May 2015 food & wine events at Saratoga’s Mountain Winery

Guests dancing to live music at a previous Mountain Winery dinner/dancing event. Credit: Mountain Winery Facebook page

Guests dancing to live music at a previous Mountain Winery dinner/dancing event. Credit: Mountain Winery Facebook page

The Mountain Winery in Saratoga is offering three fun, food-  and wine-related events in late May. Executive Chef David Sidoti and his staff will prepare the food. For all events, buy tickets or get more information at

Sunday, May 24—Sangria Sunday featuring Santos Perdidos
This brunch event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with music the entire time, and food for sale until 2). The cost for admission and live music is $10 online in advance, or $15 at the door if available. Parking is free. Food and drinks will be sold separately. There will be a Latin-themed menu by. Dishes may include carnitas tacos and snapper Vera Cruz. Red wine Sangria with assorted fruit will be available for purchase, plus new Spring Sangria with white wine and sparkling wine, peach, ginger and basil. Acoustic quartet Santos Perdidos, from the San Francisco Bay Area, plays a blend of traditional Cuban son, bolero, changui and cha cha cha.

Friday, May 29—New Orleans-style Party with Andre Thierry
This dinner and dancing event is from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Music is from 7 to 10:30 p.m., and dinner service is from 6:30 to 8:30, with dessert and cheese platters continuing after that while supplies last. The cost for admission and live music is $20 online in advance, or $25 at the door. Parking is free. Food and drinks will be sold separately, including featured beverage The Bourbon Street Hurricane and dishes like shrimp and Andouille jambalaya and Oysters Rockefeller. Performer Andre Thierry plays traditional Zydeco music that includes elements of hip-hop, blues, jazz and rock.

Saturday, May 30—Havana Night with Los Boleros
This dinner and dancing event is from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. There will be a salsa dance lesson at 7:30 p.m. and Cuban music begins at 8 p.m. Dinner service is from 6:30 to 8:30, with dessert and cheese platters continuing after that while supplies last. The cost for admission and live music is $20 online in advance, or $25 at the door. Parking is free. Food and drinks will be sold separately, including lamb Mojo (tender braised lamb in a citrus tomato sauce), Ropa Vieja (slow simmered pork served with a corn and cheese empanada) and blackened snapper and spiced shrimp (served with steamed sticky rice and a creamy black bean sauce). The members of Los Boleros include Felix Samuel on lead vocals, Rudy Furlan on the Tres Cubano, David Somers on the tenor sax and flute, Dominic Cabrera on congas, and Edgar Lavado on bass. All members sing.

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The Details
Mountain Winery, 14831 Pierce Rd., Saratoga
Visit or email

Chef Jason Franey transforms Monterey’s Restaurant 1833 into its best incarnation yet

Restaurant 1833’s Warm Radicchio Salad with oranges, pecans, pomegranate seeds, Gorgonzola dressing

Restaurant 1833’s Warm Radicchio Salad with oranges, pecans, pomegranate seeds, Gorgonzola dressing

I can’t recommend Restaurant 1833’s revamped menu highly enough—my recent dinner there was one of the best meals I’ve had in a very long time.

Restaurant 1833 closed for a few days in March so that Chef Jason Franey and his staff could perfect their new menu. This extra effort paid off, as customers have been gushing about the results.  “Since the re-launch of the restaurant, I have never seen as many locals, restaurateurs and chefs coming day after day to the restaurant to eat and re-eat the food multiple times,” says manager Kyle Beauregard.

During Pebble Beach Food & Wine in April, several world-renowned chefs dined at the restaurant. “We loved seeing their reaction when trying the food and being engulfed in the atmosphere, from the mood set by service staff to our cocktails and off-menu housemade amaro and Limoncellos. It is really rewarding seeing all the hard work of the chef and our staff paying off.”

The restaurant is the former site of Gallatin’s, which in its heyday attracted people like Harry Truman and Frank Sinatra. In 1996 it became the restaurant Stokes Adobe, and it became Restaurant 1833 in 2011. Three years later, it began transforming into its current, dare-I-say-best, incarnation to date by hiring Chef Franey (December 2014) and bringing in new wine director Bernabe De Luna Lopez.

“The local community and staff have been very supportive of the change that we went through and having that energy, excitement, and compliments from people, who have been eating in this establishment since it was Gallatin’s, has been most rewarding,” says Beauregard.

Chef Franey has cooked at Eleven Madison Park and Campton Place, and his last restaurant position was at Seattle’s Canlis. Franey was there when Food & Wine named him Best New Chef in 2011. He’s also a three-time James Beard Award finalist and a Relais & Châteaux “Grand Chef.” From the very first taste of his food, it’s obvious why he has received this praise, and why we should expect more awards in the future.

The main menu has three sections: Nibble, Nosh, and Dine. We started with Oysters from Nibble. Four Shigoku oysters served on the half shell were topped with white balsamic granita. Delicate fennel frond garnishes provided a beautiful and delicious juxtaposition; I appreciated this attention to detail.

I noticed the oysters (and the rest of dinner, actually) were served on stunning, very solid dishware, which the restaurant partnered with New Jersey-based ceramics designer Jono Pandolfi to create. When I asked Beauregard to name his favorite part of the restaurant revamp, he replied “Everything! From the beginning stages where we were designing the plateware, to meeting with the local historian to learn not just about the restaurant but also about the Peninsula itself from the mid 1800’s through mid 1900’s.”

We chose well from the Nosh section. Fire Roasted Sunchokes were vibrant, both visually and sensually.  Roasted Brussels sprouts played a key role in this dish, as did togarashi (Japanese spice blend) and “sunchoke sabayon” (a twist on the usual sabayon sauce made with champagne or white wine). Next, my Warm Radicchio Salad contained ingredients including spiced candied pecans and pomegranate seeds. The textures successfully complemented each other, as did the contrasting flavors (bitter greens, sweet pecans, etc.). I liked how Chef Franey placed the Gorgonzola dressing as the foundation of the dish. It provided great flavor without being overpowering or causing the ingredients to get soggy.

Our waiter suggested Buffalo Style Sweetbreads. I was hesitant, having never eaten sweetbreads, but I am so glad I trusted his guidance. The fried sweetbreads, accompanied by a smoked mango and Piquillo pepper sauce, blue cheese, celery, and pickled carrots, were divine. The preparation makes it unintimidating for novices like me. Beauregard says that both the sweetbreads and the signature 1833 Burger have been getting rave reviews and are “friendly to those looking for the familiar but also appeal to the foodies with the intricate techniques and uses of ingredient.” The burger, with fermented cucumbers, Vermont sharp white cheddar, tomato confit, and grilled red onions, is served with sauerkraut-dusted steak fries and aioli.

For entrees, we shared 48-Hour Beef Short Ribs and Salmon. The short ribs were incredibly tender, with a rich and flavorful sauce. Accompaniments included creamy polenta. Chef Franey’s salmon was hands-down one of the most moist, perfectly cooked pieces of fish that I have ever had the pleasure of eating, and the sauce was exquisite. It included saffron, baby Castroville artichokes, and clams.

Restaurant 1833’s setting is a two-story adobe house with several rooms, originally built in 1833. The atmosphere is interesting – the night I was there, several families were dining upstairs while there was a lively bar crowd near the main entrance. This all seemed to co-exist in a fluid way.

For the new menu, Ben Spungin created desserts such as Cookie Jar (variety of treats, sweets, and cookies) and family-style Butterscotch Trifle (serves 6-8 people!) with butterscotch pudding, banana, rum-soaked vanilla cake, almonds, whipped cream and meringue. I selected decadently satisfying Chocolate Cremeux with chocolate cake, blackberry meringue, and a unique coriander caramel. Spungin serves as corporate pastry chef for Coastal Luxury Management, the owner of Restaurant 1833 as well as Cannery Row Brewing Company.

There are many new aspects to the wine and cocktails menus, including a tableside martini cart, and a No Whey cocktail made with a whey byproduct from chef Franey’s housemade ricotta, balanced with cognac, lemon and simple syrup to create a sweet, salty and nutty cocktail.

Restaurant 1833 is at 500 Hartnell St. Call 831-643-1833 or visit

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Soquel benefit features 30 beers from nine Santa Cruz area breweries

Soquel beer event proceeds will be donated to the employees of Boulder Creek Brewery and Cafe

Soquel beer event proceeds will be donated to the employees of Boulder Creek Brewery and Cafe

The 2nd annual Locals Only Tap Takeover is Wednesday, May 20, 2015, at Beer Thirty in Soquel.

This event features 30 local brews on draft from all nine Santa Cruz County breweries—see full list below. All proceeds will be donated to the employees of Boulder Creek Brewery and Cafe. As you may recall, a fire at the popular brewery/café destroyed the venue in March.

The Tap Takeover is from 5pm until closing. Free Agents will perform live music from 7-10pm. Call Beer Thirty at 831-477-9967 for more information.

Participating breweries:

  • Boulder Creek Brewery and Cafe
  • Corralitos Brewing Co.
  • Discretion Brewing
  • New Bohemia Brewing Co
  • Santa Cruz Ale Works
  • Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
  • Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
  • Seabright Brewery
  • Uncommon Brewers

Event location: Beer Thirty, 2504 S. Main St., Soquel

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Family-friendly Santa Cruz Greek Food Faire this weekend

Attendees enjoying a past Santa Cruz Greek Food Faire

Attendees enjoying a past Santa Cruz Greek Food Faire

This weekend is the ninth annual Eat Like A Greek Food Faire in downtown Santa Cruz. This event is the smaller version of the very popular Greek food and music festival that has occurred every September for nearly 35 years.

There is free admission to the downtown celebration, which will feature live Greek music plus lots of good food and drinks. Selections available for purchase will include moussaka (both meat and vegetarian version), roasted lamb shanks with orzo, gyros, souvlaki (grilled meat on skewers served with tzatziki), fried calamari, roasted chicken, and spanakopita. Desserts include baklava and loukoumathes (light, fluffy, deep fried honey balls with hot honey syrup poured on top and finished with crushed walnuts and cinnamon). Drinks will include American and Greek beer, wine, traditional Greek spirits, and Greek coffee.
For more information and full menu, visit

Location: Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church, 223 Church Street (at Center)

2015 Festival Schedule:

  • Friday May 15, 5-10 p.m.
  • Saturday May 16, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sunday May 17, Noon – 8 p.m.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Peet’s Coffee and Tea adds Javiva beverages and partners with Mighty Leaf Tea

One of the new Javiva options at Peet's Coffee and Tea

One of the new Javiva options at Peet’s Coffee and Tea

Peet’s Coffee and Tea recently added a new line of Javiva drinks that’s available in retail locations, including all of its Northern California stores in cities like Santa Cruz, Capitola, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Monterey. It also announced that it now offers Mighty Leaf Tea in its stores.

First, the details on Javiva. If you’re curious about the name Javiva, it means “coffee and life.” I had a chance to try one the other day, selecting coffee-flavored Javiva Light, and greatly enjoyed it as a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up. Javiva is one of the only made-to-order blended iced coffee drinks in the country that is made with fresh brewed coffee—specifically Peet’s Baridi Blend, comprised of East African coffees from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Rwanda. When Peet’s was working on the new product, they did extensive research over the course of a year, and found out that most of the leading blended iced coffee drinks are made with rehydrated instant coffee, packaged coffee concentrates, or coffee-flavored syrup. Peet’s sister company, Caribou Coffee, is an exception and also uses fresh brewed coffee in their blended iced coffee drinks.

With Javiva, customers can select from several flavors (such as mocha or chocolate), and it can be made regular, light, or decaf. “Peet’s Javiva continues to be a go-to option for coffee lovers, especially as the weather warms up for spring and summer,” said Lisa Giles, Regional Manager for Peet’s Coffee. “Many of our customers love that Javiva is made with our fresh brewed coffee and is extremely customizable. You can also select from various non-dairy and even tea options,” added Giles.

As with all of Peet’s beverages, if people are ordering one of the Javiva selections that include dairy, they will receive fresh, hormone-free milk. Javiva can also be made with GMO-free soy or almond milk.

Next, the tea news: fans of Mighty Leaf Tea will be happy to know that they can now purchase a cup (or box) of this tea at any Peet’s location—this was just announced last month. I have loved this tea since first trying it years ago; the tea always tastes hearty and I think that’s due to Mighty Leaf’s special silken pouches filled with tea leaves. My favorite variety is Organic Breakfast.

To find the Peet’s Coffee & Tea near you, use the online store locator.

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Chef Andrea Mollenauer wins award and caters 2015 NEXTies

Andrea Mollenauer’s signature rosemary polenta cake with onion jam and prosciutto

Andrea Mollenauer’s signature rosemary polenta cake with onion jam and prosciutto

Imagine one venue that has limitless potential for Santa Cruz community members: you can drink gourmet hot chocolate anytime, eat savory dumplings there on one night, fried chicken another night, and be enticed by many other popup brunch or dinner options. You can throw a private party, host an event for your business, and more. Well, Andrea Mollenauer has brought that vision to life at the Food Lounge, simultaneously serving a community of customers while providing a unique space for local food and beverage entrepreneurs to showcase their creations. And on Friday, May 15, she’s receiving a 2015 NEXTies award for this creativity, innovation, and drive.

“The level of excitement and giddiness I feel for the work I do everyday is hands down what gets me up in the morning and what keeps me at work late most long days,” says Mollenauer. “I do it for the look I see on people’s faces when they experience a dinner or event. I do it for the collaborations I see between chefs in my kitchen. I do it for the breakthroughs I see my young students having in the kitchen and in their lives around food and careers” (Mollenauer teaches the ROP culinary arts program for local high school students). “To have that be noticed in the community and recognized with this award blows me away. It makes me want to do more!”

Mollenauer is also owner of Lifestyle Culinary Arts, which is catering the NEXTies this year. The menu will include her signature rosemary polenta cake with onion jam and prosciutto.

“I catered last year and was asked months ago to cater again,” says Mollenauer. In late April, she found out she was being awarded a NEXTie. Mollenauer was given the chance to back out of the catering obligation. “They asked if I still wanted to cater and I said YES! What better opportunity than to be able to feed the people who are attending, who are interested in the community and celebrating the winners,” Mollenauer says. “I get to thank them with my food and my service, a true embodiment of my passion as a caterer and community-focused food entrepreneur.”

More on the Food Lounge: Located at 1001 Center St. in downtown Santa Cruz, Mollenauer operates the business with partners Cat Hernandez and Sally Kane. When asked to talk about the Food Lounge, Mollenauer’s face lights up; her enthusiasm is palpable: “I see so many conversations and collaborations being forged and resources being shared by chefs utilizing the incubator kitchen. They are helping out at each other’s dinner services, coming to dine at each other’s popups, because they know that’s where the good food is!” Many guests are excited to have a new, vibrant place to come repeatedly for different food on different nights. In early May, one couple even came to six different events in one week.

There are currently nine Food Lounge tenants: Mortal Dumpling, Ty’s Eatery, Kickin’ Chicken, Fogline Farm, Ocean2table, Mutari Hot Chocolate, Lionfish SupperClub, Cardamom Tuesday, and La Marea.

The Food Lounge’s official description? It’s an “innovative community-minded event venue, commercial incubator kitchen, and full-service food hub aimed at fueling, educating, and inspiring Santa Cruz.” Visit to sign up for the email list and/or stay up to date at

The full 2015 NEXTies winners list:
Andrea Mollenauer
Martijn Stiphout (Ventana Surfboards co-founder)
Monica Karst (Santa Cruz Socialites)
Paul De Worken (Monterey Bay Murals)
Coffee Zombie Collective (musicians)
Courtney Lashkewitsch, 18 and under category (started her own business at age 18)

Buy tickets for $40 online.

The evening will include the world premiere of James Durbin’s new music video “Santa Cruz.”

As proclaimed on the 2015 NEXTies site, the contributions made by Santa Cruz’s talented, entrepreneurial, and civically minded community are a reason that Santa Cruz is a world-renowned locale. The NEXTies “recognize those who create, build and inspire.” One of the other 2015 winners, Monica Karst, is the founder of Santa Cruz Socialites. This group, as stated on, is about “Celebrating and promoting women across Santa Cruz County. Nourishing friendships, empowering each other and having FUN along the way.” One goal is to “spark bonds between women who are unlikely to know each other and plant the seed of community.” The Socialites were actually the first group to hold an event at the Food Lounge, back in late January before the Lounge was officially open.

The NEXTies were first awarded in 2010. Four years later, Santa Cruz Next asked Matthew Swinnerton of Event Santa Cruz to take over the NEXTies. As Swinnerton recently told writer Molly Lautamo for an article on the history of the NEXTies, he immediately knew he wanted to bring “…local youth into the conversation. He didn’t want the event to just be a place for those already established in their professions. He wanted to welcome the younger generation — those wonderfully idealistic youth who are still actively searching for their calling in life—to be a part of the event as both attendees and honorees.”

Swinnerton started the wonderful, collaborative series Event Santa Cruz in 2013 to help tell the stories of local businesses and the hard-working people that make these businesses run. I really enjoyed the two Event Santa Cruz evenings I attended (one in 2013 and one in 2014) and I’m excited to see his fresh take on the NEXTies. This vision is already present on social media. Recently Event Santa Cruz and The NEXTies asked a few individuals “What inspires you?” and posted these on Event Santa Cruz’s Facebook page.

A few answers:
“The curious” (Monica Karst)
“Innovation” (Courtney Lashkewitsch)
“Trees” (Cliff Hodges: Adventure Out founder, past NEXTies winner)
“My community” (Tyler Fox, Santa Cruz Waves founder, past NEXTies winner)
“Risk takers” (Analicia Cube of Take Back Santa Cruz!)
“Waking up and seeing the top of grass and not bottom of grass”(Richard Novak of NHS, Inc.)

See you at the NEXTies!

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Friday May 15, 2015– 7 p.m. refreshments, 8 p.m. program

Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz

Bay Area restaurants for Mother’s Day: Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, San Jose

A dish from earlier this year at Hollins House, as posted on their Facebook page February 24, 2015

A dish from earlier this year at Hollins House, as posted on their Facebook page February 24, 2015

Dining out on Mother’s Day is a popular plan, so if you haven’t made reservations yet, better hurry: here are a few restaurant highlights for Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, and San Jose.

Also see:
Mother’s Day menus for Monterey, Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove

Santa Cruz Area
Hollins House

Hollins House at Pasatiempo has a brunch buffet from 10 am to 2:30 pm; the price is $75 for adults (includes champagne or mimosa) and $25 for kids 6-12 and under, inclusive of tax and gratuity. The menu will include made-to-order omelets featuring Glaum Ranch eggs and egg whites; duck fat hash browns; Applewood smoked bacon and Corralitos sausage; a carving station with items such as spice-rubbed NY Strip Steak with horseradish cream, veal demiglace, and cilantro pesto; seared Morro Bay swordfish with herb crust and lemon-ginger emulsion; asparagus with lemon and pancetta; and several gourmet salads (including red quinoa/padron/feta and roasted gold & red beets with goat cheese mousse). Other highlights include chocolate dipped strawberries, cupcakes and bourbon bread pudding.
Call (831) 459-9177 or visit for reservations.
20 Clubhouse Road, Santa Cruz

The Chaminade offers its annual Mother’s Day brunch buffet at Linwood’s Bar & Grill from 9am-3pm; the price is $55.95 (adults), $18.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. Mother’s Day is the restaurant’s busiest day of the year; it always sells out. Selections include bourbon glazed honey ham with Jack Daniels glaze; prime rib; a seafood bar with whole poached salmon, Dungeness crab legs, and smoked salmon; omelets made to order; and Belgian waffles with apple compote and fresh berries. Additional highlights: miniature sundried tomato/olive quiches, cheese ravioli (with porcini crème, fried leek, sauteed mushrooms), chocolate fondue, and a sundae bar. The kids’ buffet features chicken strips and fries, mini pancakes, and mac and cheese. Call (831) 475-5600 or visit or for reservations.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Sanderlings at Seascape Resort has a brunch buffet from 10 am to 2:30 pm; the price is $47.95 for adults and $21.95 for kids 12 and under. I dined there last year with my family and it was quite good, plus we sat outside and had a beautiful view. This year’s selections include a prime rib carving station; a fresh seafood bar; a salad assortment (last year’s included roasted beet-feta-arugula, spinach with avocado-walnuts, and Indian-spiced chickpea with cucumber and red onion); fresh fruit; and baked breads. Other highlights include desserts and a special kids’ menu. Call (831) 662-7120 or visit for reservations.
One Seascape Resort Drive (at Seascape Beach Resort), Aptos

Los Gatos
Campo di Bocce

Campo di Bocce will offer a brunch buffet from 10 am to 2 pm; due to the popularity of the restaurant’s brunches, table reservations are limited to one hour. Food selections will include made-to-order omelets, a meat carving station, waffles and biscuits, sausage and bacon, fruit, pasta, salads, and homemade pastries. Campo di Bocce will also be serving $10 bottomless mimosas. There are two prices: one for brunch only, and one for brunch and an hour of bocce. Adults are $34.95 without bocce and $42.95 with bocce; kids 5-15 are $14.95 without bocce and $25.95 with bocce. Kids under 5 eat free. Visit for details. Call (408) 395-7650 for reservations.
565 University Ave., Los Gatos

Dio Deka
The popular Mediterranean/Greek restaurant will offer a special a la carte brunch menu. Selections will include Eggs Benedict (traditional, or with smoked salmon or crab cakes), Strapatsada (eggs with tomato, feta, and Greek oregano), Paithakia (mesquite-grilled lamb chops), sirloin burger, and cinnamon “Greek” toast. Visit for details. Call (408) 354-7700 or visit for reservations.
210 E. Main St., Los Gatos

Hult’s Restaurant
Hult’s is serving a prix fixe brunch for $39. Customers can select from two to three selections for each course. Three first course options include Swedish pancakes and Caprese salad; three main courses include North 38 Farm’s duck confit hash and Eggs Benedict. The two dessert choices are rum raisin bread pudding and fruit with sorbet. Visit for details. Call (408) 354-3434 or visit for reservations.
165 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd., Los Gatos

San Jose
Fairmont San Jose

The Fairmont is serving a special Mother’s Day Buffet in its Fountain Restaurant from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The cost is $62 per adult and $31 per child 5-12. Kids under 5 are free. The buffet will include entrees such as Petaluma chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto and topped with mushrooms and saltimbocca sauce, and grilled Pacific salmon with strawberry-red onion salsa. Other highlights include starters such as sushi and a grilled baby octopus/cannellini bean/pancetta dish, an omelet station with organic eggs, a carving station, and Caesar salad with a 2-year-aged Parmesan wheel. See for full menu or call (408) 998-3960 for reservations. There is also a more expensive brunch buffet at the hotel’s Imperial Ballroom.
170 South Market St, San Jose

Il Fornaio
Il Fornaio, located at The Saint Claire Hotel, is serving a Mother’s Day brunch buffet with complimentary champagne. The cost is $50 for adults and $20 for kids 5-12. Kids under 5 are free. Call (408) 271-3366 for reservations.
302 South Market St, San Jose
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Bay Area restaurants for Mother’s Day: Monterey, Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove

A few recent dessert choices at Tarpy’s Roadhouse, as posted on their Facebook page April 30, 2015

A few recent dessert choices at Tarpy’s Roadhouse, as posted on their Facebook page April 30, 2015

It’s Mother’s Day, time to treat that special lady right–how about a nice brunch out? Here are some Bay Area restaurant highlights, with several in the Monterey/Carmel area.


Tarpy’s Roadhouse

Tarpy’s (831-647-1444) is offering Mother’s Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Featured selections include Maine lobster & avocado benedict on griddled brioche with two poached eggs, citrus-chive hollandaise, herb salad, and crispy fingerling potatoes; asparagus & gruyere quiche with Benton’s aged Tennessee country ham & arugula salad with herb roasted heirloom tomato; oxtail & fingerling potato hash with pimento cheese grits, two poached eggs and red eye hollandaise; and country French toast with olallieberry compote & candied pecan butter. They will also be serving their regular brunch menu. Visit
2999 Salinas Highway

TusCA Ristorante
The Mother’s Day brunch buffet ($40 for adults, $15 for kids over 5, free for kids under 5, seatings from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) will include a cage-free omelet and waffle station; natural smoked bacon and chicken sausage; eggs benedict; sliced fresh fruit; salads such as crunchy jicama and mango salad with chile and lime; and a carving station with all-natural salt crusted beef prime rib. There will also be entrees including Parmesan gnocchi with grilled chicken, sundried tomato and garlic cream, and a dessert table with cream puffs, chocolate-dipped strawberries, fruit tarts, mini cheesecakes, and more. Call 831-657-6675 or visit
Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa, 1 Old Golf Course Road

Montrio Bistro
Montrio Bistro has one Mother’s Day special. Reservations are recommended; call 831-648-8880. On Sunday, May 10, if you bring in a photo of yourself with your kids, you will receive a complimentary eight-ounce bottle of house-made Meyer lemon oil and a rose. See
414 Calle Principal

Sardine Factory
The restaurant is serving a three-course $39 prix fixe menu, with seatings from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m and 4 to 8 p.m., plus a selection of specialties from the full menu. For the prix fixe, guests receive a choice of starter (five selections include Maine lobster bisque; smoked salmon mousse profiteroles), a choice of six entrees including eight-hour-slow-roasted prime rib; housemade lobster ravioli; pan-seared Monterey snapper); and a choice of three desserts such as Cherries Jubilee. Call 831-373-3775 or see reservations.
701 Wave St.

Carmel Valley
Hyatt Carmel Highlands

At the Hyatt Carmel Highlands’ restaurant Pacific Edge, there will be an a la carte brunch menu created by Executive Chef Chad Minton and Chef Alvaro Dalmau. For those seeking a buffet brunch, one will be available in the Lobos Lounge; both events are from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The a la carte menu includes frittata with cast iron baked eggs, potatoes, chorizo, caramelized onions, and peppers; brioche French toast with local berry compote and vanilla bean whipped cream; and Cioppino with sautéed mussels, clams, local catch, squid ink linguini, spicy tomato broth, and grilled garlic bread. Call 831-622-5445 for reservations and visit for more information.
Hyatt Carmel Highlands, 120 Highlands Drive, Carmel

Pacific Grove

Fandango (831-646-1700) is offering a prix fixe brunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $38.75 for adults and $18.75 for kids 12 and under. The menu includes Caesar salad; entrée choices such as leg of lamb Provencal with Pinot Noir demi-glace sauce and shrimp scampi spaghetti; and very berry shortcake with French vanilla ice cream, berries, shortcake, toasted almonds, raspberry sauce and whipped cream. See
223 17th Street

Asilomar Conference Grounds
Asilomar is offering a winemaker’s lunch under the iconic ‘Grand Cypress’ at Asilomar State Park.
The first seating is at 1 p.m. Wine pairing and lunch will be provided along with live music and tours of the historic buildings designed by Julia Morgan.  The cost, excluding tax/gratuity, is $65 for adults, $20 for kids 5-12, and free for kids 4 and under. Reservations are required at 372-8016.
800 Asilomar Avenue.

Pebble Beach
Porter’s in the Forest

The restaurant is serving a few Mother’s Day brunch specials. These will be available until 3 p.m. and include blueberry and ricotta pancakes with lemon curd ($9.50); eggs benedict with smoked salmon, avocado, caviar, roasted potatoes, and kale ($19); asparagus, housemade bacon, tarragon and Brie cheese omelet plus roasted potatoes and kale ($17). For reservations call 831-622-8240. Visit
Porter’s is at Poppy Hills Golf Course, 3200 Lopez Rd.

Kula Ranch Island Steakhouse

The Mother’s Day brunch buffet (seatings from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) is $33.95 for adults, $26.95 for seniors and military with ID, $12.95 for kids 6-11, and free for kids under 5 – prices include gratituity and a complimentary glass of champagne, Mimosa, or sparkling cider. Chilled selections include poached salmon; Asian chicken salad; Hawaiian sweet rolls; and and Caesar salad. Hot selections include an omelet station; eggs benedict; French toast casserole with orange marmalade and cream cheese, Nutella chocolate crepes; baked ham with pineapple glaze sauce; and roast beef carving station with au jus and horseradish cream. The restaurant will also feature a Mimosa fountain and an outside area for kids to watch Toy Story. For reservations call 831-883-9479. Visit
3295 Dunes Drive

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New Leaf in Westside Santa Cruz dishes up breakfast cooking class

Examples of breakfast dishes created by Madia Jamgochian (Attendees of the April 24 class may learn variations of some of these selections)

Examples of breakfast dishes created by Madia Jamgochian (Attendees of the April 24 class may learn variations of some of these selections)

Interested in learning techniques for creating a delicious breakfast? Chef Madia Jamgochian is teaching “Intro to Cooking-Breakfast!” at New Leaf Community Markets in Westside Santa Cruz.

The class is from 5 -7:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, and the cost is $40 per person or $70 for 2. Preregistration is required and space is limited; contact New Leaf at 426-1306 or visit

The hands-on class is beginner-friendly and gluten-free. Attendees will receive recipes and learn breakfast basics like how to make an omelet. The course description also mentions learning how to cook sweet potato hash, and participants can enjoy a full meal at the end of class if they “don’t mind eating breakfast for dinner.”

Instructor Jamgochian, a certified nutrition consultant who advises clients through her business “My Healing Habits,” also serves as Community Education Coordinator at New Leaf’s Westside location. Jamgochian is excited to teach on this topic. “I learned to cook when I was about 10, and it is something that has proved both valuable, and fun over the years. Cooking for yourself and others creates an important connection to the food we eat.”

Jamgochian has taught many cooking classes at New Leaf but this is her first intro-level class. She talks about her food philosophy on her blog “The name My Healing Habits was chosen to emphasize the fact that it is not always the foods we eat, but the habits we form around eating: where we choose to shop, how we prepare a meal, the ingredients we use, our state of mind, the location, and the time we take. These are all important factors in the grand scheme of reaching Optimal Health.”

Learn about all of New Leaf’s upcoming classes and activities, including “Go Foods for Fitness” on Earth Day, April 22 (taught by Sandi Rechenmacher), at

Contact information: New Leaf Westside branch, 1101 Fair Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 426-1306

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Restaurants gather for Santa Cruz Homeless Services Center

2010’s Soupline Supper – credit to Red Bat Photography via Soupline web site

2010’s Soupline Supper – credit to Red Bat Photography via Soupline web site

The community is invited to eat unlimited soup from dozens of local restaurants, caterers, and other food businesses on Thursday April 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to benefit Santa Cruz’s Homeless Services Center.

The 16th Annual Soupline Supper benefit is at the Cocoanut Grove at the Santa Cruz boardwalk. For $30 per person or $55 for two, you receive soup, salad bread, and dessert. Kids’ tickets are $15. As the event tagline says, you can simultaneously “Feed Your Family. Feed Your Community. Feed Your Philanthropy.”

More than 40 participating restaurants in 2015’s Soupline include new participants Assembly, Tramonti, Cremer House, and The Hideout, plus past participants The Art Bar & Cafe at the Tannery, The Bagelry, Bittersweet Bistro, Café Cruz, Chaminade, Charlie Hong Kong, Crow’s Nest, Dharma’s, India Joze, La Posta, Manuel’s, Sawasdee, Shadowbrook, Soif, The Walnut Ave Café, and Zameen. See full restaurant list at

At the event there are different tables around the perimeter of the room, all with large containers of homemade soup, with about a dozen available at any one time (selections rotate throughout the evening). Attendees walk around and choose which ones to sample. Public officials and other community leaders serve the soup. This year’s “Celebrity Ladlers” include local politicians David Terrazas, Cynthia Chase, and John Leopold; pastor Rene Schlaepfer (Twin Lakes Church), business owner Larry Pearson (Pacific Cookie Company), and arts leader Nina Simon (Executive Director MAH).

There are lots of tables set up in the dining room where you can relax and enjoy your meal. There is also a raffle and silent auction. Buy tickets and read more information online at the site

Free parking after 4 pm is available at the Boardwalk lot across from the Cocoanut Grove.

The Homeless Services Center is a community-supported non-profit organization dedicated to the coordinated provision of services for homeless persons. The goal of the Homeless Services Center is to provide both emergency and transitional services to homeless individuals that will enable clients to achieve self-sufficiency.

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