Tag Archives: Aubergine

Homeless Garden Project food events in Santa Cruz

Tomato, Thai basil & mozzarella bites will be available at HGP’s Pop Up Store Sept. 1. Photo credit- HGP Facebook page

Homeless Garden Project has two Santa Cruz events coming up that sound positively delicious.

 

Friday, Sept. 1, 5:30-8 p.m.: Tomato & Friends HoeDown

Homeless Garden Project invites the community to its Pop Up Store for a “taste of the Farm.” Attendees can taste—fresh from the vine—goodies like tomatoes, tomatillos and padron peppers. There will also be special treats created by HGP’s Enterprise Manager, Angie Smith, including tomato, Thai basil & mozzarella bites and blistered padrons with avocado crema. Plus, enjoy live music by Anthony Reyes. In addition to being HGP’s Farm Manager, Reyes is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who plays traditional roots/ Americana inspired music while incorporating elements of classical, jazz, and blues. Read more on HGP’s Facebook page.
Location: 30 W Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

 

Saturday, Sept. 16, 3:30-7 p.m.: Homeless Garden Project benefit dinner

HGP is holding an organic benefit dinner at its farm, the latest in its Sustain Farm Dinner series. Sustain is a seasonal gourmet dinner series featuring organic produce from the farm, wine pairings, and guest speakers discussing sustainable topics. This time the keynote speaker is Tom Steyer, founder & president of NextGen America. The admission fee, $150, benefits HGP. Read more and purchase tickets online.

A different chef will prepare each of the dinner’s four courses. Derek Rupp, Owner and Chef at East Side Eatery, will prepare flatbread pizza appetizers. Sara LaCasse, Chef Consultant for Earthbound Farms, is preparing Farm lettuces and herbs with pickled farm vegetables in ginger vinaigrette, while Passionfish owner/chef Ted Walter will create an entrée of chili-lime chicken served with grilled corn, Early Girl tomatoes and Cotija cheese. Aubergine pastry chef Yulanda Santos is providing dessert: zucchini cake with roasted strawberries and lavender-lemon cremeux.

In 2007, Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, founded Beneficial State Bank, an Oakland-based nonprofit bank that invests any profits back into the community. They are committed to sustainable farming practices through Pescadero’s TomKat Ranch, an 1800-acre cattle ranch that produces grass-fed and finished, pasture-raised beef. “Programs like the Homeless Garden Project are crucial to combating homelessness and ensuring all Californians have access to educational opportunities, job training and stable housing,” says Steyer. “In California, we have a responsibility to care for our most vulnerable communities, and that’s why we must continue to fight for progressive policy solutions.”

Location: HGP Farm, Shaffer Road at Delaware Avenue, Santa Cruz

 

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A roundup of Santa Cruz and Monterey County restaurant Thanksgiving offerings

The main dining area at Solaire, one of several local restaurants serving a special Thanksgiving menu Photo credit: Hotel Paradox

The main dining area at Solaire, one of many local restaurants serving a special Thanksgiving menu
Photo credit: Hotel Paradox

The countdown to Thanksgiving is on – if you’re planning to dine out in the Santa Cruz area or in Monterey County, here are a few restaurants to consider.

Santa Cruz & Capitola

Solaire at Hotel Paradox offers an a la carte Thanksgiving menu from 4-10 p.m. The nature/nurture-themed menu highlights local, sustainable cuisine with fresh ingredients. Entree choices include Roasted Turkey with mashed potato, stuffing, blue lake beans and gravy, Slow Roasted Prime rib, Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb, and Zucchini Fritters with spinach, red cabbage and chive cream. Other highlights include roasted pumpkin soup, butternut squash salad, and cranberry white chocolate chunk graham bars and miniature pumpkin pies. Call 831-425-7100 or visit hotelparadox.com for reservations.

I wanted to also share a fun Hotel Paradox package, whether you’re a local planning a staycation or have friends or family visiting Santa Cruz sometime this holiday season. The Polar Express™ Train Ride package makes it easy to enjoy this seasonal attraction. Afterward, families are invited to snuggle fireside at Solaire for smores and hot cocoa. The “I Believe” package includes overnight accommodations, an exclusive Golden Ticket required for entry to the train, fresh-baked cookies and milk delivered after check-in, a keepsake “I Believe” sleigh bell, and complimentary parking and Wi-Fi. Price is $175 adults/$29 kids. The Polar Express is traveling to Santa Cruz for the first time this season, recreated to match the sights and sounds of the beloved story. It departs from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. On board the train, dancing chefs will serve warm cookies and hot cocoa to guests, while the Polar Express™ movie soundtrack–including a reading of the story–is played. Santa Claus will meet with each child, delivering silver sleigh bells. Contact the hotel at 831-425-7100 or hotelparadox.com for details.

Chaminade has a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 6 p.m. The cost is $59.95 for adults, $18.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Selections include roast turkey with warm orange-cranberry compote, roasted Dijon-crusted lamb leg with mint jelly, apple cider braised pork loin with dried cherry bordelaise and crispy prosciutto, butternut squash ravioli with porcini crème and roast vegetable bruschetta, several salads, and winter squash soup with toasted pepita seeds.

One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz (831) 475-5600

 

Zelda’s has a traditional turkey dinner plus additional items on its holiday menu, beginning at noon. The dinner includes oven-roasted turkey, sage stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied sweet potatoes, cranberries and a roll. A 10 oz. adult portion is $19.95, 14 oz. is $23.95. Kids are $11.95 and pumpkin pie is $5.95.

203 Esplanade, Capitola (831) 475-4900

 

Hoffman’s is serving both brunch and dinner on Thanksgiving. Brunch is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner starting at 3 p.m.

1102 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 420-0135

 

Your Place has a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 7 p.m. The cost is $36.95 for adults, $13.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Selections include traditional roast turkey and house-made cranberry sauce, apple pecan bread stuffing, prime rib, honey brown sugar-glazed ham, grilled salmon with lemon caper sauce, eggs benedict (until 2 p.m.), penne pasta Bolognese, roasted beet salad, Caesar salad, pumpkin pie, apple crisp, lemon tart, chocolate cake and carrot cake.

1719 Mission St., Santa Cruz, (831) 426-3564

 

Monterey County

Anton & Michel Restaurant will serve its regular dinner menu plus a prix fixe three-course Thanksgiving dinner noon to 8 p.m. There are two choices for first course including spinach and radicchio salad with grilled pears, toasted walnuts, goat cheese and cinnamon-pear vinaigrette. The entrée is roast free-range turkey with cornbread and sausage stuffing, cranberry-port chutney, sweet potato-green onion mash and more. Dessert choices are pumpkin cheesecake and pecan pie. Tea and coffee are included.

Cost is $42 for adults and $21 for kids 12 and under.

Location: Court of the Fountains on Mission between Ocean and Seventh Avenues, Carmel, 831-624-2406

 

Estéban

Estéban at Casa Munras is offering a few options for Thanksgiving Day, from 1 to 7 p.m. The last seating is at 6:30 p.m. A prix fixe three-course meal is $48 for adults and $23 for kids 5-12. Chef Thomas Snyder will offer two appetizer selections including butternut squash soup with rock shrimp and piquillo peppers. Customers can choose an entrée of turkey, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and homemade cranberry sauce or Snake River trout with white beans, garlic confit and bacon lardons. These items plus Snyder’s signature tapas will also be available a la carte.

700 Munras Ave., Monterey, 831-324-6773

 

Fandango is serving a prix fixe meal on Thanksgiving from noon to 8 p.m. Cost is $38.95 for adults and $16.50 for kids 12 and under. Entrée choices are roast Tom turkey with chestnut sage stuffing and fresh cranberry sauce; roast sirloin with mushroom sauce; Virginia baked ham with Hawaiian sauce; grilled salmon filet with Café de Paris butter; and fresh cheese tortellini with basil cream sauce. Mashed potatoes and vegetables accompany all entrees except the tortellini.

223 17th St., Pacific Grove, 831-372-3456.

 

The Portola Hotel and Spa is serving a Thanksgiving buffet from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in its grand ballroom. Selections include California cheeses and cured meats; peel and eat shrimp; carved to order turkey, prime rib and maple glazed country ham; candied garnet yams; Coke Farm beets with feta, pancetta, Marcona almonds and cider vinaigrette; and acorn squash with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds. Desserts will include pecan and pumpkin pie and holiday cookies. Cost is $54.95 for adults, $39.95 for seniors 65 and up, and $25.95 for kids 6-12. There will be live music by pianist David Conley in the ballroom from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. and football games will be showing in the foyer.

Two Portola Plaza, Monterey, 831-649-7874

 

Pacific’s Edge at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands will serve a four-course dinner on Thanksgiving with seatings from 3 to 8 p.m. Cost is $95. Selections include butternut squash soup with Frangelico, brown butter and pepitas; roasted beets with buttermilk mousse, pomegranate seeds, wild arugula and pistachio; and Pacific halibut with mussels, clams, heirloom chile bouillabaisse, saffron rouille and foccacia bread stick.

Hyatt Carmel Highlands, 120 Highlands Dr., Carmel, 831-622-5445

 

Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel is serving a prix fixe meal on Thanksgiving, with seatings from 2 to 9 p.m. Cost is $150 per person with optional wine pairings for $110. Selections include white truffles from Alba with carnaroli risotto ($85 supplement); slow-roasted organic turkey; and 21-day dry aged ribeye.

Monte Verde Street and Seventh Avenue, Carmel, 831-624-8578.

 

The C at Intercontinental The Clement Monterey is serving lunch and dinner on Thanksgiving. Lunch is 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and there will be a la carte Thanksgiving dishes in addition to the regular lunch menu. Selections include Diestel Farms turkey with Yukon potato puree and sage-brioche stuffing. A prix fixe three-course dinner, from 5:30 to 10 p.m., costs $85 or $125 with wine pairings. Kids 5-12 cost $45. Choices include persimmon salad with Humboldt Fog, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette; matsutake and sweetbreads with parsnip puree and truffle vinaigrette; Niman Ranch natural ribeye with salsify, chanterelle, creamed spinach and sauce bordelaise; and pumpkin upside down cake. There will be live music from noon to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. In the evening, a bar menu will be available for bar and patio seating only.

750 Cannery Row, Monterey, 831-375-4800

 

Sardine Factory is serving a four-course prix fixe menu on Thanksgiving. Seatings are available between 1 and 8 p.m. The menu includes a first course of butternut squash bisque with toasted pumpkin seeds and maple Chantilly crème and an entrée of all-natural Diestel turkey with sage dressing, pan gravy, cranberry orange relish, Yukon gold and sweet potato gratin, fresh green beans and buttered baby carrots. The menu costs $49.75 for adults, $47.75 for 65 and older, $25 for kids 6 to 12. It’s free for kids five and under. A limited a la carte menu and the regular kids’ menu will also be available.

701 Wave St., Monterey, (831) 373-3775

 

Andre’s Bouchee is serving a three-course prix fixe menu from 2 to 8:30 p.m. Three appetizer choices include Redwood Farm goat cheese salad with baked cheese, baby greens and honey apple cider vinaigrette; and pumpkin soup with brown butter and cinnamon. Three entrée selections are free-range turkey stuffed with chestnuts and winter truffles with mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce; Bavette (flank) steak; and Monterey black cod with wild mushrooms and cognac reduction. Cost is $46 for adults and $21 for kids 12 and under.

Mission Street between Ocean and Seventh, Carmel, 831-626-7880

 

TusCA Ristorante at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa is serving a buffet brunch from 1 to 6 p.m. (last seating is at 5:45). Selections include pumpkin soup; seasonal salads; a carving station with roasted turkey and honey ham; a pasta station; and sides such as green bean casserole and glazed yams with marshmallow gratin. Cost is $55 for adults, $25 for children ages 6-12 and free for kids 5 and under. The price includes one glass of champagne for adults over age 21, or sparkling cider. There will be live jazz from 3 to 7 p.m.

1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, 831-657-6675

 

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Three Sunday events: Soif & Ocean2table in Santa Cruz, fire benefit with food/wine at Monterey Aquarium

Santa Cruz’s Soif hosts 4th annual waiters race

Santa Cruz’s Soif hosts 4th annual waiters race

There are many food and wine and events this weekend in the Santa Cruz and Monterey area. Here are details on three occuring Sunday, Aug. 7: a fun waiters race at Soif, a delicious seafood and wine popup with Ocean2table and MJA Vineyards, and an epic benefit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium with more than 20 chefs and wineries.

 

Noon to 3pm: Waiters Race at Soif

Soif Restaurant & Merchants is hosting the fourth annual Waiters Race on Walnut Avenue.  As in previous years, three-person teams from several area restaurants will navigate an outdoor course, demonstrating many of the skills members of the service industry bring to work every day.  The event is billed as “not only a friendly competition among area restaurants, but also a celebration of the skill and dedication of members of the service industry.” This event is free; teams from Soif, Woodstock’s Pizza, 99 Bottles, Ulterior @Motiv, and Assembly are participating. The three judges are David Kinch (chef/owner of Michelin 3 Star restaurant Manresa in Los Gatos and owner of Bywater in Los Gatos, he’s a Santa Cruz resident); Sue Slater (Department Chair/Instructor in Cabrillo College’s Department of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management); and Paul Mekis (Director of Wine for Rosewood Hotels and Resorts and winner of an SF waiters race many years ago).

Location: 105 Walnut, Santa Cruz

 

5 to 8pm: Ocean2table Pescetarian Popup at MJA Vineyards

MJA Vineyards is hosting a popup with Ocean2table. There will be several a la carte dishes available featuring Ocean2table seafood and there will be optional wine pairings. Food dishes are subject to change depending on what the fishermen catch on Saturday. All seafood is local, wild and sustainable and all vegetables are local and organic. A tentative menu includes sablefish cakes drizzled in spicy garlic aioli; lettuce wraps with pan-fried lingcod, parsnip slaw and chipotle crema; tacos with pan-fried petrale from Half Moon Bay; and wild morel mushroom soup.

Location: 328 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz

 

6 to 8pm: Soberanes Fire Relief Benefit at the Aquarium

The Monterey-based restaurant group Downtown Dining (Tarpy’s Roadhouse, Montrio Bistro, Rio Grill) is partnering with the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a benefit. There is free admission and free coffee; tickets for food, beer and wine will be sold at the event. More than 20 chefs are participating including Todd Fisher (Tarpy’s), Tony Baker (Montrio), Cy Yontz (Rio), Michelle Lee and Matt Bolton (C Restaurant+Bar), Yulanda Santos (Aubergine), Tom Snyder (Esteban at Casa Munras); Mo Tabib (The Fish Hopper); Johnny DeVivo (Porter’s in the Forest); Tim Wood (Valley Kitchen at Carmel Valley Ranch); and Angela Tamara (Peppoli at Spanish Bay). Aquarium exhibits will be open during the event. 100% of all proceeds collected will go to those impacted by the fire through the “Soberanes Fire Fund” of the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC). The Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) created the Soberanes Fire Fund to assist communities affected by the Soberanes Fire which began July 22, 2016. Donations will provide both immediate relief and support in the aftermath of the fire.

Location: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey

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Food truck, Homeless Garden Project events in Scotts Valley & Santa Cruz

Salad at a previous HGP Sustain dinner. Credit: Crystal Birns

Salad at a previous HGP Sustain dinner. Credit: Crystal Birns

There are many food events occurring this weekend in local cities such as Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley—here are details for a first-time Scotts Valley food truck event Friday and a benefit feast with star chefs at Homeless Garden Project Saturday.

Friday, Sept. 18: Food Trucks a Go Go
Food Trucks A Go Go, a food truck event company, is hosting its first food truck event at Skypark in Scotts Valley Friday night. Attendees can choose from four local trucks, and there are picnic tables at the park. Participating food trucks are Ate3One (Philly cheesesteak, tacos & more), Zameen Mediterranean (falafel, gyros, etc.), The Choke Coach (menu includes artichokes a la carte and as ingredients in other dishes), and Aunt LaLi’s Mobile Café (ice cream and sweets).

Aunt LaLi’s owner, LaLi Kates, has been bringing her treats to the local community for years, and she is the founder of Food Trucks A Go Go.  Kates says that for years, both she and her customers have been wanting food trucks in the area, and that the timing is now right to make this happen. Save the date for the next Go Go Gathering: Friday, Oct. 23, same time and place.

Date/Hours: Friday, Sept. 18, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Location: Skypark, 361 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

Saturday, Sept. 19: Homeless Garden Project benefit dinner
Santa Cruz’s Homeless Garden Project (HGP) is holding an organic benefit dinner at its farm, the latest in its Sustain Farm Dinner series. Sustain is a seasonal gourmet dinner series featuring organic produce from the farm, wine pairings, and guest speakers discussing sustainable topics. The admission fee, $125, benefits HGP; the prices are higher this season because HGP is celebrating its 25th anniversary so the dinners are more extensive and the speakers are nationally known. The dinner held in August featured Greens Restaurant founder Deborah Madison, and Catherine Sneed is Saturday’s keynote speaker. Sneed began the horticulture program at the SF County Jail in 1982. Read more and purchase tickets online.

A different chef will prepare each of the four courses. David Morgan, chef for David Kinch’s soon-to-open The Bywater in Los Gatos (read more in my recent article) will prepare a first course duo: fried green tomatoes, bagna cauda and ricotta cheese; and smoked pork boudin with mustard and pickles. The Food Lounge’s Andrea Mollenauer will prepare a salad for the second course, while Soif’s Mark Denham will create an entrée of tea smoked quail, quinoa & kale “fried rice,” spiced eggplant, blistered padrons, and chimichurri  (vegetarian and vegan options are available if ordered ahead). Renowned Aubergine pastry chef Ron Mendoza is providing dessert: Japanese cheesecake with carrot and cilantro. There will also be live classical music performed by a quartet comprised of musicians from the Santa Cruz Symphony.

Date/Hours: Saturday, Sept. 19, 4-7:30 p.m.
Location: HGP Farm, Shaffer Road at Delaware Avenue, Santa Cruz

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New Year’s Eve 2014-15: celebrating at Monterey & Carmel restaurants

Food at TusCA Ristorante in Monterey. Photo credit: TusCA web site

Food at TusCA Ristorante in Monterey. Photo credit: TusCA web site

Only one day left to New Year’s Eve 2014-2015! If you’re planning to dine in Monterey or Carmel for the occasion, here are a few restaurants to consider.

Interested in SF or Oakland? Click here.

Restaurant 1833
This New Year’s Eve, Restaurant 1833 will host a special dinner highlighting a menu from Chef Levi Mezick that have made this downtown Monterey hot spot a not-to-be-missed dining destination over the past three years. As the team rings in 2015, new Executive Chef Jason Franey will roll out a new menu in January, and this New Year’s Eve celebration gives guests a final chance to savor favorites from Levi Mezick. The evening will consist of two seatings: the first from 6-7 p.m. and the second from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Guests at the first seating will enjoy a five-course meal for $95 per person with menu highlights including Hamachi with blood orange, cumin, avocado and pickled jalapeno; and Bacon Wrapped Sturgeon with black lentils, brown butter and spinach. Dessert is Mezick’s signature Booker’s Butter Bourbon Pudding with Satsuma mandarin and blood orange caramel. Guests at the second seating will enjoy a seven course meal for $125 per person with a menu offering all five courses served in the first seating plus additional offerings including Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast with salsify, basil and lemon butter and Pineapple Granita with coconut tapioca and passion fruit. Following dinner service, a DJ will spin tunes until 2 a.m. Dinner reservations are highly recommended and can be made with a credit card through Open Table or by calling 831.643.1833.
Alvarado Street Brewery / “Bubbles & Brews:” four-course dinner with Alvarado Street beer plus champagne from Caraccioli Cellars, $95 plus tax and gratuity, 7 p.m. / 426 Alvarado St., Monterey, 831-655-2337.
Dinner attendees will enjoy Brut Cuvée & Brut Rosé from Caraccioli Cellars, as well as two of Alvarado Street’s inaugural barrel aged beer releases: a passionfruit Lambic, and a Belgian Barley wine with tart red cherries. The brewery is also offering a 10 p.m. event ($25 cover); this includes drinks, DJ (DNA) and dancing. For dinner, advance ticket purchase is required at eventbrite.com.

Anton & Michel Restaurant / Dinner for Two prepared tableside — $140 for three courses; several specials available a la carte / Mission Street between Ocean & 7th., Carmel, 831-624-2406.
The tableside Dinner for Two includes Caesar salad, rack of lamb, and choice of flambée dessert. A la carte appetizers include Dungeness crab ravioli with sundried tomatoes and Meyer lemon cream sauce. entrees include Maple Leaf duck breast with sundried cherry sauce, grilled asparagus, roasted peppers, and sweet potato-green onion mash, and herb-seared Pacific salmon.

Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel / Two seatings: 5:30-6:30 p.m. or 8:30-9:30 p.m. / Monte Verde Street between Ocean & 7th., Carmel, 831-624-8578.
The 5:30-6:30 seatings offer a four-course menu, while the 8:30-9:30 seatings feature a six-course menu.

Pacific’s Edge Restaurant at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands / $150 plus tax and gratuity per person, four-course prix fixe dinner, seatings begin at 5:30 p.m. / 120 Highlands Drive, Carmel, 831-622-5445.
First course options include roasted baby beets with goat cheese mousse, chives, brioche crumble, and black truffle dressing. Second course selections include olive oil-braised octopus with Spanish paprika and baby heirloom potatoes. Entrée choices include pan-fried filet mignon with Point Reyes blue cheese and roasted walnut butter and Cabernet sauvignon reduction. Desserts include maple crème brulee with honey oat granola and Chantilly cream.

Sardine Factory / $79 plus tax and gratuity per person, four-course prix fixe dinner, dinner from 5-11:30 p.m., open until 1 a.m. / 701 Wave Street, Monterey, 831-373-3775.
The cost includes dinner, a midnight balloon drop, party favors, and live entertainment. Dinner includes Maine Lobster bisque, Salinas Valley spinach salad, choice of entrée (options include Greater Omaha filet mignon with wild mushroom gratin, rainbow chard, blue cheese fondue and Pinot noir syrup drizzle, or pan-seared Diver scallops with lemon gastrique, bouillabaisse style polenta, pernod glazed asparagus, and candied lemon zest. Dessert is profiteroles with mango and chocolate sauce.

TusCA Ristorante / Dinner for Two, $60 per couple plus tax and gratuity, seatings from 5:30-10 p.m. / Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa, 1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, 831-657-6675.
Guests receive one shared appetizer (choices include crab dip or sweet potato arancini), two entrees (choices include shrimp alfredo or mushroom butternut squash ravioli), a shared dessert (selections include tiramisu or gelato), one glass of wine, and one glass of champagne.

Will’s Fargo Steakhouse & Bar / Holiday specials, prices vary, seatings from 4:30-10 p.m. for food; bar stays open until 1 a.m. / 16 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley, 831-659-2774.
New Year’s Eve specials will include appetizer smoked salmon, crème fraiche, red onions, capers, toast ($10.95) and entrees such as grilled bone-in 18-ounce rib eye, black truffle butter ($48.95) and baked Monterey Bay black cod, Satsuma mandarin ‘beurre blanc’ ($33.95). Each entrée includes soup or salad, and soup specials will include lobster bisque. One dessert special is Black Forest brandied cherries with whipped cream and chocolate mousse ($8.95).

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More Bay Area restaurants for Christmas: Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz

Food at Will’s Fargo Steakhouse & Bar in Carmel Valley

Food at Will’s Fargo Steakhouse & Bar in Carmel Valley

Here are a few more choices for dining out in the Bay Area on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day 2014.

If you missed my earlier Christmas article, here are some restaurant highlights for San Francisco and Oakland.

Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove

Anton & Michel Restaurant / Dec. 24, open regular lunch & dinner hours with regular menus. Dec. 25, open 3-9 p.m. with Dinner for Two prepared tableside — $135 for three courses; several Christmas specials available a la carte / Mission Street between Ocean & 7th., Carmel, 831-624-2406.
The “Classic Dinner for Two” includes Caesar salad, rack of lamb, and choice of flambée dessert. A la carte entrees include porcini-crusted halibut and herb-seared Pacific salmon.

Favaloro’s Big Night Bistro / Dec. 24 special a la carte dinner, prices vary, seatings from 5 p.m. / 545 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, 831-373-8523.
The restaurant is offering a limited Christmas Eve menu featuring their family’s favorite holiday dishes; the regular menu won’t be available. Salads ($13) include persimmon artisan salad. Starters ($16) include veggie-stuffed portabella mushroom, ahi carpaccio, and clams and mussels Bordelaise. Entrees ($28) include petit filet mignon and champagne prawns.

Pacific’s Edge Restaurant at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands / Dec. 25 dinner, $110 adults, $55 kids 5-12, four-course prix fixe dinner, seatings from 5:30-9:30 p.m. / 120 Highlands Drive, Carmel, 831-622-5445.
First course options include winter mushroom ravioli with black truffle sauce and shaved black truffles or butternut squash bisque with Frangelico, brown butter, and maple cream. Entrée choices include sautéed King salmon, coriander crust, bok choy, enoki mushrooms, ginger soy vinaigrette or pan-fried filet mignon, smashed duck fat Yukon gold potatoes, whole grain mustard Béarnaise.

Schooner’s Coastal Kitchen & Bar / Dec. 25 prix fixe dinner $55 or $80 with wine pairing, seatings from 4:30 p.m. onward / 400 Cannery Row, Monterey, 831-372-BOAT (2628).
In addition to the special four-course prix fix dinner, the restaurant will offer its regular menu with holiday specials.
Will’s Fargo Steakhouse & Bar / Dec. 24 will include holiday specials, prices vary, seatings from 4-8:30 p.m. / 16 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley, 831-659-2774.Christmas Eve specials will include appetizer Dungeness crab cake with chipolte remoulade, micro arugula ($9.95) and two entrees: grilled buffalo rib eye, sauce marchand de vin ($45.95) and baked Petrale sole, leek, corn au piment d’espelette ($32.95). Each entrée includes soup or salad, choice of rice or potato, cauliflower gratin. Soup specials will be crab & corn bisque, and chestnut & mushroom soup with white truffle oil. One dessert special is Bûche de Noël, (Yule Log) for $8.95.

Other restaurants in the Monterey/Carmel/Pacific Grove area offering dinner on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day include the following (book at OpenTable.com):

  • Monterey–Café Beach Restaurant at Monterey Beach Resort, Fish Hopper, Louie Linguini’s, Old Fisherman’s Grotto, Chart House, and TusCA Ristorante
  • Carmel–Il Fornaio, Grasing’s, Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel

Santa Cruz
Restaurants in Santa Cruz offering dinner on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day include the following (book at OpenTable.com):

  • Aquarius at Dream Inn
  • Linwood’s Bar & Grill at Chaminade Resort
  • Lago Di Como

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Thanksgiving 2014 restaurants & food options in Santa Cruz and Monterey

Pie at Emily’s Bakery

Pie at Emily’s Bakery

It’s the countdown to Thanksgiving 2014, and time to make your reservations if you’re going out to eat! Want to dine in the Santa Cruz or Monterey area? Here are a few restaurants to consider for November 27, 2014. I’ll be publishing more Bay Area options in the next couple days.

Santa Cruz, Aptos & Soquel Restaurants

Chaminade offers a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 6 p.m. The cost is $51.95 for adults, $17.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Selections include roast turkey with orange-cranberry compote, roasted Dijon-crusted lamb leg with mint jelly, butternut squash ravioli with porcini crème, a seafood assortment, gourmet salads, and pumpkin apple soup with toasted pepita seeds. Customers are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz County. Participants in the Chaminade’s annual toy drive will be entered into a drawing and there will be three winners with prizes of a 50-minute massage at The Spa, Sunday Brunch for two in the Sunset Restaurant, and an overnight stay for two.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz (831) 475-5600

Michael’s on Main is serving Thanksgiving dinner with seatings beginning at 2 p.m. The restaurant will offer a 3-course prix fixe meal for adults ($28) and a special meal for kids 12 and under ($12). The adult dinner features four entrée selections to choose from: oven-roasted turkey, Osso Bucco, pistachio-crusted salmon, or grilled Portobello. The kids’ menu is choice of traditional Thanksgiving turkey, chicken fingers and fries, or macaroni and cheese.
2591 Main Street, Soquel (831) 479-9777

Aquarius is offering a $52 prix fixe three-course menu (a kids’ menu for $24 will also be available). First-course options include kale salad with faro, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, and butternut squash vinaigrette, or crispy cauliflower with smoked Marcona almond romesco. Entrée choices include free-range turkey roulade with cornbread and pecan stuffing, persimmon/cranberry sauce, and more, or pan-roasted cobia with candied yams, roasted brussels sprouts, and mashed potatoes.
175 West Cliff (at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn), Santa Cruz, (831) 460-5012

Ideal Bar & Grill has a limited holiday menu available all day beginning at 11 a.m. Dishes include a traditional turkey plate for $15.95 and slow roasted prime rib for $24.95. Homemade desserts will include pumpkin pie.
106 Beach Street (at the Santa Cruz Wharf), (831) 423-5271

Sanderlings has a buffet; the price is $44.95 for adults and $21.95 for kids. Salads and sides include Roasted Butternut Squash with frisée, toasted almonds, and ginger-red chili vinaigrette, Roasted Beets and Arugula Salad with Oranges, Red Belgium Endive,
Fennel, Watermelon Radish and Tarragon Dressing, Cheddar-Corn Muffins with Jalapeño-Honey Butter, and Yukon Gold Potato Mash with Caramelized Onions. Entrées include Sage Butter Roasted Turkey Breast with Sourdough, Pear, Shiitake Mushrooms and Red Onion Stuffing, and Rosemary Roasted Prime Rib of Beef with Horseradish Cream and Au Jus.
One Seascape Resort Drive (at Seascape Beach Resort), Aptos, (831) 662-7120

Monterey Restaurants

Anton & Michel Restaurant / $38 adults, $19 kids 12 and under, three-course prix fixe meal, 1 to 8 p.m.
Appetizer choices include butternut squash bisque; everyone gets roast free-range turkey for their entrée, accompanied by cornbread and sausage stuffing, cranberry-port chutney, and more. The regular menu will also be available.
Mission Street between Ocean & 7th., Carmel, 624-2406

Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel / $115 adults, four-course prix fixe menu, 6-9:30 p.m.
The restaurant promises “the traditional turkey dinner taken to new dimensions.” Wine pairings are available for $89 per person.
Monte Verde Street between Ocean & 7th., Carmel, 624-8578

Fandango / $36.95 adults, $16.50 kids 12 and under, prix fixe meal, Noon-8 p.m.
The meal includes duck pate and kalamata olives; Basque salad; dessert; and entrée choice from selections such as roast tom turkey with gravy, chestnut sage stuffing, fresh cranberry sauce, and more, or grilled salmon filet, café de Paris butter, mashed potatoes & garden vegetables.
223 17th St., Pacific Grove, 372-3456

Jack’s Restaurant at the Portola Hotel & Spa / $49 adults, $39.95 seniors, $19.95 kids 6-12, prix fixe meal, 1-7 p.m.
Diners will receive soup (cream of wild mushroom) and salad. Then, turkey and accompaniments (sourdough stuffing, yams, green beans and crispy shallots, etc.) will be served family-style. There will also be a dessert display.
2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, 649-2698

Kula Ranch Island Steakhouse / $26.95, prix fixe meal, seatings from 1-8 p.m.
For the prix fixe meal, appetizer choices include butternut squash soup. Everyone gets slow-roasted turkey for their entrée, accompanied by sides such as chicken apple stuffing and sautéed green beans. Dessert choices include pumpkin crème brulee. A separate, limited menu will also be available (entrees include skirt steak, prime rib, and halibut), as will the restaurant’s sushi bar.
Reservation Road at 3295 Dunes Drive, Marina, 883-9479

Lodge Restaurant at Carmel Valley Ranch / $75 adults, plated Thanksgiving dinner, Noon-8 p.m.
The dinner includes a glass of sparkling cider upon arrival.
1 Old Ranch Road, Carmel, 625-0645

Pacific’s Edge Restaurant at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands / $95 adults, $45 kids 5-12, four-course prix fixe dinner, seatings from 4-8 p.m.
First course options include warm brussels sprout salad with bacon-cider vinaigrette, dry ricotta, red grapes or winter mushroom bisque & black truffle toast. Entrée choices include slow roasted all natural turkey, buttermilk potato puree, sage stuffing, heirloom carrots, turkey gravy, or dry aged prime rib, white cheddar potato gratin, heirloom carrots, and red wine roasting jus.
120 Highlands Drive, Carmel, 622-5445

Point Pinos Grill / $35.95 adults, $10.95 kids 10 and under, buffet, seatings from noon-6 p.m.
The buffet includes chilled seafood such as Dungeness crab legs, a cheese and charcuterie display, wild mushroom stuffing, sausage stuffing, and baby lettuce salad with persimmon, toasted almonds, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. There will be a carving station with roasted natural turkey, roast beef, and pork tenderloin apple compote.
79 Asilomar Blvd., Pacific Grove, 648-5774

Porter’s in the Forest / prices vary / Thanksgiving menu features a la carte items, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Menu items will include roasted turkey (milk poached breast, fennel, sausage stuffing, fall vegetable au-gratin, cranberry compote, $32), smoked pork loin (bacon lardoons, kabocha squash, charred kale, quince, $33), and sides such as kale, brussels sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes, sausage fennel stuffing, and root vegetable au-gratin ($7 each).
3200 Lopez Road at Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach, 622-8237

TusCA Ristorante / $40 adults, $15 kids 5-12, champagne dinner/buffet, seatings from 1-6 p.m.
The buffet price includes one glass of champagne (or sparkling cider) for adults over age 21. Selections include cola and clove studded brown bag ham, traditional herb-roasted turkey, and spiced butternut squash soup. There will be live jazz from 3-7 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa, 1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, 657-6675

Other options in Santa Cruz & Capitola

There are also a few stores, caterers, and bakeries that can help you with Thanksgiving options; these include:

  • New Leaf Community Market (watch for an article on their offerings soon or visit newleaf.com)
  • Gayle’s Bakery–pre-ordering available for a la carte items or packages. Selections include traditional turkey (free-range Diestel) and buttermilk mashed potatoes, and vegan alternatives such as butternut squash and hazelnut lasagna. Visit www.gaylesbakery.com.
  • Emily’s Bakery— www.emilysbakery.com — offers items like stuffing, dinner rolls, cakes, and pies (the latter come in flavors like chocolate pecan, pumpkin, and apple)
  • Whole Foods Market–read my Nov. 17 article for details
  • Lifestyle Culinary Arts—orders must be in by Nov. 21; email andrea@lifestyleculinary.com or call (831) 588-4515 to get full menu or place order. Selections include whole turkeys, stuffed boneless turkey breast (white meat, ready to roast), and signature cranberry chutney (tart & sweet with a hint of ginger)

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