Tag Archives: Aptos

Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group’s gala dinner a big success

Spring Forward Against Cancer 2015 attendees enjoying themselves at Sesnon House in Aptos

Spring Forward Against Cancer 2015 attendees enjoying themselves at Sesnon House in Aptos

Cabrillo College culinary arts students used their talents to transport dinner guests to Morocco at the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group’s Spring Forward Against Cancer gala earlier this month. The successful benefit, held at Sesnon House, raised thousands of dollars for cancer research via Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG).

To celebrate SCCBG’s 20th anniversary in a grand fashion, event organizers used the theme “A Night in Casablanca.” Attendees enjoyed an atmosphere modeled on “Rick’s Café Américain” which included live piano, first-rate food and wine prepared and served by Cabrillo students, and KSBW news anchor Dale Julian serving as emcee. There was a silent auction with prizes such as a trip to France, local handmade jewelry, and restaurant gift certificates.

If it’s not already on your calendars, make sure to save the date for September’s Gourmet Grazing on the Green: it’s Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 at Aptos Village Park. The annual event hosted by SCCBG usually sells out a few days ahead of time. I’ll be sure to publish a preview/ reminder article as the food and wine celebration gets closer. It’s a wonderful event; last year there were more than 25 participating restaurants, farms, and food vendors plus a couple dozen wineries, breweries and distilleries. Attendees pay one admission price to benefit SCCBG and then receive complimentary food and drinks from the generous local chefs, winemakers, etc. who have donated their products.

Over the last two decades, SCCBG has distributed more than $1.5 million to directly support the Santa Cruz community. Proceeds from SCCBG’s events, including April’s Spring Forward gala and the upcoming Gourmet Grazing on the Green in September, benefit these local cancer support and research organizations:

  • Hospice of Santa Cruz County
  • Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Association
  • Katz Cancer Resource Center
  • UCSC Cancer Research
  • Teen Kitchen Project
  • WomenCARE Cancer Advocacy

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz area restaurant news highlights through February 2015

Hideout Burger served with housemade chips (note: it's usually served with fries)

Hideout Burger served with housemade chips (note: it’s usually served with fries)

Some of this is more recent restaurant news for the Santa Cruz area, and some is much older. I recently discovered that quite a few people I know weren’t aware of certain closings, so I am distributing information that might seem out of date to those who keep on top of local restaurant news.

The Hideout opened in Aptos in January. I haven’t made it there yet, but I’ve been hearing positive comments. It’s open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 9p.m. except Tuesdays, when it doesn’t open until 5 p.m. Sandwich/burger selections include Reuben, roasted vegetables with goat cheese, grilled chicken club, and a signature burger with a ground beef/bacon patty and crumbled bleu cheese (see photo above). Dinner entrees served after 5 include Merlot-braised short ribs, pistachio-crusted chicken, New York strip, and Petrale sole piccata. Several pasta dishes, soup, salads, sides, and starters round out the menu.
Location: 9051 Soquel Drive, Aptos (most recently the site of restaurant Ma Maison)
Contact Info: 688-5566, thehideoutaptos.com

Opening Soon
Mutari Chocolate House
is opening in early March; co-owner Adam Armstrong says they’re aiming for March 5th. He and his brother Matt will be the first tenants to officially open in the Food Lounge, the new venue from Andrea Mollenauer of Lifestyle Culinary Arts. They create their product Mutari Hot Chocolate on site. This chocolate is “Stone Ground Bean to Bottle” made from cacao that is “always certified organic and ethically traded (and mostly Rainforest Alliance Certified).”  You can enjoy hot chocolate at the Chocolate House or buy your own bottled mix to take home — it’s also sold at retailers like Artisans Gallery so you may have noticed it in the last few months. Learn more at mutarichocolate.com and facebook.com/mutarichocolate. I got to experience a hot chocolate tasting at Mutari last fall when they had their factory at Front St. Kitchen and I really liked the varieties I sampled. The new Chocolate House will serve coffee, hot chocolate, sipping chocolate, mini cupcakes (from Buttercup), and more.

More on the Food Lounge: Mollenauer and partners Cat Hernandez and Sally Kane are launching this unique space that has lots of options including: you can throw a party there, have an event for your business, or attend a pop-up. Other tenants at the Lounge include Fogline Farms, Ocean2table, and Mortal Dumpling. Officially the Food Lounge will be an “innovative community-minded event venue, commercial incubator kitchen, and full-service food hub aimed at fueling, educating, and inspiring Santa Cruz.” Visit scfoodlounge.com to sign up for the email list.
Location: 1001 Center Street, Santa Cruz

Verve Coffee is opening a new location at 1010 Fair in Westside Santa Cruz at some point in the future, in the former spot of Chimera Tattoo. This is the same plaza where Bantam Restaurant is located.

Two venues in downtown Santa Cruz on Pacific shuttered their doors:
Sushi restaurant Benten closed Jan. 31.
Noah’s Bagels closed on Feb. 24.

Santa Cruz restaurant The Greek closed at the end of November. A permit taped to one of the restaurant windows indicates a Korean eatery will be opening in the future. A post on the restaurant’s Facebook page mentioned that owner Vasili was retiring (yes, this is the same Vasili that formerly owned Vasili’s in Westside Santa Cruz).

Downtown Santa Cruz restaurant Assembly is now closed on both Mondays and Tuesdays. They used to be closed on Mondays, and beginning January 6 they are only open Wednesday through Sunday. This is continuing “at least through the winter months.”
Location: 1108 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz
Contact Info: 824-6100, assembleforfood.com

Soif is closing in late March for a few weeks, to do some remodeling.
Location: 105 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz
Contact Info: 423-2020, soifwine.com

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Don’t miss Gourmet Grazing cancer research benefit with a wide array of food & wine

Attendees at a previous Gourmet Grazing on the Green

Attendees at a previous Gourmet Grazing on the Green

It’s time for the 11th annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green, where you can enjoy a large amount of first-rate food (from local restaurants and caterers)—plus beverages from local wineries, breweries, and distilleries—in a friendly and festive atmosphere. And you will be helping support the very worthwhile Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG).

Gourmet Grazing is Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014 from noon to 4 p.m. at Aptos Village Park.

The event usually sells out a few days ahead of time, so I recommend you buy tickets soon. This year organizers are allowing 1,200 tickets to be sold instead of 800, so it is possible that tickets won’t sell out as fast—but you never know! SCCBG Board member Mary Anne Carson commented: “Due to its popularity, we’ve expanded our space in order to bring in more food purveyors, restaurants and vintners, as well as more Grazers, this year. We look forward to another stellar event and raising even more funds for the benefit of our beneficiaries.”

Purchase $65 tickets at New Leaf Community Markets (downtown, Westside or Capitola locations) or online. If you have a group of 10, you can get tickets for $50 each. Admission includes food, wine, beer, a souvenir wineglass, and live music. The event is outdoors; last year it actually rained for a short while, but everyone just ran under the few sheltered spots and it stopped as quickly as it started.

New this year is a “big bottle silent auction,” courtesy of new festival partner Santa Cruz Mountain Winegrowers Association (SCMWA). There will also be a bottle booth operated by SCMWA, an alliance of more than 60 wineries promoting wine produced from the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Appellation.

Some of the food creations that participants will taste have been created with products generously donated by event sponsors Coke Farm, Watsonville Coast Produce, and presenting sponsor New Leaf Community Markets.

Some of my favorite dishes from last year’s festival included Café Rio’s Rio Prawn Spring Roll (included mung bean noodles, sprouts, carrots, green onion, basil, and mint) and Johnny’s Harborside’s Gazpacho Seafood Cocktail (calamari, scallops, shrimp, garnished with baby romaine and a watermelon radish). For more 2013 highlights, see my recap article.

There are more than 25 participating restaurants, farms, and food vendors for 2014 including The Crow’s Nest, Shadowbrook, Café Cruz, Café Rio, The Whole Enchilada, Solaire Restaurant and Bar, Hula’s Island Grill, Santa Cruz Fish Co., Everett Family Farm, MacKenzie Bar & Grill, Friend in Cheeses Jam Co., Redwood Hill Farms, The Penny Ice Creamery, and The True Olive Connection.

More than 25 participating wineries, breweries and distilleries include Venus Spirits, Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery, Beauregard Vineyards,  Burrell School Vineyards, Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Seabright Brewery, Sones Cellars, Bonny Doon Vineyards, and Kathryn Kennedy Winery.

This year, Kathryn Kennedy Winery will pour wine including 2011 Kathryn Kennedy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains, which sources say is “amazing.”

Proceeds from SCCBG’s events, including this year’s Gourmet Grazing, benefit these local cancer support and research organizations: Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Association, Katz Cancer Resource Center, UCSC Cancer Research, the Teen Kitchen Project, and WomenCARE Cancer Advocacy. Over the last decade, SCCBG has distributed more than $1.5 million to directly support the Santa Cruz community.

There will be a raffle, with ticket sales benefiting SCCBG. Prizes include jewelry, restaurant gift certificates, a wetsuit from O’Neill, and SCMWA Wine Passports.

More details:
There is free parking and free shuttle service from Cabrillo College Lot E.
For more information on the event, see www.sccbg.org or call (831) 465-1989

Aptos Village Park: 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Summer specials at Aptos restaurant Au Midi

Paella from Aptos restaurant Au Midi

Paella from Aptos restaurant Au Midi

Aptos restaurant Au Midi started two summer promotions last month, one for Wednesday and one for Thursday, and it just added a third which will occur every Tuesday. Each one is a special dish for $19.50.

  • Tuesday they serve “Viva le Midi” with bouillabaisse
  • Wednesday it’s “Viva Espana” with paella
  • Thursday it’s  “Vive Paris” with canard a l’orange (duck a l’orange)

The dishes are served the entire evening, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. These promotions will last all summer.

I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Au Midi in April, and I hope to go back soon for one of these specials — hard to decide which one. During my dinner, the service was gracious, the atmosphere comfortable and the food delicious. One standout was a beet and goat cheese mousse salad, and I notice it’s still on the current menu (I know some dishes rotate with the seasons). Also highly recommended: the French apple pie served with gingerbread ice cream.

Husband and wife Michel and Muriel Loubiere are a great team. He is fabulous with customers, and she is a talented chef.

Au Midi is also a participant in the “Date Night Santa Cruz” program.  If you’re unfamiliar with this offer, it works like this: customers buy a $50 package 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 the  Date Night product, you select which restaurant you are buying a ticket for (they are mostly in Santa Cruz, plus a couple in Aptos including Au Midi). You can decide later which movie theater you’re going to of the three in the “Nick Family.” Each restaurant gives customers a certain value to spend on dinner. For more information, see the Nick’s Date Night web site http://www.thenick.com/Date-Night-Santa-Cruz.html.
Au Midi is at 7960 Soquel Drive. Call 831-685-2600 or visit http://www.aumidi.com for reservations or details.

If you’re on Twitter, follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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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Hospice benefit Tuesday at Aptos restaurant Bittersweet Bistro

Pizza at Bittersweet Bistro

Pizza at Bittersweet Bistro

Aptos restaurant Bittersweet Bistro is holding a benefit “Dining For Hospice” Tuesday, January 28 for local non-profit organization Hospice of Santa Cruz County, to support programs not covered by Medicare or private insurance such as grief support.

Please let your server know that you are there to support Hospice of Santa Cruz County, and one-third of your bill will go directly to this worthy organization. Bittersweet Bistro has hosted Dining for Hospice since 2007.

Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s mission statement includes providing “professional, compassionate care recognizing that individuals and families are the guiding force in their own end-of-life experience.” It’s the oldest and only non-profit hospice serving Santa Cruz and northern Monterey counties. 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.

Bittersweet Bistro is owned and operated by Thomas and Elizabeth Vinolus. Thomas is also the chef, and a graduate of New York’s prestigious Culinary Institute of America. Committed to providing diners with top-quality cuisine, he selects fresh seafood daily and purchases organic produce at local farmers markets. The menu is broad, featuring items like burgers, sandwiches, wood-fired pizza, and salads plus pasta (think seafood puttanesca and linguini with meatballs). Entrée specials rotate and include steak and seafood options like Gorgonzola Cabernet New York Steak and Macadamia Crusted Tilapia. Bittersweet Bistro’s wine list offers over 250 wines from across the globe, including many top vintages from California.

Call (831) 662-9799 for reservations, and mention that you are participating in “Dining for Hospice.”
Location: 787 Rio Del Mar Boulevard, Aptos 95003.

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Santa Cruz and San Jose restaurants open or closed on Christmas, Part 2 of 2

Delicious Mojo Cauliflower at Aptos restaurant Booka, open on Christmas

Delicious Mojo Cauliflower at Aptos restaurant Booka, open on Christmas

Yesterday I published highlights for a few restaurants open on Christmas in Santa Cruz and San Jose. Here are several more.

Also, note some Santa Cruz restaurants will be closed just for Christmas (like Hula’s, closed on both Xmas Eve and Xmas Day, and Johnny’s Harborside & Crow’s Nest, both closing at 3pm Xmas Eve and closed entire Xmas Day) while some shut down for a few days over the holidays:

  • Charlie Hong Kong (closed evening of 12/23 when the food runs out, through 1/1/14 – reopening 1/2/14)
  • Sabieng (closed 12/23 through 12/26 lunch, reopening 12/26 at dinner)
  • Little Shanghai (closed 12/22 through 1/5, reopening 1/6/14 at 11:30 a.m.)
  • Café Iveta (closed 12/25 through 1/1, reopening 1/2/14)

Santa Cruz, Capitola & Aptos restaurants

Booka Restaurant & Bar
On Christmas Eve Booka is offering a prix fixe dinner menu, and on Christmas Day Booka will feature a prix fixe tapas menu. For reservations and information call (831) 685-9500.
8041 Soquel Drive, Aptos

Café Mare
Café Mare is open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Call (831) 458-1212 for reservations.
740 Front St, #100, Santa Cruz

Gabriella Cafe
Gabriella Café is open on Christmas Eve until 7:30 p.m. Call (831) 457-1677 for reservations.
910 Cedar St, Santa Cruz

Ideal Bar & Grill
Ideal is open Xmas Eve from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. with a regular menu. On Christmas Day, the restaurant is open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. For dinner, it’s serving selections including slow-roasted prime rib, turkey with yams, stuffing, etc., and live Maine lobster. Call (831) 423-5271 for reservations.
106 Beach St at the Santa Cruz Wharf, Santa Cruz

Severino’s Bar & Grill
On Christmas Day the restaurant at Seacliff Inn has a buffet from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  with Black Angus prime rib, Dungeness crab, roasted leg of lamb, and more. The cost is $39 for adults, $17 for kids 5-10, and free for 4 and under. For reservations and information call (831) 688-8987.
7500 Old Dominion Court, Aptos

Zelda’s is open on Christmas Day with breakfast at 7:30 a.m., and a holiday menu & dinner specials beginning at noon. Specials include traditional turkey or maple baked ham dinner ($16.95 adults, $10.95 kids). Call (831) 475-4900.
203 Esplanade, in the Capitola Village

San Jose

Il Fornaio
The restaurant at the Sainte Claire is open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Call (408) 271-3366 for reservations.
302 South Market St (at the Sainte Claire), 
San Jose

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Santa Cruz, Monterey, & San Jose restaurants for Thanksgiving, Part 2

Bacon-wrapped sturgeon at Restaurant 1833, a variation of which the restaurant will serve at Thanksgiving

Bacon-wrapped sturgeon at Restaurant 1833, a variation of which the restaurant will serve at Thanksgiving

Here are a few Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Jose restaurants open on Thanksgiving, so you can make reservations for Thursday, Nov. 28 if you’re planning to dine out. A few restaurants, including Booka in Aptos, will be closed.

For more choices, see:

Santa Cruz and San Jose restaurant highlights, Part 1

Walnut pie and other Thanksgiving food from Whole Foods Market in Santa Cruz and Capitola

Thanksgiving food from Lifestyle Culinary Arts in Santa Cruz (it’s too late to order, but you can plan ahead for next year and article includes link to cranberry chutney)

Santa Cruz & Aptos

Aquarius is offering a $48 prix fixe three-course menu from 1-8:30 p.m. (a kids’ menu will also be available), and complimentary valet parking. The Minor Third Jazz Trio will perform from 4 – 8 p.m. For family-style whole turkey dinners to go, contact Gus Siggins at gsiggins@jdvhotels.com.
175 West Cliff (at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn), Santa Cruz, (831) 460-5012

Ideal Bar & Grill has a few highlights beginning at 11 a.m. including:
• Traditional Turkey Dinner $15.95 for 12oz, $19.95 for 16oz
• Slow roasted Prime Rib $24.95 12oz, $27.95 16oz
• Homemade desserts including Pumpkin Pie
106 Beach Street (at the Santa Cruz Wharf), (831) 423-5271

Café Gratitude is serving a free organic, vegan feast as its “Second Annual Community Appreciation Meal.” The lunch will be served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
103 Lincoln Street, Santa Cruz, (831) 427-9583

Sanderlings has a three-course prix fixe menu; the price is $34.95 for adults. There is also a $17.95 meal (one course) for kids. Soup/salad choices include Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. Four entrée choices include Sage Butter Roasted Turkey Breast or Grilled Salmon with Polenta Cake, Roasted Red Peppers, Baby Artichoke, Spinach, and Nage.
One Seascape Resort Drive (at Seascape Beach Resort), Aptos, (831) 662-7120

Severino’s Bar & Grill is offering a buffet; the price is $32 for adults, $16 for kids 5-10, and free for kids 4 and under. The buffet is open from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Selections include fresh salads, butternut squash soup, vegetarian ravioli, salmon Dijon, honey glazed ham, leg of lamb, roasted turkey with all the traditional sides, and homemade desserts.
7500 Old Dominion Court (at Seacliff Inn Beach Resort), Aptos, (831) 688-7300

Restaurant 1833 is serving a special $55 three-course prix fixe menu that begins with an amuse bouche. Reservations are highly recommended. Menu items include:

  • Mushroom Soup with truffle butter, brioche, chives
  • Root Vegetable Salad with pomegranates, winter greens and espelette
  • Bacon Wrapped Sturgeon with herb puree, roasted carrots, maple sherry sauce
  • Chestnut Ravioli with apple, sage, cashew and apple cider
  • “The Turkey” with a choice of white or dark meat and served with cranberry sauce, green beans with almonds, potato puree, sweet potato marshmallows, stuffing and gravy
  • Choice of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll with buttered pecan ice cream and maple syrup or Chocolate Financier with hazelnut cream and cranberry coulis

Also, Chef Levi Mezick’s famous Bacon Cheddar Biscuits will be available a la carte.
500 Hartnell St., Monterey, (831) 643-1833

Cannery Row Brewing Company’s Chef Daniel Furey will offer a traditional Thanksgiving meal including:

  • Artisanal Greens with spiced and candied pecans and cranberry vinaigrette
  • Smoked Turkey with giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, served with Green Bean Casserole, Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake with pumpkin seed brittle and spiced Chantilly cream

The three-course menu is available for $32 per person as well as a la carte for $18.95 for the Smoked Turkey dish. The regular menu will be available and the restaurant will be open for regular hours, 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.; bar is open until 12:00 a.m. Reservations are recommended but walk-ins are welcome.
95 Prescott Ave, Monterey, (831) 643-2722

San Jose

The Fairmont San Jose is serving a special Harvest Buffet from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The cost is $67 per adult and $33 per child 5-12. Kids under 5 are free. Buffet highlights include Alaskan King crab legs, sage basted roast turkey, honey baked ham with port wine sauce, and a lavish pastry display. There will also be gourmet salads and an omelet and pancake station. For full menu, click here.
170 South Market St, San Jose, (408) 998-3960

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Restaurants for Thanksgiving 2013 in Santa Cruz and San Jose

The dining room at Solaire in Santa Cruz

The dining room at Solaire in Santa Cruz

It’s almost Thanksgiving – time to make your reservations if you’re going out to eat! Want to dine in the Santa Cruz or San Jose area? Here are a few to consider for November 28, 2013. I’ll be publishing more options in the next couple days.

Some local restaurants, including Johnny’s Harborside in Santa Cruz Harbor, will be closed.

Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel Restaurants

Chaminade offers a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 6 p.m. The cost is $49.95 for adults, $16.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Customers are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz County. Toy drive participants will be entered into a drawing to win a 50-minute massage at The Spa, Sunday Brunch for two in the Sunset Restaurant, or an overnight stay for two. Selections include roast Tom Turkey, roast lamb leg, butternut squash ravioli, a seafood assortment, gourmet salads, and pumpkin apple soup.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz (831) 475-5600

Solaire has a four-course prix fixe Thanksgiving feast from noon – 8 p.m. for $45 (adults), $35 (seniors 65+), and $14 (kids). Children 5 and under are free. Appetizer choices are bacon-wrapped prawns and cheddar grits or wild mushroom risotto; soup/salad choices include roasted butternut soup; entrée choices include Diestel turkey, Kurobuta pork prime rib with herb spaetzle, or artichoke agnolotti. Dessert options include pumpkin pie or triple chocolate cake.
611 Ocean (inside Hotel Paradox), (831) 600-4545

Bittersweet Bistro will have a Thanksgiving buffet. Served from 12:30 – 6 p.m., the price is $53.95, (Adults) $22 (Kids 6-12), or $7 (Kids 5 and Under). Parties that are seated right at 12:30pm receive a 5% discount. The menu includes Roasted Traditional All Natural Turkey with Pan Gravy and Gluten Free Gravy, Slow Roasted Prime Rib with Au Jus and Horseradish crème fraîche, Teriyaki Salmon, Classic Glazed Applewood Smoked Ham, Baked Candied Yams, Persimmon Waldorf Salad, Classic Caesar Salad, Tossed Asian Salad, Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, and a special kids’ buffet table. Desserts include a chocolate fountain and miniature versions of “famous Bittersweet desserts.”
787 Rio Del Mar Boulevard, Aptos (831) 662-9799

Michael’s on Main is serving Thanksgiving dinner from 2-8 p.m. The restaurant will offer a 3-course prix fixe meal for adults ($32) and a special meal for kids 12 and under ($15.95). The adult dinner features choice of soup or salad, entrée choice (four selections are oven-roasted turkey with sides such as garlic mashed potatoes and green beans with caramelized shallots, Osso Bucco, pistachio-crusted salmon, or a vegetarian dish with grilled portobello), and choice of dessert (options include pumpkin cheesecake and cranberry orange bread pudding).
2591 Main Street, Soquel (831) 479-9777
San Jose Restaurants

Maggiano’s on Santana Row is doing a prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner; it’s $36.95 for adults and kids 5-12 are $17.95. The family-style dinner includes bruschetta, salad (families get to choose two of four salads offered), entrée (choose two of three entrees offered, including roast turkey with focaccia sausage stuffing or parmesan-crusted tilapia), side dishes (choose two), and pasta (choose two from selections including four cheese ravioli or gnocchi with Italian sausage). Dessert is also included; choose two from five selections include pumpkin praline cheesecake and tiramisu (I’ve heard the tiramisu is fantastic!). There are also take-out options: choose a $185 full-meal package that serves approximately five people or order a la carte.
3055 Olin Avenue, Ste. 1000 (408) 423-8973

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More Halloween 2013 festivities in Santa Cruz & nearby, including Los Gatos

Brokolo at Dio Deka, celebrating its 7th anniversary on Halloween

Brokolo at Dio Deka, celebrating its 7th anniversary on Halloween

Here are more festivities to consider for Halloween 2013 in Santa Cruz, Aptos, and Los Gatos, including a wonderful-sounding anniversary party at Dio Deka. See Monday’s Halloween roundup for Santa Cruz, Capitola, and Monterey. Also check out some Halloween treat recipes, both traditional and non-dairy.
Santa Cruz & Aptos

Seascape Village in Aptos will hold a Halloween party from 4-6 p.m. featuring games, trick-or-treating, and snacks.
Location: Intersection of Seascape Boulevard at Sumner Avenue

Downtown Santa Cruz is holding its “Downtown Trick-or-Treat” from 2:30-5 p.m. Local merchants will hand out treats during the family-friendly event.

Los Gatos
Dio Deka
is celebrating its 7th anniversary on Halloween! A beautiful restaurant in Hotel Los Gatos, Dio Deka is offering complimentary appetizers–spanakopita and meatballs–and music on its outdoor patio on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. Music is being provided by the Los Gatos DJ Company, which specializes in top 40 and classic hits. Guests who dine in the restaurant itself will receive a complimentary glass of champagne to toast Dio Deka’s success.
I had the opportunity to dine at Dio Deka a couple months ago, and I highly recommend visiting this fine restaurant. Some highlights were the exquisite appetizer platter Pikilia, which included Keftethakia (moist, flavorful lamb meatballs and citrus-infused yogurt) and dolmathes (grape leaves stuffed with ingredients including braised beef cheeks and mushroom puree), and Brokolo (see photo), a unique and savory dish featuring charred broccoli, a slowly cooked egg, chili flakes, and more. I also enjoyed the side dish Gigantes, which was a generous portion of crisp-fried gigantes beans flavored with urfa pepper and smoked taramas. I never would have ordered this without my server’s recommendation, so I have him to thank. And of course, the talented Executive Chef Jeff Fitzgerald!
Location: 210 Main St., Los Gatos, (408) 354-7700.

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