Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Five Things You Should Do New Year’s Eve


There’s a comprehensive look at New Year’s events over at The Bee, but here is a quick list of things you might want to do.

1. Catacomb’s NYE ’69
The gang behind the Catacomb Party (and last year’s NYE NOCO collab at the Pacific Southwest Ballroom) are taking over Fulton 55 to recreate New Year’s Eve 1969.

2. Erna’s Elderberry House
If you’re going to splurge on a meal, make it five stars, right?

3. Chuck Leonard/Trey Tosh at Mono Wind Casino
The Central Valley Buzz host has a party bus headed up the hill and (if you are brave) you can hop on. Once there, you’ll get live music from Trey Tosh.

4. “Portraits” at Cuvee
The Tower District lounge will have more than 20 Champagne/sparkling wine options for the night, including the Moet Imperial, at a mere $890.

5. Stay home
Let’s face it, some years being around actual people is just too much.

Where to eat for Mother’s Day

Pork mealsMother’s Day is this Sunday. If that thought fills you with panic, get on it and make some reservations. Here’s a sampling of some restaurants we know are open on Mother’s Day. And if there’s someplace I’ve skipped, feel free to add it in the comments.

Cuvée Spirit & Wine Parlor on Van Ness Avenue in the Tower District is hosting a 21-and-over Mother’s Day brunch Sunday. It features unlimited mimosas. They’ll also be lots of breakfast dishes, salads, sliced meats and cheeses, along with bread pudding and chocolate mousse. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $24.99 per person. (559) 709-7077.

The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite will have brunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. On the menu is slow-smoked bone-in country ham, prime rib, seafood, breakfast food and pastries. $45 for adults and $15 for children 5 to 12. They’ll be a professional photographer on hand taking portraits of moms and kids for $45 too.

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Get your gumbo on this Saturday

gumboMardi Gras is coming and that means it’s time for gumbo. The 7th annual Gumbo Throwdown is from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Vineyard Farmers Market at Blackstone and Shaw avenues. For $10, you get to try gumbo from five local restaurants and vote on which one you think is the best. There’s some pretty talented chefs on the list this year. Check it out:

Leftover gumbo will be sold for $5 a bowl after voting is finished at around 11:30 a.m. More information here.

Swanky new wine bar opens in Tower

The new Cuvée Spirit & Wine Parlor looks more like something you’d stumble upon in San Francisco’s Union Square than in the Tower District. Swanky, I think, is the best word to describe it.

The new wine bar is at 1140 North Van Ness Ave., just south of Olive Avenue. The owners have put a lot of effort into making this spot look nothing like the Hungry Howie’s Pizza and the mixed-martial arts store it used to be.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but as for the experience, expect modern lounge music soft enough to hear yourself talk and waitresses clad in black, skin-tight clothing.

It’s definitely a different vibe from the more down-to-earth Pinot Wine Bar down the street on Olive Avenue. Different wines too: Where Pinot carries wines from all over the world, Cuvée serves only wines from California and France.

There’s food too, with small plates and appetizers ranging from sweet potato fries to plates of cheese and chocolate. Their wine and food menus are online here.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

After you read my “farewell” column from today’s Bee.

Latin R & B group Tierra, 40-year vets of the music biz, are a perfect fit for this oldies-leaning town. Fresno music lovers should gobble up their Saturday night show at Fulton 55. Also: My favorite show poster of the week. [More]

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