Restaurants for Easter in Santa Cruz, SF and the Greater Bay Area

Fogo de Chao on Santana Row is serving Easter Brunch

Fogo de Chao on Santana Row is serving Easter Brunch

Dining out for Easter 2014? It’s this coming Sunday; here are some restaurant highlights for Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and the Bay Area.

Santa Cruz Restaurants

The Chaminade offers its annual Easter Brunch Buffet from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; the price is $50.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. Selections include prime rib, honey baked ham with Jack Daniels glaze, rosemary and garlic encrusted lamb leg, a seafood bar with teriyaki salmon, peel and eat prawns, fried calamari and more, omelets made to order, and Belgian waffles. Additional highlights: several salads, fresh berries, chocolate fondue, and a chocolate fountain. There will be Easter egg hunts for the kids at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz,

Johnny’s Harborside
Johnny’s Harborside is offering a special Easter brunch menu from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (last seating at 2:15 p.m.). Dinner service begins at 4 p.m. with a few specials in addition to the regular menu. Easter brunch specials include a variety of Eggs Benedicts (such as a crab cake variation for $16, traditional for $12), a smoked salmon and goat cheese quiche ($14), and a proscuitto omelet with asparagus, hearts of palm, spinach, and housemade dou latte cheese ($14). Call (831) 479-3430 for reservations.
493 Lake Avenue, Santa Cruz,

Hoffman’s is serving brunch until 2:30; dinner is served from 3-9:30. Make reservations via OpenTable or at (831) 420-0135.
1102 Pacific Ave.,

San Francisco Restaurants

A16 will host a festive Easter brunch and dinner featuring an a la carte menu with creations from Chef Chris Thompson and Pastry Chef Candace Rowan. For brunch, A16 will offer dishes such as Ceci Fettucine with braised sugo, fava, and pecorino and Pastiera Napoletana, an Italian cake made of ricotta cheese that hails from Naples. For dinner, guests can choose from menu items like Roasted Leg of Lamb with senise peppers, English peas, and tendrils and Cassata Siciliana, a traditional round sponge cake from Palermo with fruit juice and ricotta cheese. The special brunch offerings will be available in addition to the restaurant’s regular menu. A16 will be open from 11 am to 2:30 pm for lunch and 5-10 pm for dinner.  For more information on A16 San Francisco or to make reservations, visit or call 415.771.2216.

CHAYA Brasserie
This Easter, celebrate the holiday on the water at the Embarcadero gem, CHAYA Brasserie. Offering a special menus like the young adults’ menu for $15 and the 3-course menu for $42, CHAYA will feature dishes such as  Smoked Trout and Crispy Potato with crème fraiche, ikura, and shiso salsa verde; Castelle French Toast with caramelized banana, almonds, and fresh fruits; and Five Spiced Duck Confit Hash with piquillo peppers, red onions, and fried duck egg. For an additional $12, guests can enjoy bottomless champagne or mimosas. Reservations can be made by calling 415.777.8688 or visiting

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Top of the Mark Executive Chef Nenad Stefanovic presents the annual Easter buffet on Sunday, April 20. In additional to the views to be had from the legendary sky lounge, guests will enjoy a selection of raw bar items, antipasto, salad, and small plates including Almond cucumber gazpacho and Roasted Wild Mushroom with crostini and basil oil. Entrée selections include Alaskan Halibut with caramelized fennel, fire roasted peppers and citrus beurre blanc; Kurabota Pork Loin with Brussels sprouts and whole grain mustard sauce; and Saffron Couscous with spring vegetables and parmesan broth. Brunch favorites can be had at the omelet station and a build-your-own buttermilk waffle station. Guests of Top of the Mark’s Easter brunch will enjoy limitless mimosas, entertainment by pianist Michael Athens, and a special visit from the Easter Bunny. Reservations can be made by calling InterContinental Mark Hopkins: 415.392.3434.  Easter brunch is served from 10am – 2pm; Adults are $109 and children between the ages of four and 12 are $59. Visit

Join Silverado Resort & Spa for their spectacular Easter Sunday Brunch Buffet from 10:30 am-2:30 pm with a menu designed and prepared by acclaimed Executive Chef Jeffrey Jake and his team. Traditional brunch selections include hand-carved gently roasted meats, lavish hot & cold displays and an array of decadent desserts for $60 per adult and $25 per child (ages 4-9).

Los Gatos
Visit award-winning Dio Deka for an Easter filled with traditional Greek favorites seasoned with California technique from Chef Jeff Fitzgerald. Weather permitting, seating will be available in the restaurant’s beautiful outdoor patio as well as in the dining room. The à la carte brunch menu will feature dishes such as Keftethakia, lamb meatballs with blistered grapes, kalamansi yogurt and a light herb-broth ($13); Zambonopita, a crispy puff-pastry stuffed with smoked ham, green onion, feta, kasseri and ricotta cheeses ($16); Plevrakia, slow-cooked pork ribs rubbed with Greek spices, Attiki honey and lemon glaze, and sour cherries with ouzo ($15); and Cinnamon “Greek” Toast with whipped vanilla butter and maple syrup ($14). Brunch will be available from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 408-354-7700. Regular dinner service will resume that evening.

San Jose
Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse in San Jose will offer a lively and elegant dining alternative – a Brazilian twist on Easter brunch. The Easter Sunday menu will feature the restaurant’s extensive variety of fire-roasted meats that are specially carved to each guest’s preference. Diners can enjoy selections such as the house specialty picanha sirloin, filet mignon, ribeye, lamb chops, chicken wrapped in bacon, and pork ribs, to name a few, or try the newly-introduced lighter seafood selection. Additionally, Fogo offers a gourmet salad and sides bar with an abundance of choices, and Southern Brazilian side dishes such as pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, and caramelized bananas are served family style. A tempting dessert menu, creative and classic cocktails, and an award-winning wine list complement the dining experience. Lunch is served from 11:30am – 3:00pm and dinner is served 4:00pm – 9:00pm on Easter Sunday. Price: $51.50 (salad bar only – $26.50); kids 6 and under are complimentary. Children 7 to 12 are half price.

Palo Alto
The Sea by Alexander Steakhouse located in Palo Alto offers a special three-course pix fixe brunch menu for Easter Sunday. Tuna tartare, lobster scrambled eggs, scallops and New York steak are just a few of the selections on this lavish menu prepared by Executive Chef Yu Min Lin. Three courses for $45, and other items a la carte. From 10:30am – 1:30pm. Reservations: (650) 213-1111.
On Sunday, April 20, 2014 Restaurant 1833 will open early and host a special Easter Brunch from 10:30-2:30 with a three-course menu for $50. Located in the historic California landmark, the Stokes Adobe house, guests can enjoy dishes from New Executive Chef Abby Burk with selections such as Smoked White Sturgeon Tartine with pumpernickel bread, pickled red onions, capers, and cream cheese; Lemon and Ricotta Waffles topped with marinated berries and whipped cream; Slow Roasted Spring Lamb Rachetta with feta, black olives, tomato confit, bread salad, and rosemary jus; and Mignardise Board of marshmallow peeps, raspberry jellies, chocolate mendiants, and pistachio financier. As always, available for a $6 add on are 1833’s infamous Bacon Biscuits served with a sausage gravy. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made with a credit card through Open Table or by calling (831) 643-1833.

East Bay
A16 Rockridge

Celebrating its first Easter in Oakland, A16 Rockridge will offer special brunch and dinner offerings by Chef Rocky Maselli. For brunch, guests can choose from an a la carte menu with dishes such as Crespelle with rhubarb compote and whipped cream fraiche and candied almonds and Capunti with lamb heart sugo, gava beans, and pecorino reserva. For dinner, the a la carte menu will feature savory dishes such as Verdetto, Easter Lamb with egg, snap peas, pea greens, and grana padano and a special dessert of Pastiera Napoletana with cinnamon, gelato, and orange caramel. An Easter-inspired libation will be available for the holiday as well. The Carrot Top features Boyd + Blair vodka, carrot, grapefruit, and lemon juice with ginger syrup and garnished with festive carrot fronds.  A16 Rockridge will be open from 11 am to 9 pm and switch from its dinner menu at 4 pm.  For more information or to make reservations, visit or call 510.768.8003.

This Easter Sunday, join Bocanova for two special dishes: A 7-hour leg of lamb Oaxacan-style with beans and tomatillo salsa and a Dungeness Crab Benedict for brunch. Visit

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Santa Cruz & Monterey County food & wine events this weekend

A scene from Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2010

A scene from Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2010

There are many food and wine events occurring this weekend in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, beginning Thurs. April 10, 2014. Here are a few highlights.

7th Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine Fest April 10-13
The four-day culinary extravaganza is renowned for drawing top talent. This year’s chefs include Tracy Des Jardins, Hubert Keller, Cindy Pawlcyn, Masahuru Morimoto, Charles Phan, Jonathan Waxman, and Peter Armellino. Past participants have included Jacques Pepin, Eric Ripert, and Charlie Trotter. There are gourmet lunches and dinners, grand tastings featuring wine and food, regular and reserve wine tastings, and celebrity chef cooking demos by Carla Hall, Tyler Florence, and others.  Events are held at multiple venues including The Inn at Spanish Bay and The Lodge at Pebble Beach.
The Inn at Spanish Bay is at 2700 17 Mile Drive. For details go to or call 866-907-3663.

9th annual Pinot Paradise April 11-13
Pinot lovers are invited to the event of the season featuring Santa Cruz Mountains wineries, with a Grand Tasting on Sunday, April 13th. There will be 30 winemakers from the Santa Cruz Mountains including Felton’s Hallcrest which will feature the 2012 Santa Cruz Mountains, Barrel Select ($52) and the 2012 Santa Cruz Mountains, Reserve ($64), both of which are made from Pinot Noir grown in Santa Cruz Mountains vineyards. Tickets: VIP Grand Tasting $100, from 12pm-5pm. General Admission Grand Tasting $85, from 2pm- 5pm. Many wineries host events and tastings from April 11-13, including a multi-winery event held at Alfaro from 12-5pm Sat April 12 with Trout Gulch, Lester, Schultze, and more. Visit

Santa Cruz Dim Sum dinner with tea pairings April 12
Chef Andrea of Lifestyle Culinary Arts and Chef Noah of Hidden Peak Teahouse collaborate for a unique dinner with handmade dim sum, tea pairings, and family-style dining. I’ve had food from both chefs and highly recommend this event! It’s at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, at Front Street Kitchen, 504-A Front Street in downtown Santa Cruz. It’s $48 per person and advance reservations are mandatory; as of press time there were a few spots left. Contact Andrea 831-588-4515 or

Monterey Chocolate Salon in Carmel April 12
The 1st annual Monterey Chocolate Salon is 11am-5pm. Saturday at the Sunset Cultural Center. Approximately  20 vendors include chocolatiers and confectioners such as Amano Artisan Chocolate, The Tea Room Chocolate Company, and Marich Confectionery, and wineries including Rosa d’Oro Vineyards. Visitors can enjoy chocolate tastings, chef and author talks, more. Advance tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for kids, and give attendees a specific time to enter the salon. Ticket prices include chocolate tastings.
Sunset Cultural Center is on San Carlos Street at 9th Avenue. For details, go to

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Green Mountain offers Island Coconut Coffee as a springtime treat

Seasonal Island Coconut Green Mountain Coffee

Seasonal Island Coconut Green Mountain Coffee

The first day of spring was March 20, and just four days later Green Mountain Coffee released its newest seasonal coffee: Island Coconut. Available only for a limited time, it comes in K-cup packs and in bags. I had the opportunity to sample it for free—as a K-cup—and it’s mild and smooth. The exotic flavors are slightly sweet yet fairly subtle. In fact, I am NOT a huge coconut lover, yet I enjoyed this! It’s a light roast, and there are no bitter notes.

Like all of Green Mountain’s seasonal varieties, Island Coconut is Fair Trade Certified™. Fair Trade certification gives farmers a fair price for their beans with a guaranteed minimum, which means they can invest in their crops and their communities. In 2000, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters became one of the first roasters in the US to offer Fair Trade Certified™ coffees, and in 2012, the company was named the world’s largest purchaser of Fair Trade Certified™ coffee by Fair Trade USA for the third consecutive year.

Don’t yet have your own K-cup machine? Keurig’s Elite brewer works fast and makes great coffee, and it comes in Coconut White if you want to keep up the tropical theme inspired by Green Mountain’s Island Coconut coffee. Actually, I happened to notice on the Keurig web site that it’s on sale through 4/17, for $100 (discounted from $120) — I checked the Green Mountain site and it is offering the same deal. On both sites, there’s also a “mini” system on sale for $80 from $100.

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Date Night Santa Cruz expands to 14 restaurants in Aptos and Santa Cruz

Food from Aptos restaurant Au Midi, a participant in Date Night Santa Cruz

Food from Aptos restaurant Au Midi, a participant in Date Night Santa Cruz

Date Night Santa Cruz is a unique dinner-and-a-movie program that began last December, and it just expanded big-time. “In the short three months since launch, the program has gone way above and beyond our initial expectations,” says Ike Jablon, Director of Marketing & Special Events for Nickelodeon Theatres—which also encompasses the Del Mar & Aptos Cinema. “To celebrate, we’re adding nine new restaurants into the mix to make the perfect Date Night for just about anyone!”

Yesterday the number of restaurants involved increased to 14—great news for the local community! Here’s the skinny: customers buy a $50 product that includes dinner and a movie for two. The tickets can be redeemed any Monday through Thursday evening, except holidays and special events. When you purchase your Date Night package, you select which restaurant you are buying a ticket for (they are mostly in Santa Cruz, plus a couple in Aptos), but you can decide later which movie theatre you’re going to of the three in the “Nick Family.” Each restaurant gives customers a certain value to spend on dinner–usually $50. For more information, see the Nick’s Date Night web site.

Jablon created the program in partnership with The Downtown Association, and he is thrilled that so many restaurants have decided to collaborate. These include family-run French bistro Au Midi in Aptos, a perfect stop if you’re headed to Aptos Cinema. Michel Loubiere of Au Midi explains why he and his wife Muriel—the restaurant’s chef—joined the program: “I thought it was a good idea to promote the idea of going out at night and having a more cosmopolitan feel,” he says. “Dinner and a movie kind of remind me of a prix fixe dinner theater you can have in New York. I am happy to be part of it!”

More details:
Tickets for “Date Night Santa Cruz” all cost $50 regardless of the restaurant, and can be purchased at any of the partner restaurants or at the box offices for The Nick, Del Mar Theatre or Aptos Cinema.

Participating restaurants (in alphabetical order)
Au Midi
Café Rio
Café Sparrow
515 Kitchen & Cocktails
Louie’s Cajun Kitchen & Bourbon Bar

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Celebrate National Peanut Month with sweet recipes

Celebrate National Peanut Month by baking Peanut Butter & Banana Crescents

Celebrate National Peanut Month by baking Peanut Butter & Banana Crescents

One way to celebrate National Peanut Month during March: bake up a treat that includes peanut butter! Of course, there are lots and lots of recipes out there. There are some on the National Peanut Board web site, including a link to a fancy dessert recipe via Bon Appetit: peanut dacquoise with peanut butter mousse. With elements like meringue, be prepared to spend some time and effort.

For those who want a fast, easy recipe, here is a quick one that calls for only five ingredients.  This dish is from the Pillsbury web site. Some of the bakers who tried the recipe shared comments. These include the fact it makes a good after-school snack, it’s easy to do variations, and it also works for any “Elvis-themed” parties since the famous singer reportedly loved peanut butter and  banana sandwiches.


1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls OR 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet

½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 medium banana, sliced (1 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon roasted salted sunflower nuts or sesame seeds

1. Separate or cut dough into 4 long rectangles (if using crescent rolls, press perforations to seal). Cut each rectangle in half; press into 3 1/2-inch squares.
Spoon peanut butter in center of each square; top with 2-3 banana slices. Fold dough over filling; press edges with fork to seal. Brush with egg; sprinkle with sunflower nuts.
Bake at 375°F 12 to 16 minutes.

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Santa Cruz restaurant news highlights

spinning plates food

Photo caption: Tasty food at the Spinning Plates event, prepared by Chef Carlo Espinas
Photo credit: Farnaz Fatemi

Some of this is newer restaurant news for the Santa Cruz area, and some older, but I thought it was all worth sharing!

The highly anticipated restaurant Assembly opened March 11 on Pacific Ave. — read my article about Executive Chef Carlo Espinas moving here from San Francisco. A couple dishes already being raved about are slow-cooked chicken leg with house-made chorizo, artichokes, white beans, and green olive relish ($15), and root vegetables with cumin, sunflower seeds, and wonderful Garden Variety sheep’s milk cheese from local Monkeyflower Ranch ($8). I haven’t been to the restaurant yet, but I got to sample Chef Espinas’ food at the Spinning Plates event in February. Everything was both delicious and beautiful, including a skewer of pickled quail egg, roasted beet, and brussels sprout, and a dish featuring braised chickpeas, artichoke, green garlic, and pecorino.  Assembly is currently open from 11am-10pm Tues-Thurs and Sun, and until 11pm Fri-Sat.  Starting March 22, it will open at 9am Sat-Sun for brunch.

The downtown location of Pizza My Heart, which coincidentally is on the same block as Assembly, underwent an expansion recently and it looks great. I was downtown last night for the Steve Martin show at the Civic, and lots of people were waiting in line at the popular pizza place for some quick dinner. I look forward to trying out a meal at PMH’s bigger space in the near future.

Santa Cruz harbor restaurant The Crow’s Nest has some great Mon-Thurs specials, valid at both lunch and dinner, and they’re ending Thursday, March 20 — although the “Deal With a View” dinner special, served only in the upstairs bar, is a favorite of mine and valid through May 22. Back to the main downstairs restaurant weekday specials: the Monday special is Filet Mignon, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, all-you-can-eat salad bar, and a glass of wine or martini for only $19.69. The Tuesday special is a lobster tail, vegetable, rice pilaf and all-you-can-eat salad bar for $19.69. For Wed-Thurs specials and other info, see the restaurant’s web site and look for seasonal specials.

Fans of family-run, top-notch Lillian’s Italian Kitchen in mid-town Santa Cruz may remember that the restaurant used to serve lunch Tuesdays-Fridays, and then it stopped this service. Like many others, I was saddened by this change. I recently discovered that the Tuesday-Friday lunch service is back: thank you, Moreno family, for listening to what your customers wanted!

Last November, I ate lunch at the (then-recently-opened) casual restaurant Mission St BBQ, which took over the former Mamma Lucia location. I definitely enjoyed my moist and tender spicy pork sandwich and side of coleslaw, and the restaurant was packed on a weekday. It had been open about a week at that point. When I drove past it at lunchtime during a couple recent weekdays, I notice it’s still drawing many customers. The restaurant now offers a weekly Wed. night Pint Night featuring draft beer specials.

Finally, I tried the new Westside Santa Cruz restaurant Your Place for a weekday brunch last month, and I was quite disappointed. It’s located in the former La Mission spot. My tofu scramble didn’t have enough tofu in it, but the vegetables were pretty good. My daughter’s pancakes were ok, but my husband’s chicken fried steak was terrible. The side of bacon we all shared was the one bright spot; it was flavorful and cooked well.

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Peet’s Coffee and Tea adds fresh food including healthy salads and sandwiches


Turkey sandwich and quinoa salad among new fresh food options at Peet's Coffee and Tea

Turkey sandwich and quinoa salad among new fresh food options at Peet’s Coffee and Tea

Peet’s Coffee and Tea recently added a full line of healthy, fresh salads, snacks and sandwiches to its 126 Northern California stores, including the Bay Area, Santa Cruz, Capitola, and Monterey. The line includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options (see below for selections). Food is made locally and delivered daily.

The “Fresh Grab & Go” menu was developed in partnership with Bay Area chef Arnold Eric Wong and his local bakery Raison d’être. The chef’s career has included highly acclaimed restaurants such as EOS Restaurant and Wine Bar (Wong’s first restaurant), Café Kati, and E&O Trading Company. “I’m thrilled to be working with Peet’s as they share my deep passion to quality, freshness and using the finest ingredients. And, it’s important that we give Peet’s fans a locally sourced, artisanal food experience that matches the quality of their coffee,” said Chef Wong. “We have carefully crafted these recipes to be health conscious and flavorful, and are making them right here in the kitchen at Raison d’être.”

I haven’t had the opportunity to sample the new menu yet, but with condiments like pumpkin seed pesto aioli and combinations like beluga lentils and Greek feta, I can’t wait to taste a couple items next time I visit Peet’s!

Menu highlights:

Herb Roasted Turkey Sandwich ($6.95): Made with turkey that is slow cooked and complemented with Monterey jack cheese and a homemade pumpkin seed pesto aioli.
Applewood Smoked Ham Sandwich ($6.95): Aromatic applewood smoked ham, Swiss cheese and homemade roasted garlic aioli.
Super Greens & Kale Salad ($6.95): A healthy assortment of kale, greens and fresh Greek feta paired with fig balsamic vinaigrette.
Black Lentil Salad ($4.95):  Fresh black beluga lentils, sweet Greek feta with a tangy red wine vinaigrette.
Quinoa Salad ($4.95): A delicious combination of rainbow quinoa, chickpeas, roasted red peppers and herb vinaigrette.
Fruit Bowl ($4.95): An assortment of fresh, seasonal fruit with an emphasis on berries.
Cheese and Fruit Box ($5.95): Aged Dubliner Irish cheddar, Monterey pepper jack and Danish brie with crisp apples, roasted almonds and organic rice crackers.
Hummus & Carrots ($2.95): Flavorful house made hummus with fresh carrot chips

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

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Eat at Scopazzi’s in Boulder Creek and benefit Hospice of Santa Cruz County

Scopazzi's in Boulder Creek

Scopazzi’s in Boulder Creek

Later this month, you can benefit Hospice of Santa Cruz County while eating Italian food at the popular Boulder Creek restaurant Scopazzi’s. Whether or not you attend the event, you can buy raffle tickets that also benefit Hospice (see end of article for raffle details).

The 16th Annual Dining for Hospice is Wed. Mar. 19 from 4 p.m. onward. Scopazzi’s is donating a generous portion of dinner proceeds to support Hospice programs. This event does sell out; make reservations at (831) 338-4444.

Adrienne Meier, Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s Associate Director of Development, experienced Dining for Hospice at Scopazzi’s for the first time in 2013, and highly recommends it. “Last year’s dinner pleased my palate and delighted me so much that I doubled my reservation this year to a party of eight!”

Meier emphasizes that the event is a San Lorenzo Valley institution. “Beginning over 16 years ago, it’s a true tradition for many families and community members. It pretty much feels like you are coming back to your soul roots of authenticity and tradition, while at the same time feasting on some of the most delicious food in San Lorenzo Valley,” she says. “The bonus is that this memorable dining experience helps to support the many programs that Hospice of Santa Cruz County offers the entire community. A true win-win for all that attend.”

Scopazzi’s is known for old-school Italian cuisine. Customer favorites include fried calamari, fettucini alfredo, spaghetti bolognese, eggplant parmigiana, linguine and clams, Caesar salad for two, and bananas foster for two.


  • A raffle will be held during dinner, but you don’t need to be present to win.
  • To purchase tickets in advance, contact Adrienne Meier at or (831) 430-3066.
  • Choose which of 4 prize packages you want to buy tickets for.
  • Tickets are 1 for $5, 5 for $20, 10 for $40, or the “Sweet Ticket Special” is 15 for $60 and includes a bag of homemade “Lucky Mountain Crunch” candy.

Two Cher Concert Tickets (San Jose – July 2nd) and a dozen of Cher’s concert Merchandise items! ($400 value)
This raffle helps to support: Hospice of Santa Cruz County Charity Care

The next 3 raffles are each worth between $250-300:

“My Pet Companion Package” from Pet Pals of Santa Cruz County.
This raffle helps to support: Hospice of Santa Cruz County Pet Companion Program

“My Great Outdoor Package”
from Scarborough Lumber
This raffle helps to support: Hospice of Santa Cruz County Children & Teen Grief Support Camp

“Military Surplus Package” from J&S Surplus and Outdoor Store in Moss Landing
This raffle helps to support: Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s “We Honor Veterans” program

Unfamiliar with Hospice of Santa Cruz County? It’s the oldest and only non-profit hospice serving Santa Cruz and northern Monterey counties. The organization provides compassionate care while “recognizing that individuals and families are the guiding force in their own end-of-life experience.” With hospice care, a trained and experienced professional team of professionals provides support to an individual or family and their loved one who is seriously ill. This can happen either in a private home, or in nursing homes and residential care facilities. Read more, or call (831) 430-3000.
Event location: Scopazzi’s Restaurant & Lounge, 13300 Big Basin Hwy, Boulder Creek

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Santa Cruz’s Chaminade celebrates crab season with decadent Crab Feast

A scene from a past culinary event at Chaminade

A scene from a past culinary event at Chaminade

The always-enjoyable Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz is hosting a Crab Feast on Saturday, March 22 from 5–9 p.m. The cost is $55 for adults, $17.95 for kids 6-16, and free for kids 5 and under. Reservations are required; call (831) 475-5600 or visit OpenTable.

The event takes place on Chaminade’s Sunset Patio, offering a great view. For the price of admission, each person receives one whole Dungeness crab plus lots of other food: there will be a buffet with all-you-can-eat crab legs (and house-made herbed garlic butter), roasted chicken with linguini, roasted artichokes with aioli, house-made French bread, Caesar salad, and petit fours.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. From 5-6, guests can purchase drinks, mingle, choose their seats, and enjoy the sunset. Dinner will be available from 6-9.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to taste Executive Chef Kirsten Ponza’s food yet, I highly recommend it! Chef Kirsten was promoted to Executive Chef in October 2013, after being named Executive Sous Chef in September 2012. She first joined Chaminade in 2003 as Pastry Chef, but in 2004 she left to take advantage of a unique opportunity: being a Tour Chef for rock band The Rolling Stones! A couple years later, she was back at Chaminade and—with her hard work and creativity—has been rising in the ranks ever since.

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The Details
Crab Feast
Saturday March 22, 2014 from 5-9 p.m.
Chaminade Resort, One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz 95065
(831) 475-5600 or
$55 for adults; $17.95 kids 6-16

Organic ice cream at Mission Hill Creamery benefits Santa Cruz schools

Eat ice cream to benefit Santa Cruz City Schools

Eat ice cream to benefit Santa Cruz City Schools

Mission Hill Creamery’s Scoop Shop and Dessert Café invites the community to eat ice cream on Tuesdays to benefit Santa Cruz schools. There are eight Tuesday benefits over the next couple months; the first one was this week (on Feb. 25, 2014 to be exact).

This is the 2nd annual “Scoops for Schools” event, and it’s a fundraising partnership between Mission Hill Creamery (MHC) and the Santa Cruz Education Foundation. On select Tuesdays through April 29, MHC owner Dave Kumec will donate 10% of all sales towards supporting an individual Santa Cruz City School. Feb. 25 sales benefited Gault Elementary School.

The yummy ice cream that Kumec creates includes flavors such as Salted Caramel, Maple Candied Bacon, Mint Chocolate Confetti, Dulce de Leche, Turkish Coffee, Orange Creamsicle, and Mango. Rotating flavors are often posted on the MHC Facebook page.

MHC ice cream can also be found around town at many grocery stores, and the restaurant Chocolate on Pacific recently added a Salted Caramel Sundae with MHC ice cream to its menu.

Beneficiary schools & dates:

  • March 4 Branciforte Middle School
  • March 11 Santa Cruz High School
  • March 18 Branciforte Small Schools
  • April 8 Harbor High School
  • April 15 Bayview Elementary School
  • April 22 Westlake Elementary School
  • April 29 Mission Hill Middle School

Location: 1101B Pacific Avenue near Cathcart, next to Taqueria Vallarta and across the street from Kianti’s.
Hours: 12-10pm Sun-Thurs, 12-11 pm Fri-Sat

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