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Mark Twain dinner-program debuts Columbia City Hotel restaurant re-opening celebration on Jan. 15


By: California State Parks

Dec. 30, 2010 - In celebration of the reopening of the Columbia City Hotel restaurant, a special dinner, featuring legendary 19th-century American writer and humorist Mark Twain, will be at 5 p.m., Saturday, January 15, at 22678 Main Street, Columbia, California.

The three-course dinner and program, for $35 per person, will include First Course: spicy candied walnuts, stilton cheese, organic greens, with quince vinaigrette; Second Course: cream of carrot and ginger soup; Entrées: Poached Pacific Salmon and roasted root vegetables, served with an arugula pistou; or Roasted Duck served with butternut squash, crêpes, and green beans; or Grilled Flat Iron Steak Bordelaise with chanterelles, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, and fresh thyme; and Dessert: Maple Pots De Crème with almond praline.

Local actor Pat Kaunert will portray Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known to many as "Mark Twain," during the dinner program. In the program, Twain returns to 1880 Columbia to deliver a lecture on his adventures out West, including mining on the Nevada Comstock, big trouble in San Francisco, pocket mining near Tuttletown, and spinning yarns at Jackass Hill in Tuolumne County.

A tradition since 1854, new-owners Jeff and Jackie Briggs are proud to have reopened the acclaimed Columbia City Hotel restaurant, offering fine dining in an exquisitely Gold Rush era setting. Prepared by culinary award-winning chef Jeff Briggs, the menu features sumptuous meals fit for any celebration. The historic hotel restaurant had been closed for nearly two years which is a favorite elegant dining spot in the Gold Country region.

For dinner reservations and more information, telephone the Columbia City Hotel at (209) 532-1479 or visit www.CityHotel.com. Lodging reservations for historic City and Fallon Hotels can be made by going to www.CityHotel.com/Reservations or by calling (800) 444-7275.

Kaunert is equipped to tell Mark Twain's "out West" experience, first hand. He brings to his characterization of Twain 35 years of his own out-west adventure with the U.S. Forest Service and working with news media to tell the compelling stories of wildfires, wildlife, ranchers, loggers, and miners in the mighty Sierra Nevada.

In his performance, Kaunert faithfully interprets Twain's experiences and observations of the American West after studying the life, times, and literature of Sam Clemens. Also, he is familiar with the historic places and people along the Mark Twain trail.

In Twain's voice, Kaunert tells about traveling West in 1861—about Twain's failure at gold and silver mining, camping, and starting a forest fire at Lake Tahoe, writing tall tales for the Territorial Enterprise, big trouble in San Francisco, skedaddling to Jackass Hill, becoming a writer of fiction, and his views on life and the human race.

A visit to the City Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park is a glimpse into one of the most fascinating periods of America's history — the California Gold Rush. Originally built in 1854, the City Hotel and its sister lodge, The Fallon House, are authentically restored 19th-century country inns that are considered among California's finest historical lodgings. All rooms are elegantly appointed with Victorian antiques, custom-crafted wall coverings, and beautiful lithographs.


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