing.com/about-mike-hess-brewing/history/#sthash.MWZaTQip.dpuf

Cline Cellars Wine Dinner!

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We’re very excited to bring you a fabulous night of Cline Cellars wines and the charismatic Charlie Cline!  Most well known for zinfandels and Rhone varietals, Cline Cellars makes wonderfulwines and super affordable pricing.  Charlie is well known for his great stories so get ready for a fun night!  Each wine will be paired with its own dinner course.  Expect a fabulous evening of wine, food, great stories and fabulous wines!  Sign up for the dinner here:  http://tinyurl.com/lzanaec

Here is the Cline Cellars story from their website:
our roots run deep
In the latter part of the 1800s, Oakley, Contra Costa County was a booming farming community with thousands of acres of orchards and healthy vineyards. Fred Cline’s maternal grandfather, Valeriano Jacuzzi of pump and spa fame, called this place home. On summer visits to his grandparents, Fred learned both the love of agricultural life and the mysteries of vinifying grapes into wine. These lessons led Fred to obtain a degree in Agriculture Management from U.C. Davis. In 1982, with an inheritance from his grandfather, Fred founded Cline Cellars near Oakley, California. Here, he preserved and restored many ancient vine sites to their rightful reign as premier California wine lands.

In 1991, Fred and his wife Nancy relocated the winery from Oakley to the Carneros region of Sonoma County on a historic 350-acre estate with new vineyards and facilities. While much of the cool Carneros region is planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot, Fred pioneered the planting of Rhône varietals including Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne.

Over the years, Fred’s innovation has consistently resulted in some of northern California’s most distinctive Rhône-style wines and intense, flavorful Zinfandels, many with 90+ point ratings from Wine Spectator. Wine & Spirits called our Ancient Vines Mourvèdre “one of the top 100 values,” and in 2011 Robert Parker Jr. wrote in the Wine Advocate, “this is the finest portfolio of value-priced wines from Cline Cellars that I have tasted to date.”

Tobin James Wine Dinner Mon. 1/13/14

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Tobin James 6-Course Wine Dinner

at The Riviera Supper Club

Monday,  January 13th, 2014 at 7:00pm

6-Wines from Paso Robles Great, Tobin James!!


We’re very excited to bring you a fabulous night of Tobin Jame’s epic wines!  Most well known for their Zins, this Paso Robles winery produces an array of high end zinfandels, cabernets and Rhone varietals.  In addition to some zins, we’ll be highlighting some of the other varietals Tobin James excels at producing.  If you’ve never heard about the winery or had the wines, this is a great chance to find out why Tobin James has a true cult following.  Each wine will be paired with its own dinner course.  Expect a fabulous evening of wine, food, great stories and Zins of Sin!


Wine Menu (Dinner Menu to Follow):


2012 Tobin James Radiance Chardonnay

2011 Tobin James Made in the Shade Merlot

2009 Tobin James James Gang Reserve Zinfandel

2008 Tobin James Private Stash Meritage

2009 Tobin James Black Magic Petite Sirah

2009 Tobin James Liquid Love Late Harvest Zinfandel


6-Course Wine Dinner $50/person

BRIX Club Members $40/person

Click below to see more and reserve your spot for this great wine dinner!


More on Tobin James from their website (http://www.tobinjames.com/):

About Tobin James Cellars

It all started with an extra six tons of grapes that a winery could not accept and process. Tobin (Toby) James, a lowly assistant winemaker at the time, asked the owner of the winery if he could have the grapes and make wine out of them for himself. The owner replied, “sure kid, knock yourself out”. A year and a half later, gold medals began pouring in for Toby’s first Zinfandel, the 1985 “Blue Moon” Zin.

After making his wines at another local winery for a few years, and tasting and selling them out of a local wine shop in town, Toby finally took the plunge and built Tobin James Cellars in 1994.

Built from the ground up on the site of an old stagecoach stop, it might seem more natural to stroll into the old-fashioned western-style saloon, place your booted foot on the brass rail of the bar and order a shot of whiskey from the bartender. However, in the Tobin James tasting room, award winning wines are poured from behind the grand, antique 1860’s Brunswick mahogany bar from Blue Eye, Missouri.

Tobin James Cellars, located 8 miles east of Paso Robles on Highway 46, sits among 71 acres of vineyard’s and oak dotted hills. A magnificent setting for magnificent wines! As soon as you approach, you see something unique. The wooden structures, heralded by the rotating blades of a towering water pump, have a character all their own, There is even a restored stage coach stop that is now being used as a guest house that will take your breath away. It seems everything structural is relevant of age and history.

The Winemakers — Tobin James and Lance Silver

Tobin (Toby) James grew up on a vineyard in Indiana, worked in a wine shop in Cincinnati and knew at the age of 18 that he would own a winery. He apprenticed at the Estrella River Winery, eventually being hired on full time and becoming their cellar master. From there, he headed to Eberle Winery to eventually make their wines with Gary Eberle.

When Peachy Canyon started, the owner needed a winemaker. A deal was struck so that Toby would become the founding winemaker and also have the opportunity to continue making Tobin James Cellars’ wine at the same facility. The very first wine Toby made won a spot on the coveted “top 100” wines of the year with the Wine Spectator. Toby’s reputation continued to grow, and in 1993 decided to build his own winery on highway 46 east of Paso Robles.

Lance Silver met Tobin James in 1996 on a quest to either buy an existing winery or start a new one. The two quickly clicked, and knew that a partnership would answer both their dreams. The two make a perfect match between winemaking and business expertise.

Lance, a self confessed “certified wine snob”, brought his own touch to the Tobin James Cellars’ winemaking style, adding even more intensity and depth to the incredible lineup of wines. Awards and 90+ scores have been rolling in, and with Lance and Toby’s commitment to excellence, there is no end in sight!

Claire Silver, Lance’s wife and Toby’s “prettier” business partner, handles many of the business operations of the winery. She really enjoys connecting with tasting room guests, offering them true Paso Robles hospitality while they experience and savor Tobin James’ incredible line-up of wines.

Claire grew up in San Francisco and Los Angeles. She and Lance met while they were attending UNLV and married shortly before graduation. They moved to Whittier shortly after the birth of their twin daughters. In 1997, the Silvers moved to Paso Robles to pursue the winery business.

Monica Martin, Manager- A native Paso Roblan, Monica started with Toby when the current facility opened in 1993, and has become the heart and soul of Tobin James Cellars. Handling everything from accounts payable to Zinfandel, Monica is indispensable to the day to day management of the winery.

Special show added for Saturday night!

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Stephen Rey and Erika Davies will be playing on Saturday night in The Turquoise Room.  Some of you may remember Stephen Rey from his time behind the bar at Riviera, others may know him from a show you saw!  Erika Davies has played at Riviera and we are excited to have her back!

Peter Holslin did this article on Stephen Rey and it was featured in San Diego CityBeat:

retro-peter Stephen Rey
– Photo by Peter Holslin

Stephen Rey’s house looks like something out of a Wild West movie. Fronted by a bulky wooden gate, it’s 102 years old and designed like an old saloon, with sun-bleached blue paint on the exterior and hand-crafted woodwork inside. On the roof at the front is a steer’s skull, whose empty eye sockets gaze out onto 30th Street in South Park. 

Only a man like Rey could live in a house like this. The very definition of a badass, he makes ladies swoon and men want to, well, be him. With a lean build, ’50s movie-star looks and lots of gnarly tattoos, he radiates working-class cool as he bangs out old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. 

Though he’s a skilled carpenter, Rey’s been plying the local bar and club circuit pretty much full-time lately. He fronts a trio called Stephen Rey and The Sextrash, who sound as grimy as the name suggests. Several nights a week, he plays bass for local R&B icons Lady Dottie and the Diamonds. Recently, he started Two Wolves, a bare-knuckles honky-tonk duo featuring drummer Anders Larsson. And he’s been working on duets with his girlfriend, jazz singer Erika Davies. 

When I met Rey at his house on a recent Wednesday, he emerged at the door in cowboy boots, blue jeans and a wife-beater. As tough as he looked, his soft side came out when he put on a rough mix of a song he recorded with Davies and Larsson, “Why Donít You Lie?,” a ’50s-style pop tune by The King Khan & BBQ Show. Over some swooning guitar and a simple beat, Rey’s deep, sensitive croon offered a lovely complement to Davies’ birdlike call. 

Asked how the collaboration came about, he sounded like a man smitten. 

“It just kind of happened. We tried it and it just clickedómelted,” he said. “It’s just another extension of our lives. You know, like everything we are here and now, right now.”

Some of San Diego’s rootsy bands give me a certain fatigue. I groan at the sound of a mediocre blues-rock riff or country-folk cliché. But as I talked with Rey in his backyard, I was rapt. He’s a manly man, with strong values and years of experience working on cars, motorcycles and his own house. He’s also sensitive, thoughtful and committed to his daughter. 

“He’s always been a real genuine, down-to-earth kind of guy,” says Tim Mays, owner of The Casbah and a good friend of Rey’s. “And he’s also very charming with the ladies.”

Though he isn’t opposed to fun, somewhat campy music, Rey’s also plumbed some intense emotions with his songs. “Mississippi All Day Long”—a cut from Old Fashioned Future, a 2011 album he recorded with a band he’d been fronting, Stephen Rey & The Slicks—was written as a gift to a friend who lost his Mississippi home during Hurricane Katrina. Over twanging guitar and weighty horns, Rey lays out a stark scene in a tired, throaty voice: rabid dogs, flattened houses, vast piles of destroyed belongings. “I lost everything,” he sings. All I want is my cat.” 

Rey refuses to say how old he is, insisting (like his roommate, Tim Lowman of Low Volts) that he’s “ageless.” But some facts are clear: He was born in Victorville, Calif., and grew up in City Heights and Lakeside. His dad was a technician in the Air Force, and Rey grew up working on motorcycles and listening to Motown, Bo Diddley and Johnny Cash. He first got into construction as a high-schooler, landing a job while driving a dump truck for the city of La Mesa. 

“I have this propensity for old cars, motorcycles, old movies, old records, vinyl, the drive-in show,” he said. “There was always that vibe in the house. I think I was just born into it. It was a feeling I had ever since I was a little kid.”

In 1995, Rey signed a publishing deal with Warner Bros. and went on to play in the bands Red Truck and Deere Johns. His recording career didn’t get off the ground, but he’s kept up a longstanding love affair with roots music. He’s played with Lady Dottie for years, and he ís upped the ante in recent months with The Sextrash and, now, Davies and Two Wolves. 

Indeed, it’s only a matter of time before more listeners catch wind of Rey. What’s the allure? Lady Dottie probably says it best. 

“You can’t do nothing but love him,” she says. “You just can’t get enough of him.”

More on Erika Davies from her website (www.misserikadavies.com)

Erika Davies is a throwback jazz/country/folk songbird who is making waves in the San Diego music scene. Think Patsy Cline meets Bjork.

Miss Davies took home the award for Best Jazz at the 2012 San Diego Music Awards & Her latest album. “Part The Sea” has been nominated Best Jazz Album At the 2013 San Diego Music Awards.

If you haven’t been lucky enough to catch her performing around San Diego, you’ve probably still heard her sing and not even know it! A popular national 2011 television commercial, “Where did we Park?” for the auto maker Subaru featured her singing her song, “I Love you, I Do”.

Re-creating the magic of timeless cinematic moments is the forté of Erika Davies.

Imagine the dim lighting of a charming nightclub where the beautiful female singer steps into the spotlight and a hush falls over the audience, entranced by her dramatic, glamorous style and evocative, sensual voice.

Her ballad expresses the pain of love lost; her upbeat songs, the joy of love obtained or unrequited.

A former staple at live shows by Gregory Page, San Diego’s premier Tin Pan Alley-influenced troubadour, Davies has been performing locally as a solo artist under the honorific, Miss Erika Davies, for more than 8 years.

She performs her original compositions and covers of early-20th-century classics while accompanied by guitarist Aaron Mahn and, Upright bassist, Jeremy Eikam & on some songs, herself on ukulele.

Her choice of instrument is just one of the many ways Miss Davies wears her old-timey influences on her sleeve.

She doesn’t mind being perceived as an artist who revives older styles. She is deeply fond of evoking nostalgia and she does so while keeping the old, refreshingly new.