The Epicurean Connection, in downtown Sonoma, has been sold.
Sonoma-based cheesemaker, chef and culinary educator Sheana Davis opened the cheese shop, cafe, beer and wine bar in 2010. It’s a comfortable space, with a laid back vibe, serving some of the freshest, farm to table food in town.
Many of us locals were regulars at the nightly live music, which brought some of the finest regional Americana, County, and Jazz talent into our small town.
It was also the only spot in town where one could buy Davis’ award winning cheese without having a pricy meal. Her Delice de la Vallee, a soft cheese, is served to guests at the French Laundry, John Ash & Co., and the Depot Hotel.
So, what will become of the space?
Chef Manuel Azevedo, of Sonoma’s LaSalette and Healdsburg’s Cafe Lucia, is the new owner. The transition starts in October, and over the course of the fall, the space will transform into Tasca Tasca, a Portuguese tapas bar.
Opening in January, Tasca Tasca will serve small plates, beer and wine, with an emphasis on Portuguese wines, including Port and Maderia. The menu will include Portuguese delights such as Linguiça sausage, Polvo (octopus!), pork sliders with São Jorge cheese, and the dish I am most excited about: goat stew with fingerling potatoes (so far, goat is often only served at Nepalese gatherings in town!).
Davis will continue to operate The Epicurean Connection outside of the traditional restaurant setting.
She has recruited long-time employee, cheesemaker and photographer James Fanucchi and her fiancé, Ben Sessions, to lend a hand – they are offering unique culinary experiences ranging from cheese making classes, cheese and wine pairings (and if Sessions is involved, you know the wine will be fabulous), and catering.
The Epicurean Connection will close in mid-October, with a celebration planned for October 15.
Davis is already busy as a bee, even on the eve of the closure – she has regular cheese classes scheduled locally at the General’s Daughter and Ramekin’s, and will also be hosting events at the Lodge, Bardessono in Yountville, and Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa.
She’ll be making appearances at local events, serving up her fresh, healthy cuisine and cheeses at the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival and other events.
I am excited about Tasca Tasca, yet, I am also mourning the loss of one of my regular haunts.
At the Epicurean Connection, I felt comfortable, safe, relaxed, and was always able to find good conversation, music, food and drink. Thank you Davis for the many memories you provided us Sonomans who patronized your establishment over the years. I’ll also miss that tasso ham grilled cheese, darnit.
I look forward to making new memories at Tasca Tasca!
Learn more about Davis’ work at theepicureanconnection.com and visit the Epicurean Connection (which will be Tasca Tacsa starting January 2016) at 122 W. Napa St., Sonoma.