April 28, 2013 – Brunch at Copita Tequileria y Comida


Joanne Weirs new venture is fun, exciting, and very user friendly. Copita Tequileria y Comida, Located in the heart of downtown Sausalito, is a seasonal Mexican restaurant and tequila bar created by Joanne Weir and Larry Mindel.

I met Joanne in 2011 at The Best Chef’s in San Francisco; we talked and kept in contact since then. She told me last year that she was involved in this new project and wanted me to come in for a tasting, well I was not disappointed.

Joanne Weir is a real celebrity chef, having recently completed 39 episodes for her PBS cooking series, “Joanne Weir’s Cooking Confidence”, turning her home kitchen into the classroom, teaching students how to cook her way. The show is national, and is Joanne’s 7th season on PBS. No stranger to famous restaurants having work at Chez Panisse in 1985. Joanne’s first book, From Tapas to Meze (Crown, 1994) was selected by Julia Child as one of her 12 personal favorites out of 1000 cookbooks published that year. She was on the PBS show “Weir Cooking in the Wine Country”, shot on location in the Napa Valley. The companion book, “Weir’s More Cooking in the Wine Country” (Simon & Schuster, 2001) went on to get a James Beard Award nomination and an IACP Cookbook Award nomination. Joanne’s adopted hometown of San Francisco was the culinary setting for “Weir Cooking in the City”, her 26-part PBS series and companion book (Simon & Schuster, 2004) for which she received a James Beard Award for Best Cookbook. A completely revised version of From Tapas to Meze (Ten Speed Press, 2004) won the 2004 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Mediterranean Cookbook. Joanne’s cookbook, Wine Country Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2008) is the companion book to the most recent season of “Joanne Weir’s Cooking Class”. Joanne’s most recent book is an exciting all-in-one reference guide, TEQUILA: A Guide to Types, Flights, Cocktails and Bites (Ten Speed Press, 2009). And if all of that were not enough she has just started her own wine label. http://www.joanneweir.com/index.php _

Her partner Larry Mindel created Spectrum Foods, which opened 14 restaurants in Northern and Southern California, including Chianti, MacArthur Park, Harry’s Bar and American Grill, Prego and Guaymas. Larry has provided the overall management for the design, construction, opening, and successful operation for their sister restaurant Poggio also in Sausalito. Poggio has been a consistent three star restaurant and named a Top 100 Bay Area restaurant the last four years. I was invited to do a tasting there, I did not have enough time, will plan on doing next time.

Chef Gonzalo Rivera brings a rich culinary background and talent with him. Ranging from his grandmother’s kitchen to working with Michael Mina as he grew his empire and where he learned Mexican cooking. Born and raised in Gridley, California, he grew up with his parents and grandmother, all from Southern Mexico. He adds so much unique spirit with his creativity and fantastic kitchen style.
Dilsa Lugo, Sous-Chef and Head Gardener, born and raised in Cuernavaca, Mexico, from Copita’s garden they get corn, pumpkins, beans, lemons, mangoes, green beans, and chilies. Brian Basmajian is the general manager; Alberto Ruiz Negreteis the manager and Amy Svendberg is the managing partner to Copita and sister restaurant Poggio. Each person brings their own talent that makes Copita an outstanding new venture.
Here is the drink that I tried:
Copita’s Margarita with herradura blanco, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, rock salt. This margarita is very refreshing, it has a very sweet and sour taste, and the tequila is always welcomed in my palate.

Here’s what I tried:

Chips and Two Seasonal Salsas – fire roasted guajillo salsa; tomatillo avocado salsa cruda three tacos served on house-made corn tortillas. So much effort in making these chips and salsa perfect.

Guacamole – avocado, chile serrano, cilantro, onion green pumpkin seeds and mole. So delightful, especially with the chips and salsa.

Tortilla Soup with roasted chicken, zucchini, carrots, avocado,
cotija cheese and tortilla strips. If my grandmother Tillie were Mexican instead of Jewish this would have been her crowned jewel. So much homespun flavor, you think you’re in your Mexican grandmothers house.

Tacos with polenta crusted Point Reyes oysters, cilantro and
chile de arbol tartar sauce, cabbage salad. Well this one just blew my socks off, what a combination, absolutely a knock out.

Dilsa’s Trio of Tamales – chicken verde; pork adobo; spring asparagus. Each tamale had its special moments in my mouth, fantastic.

Taco Grilled Chile-Rubbed Lobster and Shrimp with
refried black beans, epazote, chile de arbol salsa. The lobster really adds an extra flavor to this upscale taco.

Sea Bass and Scallop Kummel cerviche with cumin liqueur, fresh lime juice, celery, serrano chile, toasted pepitas and cumin seeds fresco and crema. This is a very special ceviche, it has a nice tangy flavor and the pepitas are a great accompaniment.

Papas Bravas – Roasted and fried new potatoes, with fried jalapeños,
cumin-arbol chile dusted, fresh avocado crema. This one should be ordered when you’re having an egg dish with brunch, it needs that breakfast, brunch addition.

Maradol Papaya Salad with Sausalito watercress, Hass avocado, Salazar queso Oaxaca. So flavorful, so fresh, it just perks up your taste buds.

Located in the heart of downtown Sausalito, Copita serves lunch and dinner daily in the dining room, bar, and outdoor patio. On Sundays they have a very fun Hangover brunch menu, kind of hair of the dog with a nice savory twist. You could not have a more perfect location, the main part of Sausalito. It will have its 1-year anniversary in May and originally opened to be ready for Marin’s Cinco de Mayo revelers.

You don’t need any excuse to rush out to this happening new water hole, whether you just want great Mexican food, or simple chip salsa and margarita, the time is now. Joanne Weir has been known to make phantom visits, she would love to know your opinion, but please tell her I sent you.

Copita Tequileria y Comida
739 Bridgeway Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 331-7400



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