Tequila & taco festival & wine bottling lunch event this weekend

Mushroom polenta for Casa Nostra’s Aug. 22 event

Mushroom polenta for Casa Nostra’s Aug. 22 event

Foodies and drink lovers: here are details on two events this weekend taking place in Santa Cruz and Ben Lomond.

Saturday, Aug. 22-Sunday, Aug. 23: Tequila & Taco Music Festival
At the 2nd annual Tequila & Taco Music Festival, there will be gourmet street tacos, craft beer, and margaritas for sale, plus special tequila sampling Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Food vendors include El Chipotle Taqueria, Garcia’s Fish Tacos, Tacos Moreno, Conscious Creations, Hula Huts, and La Olla. There will also be art vendors and music from bands such as Extra Large, Kalyde, and SambaDá. Proceeds benefit the Gen Giammanco Foundation. Event hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. Adult prices are $10 for general admission, $35 for Saturday tequila tasting, $40 for a two-day pass, and free for kids 12 and under. The event location is San Lorenzo Park at 137 Dakota St. in Santa Cruz.

Saturday, Aug. 22: Wine bottling party and 5-course lunch
Ristorante Casa Nostra is hosting a bottling party with Caligra Wines and a five-course lunch with wine pairings. The event is 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Each food course is a small plate, and the cost is $45 per person. At the end of the event, attendees can purchase wine by the bottle and case that they have helped bottle. Caligra Wines is a very small Scotts Valley winery making Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet and Zinfandel, all from local grapes. RSVPs are required; contact Juan at (831) 609-6132. Ristorante Casa Nostra is at 9217 Highway 9 in Ben Lomond.


2013 Pinot Noir – Santa Cruz Mtns: Aromas of dark cherries, exotic spices, hints of vanilla and sandalwood, coco and sweet tobacco. Paired with San Daniele Panini: prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, lettuce, and tomatoes.

2013 Ancient Vine Zinfandel: Densely packed, vibrant intense dark fruit flavors are balanced by lingering peppery spiciness. Paired with Polpette Di Carne: homemade beef and pork meatballs baked with marinara and mozzarella.

2013 Merlot – Los Altos foothills: Red current flavors of Merlot with floral aromatics and balanced from Cabernet Franc, wild berry and tobacco from Petite Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon added to bring weight, tannins, flavors of blackberry and cassis. Paired with Polenta Al Funghi: polenta with sautéed button mushrooms.

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Blend – Santa Clara Valley: Rich aromas, cherries, plums, cassis, chocolate and berries. Wonderful fruit flavors with a hint of French oak. Paired with Bruschetta Nostra: Fresh tomato, capers, oregano, garlic, basil, and Italian herbs.

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Los Altos Hills: Deep dark aromas of plums, bittersweet chocolate, sweet herbs, subtle vanilla and tobacco. Flavors are full, richly textured and loaded with cedar and cassis. Paired with Dark Chocolate Cannoli: classic Cannoli stuffed with dark chocolate and coco nibs.

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Mozaic Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar now open in downtown Santa Cruz


Mozaic’s watermelon-feta salad tower with walnuts, Photo by Tara Fatemi Walker

Mozaic’s watermelon-feta salad tower with walnuts, Photo by Tara Fatemi Walker

I was very excited to try Santa Cruz’s newest eatery Mozaic – so excited, in fact, that I dined there at lunchtime Aug. 12—just the second day it was open. It was quite wonderful, and I know it can only get better, so that bodes extremely well for Santa Cruz’s future. I can’t wait to go back; next time I’ll go at dinnertime and try some of the meat dishes (It was a warm day so I was in a lighter mood and ended up ordering all-vegetarian).

Two of Mozaic’s co-owners, Ben Khader and Faisal Nimri, also run Dametra Cafe and Yafa in Carmel and Dametra Fresh Mediterranean in Monterey (opened in December 2014). In December, after a morning expedition to Monterey Bay Aquarium, I went to Dametra Fresh Med and enjoyed a wonderful lunch where I could taste how fresh the ingredients were. That restaurant falls under the fast-casual category; it’s in Del Monte Mall and you order at the counter from a limited menu. It seems designed for affordable-yet-delicious food on the go. The variety of choices, including flavorful sauces, is impressive. Let me add that I was with my mother and my then-three-year-old daughter and it satisfied all three generations.

Back to my Mozaic lunch yesterday in downtown Santa Cruz. A few minutes after sitting down, fresh bread and a pesto dipping sauce were brought over (a few minutes apart—but I didn’t mind; it was their second day and that was the main kink in service). The bread and dip were delicious.

I ordered a few dishes: hearty lentil soup (comforting and satisfying without being too heavy), a vegetarian combo platter with several tasty components, and a watermelon-feta-walnut salad that turned out to be a gorgeous and refreshingly flavored tower. I would recommend all of these dishes. The vegetarian platter included—among other things—spanakopita, falafel, creamy hummus, smoky baba ghanoush, tzatziki, an aioli with a good kick, rice pilaf, and Greek salad.

I also relished the ending of the meal: flaky, moist baklava plus sweet Moroccan tea whose ingredients included fresh mint, green tea, and honey.

Mozaic’s team welcomed my dining companion and I like old friends—and we’d never met. Literally from the moment we stepped foot in the doorway, the staff were incredibly gracious—including our waitress, the busboys, and co-owner Nimri, who was going from table to table making sure everyone had what they needed. It’s obvious that they really care about making people happy. This includes co-owner Jay Dib, who I later realized was the smiling, attentive and enthusiastic man who first greeted us. Mozaic is definitely lucky to have him on the lookout; I feel like Santa Cruz is in for some very good service, not to mention delicious food. Like I said, I can’t wait to go back and try more selections. I noticed lamb shank on the menu, a grilled octopus appetizer, gyros, chicken shawarma, butternut squash ravioli…Wait, what am I doing still writing? See you there!

Location: 110 Church St. off Pacific (former Louie’s Cajun Grill & Clouds location—in fact, a staff member mentioned that Mozaic’s management kept on a bartender that’s “been at the site for 14-15 years and really knows his stuff”)

Hours: Open at 11 a.m. daily, and closing time varies depending on how busy they are. For now, they’re estimating 9ish for weekdays and 11 or midnight on weekends.

More: Contact Mozaic at (831) 454-8663; restaurant web site is coming soon

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Cantine Winepub in Aptos celebrates anniversary with wine, cider, and beer popups

Cantine Winepub, Photo courtesy of Shani Studios

Cantine Winepub, Photo courtesy of Shani Studios

Saturday, August 8, is the one-year anniversary of the opening of Aptos’ Cantine Winepub, and it’s celebrating with a day of special pop-ups with local winemakers, brewers and cider producers.

Owner Jason McKay is very excited about this milestone, as it’s the realization of a lifelong dream for him—one in which he would create a space for people to come together, enjoy great wine and beer, connect, and relax. “It’s been a great first year – being part of the Aptos and Santa Cruz Community,” says McKay.

On Saturday afternoon, attendees can enjoy music from DJ Dustbowl aka Amee Chapman plus wine tasting with Sante Arcangeli. The evening festivities will feature live music by El Quarto Verde, beer tasting with Uncommon Brewers, and cider samples from Reef Points Hard Cider.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cantine, it offers a diverse range of wines, craft beers and artisan foods in a comfortable lounge setting. The winepub traditionally offers six to eight wines on tap, with a featured wine-by-the-glass menu that changes daily. This way, frequent customers always have something new to try on each visit. Recent options have included wines from Alfaro, Kathryn Kennedy, Big Basin, Salmandre, and Force of Nature.

The winepub’s food menu features tapas that are designed for sharing. These are created using seasonal ingredients. Selections may include cheese and charcuterie trays; Kelly’s Bakery focaccia; house-made meatballs in slow-roasted tomato sauce; tortilla Espanola with sherry-braised onions, manchego, and chorizo; marinated kale salad; and roasted beets and fennel with crumbled goat cheese and citrus balsamic dressing.

In addition to wine, there are eight domestic craft brews on tap (Discretion Brewing, Sante Adairus, and more) and over twenty beers, ciders, mead and other beverages by the bottle.

Location: 8050 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 831-612-6191
Hours: Monday 4-9 p.m.,  Tues-Thurs 4–10pm, Fri-Sun noon–10pm
On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz Beer Week 2015: additional events

Folks enjoying themselves at Parish Publick House at Santa Cruz Beer Week 2014. Photo courtesy of Santa Cruz Waves

Folks enjoying themselves at Parish Publick House at Santa Cruz Beer Week 2014.
Photo courtesy of Santa Cruz Waves

As I reported a few days ago, Santa Cruz Beer Week is August 2-9 and there are several restaurant-brewery pairings and other events Aug. 2-7.

Last Sunday’s Assembly/Discretion event featured—as Assembly described it—a “one time only special menu built by, for, and around beer.” Beer-centered starter options included Good Faith & blue cheese fondue with heirloom tomatoes and seeded toast. Main course selections included slow roasted pork, Early Girl tomatoes, padrons, scallions, and Oh black beans; corn cakes with roasted figs, hopped ricotta, cherry tomatoes, and Mickie Malone honey; and lamb sliders with feta, beer mustard, and red onions. Dessert options included bacon waffles with 6th Conversation stewed peaches, crème fraiche, and maple.

See earlier article for details on the California Beer Festival this weekend, including a Friday night competition with food/beer pairings from local chefs and brewers. See below for new details on events Aug. 5-6.

You can also visit the official beer week web site or the Santa Cruz Waves beer week site.

Upcoming Beer Week events

  • Wednesday, August 5, 5 p.m.-close: There will be a “Ten Tap Invasion” at Beer Thirty in Soquel. Firestone Walker and Barrelworks Breweries are the participants. It’s the first time Firestone has released Helldorado—a bourbon and whiskey barrel aged blonde barley wine—outside of their brewery. Event organizers have also promised swag giveaways throughout the night.

Location: 2504 S. Main St., Soquel

  • Thursday, August 6, 5 p.m.-close: This is a collaborative event at Parish Publick House featuring Santa Cruz-based Uncommon Brewers and Santa Cruz Aleworks. There will be food and beer pairings, too.

Location: 841 Almar Ave., Santa Cruz

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz Beer Week 2015 & California Beer Festival

Attendees at a previous California Beer Festival Photo courtesy of Santa Cruz Waves

Attendees at a previous California Beer Festival
Photo courtesy of Santa Cruz Waves

Santa Cruz Beer Week is August 2-9; the finale is the California Beer Festival at Aptos Village Park from Friday, Aug. 7-Sunday, Aug. 9. From Aug. 2-7 there will be a few restaurant-brewery pairings, among other activities. See the official beer week web site or the Santa Cruz Waves special site for details on several events including:

  • August 2, 5:30 p.m.-close: Beers from Discretion Brewing will accompany food at Assembly during a special beer-themed dinner. Santa Cruz Waves hosts the evening, which will include “Summer Fish Fry with Song of My Heart battered cod, shrimp, chickpeas, green beans, and new potatoes plus malt vinegar aioli; mussels with Uncle Dave’s Rye smoked ham hock broth; and buttermilk bran cake with Oh Black Lager ice cream and caramelized bananas.
  • August 3, 5 p.m.-close: There are two events: the first is at The Hophead Public House in Scotts Valley, featuring Lagunitas Brewing Company. The second is “Nubo Brew & BBQ” at New Bohemia Brewing Company on 41st Ave. Surf City Sandwiches will provide BBQ sliders and side dishes. Young & Lowe will perform music from 6-8 p.m.
  • August 7, 5:30-8:30 p.m.: A beer and food pairing competition will be held at Aptos Village Park. Five breweries and five restaurants are competing.

There are also events August 4, 5, and 6.

The official three-day California Beer Festival is at Aptos Village Park Saturday and Sunday, August 8-9. Tickets range from $10 general admission for Sunday (no food or beer included), to $99 for a three-day VIP pass that also includes the Friday night competition. There are several a la carte options. Saturday’s theme is “craft beer heaven” and Sunday it’s the “hamburger and hops music festival” with live music. There is no beer sampling on Sunday (but there is beer and food for sale). That day, kids 12 and under are free.  If you’re interested in attending the festival, see the website for advance tickets.

Saturday hours: 12:30-5 p.m. Beer sampling: 1-4:30 p.m.
There will be more than 85 craft beers on tap, live music, food, and bocce ball.  You must be 21 years of age or older to attend.

Sunday hours: 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Families are encouraged to attend.

Proceeds benefit the Gen Giammanco Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial support to student athletes in Santa Cruz County.

Location: Aptos Village Park, 100 Aptos Creek Rd., Aptos

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz, Capitola, Gilroy, & San Jose food and beer events this weekend

Chef Carla Hall learns how to do a calamari flame-up on Gourmet Alley at the 2014 festival

Chef Carla Hall learns how to do a calamari flame-up on Gourmet Alley at the 2014 festival

There are many food and beer events occurring this weekend in local cities including Santa Cruz, Capitola, San Jose, and Gilroy. Below are details for a few of them, including two that start today.

Friday, July 24-Sunday, July 26: Gilroy Garlic Festival
The annual Gilroy Garlic Festival includes celebrity chef Daphne Oz (from ABC-TV’s “The Chew”), four chefs competing in the garlic cook-off, and lots of food. The garlic cook-off takes place Sunday, July 26, where the contestants face off in front of a live audience. Following that battle, Chef Oz will conduct a cooking demo. And for the first time, the cook-off stage will also feature a “garlic dream wedding” where contest winners/garlic-loving couple Stacy and Tom Davenport will renew their wedding vows.

As always, the festival’s “Gourmet Alley” is open all three days. It features cooking demonstrations and many foods for sale including garlic bread, garlic fries, pasta with pesto, garlic burgers, Italian sausage sandwiches, garlic scampi, and garlic ice cream. There will also be some vendors giving out food samples. These include Primizie and the company’s all-natural Gouda & Garlic crispbreads, which I recently had the chance to sample. I definitely recommend you find their booth at the festival:. the smoked Dutch Gouda and roasted garlic combine to create a flavorful snack which—warning—is a bit addicting.
Parking is free. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. Ticket costs: Adult $20, Children (ages 6-12) & Seniors (60+) $10, Kids under 6 are free.
Location: Christmas Hill Park, Gilroy

Friday, July 24-Saturday, Aug. 1: Silicon Valley Beer Week
This craft beer celebration lasts eight days and includes more than 150 events such as tap takeovers, new release nights, tours, food pairings, parties, seminars, demonstrations, and brewmaster’s dinners. The Silicon Valley Beer Week kickoff party, July 24 from 5-9 p.m., takes place at four different San Jose breweries: Strike Brewing Company (2099 S 10th St #30), Santa Clara Brewing Company (101 E Alma Ave), Hermitage Brewing Company (1627 S 7th St), and Gordon Biersch Brewing Company (357 East Taylor St).
Location: Various bars, restaurants, breweries, etc. in Silicon Valley

Sunday, July 26: Festival del Nopal
At the 6th annual Festival del Nopal, there will be food for sale, music, and an appearance by Ballet Folklorico. Also, there will be a recipe contest and cooking demonstrations with nopales, which are cactus paddles. Admission is free. The market is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and the program runs from noon-6 p.m.
Location: 176 Lincoln St. parking lot, Santa Cruz

Sunday, July 26: Post Wharf-to-Wharf Whole Foods Party
From 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Whole Foods Market Capitola is holding a post-Wharf to Wharf party celebrating the market’s 6th birthday. There will be free samples, a beer garden with 16 featured breweries, a kids’ zone including face painting and activities with June Bugs gym, live music, and free massages. There will also be a BBQ with hot dogs. A portion of beer and BBQ sales benefits the Santa Cruz SPCA. Call (831) 464-2900 for more information.
Location: 1710 41st Ave., Capitola
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National Ice Cream Month in Santa Cruz includes Mission Hill Creamery’s birthday

Ice cream from Mission Hill Creamery, used with permission

Ice cream from Mission Hill Creamery (photo used with permission)

July is National Ice Cream Month, and here in Santa Cruz this coincides with Mission Hill Creamery’s 5th birthday plus a contest where you can win free ice cream for a year.

First, the Mission Hill Creamery news: Dave Kumec founded this wonderful artisan ice cream company in July 2010. To celebrate Mission Hill’s fifth birthday, the downtown shop is offering $1 ice cream scoops from noon to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21. There will also be live music and drawings for Santa Cruz Warriors merchandise. Kumec loves giving back to the community. I asked him to reflect on the last five years. “I feel like the business has become a grown-up,” Kumec shared. “We had some challenges early on, but now we are finding a great groove. It’s all about the team you surround yourself with and our team is fantastic. It’s a fantastic career knowing you make people happy all day long.”

Kumec and Mission Hill started out in the former Front Street Culinary Center, and moved to the current Pacific Avenue site in 2012. They serve a variety of ice creams, desserts, milkshakes, and floats—with local and organic ingredients like Straus organic cream and Santa Cruz County strawberries—plus coffee and espresso, and packed pints. Mission Hill Creamery products are also sold at many Northern California stores and other venues including Whole Foods Market and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Next, here are details for the ice cream contest Downtown Santa Cruz is sponsoring. It’s a coloring contest, and the Ice Cream for a Year prize will be comprised of 50 gift certificates: 10 gift certificates for a scoop, from each of the 5 participating locations. The idea is you get one scoop of ice cream per week, for all but two weeks of the year.

How to play: pick up a coloring sheet at one of Downtown Santa Cruz’s five participating stores: Cold Stone Creamery, Marini’s Candies, Mission Hill Creamery, Pacific Cookie Company and the Penny Ice Creamery. Return your completed coloring sheet to the Info Kiosk in front of New Leaf Market on Pacific Ave. by July 31 and you will be entered in the contest. The winner will be notified by email during the the first week of August.

People are encouraged to follow Downtown Santa Cruz on Facebook and check out the front windows of Palace Art on Pacific Ave. to see featured coloring sheets, and participants are encouraged to post photos of both ice cream treats and coloring sheets on Instagram with the hashtags #downtownsantacruzicecream and #downtownsantacruz.

Location details:
Mission Hill Creamery, 1101B Pacific Ave. near Cathcart
The Penny Ice Creamery, several locations including original downtown branch, 913 Cedar St.
Pacific Cookie Company, two locations including downtown, 1203 Pacific Ave.
Marini’s Candies, two locations including downtown, 1308 Pacific Ave.
Cold Stone Creamery, 1129 Pacific Ave.
New Leaf Market, 1134 Pacific Ave.
Palace Art, 1407 Pacific Ave.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Ben Lomond’s Casa Nostra offers monthly wine dinner

Melanzane alla Parmigiana (Mama’s homemade Eggplant Parmigiana recipe), one of the featured dishes at Casa Nostra’s July wine dinner

Melanzane alla Parmigiana (Mama’s homemade Eggplant Parmigiana recipe), one of the featured dishes at Casa Nostra’s July wine dinner

Italian restaurant Casa Nostra in Ben Lomond is hosting a wine dinner on Tuesday, July 28, from 6-9 p.m. See end of article for menu.

This is part of the restaurant’s wine dinner series. Events are held the last Tuesday of each month. For $65 (excluding tax/gratuity), attendees receive a prix fixe meal with five small plate courses prepared by chef Mario Ibarra, plus wine pairings. Every month, a different local winery and winemakers are featured. This time it’s Santa Cruz-based Rexford Winery. Owners/winemakers Joe and Sam Miller will be present at the dinner. Jazz duo Joe & Paul will be performing.

Contact (831) 609-6132 or juan.garay74@gmail.com for reservations.

After July 28, the next dinner is August 25 with Beauregard Vineyards.

July 28 Menu, featuring Rexford Winery

Creamy Artichoke Croquettes on a bed of mixed greens, with homemade ranch dressing

2013 Rexford Pinot Gris, Santa Cruz Mountains


Orchiette Pollo, with chicken, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccolini, pecorino cheese

2010 Rexford Pinot Noir, Brosseau Vineyard, Chalone

Melanzane alla Parmigiana, Mama’s homemade Eggplant Parmigiana recipe

2013 Rexford Zinfandel, Lodi


Boneless slow-braised short ribs, red wine reduction with carrots, celery, onions & herbs

2012 Rexford Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa Valley


Tiramisu with cocoa nibs & chocolate drizzle

2012 Rexford Zinfandel port-style dessert wine

Casa Nostra is open for lunch and dinner daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and also serves weekend brunch from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.
The Details

Wine Dinner Series, 6-9 p.m. the last Tuesday of each month: next dinner July 28
$65 per person
Ristorante Casa Nostra, 9217 Highway 9, Ben Lomond, (831) 609-6132

Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets Pop-Up Breakfast Series continues Saturday

Bloody Marys from Chef Brad Briske, at the 2014 pop-up breakfast series.  Photo credit: Carolyn Lagatutta

Bloody Marys from Chef Brad Briske, at the 2014 pop-up breakfast series.
Photo credit: Carolyn Lagatutta

The summertime pop-up breakfast series at the Westside Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley farmers markets is in full swing, with the next event this Saturday, July 18 in Scotts Valley. There is limited seating; tickets are $36 and are available for purchase online and at the markets. Different local chefs are featured at each event; this Saturday it’s Kevin Koebel of Local FATT—see menu below.

The August 22 breakfast features chef Mark Denham of Soif Restaurant & Wine Bar, and chef David Jackman of Chocolate is cooking for the September 12 breakfast. Both are at the Westside market; see web site for full menus.

Graduates of Santa Cruz’s Food, What?! youth empowerment program provide service at the events. Upon arrival, attendees choose their seats by placing their own plate and silverware at a space along a u-shaped, family-style table. A local band provides music while guests drink a hot beverage and await the first course. At 10 a.m., plates of seasonal cuisine made with ingredients sourced from the markets begin rolling out. As the guests eat and visit, farmers and chefs share their knowledge and perspective regarding agriculture, community and consumer choice within the food system.

The first summer series occurred in 2013, and it draws more and more fans each year. The 2014 Pop-Up events sold out well in advance. These farm-to-table meals are hosted at the Westside and Scotts Valley Markets between June and September. The June event at the Westside Market featured Kendra Baker and Carlo Espinas of Assembly, the Penny Ice Creamery, and Picnic Basket. As a market spokesperson states, “the goal of these ticketed, outdoor, events is to highlight our rich local agriculture and food artisan community while raising funds for the markets’ public educational programs including the Foodshed Project.” For more information call 831-325-4294 or email education@santacruzfarmersmarket.org.

July 18 Pop-Up Breakfast Menu
• DRY FARMED TOMATO CARPACCIO with collard-whole cream, tarragon savory bread pudding and cherry-balsamic syrup
• CORN BEEF AND HASH TIMBALE shredded roasted potato, slow cooked brisket and spinach
• ROSEMARY EGG FLAN topped with meyer lemon, macerated raw beet and a cilantro-arugula coulis
• FIG AND FENNEL SALAD mint, chevre and strawberry vinegar reduction
• BRAISED GREENS roasted alliums, olive oil and salt
• SWEET FINISH honey-lemon curd with lavender shortbread

Read more about the Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets at santacruzfarmersmarket.org.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Ocean2table hosts Santa Cruz Pescetarian PopUp Dinner

Charlie & Ian grilling up miso sablefish at the first Pescetarian PopUp. Photo courtesy of Ocean2table

Charlie & Ian grilling up miso sablefish at the first Pescetarian PopUp.
Photo courtesy of Ocean2table

Santa Cruz-based Ocean2table is partnering with several other local businesses to host their third Pescetarian PopUp Dinner on Thursday, July 16, at the Food Lounge in downtown Santa Cruz.

Tickets are $50 for the multi-course dinner and there will be a cash bar. Buy tickets online.

Sustainable seafood company Ocean2table is Charlie Lambert and Ian Cole. They started this dinner series with the hope of encouraging community support for local, sustainable food. So far, they have had two successful events, one in April and one in May. Their collaborators for the July 16 dinner are Crescent Farm, Mutari Chocolate, Companion Bakeshop, Squash & Blossom, Creative Cultures, and Ty’s Eatery. The final menu will be set a couple days before the event, but there will be a salad from Crescent, hot chocolate from Mutari, bread from Companion, beet kvass from Creative, and appetizers from Ty’s.

“We see our pop-ups as a chance to meet and bring together people who care about where their food comes from,” says Cole. “There are a lot of great businesses here in Santa Cruz working to bring delicious environmentally conscious food to the table, and I think it makes sense to get us all under one roof to share. We learn a lot from working with other businesses and it’s quite a rush pulling it off!”

Normally, Ocean2table offers very fresh seafood to customers via pick-up or delivery. Those who are email subscribers get notified the day before local fish is available—it depends on what they or other local fishermen catch—and customers must place their orders by a certain deadline, choosing a half share or full share. If you’re on the email list, there is no obligation to purchase anything. I’m an email subscriber and bought a half share of rockfish earlier this year, and it was very succulent and fresh. I even used the recipe they recommended, which was simple and delicious. They always include a link to a recipe with their emails.

For more information visit getocean2table.com.

Details: Thursday, July 16, 2015, 5:30-8:30 p.m., $50

Location: Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.