Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Trivia Madness—Monday Mania!

This week's game was our biggest ever with 7 playing teams and two that played, but did not enter the scoring round. We had our two time returning champs Jim & Dan (shy of Glenn, who we learned was clearly an asset to their team)

A two person team from out of town won the game, a young couple who with their explorations of Groveland were able to get some of the answers. Our museum is running a display on historic valentine's day cards and one of the answers was right there, on display: 1913. Congratulations!

So we have had 5 games, three won by visitors to Groveland, two by local teams. The standings are very close for first place. Patti has taken the lead over Jim & Cindi by 2 points but there are several contenders who could step right in should any of these folks miss a night.

We celebrated three birthdays during the game and one of my questions has been questioned! Mary wrote today thinking that a minute of kissing shouldn't burn as many as 26 calories. Her chart showed that it would take a 220 pound person 15 minutes of kissing to burn 26 calories. Hmmmm, Who measures these things?

Emily our trivia waitress handles 40 people needing constant attention very well especially given that we are also playing the Trivial Game. Brilliant work last night Emily!

Reservations might be required next week!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lite Bites Menu, Daily Lunch

Today's Menu
· A selection of cheeses served $10.95
French fashion with hunks of mixed cheese, crusty bread and an apple
· A bowl of award winning chili or potato leek soup, served with bread $7.95
· Lox & crackers, cream cheese, and tomato slices $9.95
· Pita & homemade humus $7.95
· Ham & cheese panini with $10.95pasta salad
· Caesar salad $6.95 Greek salad $7.95
Add grilled chicken breast $3.00

Homemade desserts $5.95
Homemade Mango Ice-cream $3.95
Soda, Tea, Coffee (refills) $1.95
Beer $3.00 imports/micro $3.50
Cocktails: Well $3.50 Call $4.75 Premium $5.75


Friday, March 27, 2009

Ride for Cherylann

Ride for Cherylann of the Hotel Jeffery April 19th, 2009
11am to 6 pm at the Historic Hotel Jeffery in Coulterville
Group rides are leaving from the Whiskey River Saloon in Oakdale and Bud's Place in Snelling. Sign in on the day of the event, Sunday, April 19th from 9 to 10:30 am or just ride to the Hotel Jeffery from where ever you are. Both locations will be preselling tickets so you can avoid lines at the door. $20 includes lunch & a live band. There will be a 50-50, raffle, bake sale and more. Any questions, please call Lora at 209-480-7038.
Those who can't participate in person but would like to support Cherylann are encouraged to donate a prize for the raffle. Let's all give a hug and hope to our friend Cherylann.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trivia Update Week 4

Well, our traveling team of guys missed tonight and we missed them. I believe they would have made great challengers! We now have a 3 way tie with Cindy, Jim & Patti. Amanda would have been in the running, but bowling took priority last night. A new team joined us spear headed by Stacie, thank you Stacie and they placed very well for first timers.

The theme for this week was Catchy Slogans for the Mayor Race (Goose the Hotel Dog is running for Mayor again this year) Needless to say, I didn't get anything out of the group that I could use unless the team named Goosey Girls wants to dress up as cheer leaders and participate in the Stumping events....That might work!

Roy and Rita were back and are in great position should attendance continue to plague the leaders. They teamed up with Ben last night and stole the prize winning by one point. We missed Ginny, Bruce, Kitty & Ed and hope they return next week. I even got Ed's special beer, Miller 64.

The menu was great and I had the fish & chips again, this time made with shark. If you enjoyed our Thai Thursdays last week, you should join us on Mondays, Victor has been making a Thai dish each week priced from $10.95 to $12.95 and way delicious! You don't HAVE to play trivia to enjoy a good meal, having the two dining rooms makes this very easy to separate.

Featured treats with new items weekly
Burgundy Filet Tips $12.95
Shrimp, Fennel & Radish Salad $10.95
Mini Bouillabaisse (clams, lobster, shrimp) $12.95
Fresh Homemade Fish & Chips (shark) $10.95
Thai spiced Chicken Breast $10.95
Mini Sierra Kabob $12.95
We look forward to welcoming you. Also, the newsletter for March is out and we are carrying some great room specials, if you haven't seen it, www.HotelCharlotte.com/newsletters/03-09news.html. A cute read!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trivia Dining a third night of winners

What fun we had. Nobody knew what a barbie was worth, everyone thought they knew how long a snail can sleep and the game designer (me!) mixed up Bonanza with Gun Smoke and ruined a whole photo question....They laughed at me, but I will get them next week with some really smart questions like what is the origins of the word Gymnasium???? Get ready teams!

We have one team that are two time winners and they are just visiting the area while working on a project for HH. The locals are getting fresh trying to scare them away. The standings are as follows: Visiting Guys: 104 points, Amanda & Patti 101 points, Cindi & Jim 100 points. The rest of us are hoping these folks in the front take a night or two off so they can catch up!

Grand prize will be awarded on the 10th night of play in May. Come on down for a good time, good fun and new friends!

This week's special menu continued with some new items and well priced along with a selection from our traditional menu:

Featured treats with new items weekly
Mixed Trio: Salmon, Steak & Sausages $12.95
Shrimp Salad $10.95
Sausage & Peppers $10.95
Fresh Homemade Fish & Chips $10.95
Petite Chicken Parmagiana $10.95
Rigatoni with Gorgonzola $10.95

Traditional Selections From the Charlotte Grill:
Chicken Argentine with a tangy garlic sauce $14.95
Charlotte “Stake” with peppercorn sauce $15.95
Pampas Steak with a tangy garlic sauce $15.95
New York Steak with peppercorn sauce $23.95
Rack of Lamb with mint jelly $22.95
Filet Mignon with peppercorn sauce $22.95
Linguini Marinara (vegetarian) $ 9.95
With Clams or Meatballs $13.95
Add a soup or salad $2.95

Saturday, March 14, 2009

We have your daily dose of wine!

Hotel Charlotte Has… Your Daily Ration of Wine!

Starting on Saturday, March 28th, the Hotel Charlotte presents Daily Wine Tasting from 11:30am on. We start the program featuring six wines with selections from Sierra Foothills, Napa, France and Italy. There will be a small fee for tastings, but this charge will be taken off the price of a bottle should you find one to purchase. We fully expect to live up to our “Wine, Food and Fun” reputation with this latest adventure.

While our wine tasting is open, so too will our dining room with a small and simple menu complimenting our wine selections. Both wine choices and menus will change regularly. The Lite Bites menu will feature a only a few items perhaps a mixed cheese platter served French style with crusty bread and apple slices, salad or sandwich of the day, our award winning chili, pita & humus, maybe even fondu. You get the idea, nice but light selections. Our Light Bites will also be available to travel should you prefer to picnic in the park after your tasting time.

Hotel Charlotte wine hosts are recognized Yosemite Experts, and have been selected for their breadth of experience and their passion for the area, which will enable them to advise our wine tasters, travelers and the locals alike, on all things Yosemite.

Jeannie Tasker: I've been visiting Yosemite since 1958, when my family moved to California, and my indoctrination to Yosemite included every ranger led hike and evening talk offered in the Park. I've hiked every trail in Yosemite Valley, including some that no longer exist. I've hiked to the top of Half Dome and Clouds Rest, and to the top of Yosemite Falls more times than I can remember. My favorite hiking is the high country, out from Tuolumne Meadows. I've hiked the complete High Sierra Loop (60 miles) twice, as well as to each individual High Sierra Camp numerous times. Sunrise is my favorite High Sierra Camp. I'm a life member of the Yosemite Association, and have enjoyed numerous backpack trips and seminars with YA members. My husband and I moved to Groveland 28 years ago to be close to Yosemite's beauty, and I often sneak off for an afternoon hike somewhere in the Park.

Kris Corey: My background stems from the natural sciences and I have lived in the local area for 17 years. One of my personal goals is to hike every trail in Yosemite, so far I have accomplished about 450 trails, a total of about 800 miles, and I plan to keep at it! For travelers with only 1 day to spend in the park, I recommend Sentinel Dome or Taft Point, these trails are off the beaten path plus offer the hiker awesome views of the valley and neither one calls for the a high degree of climbing skill. My favorite High Sierra Camp is Vogelsang for its Alpine beauty. I write for the Yosemite Gazette, and am in the process of developing a start-up company to provide travelers to Yosemite who have a limited amount of time to experience the park, with an audio tour guide that will maximize their visit to Yosemite. I worked for the Hotel Charlotte during the summer of 2008, providing hotel guests with information and advice on Yosemite during the morning breakfast hours and am thrilled to be back for the 2009 season.

So, take a break from your journey, or just from your day, come and set a spell with us and sample some fine wines! Tasting room opens at 11:30 am daily. If our restaurant is not open for the traditional Hotel Charlotte dinner experience, the tasting room and Lite Bites menu be open until 9:00 pm providing guests and travelers alike another choice, now seven days a week! Won’t this make a great birthday luncheon for you and your friends? For more information or to book a group (10 or more folks) please give us a call, 209-962-6455

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sleep Deprived Trivia

This was our second Monday with the restaurant open, and word has gotten out about how fun these nights are. We had our returning champions from last week here, hotel guests working on a project for Hetch Hetchy and a new locals team, Sleepless in PML and some growth in our other local teams bring the game players to 20 (with room for more!)

This week the competition was heavy with folks studying current events and brushing up on Barbie trivia (but I didn't ask anything Barbie, that got a good laugh!) There were math and logic questions this week and the game ended tied. The tie breaker ended tied and we had to flip a coin to pick the winner! Luckily, Dave Purse from Willow Creek winery was here doing a preview for his coming wine maker dinner on April 26th and he tossed in a prized bottle of wine so both tied teams won! It was cool for sure!

Victor always puts out a special, lighter and lower priced menu and adds a few of our traditional items for those who can't live without their favorites. These were this weeks new items:

Baked Rigatoni $10.95
Shrimp Salad $10.95
Sausage & Peppers $10.95
Petite Filet Mignon Kabob $12.95
Fresh Homemade Fish & Chips $10.95
Petite New York Steak & Onions $12.95
Thai Shrimp with Green Curry (spicy) $12.95

So, the standings right now are Cindi, Jim, Rita & Roy at 64 points, Amanda, Patti at 63 points and new comers Stacie, Linda and Victoria at 40. (missing a night affects your cummulative score, so the fewer nights you miss, the better your score will be, but everyone will likely have a night or two off so it will even out by the end...And it isn't too late to get into the game. Total prize value to date: $75.

What a cool thing to do at the Hotel Charlotte in Groveland on the way to Yosemite!!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Is Green really green?

We are trying so hard to get greener and the challenges are getting frustrating. We have struggled the most with light bulbs. Simple thing you would think. We buy these long lasting envronmentally friendly light bulbs that are supposed to be oh so wonderful. Well, even this last batch labeld dimmable has failed us. Today I am looking down our usually well lit hall-of-art and three out of the 15 bulbs have blown. What we might be saving in energy usage we are spending on replacing these fancy light bulbs...far more frequently than the old cheap energy hogs.

hmmmmmmm! Some things were meant to be easier.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rainy Firsts, a night a food, fun & trivia

Monday, March 2nd was our grand opening of our now second annual Monday Somethings! Last year was Tapas & Games where we served oodles of little plates, three for $9.99 and made our games available for guests. We pair singles with others and couples with couples to get good game tables going. Dominos dominated the season.

This year we are calling the night Mensa Mondays with live Trivia delivered in three sets, questions, who are these people and where are these places, both photo trivial. We may add new styles as we go. Victor deliver his own stimulous package with new dishes to choose from priced from $9.95 to $12.95 along with some of your favorites from the regular menu.

We had 5 teams play this week, two from out of town. Visitors were given a pass on the few Groveland questions we had, but they did do a good job guessing. A team of 3 gentlemen visiting us for the week while they work on the Hetch Hetchy line won the game with 28 out of 39 possible right answers. Second place was team Katrina with Cindi, Jim, Roy & Rita at 24 points followed very closely by the 23 point team of Amanda, Patty and Mary. There was more than a little hooting and hollering.

Each week a $25 Gift Certificate is awarded the first place team with a total of $100 in gift certificates given out on the final week with cumulative scoring. So we encourage you to participate as often as posible, your winnings could pay for the 10 weeks of play.
Here are the standings so far.

Cindi, Jim, Roy & Rita 24
Patti, Amanda and Mary 23
Micheal & Karisa 17

We are tracking by the individual, so coming every week even if your whole team can't make it is going to be important. Each week the score you earned with your team will be tallied up and we will have prizes on the final night worth $100. with $25 to that night's winning team and a Grand Prize $50 gift certificate, 1st runner up $25. With the weekly payout of $25 there are oodles of great ways to win! We have room for a few more teams, so get yours together this week!

We have our board games, cards and dominos also available for those who like to multitask with their dinner.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sommelier Hosted Wine Dinner

We just love wine-dinners and this series is titled: Sipping through the Sierra where we pair owner-chef Victor's great menus with our favorite Sommelier, Nicole Darracq's, top selections from each of the Sierra Foothill regions is no different! Wines are available for post event purchase and favorites end up on our wine list.

Sipping El Dorado will be held on Sunday, March 22. Tickets are $64 per person with dinner, wines, tax and tip included. Stay & Play room rates from $89 per room (2-people) breakfast included. Our next menu will look something like this:
  • Appetizer: Happy Hour Bruschetta (topping TBA)
  • Salad: (omething springy and light with an olive oil & lemon dressing)
  • Treat: Caviar on crackers, cream cheese with champagne
  • Main: Surf & Turf with Lobster with a red and a white, maybe a dry pink
  • Finish: Mixed Cheeses, apples, fig compote
    5-courses, 6 wines, and some uncommon treats!

History of the Sipping through the Sierras Wine Dinners:
We started the program for many reasons, one to add a new twist bringing local Sierra Foothills wines to Groveland and to help us expand our wine list with tested favorites. By hiring a sommelier we weren't tied to featuring only one winery, but several. We were also able to invite many wine makers to join us further enhancing the experience. Each event allowed guests to purchase wines at a discounted post-event price and we were able to determine which wines were hits. These made it to our regular wine list.

We started with Sipping Calaveras. Victor presented the menu to Nicole who tasted her way through Calaveras wines to pick the best of the region for pairing with our menu with an eye to value if there were equally delicious choices. We had a grand time and the pairings were all award winners.

  • Sipping Calaveras Menu
    · Cheese fondue with fresh cut apples, crostini and vegetables paired with Vina Moda, Viognier (Best of the Foothills, California State Fair, 2008)
    · Salad of mixed greens, pear & sunflower seeds with a blue cheese dressing with Twisted Oak, Ruben’s Blend
    (90 points, Wine Enthusiast Magazine July 2008)
    · Petite plate of clams simmered in a red wine sauce with Hatcher, Barbera
    (Silver Medal at Calaveras County Fair, 2008)
    · Venison rack cutlet or filet mignon with plum onion marmalade, paired with Frog’s Tooth, Tempranillo (Double Gold, Calaveras County Fair, 2008)
    · Zabaglione dessert paired with Ironstone Symphony
    (Double Gold and Best of Show, Calaveras County Fair & Gold Medal, SF Chronicle Competition)

Sipping Through the Sierra continued with Sipping Amador. For this evening we began with mixes sausages and a fantastic old vine Zin and then presented three appetizers with one wine and explored how each course changes the taste of the wine. We followed this with our main course of three mixed grill items, Filet Mignon, Ostrich Fillet and Venison Rack served with three toppings, blue cheese butter, black cherry and porcini mushrooms and paired all with three wines. Very complex!

Sipping Amador Menu

  • A selection of Sausages: Elk, Boar and Smoked Duck with Sobon, Old Vine Zinfandel
  • Appetizer plate: Grilled Scallop, Ceviche and BruschettaRenwood, Viognier
  • Mixed Grill: Potatoes, Vegetables and petite cuts of
    Fillet Mignon, blue cheese-butter topping
    Venison with a porcini mushroom sauce
    Ostrich filet & a black cherry-port reduction
    Vino Noceto, Sangiovese
    Bray Vineyard, Syrah
    Willow Creek, Obra Prima
    Semi-sweet Chocolate Tiramisu Sobon, White Port

The small print:
Single event price: $64
3-Series Season tickets: $177 (a $15 savings)
To qualify for the season tickets they must be paid in full
Cancellations must be made 7 days before the event for a full refund
If you cancel with shorter notice and we are able to resell your reservation, you will be refunded your ticket price less a $5 processing fee.
If are a season ticket holder and then have to cancel after participating in one or more of the wine-dinners, the discount will be forfeit.

Winter-Spring Events

First of all, Victor and I love going away in January, which for an ex-Wisconsinite, is usually our worst month for winter weather and then we return just in time for Valentine's Day weekend, which gives us the inflated glow of a summer weekend with all the folks celebrating. A real reminder of why we love calling Groveland home and a grand way to open our winter entertainment series.

March has oodles of activities on the Hotel Charlotte calendar starting with our Sunday, March 1st Chianti & Crab night. Guests will enjoy a feast starting with garlic bread, Caesar salad, , All-you-can-eat Crab, a bottle wicker wrapped Chianti wine per 2 people, tiramisue and coffee or tea for $29, tax included.

The restaurant begins opening on on Monday evenings starting March 2nd with another of the popular Games night. This season bring a team and try your hand at our truly one of a kind Trivia! Or grab a board and test your word skills with scrabble or battleship. Perhaps dominos or cribbage is your game, we have it all! Bring a healthy appetite and a friend or two or let us pair you up. Trivia begins at 6:40 so come early and dine, come at 6:30 and dine during the came or dine after, whatever your preference. On "Mensa Mondays" Victor will have a grill menu and a special 3-course treat at some ridiculously low price. Prizes include a weekly $25 gift certificate for the winners and a finale prize of a $100 gift certificate so plan on joining us for as many of the Mondays as you can!

Thursdays we will continue our Gift Certificate redemption night through March. Come to dinner and use a Gift Certificate for payment and we will give you an additional 5% value on your gift certificate.

Next up one the events is the final Sipping through the Sierras wine dinner with our favorite sommelier, Nicole Darracq of Muir Hanna Fame. Nicole will be introducing us to her favorite El Dorado wines for this blending of culinary treats including Lobster, Caviar & Champagne along with some nice well priced wines. Priced at $64 per person out the door, dinner, wine, tax and tip included.

The very next weekend we are please to partner with Pine Cone Performers, the parent group of the Pine Cone Players and Pine Cone Singers to bring Groveland a true World Premier Gala Evening (two in fact!) introducing Groveland's Got Talent. We begin the night with soup or salad, dinner and then head to the Community Center where our reserved seats await. Following the show, guests are invited to return to the Charlotte for red carpet interviews, a glass of Champagne, dessert and mingling with half the cast. The following night will be the same formula, but with the other half the cast. So find out which evening your performing friends or family have signed up to participate in the Gala and make that your Gala evening. The price is $49 and includes the pre-show dinner, the reserved theater tickets, post show Gala back at the Hotel and Cast Appearances, tax & tip also included. Dates: Friday and Saturday, March 27 & 28.

Cabaret Charlotte returns after a one year hiatus for a final 2 shows and introduces a new ensemble member, Frank Jablonski and a whole new production with favorites from five different decades, the 30's-70's. Dennis Brown & friends are diligently working on putting the new show together to entertain us through the end of the rainy season, Sundays, April 5th and 19th. Tickets are $59 and include a fresh new menu and spicy show, tax and tip.

The Charlotte has for several years now been your source for winter, spring and fall entertainment events, leaving the summer months to those with outdoor venues. We look forward to welcoming you! www.HotelCharlotte.com/events.html

Do not hesitate to contact us for more details! 209-962-6455