Here are a few Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Jose restaurants open on Thanksgiving, so you can make reservations for Thursday, Nov. 28 if you’re planning to dine out. A few restaurants, including Booka in Aptos, will be closed.
For more choices, see:
Thanksgiving food from Lifestyle Culinary Arts in Santa Cruz (it’s too late to order, but you can plan ahead for next year and article includes link to cranberry chutney)
Santa Cruz & Aptos
Aquarius is offering a $48 prix fixe three-course menu from 1-8:30 p.m. (a kids’ menu will also be available), and complimentary valet parking. The Minor Third Jazz Trio will perform from 4 – 8 p.m. For family-style whole turkey dinners to go, contact Gus Siggins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
175 West Cliff (at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn), Santa Cruz, (831) 460-5012
Ideal Bar & Grill has a few highlights beginning at 11 a.m. including:
• Traditional Turkey Dinner $15.95 for 12oz, $19.95 for 16oz
• Slow roasted Prime Rib $24.95 12oz, $27.95 16oz
• Homemade desserts including Pumpkin Pie
106 Beach Street (at the Santa Cruz Wharf), (831) 423-5271
Café Gratitude is serving a free organic, vegan feast as its “Second Annual Community Appreciation Meal.” The lunch will be served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
103 Lincoln Street, Santa Cruz, (831) 427-9583
Sanderlings has a three-course prix fixe menu; the price is $34.95 for adults. There is also a $17.95 meal (one course) for kids. Soup/salad choices include Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. Four entrée choices include Sage Butter Roasted Turkey Breast or Grilled Salmon with Polenta Cake, Roasted Red Peppers, Baby Artichoke, Spinach, and Nage.
One Seascape Resort Drive (at Seascape Beach Resort), Aptos, (831) 662-7120
Severino’s Bar & Grill is offering a buffet; the price is $32 for adults, $16 for kids 5-10, and free for kids 4 and under. The buffet is open from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Selections include fresh salads, butternut squash soup, vegetarian ravioli, salmon Dijon, honey glazed ham, leg of lamb, roasted turkey with all the traditional sides, and homemade desserts.
7500 Old Dominion Court (at Seacliff Inn Beach Resort), Aptos, (831) 688-7300
Restaurant 1833 is serving a special $55 three-course prix fixe menu that begins with an amuse bouche. Reservations are highly recommended. Menu items include:
- Mushroom Soup with truffle butter, brioche, chives
- Root Vegetable Salad with pomegranates, winter greens and espelette
- Bacon Wrapped Sturgeon with herb puree, roasted carrots, maple sherry sauce
- Chestnut Ravioli with apple, sage, cashew and apple cider
- “The Turkey” with a choice of white or dark meat and served with cranberry sauce, green beans with almonds, potato puree, sweet potato marshmallows, stuffing and gravy
- Choice of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll with buttered pecan ice cream and maple syrup or Chocolate Financier with hazelnut cream and cranberry coulis
Also, Chef Levi Mezick’s famous Bacon Cheddar Biscuits will be available a la carte.
500 Hartnell St., Monterey, (831) 643-1833
Cannery Row Brewing Company’s Chef Daniel Furey will offer a traditional Thanksgiving meal including:
- Artisanal Greens with spiced and candied pecans and cranberry vinaigrette
- Smoked Turkey with giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, served with Green Bean Casserole, Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
- Pumpkin Cheesecake with pumpkin seed brittle and spiced Chantilly cream
The three-course menu is available for $32 per person as well as a la carte for $18.95 for the Smoked Turkey dish. The regular menu will be available and the restaurant will be open for regular hours, 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.; bar is open until 12:00 a.m. Reservations are recommended but walk-ins are welcome.
95 Prescott Ave, Monterey, (831) 643-2722
The Fairmont San Jose is serving a special Harvest Buffet from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The cost is $67 per adult and $33 per child 5-12. Kids under 5 are free. Buffet highlights include Alaskan King crab legs, sage basted roast turkey, honey baked ham with port wine sauce, and a lavish pastry display. There will also be gourmet salads and an omelet and pancake station. For full menu, click here.
170 South Market St, San Jose, (408) 998-3960
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It’s almost Thanksgiving – time to make your reservations if you’re going out to eat! Want to dine in the Santa Cruz or San Jose area? Here are a few to consider for November 28, 2013. I’ll be publishing more options in the next couple days.
Some local restaurants, including Johnny’s Harborside in Santa Cruz Harbor, will be closed.
Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel Restaurants
Chaminade offers a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 6 p.m. The cost is $49.95 for adults, $16.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Customers are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz County. Toy drive participants will be entered into a drawing to win a 50-minute massage at The Spa, Sunday Brunch for two in the Sunset Restaurant, or an overnight stay for two. Selections include roast Tom Turkey, roast lamb leg, butternut squash ravioli, a seafood assortment, gourmet salads, and pumpkin apple soup.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz (831) 475-5600
Solaire has a four-course prix fixe Thanksgiving feast from noon – 8 p.m. for $45 (adults), $35 (seniors 65+), and $14 (kids). Children 5 and under are free. Appetizer choices are bacon-wrapped prawns and cheddar grits or wild mushroom risotto; soup/salad choices include roasted butternut soup; entrée choices include Diestel turkey, Kurobuta pork prime rib with herb spaetzle, or artichoke agnolotti. Dessert options include pumpkin pie or triple chocolate cake.
611 Ocean (inside Hotel Paradox), (831) 600-4545
Bittersweet Bistro will have a Thanksgiving buffet. Served from 12:30 – 6 p.m., the price is $53.95, (Adults) $22 (Kids 6-12), or $7 (Kids 5 and Under). Parties that are seated right at 12:30pm receive a 5% discount. The menu includes Roasted Traditional All Natural Turkey with Pan Gravy and Gluten Free Gravy, Slow Roasted Prime Rib with Au Jus and Horseradish crème fraîche, Teriyaki Salmon, Classic Glazed Applewood Smoked Ham, Baked Candied Yams, Persimmon Waldorf Salad, Classic Caesar Salad, Tossed Asian Salad, Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, and a special kids’ buffet table. Desserts include a chocolate fountain and miniature versions of “famous Bittersweet desserts.”
787 Rio Del Mar Boulevard, Aptos (831) 662-9799
Michael’s on Main is serving Thanksgiving dinner from 2-8 p.m. The restaurant will offer a 3-course prix fixe meal for adults ($32) and a special meal for kids 12 and under ($15.95). The adult dinner features choice of soup or salad, entrée choice (four selections are oven-roasted turkey with sides such as garlic mashed potatoes and green beans with caramelized shallots, Osso Bucco, pistachio-crusted salmon, or a vegetarian dish with grilled portobello), and choice of dessert (options include pumpkin cheesecake and cranberry orange bread pudding).
2591 Main Street, Soquel (831) 479-9777
San Jose Restaurants
Maggiano’s on Santana Row is doing a prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner; it’s $36.95 for adults and kids 5-12 are $17.95. The family-style dinner includes bruschetta, salad (families get to choose two of four salads offered), entrée (choose two of three entrees offered, including roast turkey with focaccia sausage stuffing or parmesan-crusted tilapia), side dishes (choose two), and pasta (choose two from selections including four cheese ravioli or gnocchi with Italian sausage). Dessert is also included; choose two from five selections include pumpkin praline cheesecake and tiramisu (I’ve heard the tiramisu is fantastic!). There are also take-out options: choose a $185 full-meal package that serves approximately five people or order a la carte.
3055 Olin Avenue, Ste. 1000 (408) 423-8973
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Whole Foods Market in Northern California, including stores in Santa Cruz and Capitola, is offering many options for Thanksgiving Dinner. You need to order in person or online by Tuesday, November 26. They have a brand-new holiday pie this year called Brown Butter Walnut, and I was given a complimentary one to try. Let me tell you: it’s delicious!
A traditional turkey dinner costs $99.99 (serves up to 8) and includes an oven-roasted whole 10-12 lb. turkey from Sonora-based famiy-owned Diestel, herb stuffing (4 lbs.), cranberry relish, turkey gravy, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls (12), and pumpkin pie. The same dinner with an organic turkey costs $149.99. Other selections include a “vegan holiday dinner for 4” ($79.99), and a “Health Starts Here dinner for 8” ($119.99).
Brown Butter Walnut pie, and the other holiday pies (Pumpkin, Apple, Blackberry Lime) are made with 100% all-butter crust. Other ingredients include whole fruit (no pieces or purees) and California-grown walnuts. The pies come in a reusable/returnable pie tin. Customers can keep and reuse the pie tins or collect ten and return them for a free pie.
If you’d like to order a turkey a la carte, Whole Foods features several different types including Diestel in both organic ($3.99/lb.) and regular ($2.99/lb.) varieties. Something new for this year: all Diestel turkeys (both organic and regular) are now verified non-GMO.
A la carte sides include “Foodie Favorites Side Dish Collection” with items like Sage Sausage Sourdough Stuffing, Sweet Potato Mash, and Apple Cranberry Crunch Pie ($69.99 serves 4 or $99.99 serves 8). Or choose Chestnut Soup ($9.99), Fig Baked Brie en Croute ($14.99), or Dungeness Crab Brie Mac n Cheese ($23.99), among other dishes.
If there’s a dish you eat during Thanksgiving and you want to have it again – either at Christmas, Hanukkah, or another time – all of Whole Foods holiday menu will be available until the end of the year.
Santa Cruz Area Location Details:
Both stores open 8am-9pm daily
Whole Foods in Santa Cruz:
911 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz 95062 (831) 426-9901
Whole Foods in Capitola:
1710 41st Ave, Capitola 95010 (831) 464-2900
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Lifestyle Culinary Arts chef/owner Andrea Mollenauer has announced her 2013 Thanksgiving menu, and she’s taking orders until Friday, Nov. 22. See below for menu highlights.
Mollenauer is a graduate of Cabrillo College’s Culinary Arts program, and a talented chef. She also serves as Advanced Instructor for ROP culinary high school classes in Santa Cruz County and sits on the Cabrillo Culinary advisory board.
Email email@example.com or call (831) 588-4515 to get full menu or place order.
Pick-up is Wed. Nov. 27 from 3:30-6:30 p.m. or Thurs. Nov. 28 8:30-10 a.m. at Front Street Kitchen in downtown Santa Cruz (504A Front Street).
Last year Molleanauer shared her Signature Cranberry Chutney recipe with my readers; click here and scroll down for recipe.
Lifestyle’s 2013 Thanksgiving menu highlights:
• stuffed boneless turkey breast, white meat – ready to roast($15.95, serves 2-3)
• whole cider brined seasoned turkey — ready to roast, stuffed with apples, onions, citrus, herbs (18-22 lbs., $50, serves 20-25)
• signature cranberry chutney (tart and sweet with a hint of ginger, $5.95/pint)
• stuffing (apple, sage & dried cranberry $9.95, serves 4-6)
• maple roasted brussel sprouts w/apple pancetta ($11.95, serves 4-6)
• Companion Bakery organic sourdough loaves & Kelly’s Bakery dinner rolls
• pumpkin & pecan pies
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Hungry for a new type of community event? This one sounds intriguing: The November incarnation of monthly speaker series “Event Santa Cruz” has an edible theme. On Nov. 20, 2013, attendees will hear seven special guests who make a difference while feeding folks in Santa Cruz and elsewhere (some literally feeding, some metaphorically).
The scheduled speakers are:
• The Hoffman Family – Owners of Hoffman’s Bistro and Patisserie
• Aaron Hinde – President LifeAID Beverage Company, Inc.
• Scott Roseman – Founder and President of New Leaf Community Markets
• Rachel Otis – Director Child Nutrition at Live Oak School District
• Patrice Keet & Rhiannon Crain – Members of the Board of Directors for The Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery
• Ian Bell – Local Singer/ Songwriter
There are seats for 165 people for the general event and there is a unique “downtown food walk” beforehand that’s limited to the first 30 people that sign up. Those 30 will visit four local venues—including The Truck Stop at the downtown farmers market—to sample food. Tickets are the same price ($10) whether or not you’re going on the food walk.
Matthew Swinnerton started Event Santa Cruz to help tell the stories of local businesses and the hard-working people that make these businesses run. This is the first “themed” Event Santa Cruz night. “I wanted to showcase entrepreneurs that love what they do, have a passion for good quality healthy food and make a living doing so,” says Swinnerton.
While some of the speakers are more well known in the community, like Roseman, some are less visible—and they all have interesting insights to share. “Rachel Otis is transforming how our children are being fed school lunches,” adds Swinnerton. When she told me that they were serving bok choy wraps and other health food to the kids I knew I wanted her at the Event.”
When asked how Keet, Crain, and Bell fit the edible theme, Swinnerton responded with the following “Keet and Crain are going to show how we can be creative with food and more importantly how children can be creative with food.” As for Bell, Swinnerton mentioned the fact that after a good meal, it’s “nice to sit back and relax and be entertained by an amazing performer.”
The first Event Santa Cruz was September 18, 2013. The six speakers included Kendra Baker (The Penny Ice Creamery and more), Danny Keith (Grind Out Hunger, Santa Cruz Surf Shop, Santa Cruz Warriors, etc.), and Ryan Coonerty (NextSpace, and former Mayor).
The monthly events take place at the Nickelodeon Theatre, 210 Lincoln St..
Buy tickets online.
Wednesday Nov. 20, 2013
Main event: 7-9 p.m.
Downtown food walk: 5:30 p.m.
I had the opportunity to dine at the recently opened Los Gatos restaurant Top This Pizza a few days ago. I recommend it for a casual, fast, and inexpensive lunch or dinner.
It was definitely delicious and I plan to return. While it wasn’t the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life, it was a nice-sized meal and extremely affordable. What a fun concept: design your own 10-inch pizza with unlimited toppings, and it’s only $8! Unless you choose gluten-free crust, in which case it’s $2 more.
After finding the unassuming storefront in the middle of a strip mall, I entered the small restaurant and walked up to the counter. Eager, friendly young staff instantly greeted me and explained how the process worked. I could choose from a few pre-designed combinations, or I could create my own. Reviewing the menu, I was intrigued by creations like “Brandon’s BBQ” with BBQ sauce, cheese, grilled garlic chicken, bacon, red onion, and cilantro. I decided on Leo’s Chickenlicious with pesto, buffalo mozzarella, garlic chicken, roasted red peppers, fresh garlic, and shaved parmesan. Then I added sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts for a twist. The price was still $8, even if I’d wanted to add several more toppings. I chose to sit inside (there are also a few outdoor tables), and my pizza was ready about 3 minutes later due to their 800-degree “Big Bertha” pizza oven. I greatly enjoyed it; for folks wondering about crust style, it had a “flatbread”-type quality. I also got to taste a few other combinations that my family ordered. Alejandra’s Hot Mess, which includes jalapenos, gorgonzola, and a buffalo wing sauce drizzle, was very good. I also really loved the spicy red sauce that my husband chose for his pizza.
There is a huge range of choices in terms of cheeses (from traditional types to pepper jack), sauces (alfredo, pesto, red/tomato, spicy red), meats, veggies, and what they call “drizzles” (ranch and more) and “finishers” (that’s where my sundried tomatoes were listed). Salads and soft drinks are also available. All in all, it’s a clever idea that allows many choices within a fast-food-type context.
Another note: they have a great online method to take care of those “group lunches” in your office where there’s always that one person that doesn’t chip in enough. You go to the web site, and each person designs their own pizza & pays with their own debit or credit card. When everyone has ordered, someone hits “send” and the whole order will be ready for one person to pick up. Genius!
Husband and wife Jerry and Yovette Raymond opened Top This in October. “Our family loves coming together for pizza night,” says Yovette. “But we always had the same problem. Everyone wanted different toppings and crusts and sauces and such.” That’s no longer a problem, for the Raymonds or other nearby families. They plan to open two more locations in the next few months, starting with San Jose.
Two of the Raymonds’ sons, Brandon and Tyler, work at the restaurant. They also have a son Michael, daughter-in-law Alejandra, and dog Leo (who’s considered one of their kids), all with namesake pizzas at Top This. Even Leo’s dog-friend Minnie has her own pizza!
Top This Pizza is open daily from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Stay in touch with the new restaurant via its Facebook page.
Location: 15466 Los Gatos Blvd. #110 (in the same plaza as Trader Joe’s), Los Gatos (408) 884-8253
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The 9th annual “A Taste of Santa Cruz,” at the Cocoanut Grove on Thursday, Nov. 14, features 30 participating restaurants, wineries, and breweries. The event runs from 5:30-9 p.m. and benefits first-time home buyers. Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door. Buy tickets online.
Attendees sample food and drinks from 30 restaurants, food vendors, breweries and wineries. Proceeds from the event benefit the Santa Cruz Association of REALTORS Housing Foundation grant program that provides closing costs for first time, low-income home-buyers in Santa Cruz County.
Participating food providers include Aquarius, Cowboy Diner, Johnny’s Harborside, Michael’s on Main, Barbara & Company Catering, Süda, Main Street Garden & Café, and Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine. Wineries and breweries include Trout Gulch Vineyards, Joyce Vineyards, Seabright Brewery, and Uncommon Brewers.
Other highlights at the event: live music from West Coast Soul and Depot Dogs, an appearance by the Derby Girls, and a silent auction with over 100 items. Items up for bid include jewelry, crafts, and vacation lodging in New Orleans. There will also be a raffle; the prize valued at $1,300 is a three-night stay at an artisan home in Lake Tahoe.
Several hundred people attend this event each year; purchasing your tickets in advance is recommended.
Event location: Cocoanut Grove Grand Ballroom, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz 95060
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Here are more festivities to consider for Halloween 2013 in Santa Cruz, Aptos, and Los Gatos, including a wonderful-sounding anniversary party at Dio Deka. See Monday’s Halloween roundup for Santa Cruz, Capitola, and Monterey. Also check out some Halloween treat recipes, both traditional and non-dairy.
Santa Cruz & Aptos
Seascape Village in Aptos will hold a Halloween party from 4-6 p.m. featuring games, trick-or-treating, and snacks.
Location: Intersection of Seascape Boulevard at Sumner Avenue
Downtown Santa Cruz is holding its “Downtown Trick-or-Treat” from 2:30-5 p.m. Local merchants will hand out treats during the family-friendly event.
Dio Deka is celebrating its 7th anniversary on Halloween! A beautiful restaurant in Hotel Los Gatos, Dio Deka is offering complimentary appetizers–spanakopita and meatballs–and music on its outdoor patio on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. Music is being provided by the Los Gatos DJ Company, which specializes in top 40 and classic hits. Guests who dine in the restaurant itself will receive a complimentary glass of champagne to toast Dio Deka’s success.
I had the opportunity to dine at Dio Deka a couple months ago, and I highly recommend visiting this fine restaurant. Some highlights were the exquisite appetizer platter Pikilia, which included Keftethakia (moist, flavorful lamb meatballs and citrus-infused yogurt) and dolmathes (grape leaves stuffed with ingredients including braised beef cheeks and mushroom puree), and Brokolo (see photo), a unique and savory dish featuring charred broccoli, a slowly cooked egg, chili flakes, and more. I also enjoyed the side dish Gigantes, which was a generous portion of crisp-fried gigantes beans flavored with urfa pepper and smoked taramas. I never would have ordered this without my server’s recommendation, so I have him to thank. And of course, the talented Executive Chef Jeff Fitzgerald!
Location: 210 Main St., Los Gatos, (408) 354-7700.
If you’re on Twitter, please follow me @santacruzfoodie.
As of Tuesday Oct. 29, there were still tickets available for the Nov. 1, 2013 Farm to Table Dinner at Pino Alto at Cabrillo College.
Executive Chef Beverlie Terra, who was with Santa Cruz’s Chaminade Resort for more than 20 years, has moved to Cabrillo College where she is an instructor. She’s kicking off a series of Farm to Table dinners at Pino Alto Restaurant, much like the ones she founded at Chaminade. I was a guest at a 2012 Chaminade Farm to Table dinner and greatly enjoyed it. Terra is a talented, creative chef who knows how to utilize farm-fresh products.
The dinners will be on Friday evenings at Pino Alto, located at Sesnon House on the Cabrillo campus. The first one, November 1, features Guglielmo Wines and Santa Cruz’s Yellow Wall Farm. The second event on November 8 features wine from Burrell School and highlights Fiesta Farms. For reservations, call (831) 479-6524.
The cost is $65 per person plus tax and gratuity, and this includes a four-course gourmet dinner with wine pairings. A reception prior to dinner features wine and appetizers.
NOVEMBER 1 MENU
6-6:30 p.m. Reception
• Slow roast pork belly bites on sugared Apple
• Deviled Eggs with Sweet Pepper
• Fig and proscuito Canapes
• Wontons with pumpkin and sage
• Crab cakes with pepper aioli
• Pork rilettes with crostini
Wines: 2012 Guglielmo Pinot Grigio and 2010 Guglielmo Sangiovese
6:30 p.m. Dinner
First Course: Kabocha gnocchi with porcini cream
Wine: 2012 Guglielmo TRE Chardonnay
Second: Little gem lettuce with beets, squash, feta and pomegranate vinaigrette
Wine: 2012 Guglielmo TRE Pinot Noir
Third: Lamb chops with pumpkin risotto
Wine: 2008 Guglielmo TRE Syrah
Fourth: Warm apple crumble with persimmon ice cream
Wine: Guglielmo Sparkling Almond Champagne
Location: Sesnon House: 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos 95003
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Halloween is almost here, and there are some spooktacular celebrations occurring—including something for everyone, such as a kid-friendly atmosphere, a fancy prix fixe dinner, or options with dancing and a bar. Here are a few celebrations to consider for Halloween 2013 in Santa Cruz and nearby areas. I’ll be publishing more options in the next day or two.
Santa Cruz & Capitola
Hotel Paradox is hosting a Halloween party from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and include dancing, a DJ, a drink ticket, and access to the snack bar. Buy tickets online.
611 Ocean St., (831) 425-7100
Margaritaville has announced a “costume contest with awesome prizes” for Halloween night, plus drink specials all weekend.
231 Esplanade, Capitola (831) 476-2263
Santa Cruz Wharf Restaurants
Selected Santa Cruz Wharf restaurants are inviting kids dressed in costumes, with their parents, to come trick-or-treating on Halloween. The scheduled time is 4-6 p.m. Read more at the Santa Cruz Wharf site.
Santa Cruz Wharf, (831) 420-5273
Hula’s Santa Cruz invites you to celebrate Halloween with a Spooky Pumpkin Tini, and at Charlie Hong Kong Halloween means it’s Thai Butternut Squash Soup season. CHK started serving the delicious soup on Oct 26 with local Windmill Farms organic heirloom butternuts; the annual season lasts until January or February depending on the squash harvest.
A few Santa Cruz restaurants are closed on Halloween, including Bittersweet Café and Bistro.
Restaurant 1833, located in the Stokes Adobe House which some say is haunted, is hosting a fabulous party on October 31, 2013. Chef Levi Mezick will be offering a special Halloween four-course prix fixe menu in the dining room featuring Pumpkin Soup with pumpernickel bread crumbs; Beet Salad with hazelnuts, duck prosciutto and bulls blood; Braised Pork Cheek with cranberry puree, mustard greens and banyuls; Pan Roasted Rainbow Trout with haricot vert, fingerling potato and herb butter. Dinner will end early…from there, Restaurant 1833 has partnered with 831 Magazine for an unforgettable night of live music, cocktails on tap, and of course, ghosts and costumes.
Price: The four-course prix fixe menu is $40 per person excluding tax and gratuity. The Halloween party is free before 9:00pm with an escalating cover charge starting at $10.
500 Hartnell St., Monterey, (831) 643-1833.
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