Introducing Patti Gonsalves with 18 Questions

Patti.163915If you’ve dined at Carpe Vino recently, you were likely greeted by our new Director of Service Patti Gonsalves, who is now responsible for all facets of dining room. . .or as we say in the biz, “Front of the House.”  Patti comes to Carpe Vino with impeccable credentials and a vast knowledge of the restaurant industry.  We’re delighted to have her on the management team, and she’s already made an impact.

In order to give you a proper introduction to Patti, she recently answered the 18 Questions we ask of our staff to create employee profiles.  Please join us in welcoming her to the Friendly Confines.

1.  Position and start date:  Director of Service.  February, 2017

2.  Birthplace:  Sacramento, CA.  Family settled in Sac in early 1920’s.

3.  Family: Are you married, engaged, children. . .?  Happily married to Dick Gonsalves since 2003.  I have two grown children that are married and living in the Roseville area.  I have one “brilliant and beautiful” granddaughter.

4.  How did you get started in the hospitality business; where else have your worked?  Four decades of work in the food industry.  First job with Baskin-Robbins Headquarters in Burbank training franchise owners. Continuing Experience: Hostess, Server, Supervisor, Corporate Trainer, Event Planner, Manager.  Worked for many companies including Marie Callender’s, El Torito, Acapulco’s/Chi Chi’s, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Il Fornaio, and most recently at The Farmhaus in Granite Bay.

5.  College or formal hospitality training:  Totally unrelated college degrees in Communicative Disorders/Speech Pathology from SDSU.  Invaluable “hands on” experience in all aspects of restaurant service from fast food to fine dining over 40 years.

6.  The part of your job you like best:  The people.  I love the interaction with the wide variety of people you meet; the guests as well as the staff.

7.  If you ran this joint, what would you change?  I haven’t been here long enough to know enough to be able to say. . .ask me again in a year.

8.  The book on your nightstand is:  The Whistler by John Grisham,

9.  What do you do for fun?  I am a big fan of Broadway and local theater.  I also enjoy going to movies and gardening.

10.  Are you involved in any sports? Only if you consider laying in the sun reading a book a sport.

10.  What’s your passion?  Travel!  Foreign and Domestic!  Where do I want to go? EVERYWHERE!

11.  In five years, I’ll be. . .:  Managing service at Carpe Vino and making every guest experience EXCEPTIONAL!

12.  Favorite Carpe Vino dish:  I could enjoy a bowl of Puree of Mushroom Soup every day and never grow tired of it.  So simple yet so incredibly delicious!!!!

13.  Favorite restaurant, other than Carpe Vino: Farmhaus

14.  Favorite wine:  It varies with the season.  Most of the time I enjoy the whites:  Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnays in particular.  But there is nothing better than a big, bold, earthy Cabernet in front of a fire in the winter.

15. What would we be surprised to learn about you? While I have spent my entire adult years working in the food service industry and my favorite TV shows are cooking shows, I am a terrible cook!  It is because of people like me that God made restaurants!

16.  What do you like best about living in the Foothills?  While I actually live in the great metropolis down the road, I enjoy the historical aspect and the way the local population connects and supports Auburn.

17.  What one quality of yours do you think makes you most successful at your job?  I love what I do and I have an “old school” work ethic to do the best I can all the time; going the extra mile whether it is expected or not. I am known for my attention to detail.

18.  Who in the whole world inspires you most and why?  My mom (rest her soul) is the person I always strive to be. She had the great skill of bringing out the best in people.

Putting 2016 Firmly in the Rearview Mirror

byebye.093114For as long as Drew and I have owned Carpe Vino–15 years in February–I have always taken particular joy in writing a simple year-end report about how we have fared.  Typically, these emails have been buoyant and optimistic, recounting our successes and sometimes, candid failures.  We’ve had our share of both.

But now that 2016 is finally in our rearview mirror, I’m just glad it is over.  I turned 66 a month ago, and this year has been one of the most tumultuous and worrisome that I have lived through.  This is not a place for political commentary, but, frankly, I am weary of it all. . .as well as personally troubled about the future of our country.

Thankfully, people still gotta eat and drink, so we’re here for you.

From a business perspective, 2016 was unpredictable and occasionally worrisome as nationwide consternation was reflected in restaurant attendance.  On the nights of major political dates, we could have just stayed home.  After November 9, however, folks came out in droves and we had a great Christmas season in the restaurant and wine sales.  Our thanks to you all for continuing to patronize the Friendly Confines.


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Click Above Photo for “Fox 40 News” story from Old Town Auburn 11.2.2016

The absolute summit of over-the-top…

delirious joy for the Moffat boys was watching the Chicago Cubs end a 108-year drought by finally winning the World Series in a seven-game nail-biter with the Cleveland Indians.  A lifetime of disappointment and cruel heartbreak was rinsed away in an instant, and we are reborn.  We capped the series by bring a 16-foot Jumbotron to the plaza of Old Town for game seven.  No kidding, it was of the thrills of my time on this planet, and now I will be whole when meet my maker.  I just hope they have Chicago hot dogs in heaven (or wherever) because we sold 600 during the World Series.  The residual is Carpe Vino is now on the vendor locator map for Vienna brand all-beef hot dogs!
tuscany.103243We achieved a notable milestone in April when we celebrated a Decade of Dining, with Chef Eric Alexander at the helm the whole way.  During that time, the restaurant was awarded 4 stars two times by the SacBee and was named to OpenTable’s list of the Top 100 Restaurants in America four times.

A personal highlight for me was conducting my third international wine tour, this one a 10-day sipping foray through Tuscany with a group of 28 wine enthusiasts.  In partnership with Earthbound Expeditions, we put together an amazing itinerary of some of the best wineries in Tuscany, plus we enjoyed the stunning bounty of the region and stayed at very comfortable hotels.  We even hooked up with Drew for a short time in Florence while he was in Italy on vacation.


Chef’s Conlon, Alexander, McDonald & Chef-to-be…Josie!

Our program of dialing back our prix-fixe program to six times each year for two weeks each worked out really well for us and our customers. . .who now have a better chance of being able to work the dinners into busy schedules.  We were also fortunate to host a cookbook signing and a sold-out, prix-fixe dinner to celebrate the publication of “The Adventures of Fat Rice,” authored by Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo.  Abraham was a classmate of Chef Alexander and Chef McDonald at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.  Abe worked at Carpe Vino for about six months before he moved to Chicago and ultimately opened Fat Rice, a highly-regard restaurant in partnership with Adrienne.

If there was a disappointment this year, it is we were unable to launch our planned “Club Cru,” a private entertainment space we envisioned in our Court Street building.  We simply didn’t get the response from customers when we floated the idea.

The upside is we went ahead and installed our beautiful, antique, floor-to-ceiling mirror and we purchased a Fusiontable for the space (combination pool/dining table).  Stay tuned:  we’ve got more work to do, but we may make it available for small, private parties.  I moved my office from home into one end of the space, and I’m delighted to be back in the building most days.

Looking Ahead to 2017. . .

2017.105010We’re starting off the New Year with mixed emotions because we’re saying “good-bye” to two, long-time staff members.  Wine Club Manager Jana Kosmata called it a day after working for Carpe Vino for more than seven years.  And at the end of January, our beloved restaurant manager, Ada Campos, will be moving to Arizona after nine years at the helm.  We will miss them both and do our best to Stay Calm and Carry On.



IMG_5742.105619Another notable change is that we will no longer be open on Sundays.  When you balance revenues against operating costs, it is the obvious decision for us.  The silver lining is that Sundays will now be available for scheduling special events and for hosting small, private dinners at the Carpe Vino wine bar.  We’ve done these in years past and they have been very successful.

And speaking of special events, we have our first program set for Sunday, January 29.  We’re very fortunate to be celebrating the publication of the new novel of a 16-time New York Times best-selling author.  This is a major coup for us that will feature a combination prix-fixe dinner and book signing.  Word up:  this event will sell out instantly, and we’ll be announcing details next week.

Our expectation is that Carpe Vino will continue to thrive as we move into 2017–as long as we keep changing up the mix here.  If we stay relevant with new ideas and approaches, we think we can con you folks into coming back!

All the best for the New Year,

gary, Drew & the Carpe Vino Staff

More information
Carpe Vino (Find Us) 1568 Lincoln Way Auburn, CA 95603
Phone Number: 530-823-0320
Get Directions to Carpe Vino
Retail/Wine Bar Hours Tuesday - Saturday
Noon - 10:00 p.m.
Closed: Sunday and Monday
Dining Hours Tuesday - Saturday
5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Closed: Sunday and Monday
Make A Reservation Guests must be 21 years of age or older.
Reservations are suggested for preferred seating, especially on weekends.