Category Archives: Wine

Hyatt Carmel Highlands features divine dinner options

Almond yogurt with root vegetables at California Market at Pacific's Edge. Photo courtesy of Hyatt Carmel Highlands

Almond yogurt with root vegetables at California Market at Pacific’s Edge. Photo courtesy of Hyatt Carmel Highlands

In early March, I visited the Hyatt Carmel Highlands and ate dinner at California Market at Pacific’s Edge for the first time, and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. From the service, to the food, to the views—everything combined to make an incredible, enjoyable experience that I’ll remember for a very long time.

 

Soon after my husband and I sat down, our server David greeted us. He was extremely attentive for the next two hours, and I appreciated his down to earth nature and his enthusiasm and knowledge about the menu offerings.

 

We began with an appetizer, which was almond yogurt mixed with roasted root vegetables and pistachio granola. This is offered a la carte or as course one of the four-course plant based tasting menu ($50, or $80 with wine pairings, the menu rotates every six weeks or so).

I would not have ordered this dish without the waiter’s recommendation, and wow would I have missed out! Delightful, surprising tastes and textures…when I think of yogurt and granola, that sounds like a breakfast item. This worked beautifully as a light, unusual beginning to dinner.

 

We got the honor of meeting sous chef Pancho Castellon that night. He joined the Hyatt in April 2016, and he is vegan. “It was (executive chef) Chad Minton’s idea to create a plant-based tasting menu in order to enforce sustainability and to show people that you can still enjoy a full diner without the need of animal proteins,” says Castellon, who helped launch the menu last September.

 

As I talked to chef Pancho about watching some diners try vegan food for the first time, his eyes lit up with enthusiasm. He also became very animated when discussing the great ingredients the restaurant gets from various sources, including all the wonderful local produce. “I find this very inspiring, and love building relationships with our farmers and producers.”

 

We followed the first appetizer with an octopus starter that was extremely tender and flavorful. The fish is first done as a confit at a very low heat with California extra virgin olive oil. After the confit process, the octopus is chilled and then finished in the plancha. “Then we add some black garlic emulsion and new potatoes,” shares Castellon. There was also a kalamata olive aioli on the plate and I could have eaten a whole cup of this sauce.

 

One of our favorite dishes that night was Tom Yum soup, which included coconut squash broth plus strong lemongrass and kaffir lime flavors. Chef Pancho shared his inspiration for creating this: “I have always liked Thai coconut soup and was trying to find a way to make it less Thai and more ‘California/Pacific like’. It was also perfect for our winter menu. That is why we made the soup using local squash as a base, seasonal vegetables and some of the local foraged mushrooms Far West Fungi brings us.” The restaurant confits the mushrooms to give them a ham-like texture, which we noticed and enjoyed. Indeed, my husband—a devout meat-eater eating vegan soup—wanted to lick his bowl clean, but resisted.

 

California Market at Pacific’s Edge regularly uses Far West Fungi in Moss Landing for mushrooms (both wild and harvested), and receives other ingredients like huckleberries on occasion if these have also been foraged. A majority of the other produce used in the menu comes from a 50-mile radius, including Coke Farm, Brian’s Ranch, Mariquita Farms, Happy Boy Farms, and Swank Farms.

 

All of California Market’s menus, curated by executive chef Minton, feature a California map that points out local producers, such as Bellwether Farms Creamery in Sonoma and Monterey Abalone Company in Monterey. The restaurant also follows the guidelines of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and serves cage- and GMO-free eggs in its dishes.

 

Two entrees that stood out were scallops and tuna. The meaty, fresh scallops were served with gorgeous heirloom cauliflower and a to-die-for Romesco sauce. I noticed that the plant-based tasting menu’s third course was a vegan version of the same dish. The main difference was utilizing king trumpet mushrooms instead of scallops. “I really wanted something on the tasting menu that represents our regular menu, so I asked our mushroom guys if they could grow some big king trumpet mushrooms for us so I could cut the stems in scallop shapes,” said Castellon. “Then I smoked them with hickory, compressed them with kombu, and seared them like a regular scallop.” Castellon says that some couples have ordered both the vegan ones and the regular ones and it’s actually kind of hard to notice the difference in the plated dish.

 

The tuna dish was served with beer-battered avocado (so fun and tasty!), jicama cucumber salad, pistachio vinaigrette and piquillo pepper emulsion. The flavors and textures worked together beautifully.

 

Finally, for dessert, we devoured a heavenly chocolate hazelnut tart (I emphasize “devoured” because we thought we were quite full, but it was too good not to finish). Available on both the regular and tasting menus, it was served with burnt marshmallow, wild huckleberry granite (with berries from Far West Fungi) and whipped coconut cream. One day Castellon was at home reading some cookbooks, brainstorming ideas for a new menu. His wife Kika, who he describes as a “hardcore vegan,” came out of the kitchen with S’mores that she made using vegan “nutella” and dandies (vegan marshmallows). “I was up all night trying to figure out how to make it happen on the tasting menu. The next day I met with our pastry cook Kasala and started working on the recipe—and it’s vegan, gluten-free and almost sugar free.”

 

I highly recommend you have a meal as soon as possible at California Market at Pacific’s Edge. Since the hotel is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, there are a few opportunities for trying the food at special events as well. One is the “Forks.Corks.Action!” Winemaker series in the Wine Room, where attendees will meet the winemakers and enjoy a four-course dinner with wine paired with each course. During the series, winemakers will discuss the history, culture and qualities of the featured wines from Monterey and Santa Cruz County that will accompany chef Minton’s seasonal, locally sourced and plant-based menus.

 

There will be three Winemakers Dinners in 2017:

 

  • Thursday, April 27 — In honor of Earth Day held annually April 22, this will be a plant based four course winemaker’s dinner with Pierce Ranch Vineyards, which will be showcasing their sustainable wines  ($120 inclusive per person). The menu includes a second course of caramelized morel risotto featuring asparagus and macadamia nuts.

 

  • Thursday, Sept. 28 — In honor of California Wine Month, California Market at Pacific’s Edge is teaming up with DeTierra Wines and the National Steinbeck Center for a benefit dinner.  Learn about DeTierra wines and their connection to John Steinbeck.  Listen to Steinbeck Scholar Susan Shillinglaw talk about John Steinbeck while enjoying a four-course wine pairing meal  ($140 inclusive per person/$20 from each ticket benefits the National Steinbeck Center)

 

  • Thursday, November 9 – Details to be announced

 

Curious about the restaurant’s name? The hotel used to have two restaurants, casual bistro California Market and fine dining Pacific’s Edge, but they merged them into a new and improved venue in January. The restaurant underwent welcome renovations including an 870-square-foot deck with a louvered roof and glass-panel walls.

 

Details:

Hyatt Carmel Highlands, Overlooking Big Sur Coast

120 Highland Drive, Carmel

highlandsinn.hyatt.com or 831-620-1234

 

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Annual crab feed Saturday at Saratoga’s Mountain Winery

crab feed photo

Cold and hot crab, plus sauces, at the 2015 Mountain Winery crab feed. Credit: Mountain Winery

The Mountain Winery in Saratoga is offering its popular annual all-you-can-eat crab feed on Saturay, January 28. The cost is $105 for adults, $55 for kids 3-11, and free for kids under 3. Advance online ticket purchase is required. Parking is free.

The event takes place at the winery’s Historic Winery Building. Tickets include fresh local crab (choice of cold and/or hot) plus pasta, garlic bread, salad, and dessert. Beverages will be sold separately, and gratuity is not included. When buying tickets, attendees can choose a 4, 4:30 5, 5:30 or 6 p.m. seating. But that doesn’t mean you only have a half-hour or hour to eat. You can choose to have a quick meal or linger for a couple hours. The separate seatings and staggered arrival times are for the purpose of eliminating long lines.

I tremendously enjoyed this event in 2015 and 2016; in 2016, the winery brought in crab from Oregon due to the seafood being unavailable in the Monterey Bay area. How wonderful that local crab is back!

The Details

Crab Feed

Saturday Jan. 28, 4-8 p.m.

Mountain Winery, 14831 Pierce Rd., Saratoga

$105 for adults; $55 for kids 3-11

 

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Inauguration day Planned Parenthood benefits in Santa Cruz

Equinox Winery is one of many California businesses donating a portion of proceeds on Inauguration Day to Planned Parenthood

Equinox Winery is one of many California businesses donating a portion of proceeds on Inauguration Day to Planned Parenthood. Photo credit: Equinox Facebook page

To coincide with Inauguration Day, today and tomorrow Friday and Saturday Jan. 20 and 21, companies across California including ones in Santa Cruz are showing their support for Planned Parenthood by donating sales proceeds and making other contributions to the reproductive health care organization. There are also a variety of businesses donating to other worthy causes like immigrants’ rights. See highlights below.

  • Downtown Santa Cruz’s Soif Wine Bar and Restaurant has announced it will donate company sales from Jan. 20 to Planned Parenthood. Hours today are 5-10 p.m.
  • Equinox and Bartolo Winery and Tasting Room in Westside Santa Cruz will donate 20% of profits from today to Planned Parenthood’s Santa Cruz chapter. Hours are 2-7 p.m.; they are staying open an extra hour for this fundraiser.
  • Fish Princess Farm is donating 20% of all purchases through Sunday, Jan. 22, to Planned Parenthood. They are open today from noon-6 p.m. Customers can select which chapter when they make their purchase. Fish Princess produces goat milk soap, chicken eggs, cut flowers and fresh produce; its downtown retail shop stocks soaps, lotions, edible treats (like Ashby Confections) and other goodies.
  • Chocolate the Restaurant will donate 20% of sales today to Planned Parenthood. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Pacific Cookie Company is donating 20% of sales from noon-5 p.m. tomorrow, Sat. Jan. 21, to PP.
  • Discretion Brewing is donating 20% of pint sales today to the Santa Cruz County Immigration Project (SSCIP), a program of the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

 

Details:

Soif Restaurant & Wine Bar, 105 Walnut Ave., 831-423-2020

Equinox & Bartolo Winery & Tasting Room, 334 Ingalls St., 831-471-8608

Fish Princess Farm, 109 Locust St., 831-402-0635

Chocolate the Restaurant, 1522 Pacific Ave., 831-427-9900

Pacific Cookie Company, 1203 Pacific Ave., 831-429-6905

Discretion Brewing, 2703 41st Ave., Ste. A, 831-316-0662

 

 

 

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A Taste of Santa Cruz 2016 with 30 restaurants, wineries and breweries

A Taste of Santa Cruz includes lots of bites from local restaurants

A Taste of Santa Cruz includes lots of bites from local restaurants

The 12th annual “A Taste of Santa Cruz,” at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk’s Cocoanut Grove Thursday, Nov. 10, features 30 restaurants, wineries, and breweries. The event runs from 5:30-9 p.m. and benefits first-time home buyers. Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door. Buy tickets online or at the Santa Cruz Association of REALTORS (2525 Main St., Soquel). For more information, visit the site atosc.com or call 831-464-2000.

 

Attendees sample food and drinks, and all proceeds from the event benefit the Santa Cruz Association of REALTORS Housing Foundation grant program that provides closing costs for first time, low-income home-buyers in Santa Cruz County. Several hundred people attend this event, raising approximately $30,000 annually. Over the years, more than $430,000 has been awarded to 200 families and individuals. Purchasing your tickets in advance is recommended.

 

Participating food providers include Home (the new restaurant from chef Brad Briske, in the former Main St. Garden location), The Hideout, Aldo’s, Café Hanna, Paradise Beach Grille, Hula’s, Burger, The Point, Little Owl Italian Kitchen, Ristorante Italiano, and Woodstock’s Pizza. Breweries include Santa Cruz Ale Works.

 

Other highlights include more than 100 silent and live auction items from local businesses and artisans. Prizes include a San Jose Giants package (10 general admission tickets plus a family pass for two adults & two kids); tickets to places like Gilroy Gardens and Winchester Mystery House; wine including bottles from Beauregard; and handcrafted wood pieces by artist Andy Orsini. There is also live music with the Jazz Birds & Friends.

Event location: Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz

 

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Trifecta of food events in Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley Friday, Oct. 28

Food from vendors  in the Oct. 28 Food Trucks A Go Go event: Choke Coach carne asada fries, Ate3One poke nachos, G's Mexican Tacos taco plate, Aunt LaLi's sundae

Food from vendors in the Oct. 28 Food Trucks A Go Go event: Choke Coach carne asada fries, Ate3One poke nachos, G’s Mexican Tacos taco plate, Aunt LaLi’s sundae

There are several food- and wine-related events in the Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley areas this weekend; here are three going on tonight, Friday Oct. 28 — actually they all start in the late afternoon, at 4 or 4:30 p.m., depending on the specific event.

Scotts Valley Dinner & Movie with Food Trucks A Go Go

Food Trucks A Go Go has organized dinner & a movie at Scotts Valley Community Center. The original venue was the outdoor Skypark one block away, but that was changed due to the rain forecast. Dinner service is from 4:30-7:30 pm. The movie, Transylvania 2, begins at 6:30pm. Valley Churches United is hosting a Beer & Wine Garden and is also collecting canned goods. People who come dressed in a Halloween costume and who make a canned good donation will receive a treat. The food truck line-up is Ate3One, G’s Mexican Tacos, Aunt LaLi’s and Choke Coach.

Location: Scotts Valley Community Center, 360 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

 

Tanglewood Halloween Popup at MJA

Chef Rachel Hughes of Tanglewood Catering is collaborating with MJA Vineyards for Pop Up in the Cellar: Halloween by Tanglewood at the Westside Santa Cruz wine tasting room. The menu is influenced by Halloween and the wines of MJA. Food will be available from 4 p.m. until it’s sold out; items are sold individually. The menu is Carrot Ginger Soup with a Sour Cream Web ($5), Meatballs in a Red Sauce with Alfredo ($8), Green-eyed Deviled Eggs with Red veins ($6), Bleeding Panna Cotta ($7) and Medusa Chocolate Mousse Cake ($7). There will be a costume contest as well.

Location: MJA, 328 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz

 

My Mom’s Mole at Food Lounge

My Mom’s Mole is doing a “Dia de los Muertos” night of dining and dancing at the Food Lounge.  Costumes are encouraged. It starts with Happy Hour from 4-6 with dinner service from 5 to 9 pm (or until sold out). There will be rueda de casino (Cuban-style salsa) dance throughout the night. Beverages (beer, wine, cider & cocktails) will be available from the bar. The food choices will be roasted chicken, pulled pork, roasted root vegetables, and wild rice & butternut squash with fall herbs, all served with My Mom’s Mole (vegan), Mole Poblano (Gluten Free), or Mole Verde (Gluten Free).

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

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Fun October class topics at New Leaf Community Markets include apple butter, candy apples, tapas & wine pairings

Drop the kids off at New Leaf to learn how to make candy apples with organic toppings Photo credit: New Leaf

Drop the kids off at New Leaf to learn how to make candy apples with organic toppings
Photo credit: New Leaf

New Leaf Community Markets has lots of cooking classes this month, including many with autumn-related themes (apple butter anyone? Yum). Here are a few highlights; these are all at the Westside Santa Cruz location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306).

Preregistration is required at newleaf.com/events.

 

Saturday, Oct. 15

Apple Butter and Jam Making Workshop

Learn how to make easy and delicious apple butter and seasonal fall jam with Home Chef Lisa Bono using natural sweeteners. This class will cover equipment, ingredients, canning methods and storage. Take home two jars of your own creation.
Time & Cost: 2–4pm, $25.

 

Thursday, Oct. 20
Date Night: Spanish Tapas and Wine Pairing

New Leaf invites you to sign up with your sweetheart and work together to create a variety of tasty Spanish-style tapas while sipping wine with Chef Kristen Valenza and Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian. Classic tapas ingredients that may be used include Marcona almonds, manchego cheese, prociutto, chorizo, shrimp and eggplant.

Time & Cost: 6–8:30pm, $85 for two people.

 

Friday, Oct. 28

Kids’ Class: Candy Apple & Marshmallow Making

Drop your kids off for class and they will make candy apples using a variety of organic toppings while enjoying homemade ginger soda, while you can enjoy a date night.
Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $25.

 

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Soif in Santa Cruz hosts Italian biodynamic wine tasting event Saturday

Soif is hosting a wine tasting with Italian estate Manincor  Photo credit: Manincor Facebook page

Soif is hosting a wine tasting with Italian estate Manincor
Photo credit: Manincor Facebook page

On Saturday, Oct. 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. Soif Wine Shop – connected to Soif Restaurant – is hosting Count Michael Goëss-Enzenberg, the proprietor of Italian estate Manincor, for a tasting event. The cost is $20 which includes wine and snacks. Reservations are required; email alyssa@soifwine.com to reserve a seat.

The property Manincor, in Italy’s Alto Adige, is a 400-year-old estate founded by Hieronymous Manincor in 1608.  Manincor comprises a single estate of vineyards, orchards, meadows and woodlands which are “Demeter certified Bio-dynamic as a single entity,” says Soif Wine’s John Locke. “It is one of the most interesting estates we have ever had the pleasure of dealing with.  Manincor has won numerous awards for their wines as well as their special prowess in sustainable environmental practices.”

Guests will taste the following wines:

2013 Manincor “Contessa Bianco” Pinot Blanc/Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc
2014 Manincor “Eichorn” Pinot Bianco
2015 Manincor “Kelterersee Keil” Schiava
2016 Manincor “Mason” Pinot Nero 
2012 Manincor “Rubatsch” Lagrein
2013 Manincor “Conte Rosso” Lagrein/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon

Goëss-Enzenberg has administered the property since 1991. At Manincor, hens and sheep graze through the vineyards. Teas, infusions and other herbal remedies are produced from plants grown on the property. A skin care product line, recently started being produced, is principally derived from sap which drips from vines’ wounds after pruning. The new underground cellar is naturally insulated by the soil. No fuel oil or natural gas are required for heating. “In short, Manincor is virtually without equal with regards to their environmental practices,” says Locke. “All of which would be admirable though irrelevant for our purposes, if the wines were not interesting. They are outstanding. The wines reveal a style we greatly appreciate – bell tone clarity, elegance, great complexity, persistence and a high high level of deliciosity. They are exceptional.”

 

Location: 105 Walnut, Santa Cruz

Date/Time: Saturday, Oct. 15, 2-4 p.m.

Cost: $20, refundable with the purchase of six bottles

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Santa Cruz food event highlights for Friday, October 7

Gluten-free Cocomojo’s by Makse Bar, one of several vendors at the Choose Santa Cruz pop-up market Oct. 7 Photo credit: Makse

Gluten-free Cocomojo’s by Makse Bar, one of several vendors at the Choose Santa Cruz pop-up market Oct. 7
Photo credit: Makse

If you’re lucky enough to be in Santa Cruz on Friday, Oct 7, you have an incredible array of one-night-only food choices. Here are details for three events.

Ocean2Table will be at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center selling dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. The Pescatarian Popup will showcase three items: wild morel mushroom soup ($8), fresh sablefish tacos ($12) and fresh sablefish cakes ($8, similar to crabcakes but made with Monterey Canyon sablefish). Ocean2Table is participating in honor of an event at the Center which celebrates the Leatherback Sea Turtle.

Location: Exploration Center, 35 Pacific Ave. (across from the Wharf)

 

Efi’s Dutch-Indo will be at POPUP for dinner from 5:30-9 p.m. The menu will include Indonesian-style Satay (with yellow rice, Indonesian style peanut sauce, and a side of picked cucumber); Gato Gato (vegetarian) with steamed and fresh veggies, rice and Indonesian-style peanut sauce; and Resoles (ground beef and green onion mix rolled in hand made crepes, breaded and deep fried). Creator Michelle McKay says, “Inspired by my mother, Efi’s (pronounced Afee’s) will be a Dutch-Indo culinary delight. The Netherland once ruled the spice trade in the 17th century. Indonesia with its wealth of spices was once the colonial crown of the spice trade. The Dutch wholeheartedly embraced Indonesian food, not only in the colony, but back home too. I plan on cooking the Dutch-Indo foods that I grew up with.”

Location: POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave.

Several food/drink vendors are participating in the “Choose Santa Cruz” pop-up market at design agency Cosmic from 5-9 p.m. Food and drink vendors include Coffeeville, Makse Bar, Farmer Freed Culinary Salt Blends, Companion Bakeshop, Santa Cruz Winegrowers Association, and Lupulo Craft Beer House. Other participating local businesses include Childish Santa Cruz, Agency, Hive & Hum, A’zaht Designs, and Glow Candle Lounge (soon to open on Pacific, candle-making studio Glow is an offshoot of Petroglyph ceramics studio). The City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Office is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Choose Santa Cruz brand and web site. They are also launching the Choose Santa Cruz coloring book, a collection of drawings from local artists of their favorite sights and scenes around Santa Cruz. The books will be available for sale at the event and online afterwards, and there will be space available, along with colored pencils (supplied by Palace Art), for people to color in books they buy. 

Location: Design by Cosmic, 115 Cooper St.

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Food, wine and beer at 2016 Grazing on the Green benefiting cancer research

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The 13th annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green—Saturday, Sept. 24 at Aptos Village Park, features 70-plus vendors including local restaurants and caterers, other food businesses, and local wineries, breweries, and spirits distilleries. Proceeds benefit the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG).

 

The event is from noon to 4 p.m. Buy $65 tickets at New Leaf Community Markets (downtown, Westside or Capitola locations) or online http://sccbg.org or it will be $70 at the door if it’s not sold out. If you have a group of 10, you can get tickets for $60 each. Adult admission includes food, drinks and a souvenir wineglass. Kids 10 and under are free; kids ages 10-20 are $35.

 

Participating restaurants, farms, and food vendors for 2016 include The Crow’s Nest, Café Cruz, Café Rio, Real Good Fish, Niman Ranch, SunRidge Farms, Ashby Confections, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, Cremer House, Ella’s at the Airport, Surf City Sandwich, Hula’s, Hollins House and Sid’s Smokehouse.

 

Participating wineries, breweries and distilleries include Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery, Beauregard Vineyards, Hallcrest Vineyards, Kathryn Kennedy Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Sones Cellars, Wargin Wines, Wrights Station Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Discretion Brewing, Seabright Brewery, New Bohemia Brewing Co. and Venus Spirits.

 

Proceeds from SCCBG’s events benefit these local cancer support and research organizations: Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Association, Katz Cancer Resource Center, researchers from UC Santa Cruz, the Teen Kitchen Project, and WomenCARE Cancer Advocacy.

For more information on the event, see www.sccbg.org.

There is free shuttle service every 15 minutes from Cabrillo College; parking is also free.

Aptos Village Park: 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos

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Venus spirits event, winemaker dinner and more at Santa Cruz Food Lounge this week

There is an MJA Vineyards winemaker dinner at the Food Lounge Aug. 19

There is an MJA Vineyards winemaker dinner at the Food Lounge Aug. 19

Attention fine wine, spirit and beer lovers: the Santa Cruz Food Lounge is hosting events you can enjoy on Thursday, Friday and Saturday Aug. 18-20, 2016.

Thursday: Venus Spirits Meet the Maker & Tasting

The event is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. with local spirit maker Sean Venus of Venus Spirits. At 5:30, doors open and the kitchen begins serving food; there is a limited selection that night (cheese plate and/or chicken entrée) and people can pre-purchase online to receive a discount and ensure the food doesn’t sell out. At 6:30 p.m., guests will learn the story behind the local distillery and the craft of making spirits as Venus leads attendees through six tastings of his award-winning agave, gin, and whiskey. A special crafted cocktail by Venus mixologist Andrew Hansen will conclude the evening. Cost for the spirit tasting and talk is $25; buy tickets at eventbrite.com.

 

Friday: MJA Winemaker’s Dinner

Chef Rachel Hughes of Tanglewood Catering is collaborating with MJA Vineyards for a multi-course dinner with wine pairings beginning at 6:30 p.m. Kristy Dawn Silveira and winemaker Marin Artukovich of MJA Vineyards will be present. Wines served will be Sauvignon Blanc (paired with watermelon/feta skewers), Chardonnay (with Burrata, beet and pancetta salad), Pinot Noir (pork medallions with smoked cherries and apple/potato mash), Merlot (“Forest Floor” savory nut crumble, roasted wild mushrooms, micro scallions and braised short ribs). The dessert course is Cabernet Sauvignon with bittersweet chocolate pot de crème with chocolate-covered coffee beans. Tickets are $75 with wine and $65 without. Buy online at eventbrite.com.

Saturday: Biergarten

The Food Lounge debuted a summer beer garden series in June, and it continues today from noon to 7 p.m. There will be many beers available plus German-style food. There is lots of patio seating and a relaxing atmosphere. Free admission; attendees pay separately for food and drinks. The event is pet- and family-friendly.

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

Contact Info: www.scfoodlounge.com, info@scfoodlounge.com

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