Tag Archives: Bittersweet Bistro

“Dining in” at Santa Cruz County restaurants, June 19, 2020

Bacon & egg croissant from Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticerria
Photo courtesy of Gayle’s

So much has changed since my last article at the end of May, with restaurants now being allowed to open for dine-in service if they follow restrictions and social distancing guidelines. Here are some highlights of places that are open for onsite dining, whether that’s on an outdoor patio, in a dining room with limited seating, or both. Many of them are also still doing food to-go. I will try to publish an update in a few days.

Most of these are “listings only” but first, I wanted to share more details for a few local businesses:

Seabright Social, in the former location of Seabright Brewery (519 Seabright Ave., seabrightsocial.com) opened June 12 and features lots of outdoor seating plus some indoor seating. Hours are 11:30am-11:30pm daily (closed on June 22 for one day only). Reservations are recommended at 831-426-2739. After buying the brewpub and restaurant in 2019, local residents/co-owners Jason and Keiki McKay (who run Aptos-based Cantine Winepub in Aptos) and Jon Bates have done renovations to the building and the menu. Food includes salmon ceviche and a street taco trio with chicken mole, pork carnitas, and beef asada. Drinks include several Seabright Brewery draft beers, local wine, and a full bar.

Scrumptious Fish & Chips recently restarted its popups. Upcoming appearances include Steel Bonnet Brewery in Scotts Valley (5-8 p.m. on several Friday nights), the Scotts Valley (Saturday) and Live Oak (Sunday) farmers markets, and Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing in Westside SC. Visit https://www.scrumptiousfc.com/find-us for complete schedule.

The Palm Deli has its patio open again, with tables spaced appropriately, at 3000 Valencia Ave. They have returned to regular hours, opening at 7am every day, closing at 6pm weekdays and 5pm Sat-Sun. Visit https://www.thepalmdeli.com.

Hula’s Island Grill at 221 Cathcart St. offers the choice of dining indoors or on the lanai deck out front (takeout is also still available). They open at 2pm every day, and close at 8pm Sun-Thurs and 9pm Fri-Sat. Visit https://www.hulastiki.com/

Gayle’s Bakery at 504 Bay Ave. has newly extended hours of 7am-7pm daily and is now allowing socially distanced sit-down dining. Also, with online orders there is now next-day pick up (shorter wait time—when they first reopened, it was a two-day wait). Visit https://www.gaylesbakery.com.

May’s Sushi closed its 1800 Soquel Ave. location on June 1, and is now operating out of Sesame Korean Grill at 435 Front St. Both cuisines are still available, as the restaurants have the same owners. In addition, the owners announced they will be opening a new restaurant called Crazy Crab, adjacent to Sesame, which will feature seafood boils. Visit https://www.sesame-koreangrill.com/ or call 831-454-8355.

Vim at 2238 Mission St. reopened its dining room and patio on June 17, and it’s open 5-8pm Wednesday-Saturday and 10 am-1pm Sunday (Vim started doing Sunday brunch during shelter in place, and it was popular so they’re continuing now that they’re open for onsite dining). Visit https://www.vimsantacruz.com.

Mentone at 174 Aptos Village Way now offers first-come-first-serve tables outside in the parking lot on the weekend, from 3:30-7pm Fridays and 12-6ish Saturdays and Sundays. There is beer, wine, cocktails, pizzas, salad, and a variety of snacks.  Takeout pizza is available Wednesdays and Thursdays. Visit https://www.mentonerestaurant.com or call 831-708-1174.

Madrone Kitchen, a meal delivery business from chefs Reeny Marquez and Sean Adams, is doing Friday popups at Aldo’s (790 Mariner Park Way) from 5 p.m. to sellout. They sell food items while Aldo’s offers beer, wine and cocktails for sale.  Sample popup menu offerings include Mojo Shrimp Skewers with citrus garlic herb sauce, Cuban-style black beans, rice, and fried plantains. Madrone Kitchen also does weekly Sunday dinner delivery. Visit madronekitchen.com.

Although not yet open for “dining in,” Soif Restaurant and Wine Shop (831-423-2020, http://www.soifwine.com/) now has curbside pickup for food and wine from 4-8 pm  Wednesday-Saturday. They had stopped doing takeout in early April. Also, the May/June issue of California Bountiful, the magazine for the California Farm Bureau Federation, featured an article about Soif’s executive Chef Tom McNary with several recipes. Sister restaurant La Posta (831-457-2782, https://www.lapostarestaurant.com), formerly open Friday-Sunday, is doing pickup 4-8pm Thursday through Sunday. Also, there is a Thursday special: pizza or pasta with salad for one person, for $20.

Colectivo Felix now offers delivery Friday through Sunday to local residents (formerly only Fri-Sat). Empanadas are available by the half dozen or dozen, and they create a rotating variety of salads, soups, and desserts. Also, customers can now order a seasonal Ridge to Reef Organics produce box. Visit https://colectivofelix.square.site/ to order, or email info@colectivofelix.com with questions.

As always, please email tara@santacruzfoodie.com if you have information to share, or corrections, for future articles.

Open for “dine-in” service

Alderwood (831-588-3238 or 831-888-6901, https://www.alderwoodsantacruz.com)

Auntie Mame’s Café (831-438-1840, https://auntiemamescafe.co)

Belly Goat Craft Burgers (at Abbott Square Market on Front St., https://www.bellygoatburgers.com)

Bittersweet Bistro (831-662-9799, http://bittersweetbistro.com)

Blaze Pizza (831-607-2030, https://www.blazepizza.com)

Blue Bunny Tacos (at Abbott Square Market, https://www.instagram.com/bluebunnytacos)

Britannia Arms (831-464-2683, https://www.facebook.com/britanniaarmscapitola/)

Café Iveta (Westside and campus locations, iveta.com)

Café Mare (831-458-1212, http://www.cafemare.com)

Café Rio (831-688-8917, https://www.caferioaptos.com)

California Grill (831-722-8052, www.californiagrillrestaurant.com)

Chaminade’s “The View, A Treeside Restaurant” (831-475-5600, www.chaminade.com/santa_cruz_restaurants)

Chocolate (831-427-9900, https://chocolatesantacruz.com)

Coffeetopia (http://www.coffeetopia.com)

The Crepe Place (831-429-6994, https://thecrepeplace.com)

The Crow’s Nest (831-476-4560, https://crowsnest-santacruz.com)

Daisuki Octagon Sushi (831-316-5464, at Octagon by Abbott Square, http://daisukioctagonsushi.com/)

Dharma’s (831-462-1717, www.dharmasrestaurant.com)

East End Gastropub (831-475-8010, http://eastendpub.com/)

El Jardín (831-477-9384, https://www.eljardinrestaurant.net/)

El Palomar (831-425-7575, https://elpalomarsantacruz.com)

The Farm House (831-536-5363, https://www.farmhousewatsonville.com)

Firefish Grill (831-423-5200, http://www.firefishgrill.net/)

Gabriella Café (831-457-1677, http://gabriellacafe.com)

Holy Smokes Country BBQ (831-471-8787, https://www.holysmokescountrybbqandcatering.com)

HOME Soquel (831-431-6131, http://www.homesoquel.com)

Hula’s Island Grill (831-426-4852, https://www.hulastiki.com)

Jalisco’s (https://www.jaliscorestaurant.com)

Jeffery’s Restaurant (831-425-1485, https://www.facebook.com/Jefferys-Restaurant-2348536278713065/)

Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta Bar (831-469-4400, https://www.kiantis.com/)

The Kitchen at Discretion (831-316-0662, https://www.discretionbrewing.com)

Lago di Como (831-454-8257, http://lagodicomoristorante.com/)

Laili Resaturant (831-423-4545, www.lailirestaurant.com)

Lillian’s Italian Kitchen (831-425-2288, https://www.lilliansitaliankitchen.com)

Michael’s on Main (831-479-9777, www.michaelsonmain.com)

Mission Hill Creamery (831-508-0774, http://missionhillcreamery.com)

Mutari Chocolate (http://www.mutarichocolate.com)

Oasis Tasting Room & Kitchen (831-621-8040, oasissantacruz.com)

Olive Garden (831-462-0120, https://www.olivegarden.com)

Oswald (831-423-7427, http://www.oswaldrestaurant.com)

Oyunaa’s Mongolian Cuisine (831-469-9900, http://www.oyunaas.com)

Palm Deli (831-688-3354, https://www.thepalmdeli.com)

Pizza My Heart (https://www.pizzamyheart.com)

Pizzeria La Bufala (831-999-0301, at Abbott Square Market, https://www.pizzerialabufala.com)

Pleasure Pizza—East Side Eatery (831-6058, https://www.pleasurepizzasc.com)

Pono Hawaiian Kitchen & Tap (831-476-7458, ponohawaiiangrill.com)

Rosie McCann’s (831-426-9930, https://rosiemccanns.com/santacruz)

Roux Dat (at Octagon by Abbott Square, https://rouxdatcajuncreole.com)

Sanderlings at Seascape Resort (831-662-7120, https://www.sanderlingsrestaurant.com/menus)

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing (831-425-4900, https://www.scmbrew.com)

Scopazzi’s (831-338-6441, www.scopazzisrestaurant.com)

Tortilla Flats (831-476-1754, https://www.tortillaflatstogo.com)

Tramonti (831-426-7248, http://tramontisantacruz.com)

Veg on the Edge (831-423-3000, at Abbott Square Market, https://vegontheedge.com)

Vino Locale Wine Bar & Tapas (https://www.vinolocalesantacruz.com)

Vinocruz Winebar & Kitchen (https://vinocruz.com, 831-426-8466)

Woodies Café (https://www.facebook.com/woodiescafeca).

Woodstock’s Pizza (831-427-4444, https://woodstockscruz.com)

Zachary’s (831-427-0646, http://www.zacharyssantacruz.com)

Zelda’s (831-475-4900, http://zeldasonthebeach.com)

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Santa Cruz County food/drink closures & changes, as of March 21, 2020

Truffles at Chocolate Restaurant
photo by Liz Birnbaum of The Curated Feast

As I mentioned in my post Thursday, I am doing what I can to share information during the Coronavirus pandemic. Hoping this helps those of you who are either buying groceries or ready-to-eat food and drinks, and also helps the local business owners. Unfortunately I’ve already heard of one closing because of the health crisis: the restaurant/pub 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall announced Thursday it would be closing for good because they wouldn’t be able to survive this.

I wanted to also mention, for staying healthy, that Capitola’s The Vitamin Center is taking phone orders and offering curbside pickup. Call 831-462-4697 after 10 a.m. daily except Sunday.

Please forgive any mistakes in these listings, as it’s a constantly changing situation. Email me at tara@santacruzfoodie.com if you have information to share, that I can add to future articles. I’ll provide more listings in a couple days.

Grocery stores (listed alphabetically)

  • Costco: hours are 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m., seniors and vulnerable customers can shop Tues & Thurs 8-9 a.m., https://www.costco.com/
  • Grocery Outlet: hoursare8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, https://groceryoutlet.com/store-locator
  • New Leaf Community Markets: reduced hours 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, https://www.newleaf.com/
  • Shopper’s Corner: as of March 21, they had not reduced hours (still 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.). For seniors and vulnerable guests, they will take your order via email (shoppers.statements@gmail.com) and shop for you Monday-Friday, & call when ready to pick up—when you email your list, include your name & phone #. http://www.shopperscorner.com/
  • Staff of Life: reduced hours 9 a.m.-8 p.m., seniors 60 & older can shop at 8 a.m. from Monday-Friday, https://www.staffoflifemarket.com
  • Target: reduced hours at stores including Capitola & Watsonville (8 a.m.-9 p.m.): https://www.target.com/store-locator/find-stores
  • Trader Joe’s: reduced hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, https://www.traderjoes.com/
  • Safeway: reduced hours depending on location, https://www.safeway.com/
  • Whole Foods: reduced hours 9 a.m.-8 p.m., seniors 60 & older can shop at 8 a.m. https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores

Farmer’s Markets – these are currently open:

  • Downtown Santa Cruz Wednesday
  • Aptos/Cabrillo College Saturday
  • Westside SC Saturday
  • Live Oak Sunday

Restaurants & other food vendors

  • Alderwood: reopening March 24 with takeout and delivery menu, alderwoodsantacruz.com
  • Bad Animal Books: Wednesday, Friday, & Sunday from 4-7 p.m., take-out “family meals” with curbside pick up. Emergency first responders get a 50% discount. Order at badanimalbooks.com.
  • Bagelry: closed for the foreseeable future
  • Bittersweet Bistro: open Wednesday-Sunday noon-7 pm for take-out, curbside pickup, and delivery (to Aptos on orders over $100), bittersweetbistro.com.
  • Blue Bunny Tacos: closed until further notice
  • Café Mare: takeout/curbside and delivery, 831-458-1212, http://www.cafemare.com/
  • Charlie Hong Kong: noon-9 p.m., takeout (curbside pickup). They will cater & deliver to serve first responders, medical/hospital staff & government workers, charliehongkong.com
  • Chocolate: takeout/delivery daily 4-8pm. They use DoorDash for delivery — menu is updated on DoorDash every day at noon, and there are daily specials Delivery info is at https://www.doordash.com/store/chocolate-santa-cruz-284767/ & pickup info is at https://chocolatesantacruz.com/wine-list/
  • Colectivo Felix: Friday and Saturday empanada delivery to Santa Cruz residents, possibly adding soup next week (check site Monday), https://colectivofelix.square.site/
  • Crow’s Nest: takeout daily with curbside pickup 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m., also Beach Market next door 9 a.m.-8 p.m., http://www.crowsnest-santacruz.com/
  • Dharma’s: closed for the foreseeable future
  • East Side Eatery from Pleasure Pizza: 11 a.m.-8 p.m., takeout/delivery only, with curbside pickup for online orders, pleasurepizzasc.com
  • Full Steam Dumpling: Thursday-Sunday noon-5 p.m., takeout with curbside pickup (at Santa Cruz Food Lounge), (626) 549-5574
  • Home: takeout with curbside pickup, taking phone orders between 1-6pm, 831-431-6131, homesoquel.com
  • Ideal Bar & Grill: Daily noon-6 p.m., takeout food plus brewed coffee and espresso drinks, are available. Orders can be placed in person at café or at 831-423-5271. Only 2 guests at a time will be allowed in Ideal for pickup. www.idealbarandgrill.com
    Kianti’s: takeout with curbside pickup, or delivery, https://www.kiantis.com/
  • La Posta: takeout with curbside pickup, lapostarestaurant.com
  • Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria: takeout/delivery including free delivery to limited areas, menu with family-size options through April 7, lagodicomoristorante.com
  • Laili: takeout/delivery, lailirestaurant.com
  • Linda’s Sea Breeze: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., takeout, cash (ATM available) or check, 831-427-9713
  • Nick the Greek: takeout/delivery, nickthegreeksj.com/locations
  • Olive Garden: doing takeout and delivery,https://www.olivegarden.com/order-togo
  • Panda Express: takeout and delivery, pandaexpress.com
  • Pasatiempo Golf Course: MacKenzie Bar & Grill is closed until further notice; Hollins House is doing take-out dinner. thehollinshouse.com/restaurant
  • Persephone: take-out menu available Fridays and Saturdays (may expand in future). Menu will change week to week, see https://www.toasttab.com/potter/v3
  • Pono Hawaiian Grill: closing downtown location for the foreseeable future
  • Pretty Good Advice: takeout daily 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Shadowbrook: closing until at least April 7.
  • Soif: takeout with curbside pickup, Tues-Sat 4-8 p.m., soifwine.com
  • Surf City Sandwich: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., takeout or delivery, see surfcitysandwich.com.
  • Tortilla Flats: closed until further notice
  • Tramonti: takeout and delivery, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., 831-426-7248, http://www.tramontisantacruz.com
  • Vim Dining & Desserts: closed until further notice
  • Zameen: all branches will be closed through at least March 22.

Get info for more downtown SC restaurants, & other downtown SC food/drink venues, at https://downtownsantacruz.com/downtown-delivered

Breweries & wineries

  • Big Basin Vineyards closed the Boulder Creek and Saratoga tasting rooms until further notice.
  • Humble Sea Brewing Co. is to-go only.” Hours are Monday-Thursday 2-7 p.m. and Friday-Sunday noon to 7 p.m.  Visit humblesea.com.
  • Sante Adairius is offering to-go sales, from noon to 6 p.m. daily. Visit rusticales.com.

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Restaurants gather for Santa Cruz Homeless Services Center

2010’s Soupline Supper – credit to Red Bat Photography via Soupline web site

2010’s Soupline Supper – credit to Red Bat Photography via Soupline web site

The community is invited to eat unlimited soup from dozens of local restaurants, caterers, and other food businesses on Thursday April 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to benefit Santa Cruz’s Homeless Services Center.

The 16th Annual Soupline Supper benefit is at the Cocoanut Grove at the Santa Cruz boardwalk. For $30 per person or $55 for two, you receive soup, salad bread, and dessert. Kids’ tickets are $15. As the event tagline says, you can simultaneously “Feed Your Family. Feed Your Community. Feed Your Philanthropy.”

More than 40 participating restaurants in 2015’s Soupline include new participants Assembly, Tramonti, Cremer House, and The Hideout, plus past participants The Art Bar & Cafe at the Tannery, The Bagelry, Bittersweet Bistro, Café Cruz, Chaminade, Charlie Hong Kong, Crow’s Nest, Dharma’s, India Joze, La Posta, Manuel’s, Sawasdee, Shadowbrook, Soif, The Walnut Ave Café, and Zameen. See full restaurant list at souplinesupper.org/restaurants.

At the event there are different tables around the perimeter of the room, all with large containers of homemade soup, with about a dozen available at any one time (selections rotate throughout the evening). Attendees walk around and choose which ones to sample. Public officials and other community leaders serve the soup. This year’s “Celebrity Ladlers” include local politicians David Terrazas, Cynthia Chase, and John Leopold; pastor Rene Schlaepfer (Twin Lakes Church), business owner Larry Pearson (Pacific Cookie Company), and arts leader Nina Simon (Executive Director MAH).

There are lots of tables set up in the dining room where you can relax and enjoy your meal. There is also a raffle and silent auction. Buy tickets and read more information online at the site souplinesupper.org.

Free parking after 4 pm is available at the Boardwalk lot across from the Cocoanut Grove.

The Homeless Services Center is a community-supported non-profit organization dedicated to the coordinated provision of services for homeless persons. The goal of the Homeless Services Center is to provide both emergency and transitional services to homeless individuals that will enable clients to achieve self-sufficiency.

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

Bay Area restaurants for Father’s Day Part 2 – includes Santa Cruz & Monterey

An example of the food at Monterey’s Cibo Restaurant: Costoletta di Vitello Ariana (All Natural Veal Chop, Roasted Yukon Potatoes, Wilted Spinach, Red Wine & Pomegranate Reduction)

An example of the food at Monterey’s Cibo Restaurant:
Costoletta di Vitello Ariana (All Natural Veal Chop, Roasted Yukon Potatoes, Wilted Spinach, Red Wine & Pomegranate Reduction)

Here are some Bay Area Father’s Day restaurant highlights — if you missed the roundup that included a couple in San Francisco and Monterey and one in San Jose, click here.

Santa Cruz & Aptos Restaurants

The Buttery
Santa Cruz café and bakery The Buttery is hosting a special brunch. The “Dads & Grads” event will have live music. The menu includes carnitas burritos, potato and zucchini hash, grilled asparagus salad, jalapeno and cheddar cornbread, chocolate bread pudding with salty pretzels, and SCMB Imperial Stout. Brunch is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $20 for adults, $6 for kids 3-12, and free for kids under 3.
702 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz

Johnny’s Harborside
Santa Cruz restaurant Johnny’s Harborside is offering special dishes for brunch. Father’s Day brunch specials include smoked salmon, goat cheese, spinach, and avocado omelet with choice of potato hash, fruit, or polenta ($14), loaded breakfast potato skins ($12), and crab cake or grilled steak medallions benedict ($16). The kids can enjoy several $8 specials such as grilled ham and cheese sandwich with potato hash. Call (831) 479-3430 for reservations.
493 Lake Avenue, Santa Cruz

The Chaminade
The Chaminade offers a delicious Father’s Day brunch buffet from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m; the price is $41.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. The menu includes grilled steak with Churassco sauce, bourbon glaze baked ham, a savory seafood bar,  an omelet bar, eggs benedict, bagels, fresh fruit, a cheese display, and a delectable selection of pastries and desserts.  Children’s dishes include chicken strips and curly fries, and a macaroni and cheese bake. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Bittersweet Bistro
Bittersweet Bistro is offering a couple $20 specials in honor of Father’s Day. First, $20 select steaks, and second, Hess Select Treo Red Blend wine for $20/bottle. Both selections are available starting at 5 p.m. for dine-in customers only. Call (831) 662-9799 for reservations.
787 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Aptos

Nicholson Vineyards
In honor of Father’s Day, Nicholson Vineyards will offer free wine tasting for dads on Sunday, June 15. The day will also feature barrel tasting,  bbq sausages and sweet treats. Call 831-724-7071 for details.
2800 Pleasant Valley Road, Aptos

Monterey
Montrio Bistro

Montrio Bistro has two Father’s Day specials. Reservations are highly recommended; call 831-648-8880. From 4:30 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, the restaurant will offer a special entrée prepared by chef Tony Baker: grilled New York steak smothered with fresh lobster mornay, grilled asparagus, and bacon poutine. Montrio will also feature half-price wine night that evening. Half-price wine nights occur every Sunday at the venue, except for selected blackout dates. Customers can choose from a wide variety of varietals. Visit montrio.com.
414 Calle Principal, Monterey

Tarpy’s Roadhouse (831-647-1444) has a special four-course bacon-themed Father’s Day menu for $55, available all day (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.) in addition to the regular menu. Courses include bacon-wrapped grass-fed beef tenderloin with bourbon black pepper butter, crispy fingerlings, and dino kale.
2999 Salinas Highway, Monterey

Cibo Ristorante Italiano (831-649-8151) is hosting “Grill It for Dad! Father’s Day Special Dinner” from 5 to 10 p.m. The mixed grill special features grilled rib eye, lamb rack, and housemade Italian sausage. Other specials: there will be a complimentary appetizer with dinner, and guests can bring a bottle of wine and pay no corkage fee. Joe Lucido is performing live jazz from 7 to 10 p.m. The regular menu will also be available.
301 Alvarado, Monterey

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa (831-646-1700) is offering the celebration “BBQ, Blues & Brews.” The hotel event is 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Dolphins Fountain Plaza. See www.montereyplazahotel.com.
400 Cannery Row, Monterey

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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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Restaurants & bars for Halloween 2013 in Santa Cruz and nearby, Part 1

: Restaurant 1833 is serving a 4-course prix fixe dinner on Halloween

Restaurant 1833 is serving a 4-course prix fixe dinner on Halloween

Halloween is almost here, and there are some spooktacular celebrations occurring—including something for everyone, such as a kid-friendly atmosphere, a fancy prix fixe dinner, or options with dancing and a bar. Here are a few celebrations to consider for Halloween 2013 in Santa Cruz and nearby areas. I’ll be publishing more options in the next day or two.

Santa Cruz & Capitola

Hotel Paradox is hosting a Halloween party from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and include dancing, a DJ, a drink ticket, and access to the snack bar. Buy tickets online.
611 Ocean St., (831) 425-7100

Margaritaville has announced a “costume contest with awesome prizes” for Halloween night, plus drink specials all weekend.
231 Esplanade, Capitola (831) 476-2263

Santa Cruz Wharf Restaurants
Selected Santa Cruz Wharf restaurants are inviting kids dressed in costumes, with their parents, to come trick-or-treating on Halloween. The scheduled time is 4-6 p.m. Read more at the Santa Cruz Wharf site.
Santa Cruz Wharf, (831) 420-5273

Hula’s Santa Cruz invites you to celebrate Halloween with a Spooky Pumpkin Tini, and at Charlie Hong Kong  Halloween means it’s Thai Butternut Squash Soup season. CHK started serving the delicious soup on Oct 26 with local Windmill Farms organic heirloom butternuts; the annual season lasts until January or February depending on the squash harvest.

A few Santa Cruz restaurants are closed on Halloween, including Bittersweet Café and Bistro.

Monterey
Restaurant 1833, located in the Stokes Adobe House which some say is haunted, is hosting a fabulous party on October 31, 2013. Chef Levi Mezick will be offering a special Halloween four-course prix fixe menu in the dining room featuring Pumpkin Soup with pumpernickel bread crumbs; Beet Salad with hazelnuts, duck prosciutto and bulls blood; Braised Pork Cheek with cranberry puree, mustard greens and banyuls; Pan Roasted Rainbow Trout with haricot vert, fingerling potato and herb butter. Dinner will end early…from there, Restaurant 1833 has partnered with 831 Magazine for an unforgettable night of live music, cocktails on tap, and of course, ghosts and costumes.

Price: The four-course prix fixe menu is $40 per person excluding tax and gratuity. The Halloween party is free before 9:00pm with an escalating cover charge starting at $10.
500 Hartnell St., Monterey, (831) 643-1833.
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Last-minute Father’s Day restaurants in Santa Cruz and Los Gatos

Lamb meatballs at Dio Deka in Los Gatos

Lamb meatballs at Dio Deka in Los Gatos

Father’s Day is Sunday – some restaurants in the Santa Cruz and Los Gatos areas are fully booked, especially since it’s also graduation weekend at UCSC – but others are still available. Below are a few that offer reservations via OpenTable.com.

A couple places worth mentioning that don’t take online reservations (you need to call for availability) are Bittersweet Bistro in Aptos and Dio Deka in Los Gatos. Bittersweet (831-662-9799) is serving Father’s Day dinner specials including several $15 steaks such as Top Sirloin with gorgonzola cabernet demi-glace, crispy onion rings, garlic mashed potatoes, and roasted asparagus, or New York Steak with cabernet demi-glace, garlic mashed potatoes, and sauteed garlic spinach. Dio Deka (408-354-7700) is serving special Father’s Day brunch items including Dio Deka Steak & Eggs with grilled prime filet mignon, poached eggs and sauce béarnaise; Keftethakia lamb meatballs, blistered grapes, Kalamansi yogurt and a light herb-broth; and Zambonopita – a crispy puff-pastry stuffed with Virginia smoked ham, green onion, feta, Kasseri and ricotta cheeses. Dio Deka is also open for regular dinner service that evening.

BRUNCH

As of 10:30 p.m. on Friday, June 14, the following restaurants (listed alphabetically) still had selected Father’s Day brunch reservations available. Call or make reservations through OpenTable.com:

  • Aquarius (831) 460-5012
  • Café Mare (831) 458-1212
  • Chocolate the Restaurant (831) 427-9900
  • El Palomar (831) 425-7575
  • Hoffman’s Bistro (831) 420-0135
  • Lago Di Como (831) 454-8257
  • Laili (831) 423-4545
  • Main St. Garden & Café (831) 477-9265
  • Oak Tree Ristorante (831) 335-5551
  • Solaire Restaurant & Bar (831) 600-4545

DINNER

As of 10:30 p.m. on Friday, June 14, the following restaurants still had selected Father’s Day dinner reservations available.

Eight out of the 10 restaurants listed above in “Brunch” are ALSO available for selected dinner reservations (El Palomar and Main St. are not). In addition, the four below are available for dinner. Please call restaurant directly or make reservations through OpenTable.com:

  • Johnny’s Harborside (831) 479-3430
  • la Posta (831) 457-2782
  • Michael’s on Main (831) 479-9777
  • Soif Wine Bar & Restaurant (831) 423-2020

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

 

 

Restaurants for Mother’s Day in Santa Cruz & nearby including Monterey, Part 1

James Beard-nominated Restaurant 1833 in Monterey

James Beard-nominated Restaurant 1833 in Monterey

Mother’s Day is around the corner – better make reservations if you haven’t already! Here are details on a few restaurants in the Santa Cruz and nearby areas. I’ll post more tomorrow.

Santa Cruz & Aptos Restaurants

Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria

Santa Cruz restaurant Lago di Como, located in the former site of Nuevo, is serving a special Mother’s Day brunch from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Call (831) 454-8257 for reservations. Read more on the restaurant in my January 2013 article. Note that Lago di Como recently expanded its hours and now serves weekday lunch (except Mondays when it’s closed) and weekend brunch.

2-1490 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz

Johnny’s Harborside

Santa Cruz restaurant Johnny’s Harborside is offering special dishes for both brunch (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and dinner (4-8:30 p.m.) in addition to its regular menu. Mother’s Day brunch specials include lobster, ratatouille, goat cheese and asparagus omelet with choice of potato hash, fruit, or polenta ($16), garden frittata ($12), and sauteed sea bass filet with goat cheese mashed potatoes and more ($16). Call (831) 479-3430 for reservations.

493 Lake Avenue, Santa Cruz

Bittersweet Bistro

Aptos restaurant Bittersweet Bistro is serving a Mother’s Day champagne brunch buffet from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The buffet includes Teriyaki Glazed King Salmon, Greek Style Roasted Leg of Spring Lamb, Bourbon Glazed Ham, Truffled Garden Vegetable Risotto, Bittersweet Grand Marnier French Toast, Classic Eggs Benedict, Made to Order Omelets, Croissants & Muffins, Pesto Pasta Salad, and Tomato Mozzarella Salad – plus a dessert extravaganza including chocolate fountains. There will be a special kids’ table with Grilled Cheese, PB & J Sandwiches, Chicken Fingers and Cookies. The price is $55 Adults, $20 Children 6-12, and $7 Kids Five and Under. For the 9:00 a.m. seating only, receive a $10 discount per adult. Call (831) 662-9799 for reservations. Also, dinner reservations are available from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Bittersweet will be offering its regular dinner menu plus a few specials.

787 Rio Del Mar Boulevard, Aptos

Hoffman’s

Hoffman’s, located in downtown Santa Cruz, is serving Mother’s Day brunch and dinner. The restaurant is featuring its regular menus plus specials during both meals. Call (831) 420-0135 for reservations.

1102 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz

The Chaminade

The Chaminade offers its annual Mother’s Day brunch buffet from 9 a.m.-3 p.m; the price is $49.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. The menu includes whole poached salmon, Dungeness crab legs, roast prime rib of beef, bourbon glazed honey ham, cheese blintzes with raspberry coulis, a salad bar, pastries and breads, and a chocolate fountain. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.

One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Hollins House

The Pasatiempo Golf Club’s Hollins House is serving a brunch buffet from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The price is $45.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids 6 and under. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.

20 Clubhouse Rd, Santa Cruz

Monterey Restaurants

Restaurant 1833

Restaurant 1833 in Monterey offers a Mother’s Day brunch to remember. This James Beard-nominated hotspot is opening up early and Chef Levi Mezick is serving up delicious dishes inspired by Central California and his own upbringing in Southern Virginia. The menu features a la carte items such as Poached Egg Cocote with spinach, béchamel sauce, parmesan; Sunny Side Grits with house made Andouille and bacon lardon; Pork Belly with cornbread, pickled beans, buttermilk; Bacon Biscuits & Gravy with sausage, béchamel sauce; Frittata with asparagus, parmesan, tomato; Diver Sea Scallops with cauliflower, black grapes and toasted almonds; and served family-style, a Bone-In Ribeye Steak and Eggs with soft scrambled eggs and rustic potato or Whole Roasted Pork Belly Hash with poached eggs and crispy potato. Brunch will be available from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Call (831) 643-1833 for reservations.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

 

St. Patrick’s Day Weekend in Santa Cruz & nearby plus Bonny Doon Vineyard’s move

Tarpy's Roadhouse in Monterey

Tarpy’s Roadhouse in Monterey

Many local restaurants and bars are offering St. Patrick’s Day specials this weekend; I’ll post some today and more in the next couple days, and I want to also share the news about Bonny Doon Winery’s move.

You may recall that Le Cigare Volant, the restaurant at Bonny Doon Vineyard’s Westside Santa Cruz tasting room, shut down at the end of 2012. Now the winery has announced it is moving its tasting room to Davenport (the winery first moved to Santa Cruz from Bonny Doon in 2008). The new location will open in late spring in the former site of Davenport Gallery at 450 Highway One. Meanwhile, Bonny Doon Vineyard’s Swift Street Courtyard tasting room will be open until at least May.

St. Patrick’s Day in Santa Cruz & nearby

Aptos restaurant Bittersweet Bistro is offering food and drink specials including corned beef and cabbage and Irish creme brulee. Bar and outdoor patio opens at 3:00 p.m. Dining room service starts at 5:30 pm.

787 Rio Del Mar Boulevard, Aptos, (831) 662-9799.

 

Yacht harbor restaurant Crow’s Nest is offering live music by the Irish Rovers from 4:30-7 p.m. in its upstairs lounge, which serves lots of delicious affordable food and has a full bar.

2218 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz (831) 476-4560

 

Westside Santa Cruz butcher shop el Salchichero is selling grass-fed corned beef for all you do-it-yourselfers. Hours are Tues-Sun from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

402 Ingalls St, Suite 25, Santa Cruz (831) 423-MEAT

 

Monterey-based Tarpy’s Roadhouse is serving a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner and offering a special Tipsy Tarpy cocktail (includes Jameson’s, Apple Pucker Schnapps, and pineapple juice).  If you wear green, you get a free dessert.

999 Monterey Salinas Highway, Monterey, (831) 647-1444

 

Scotts Valley restaurant Malone’s Grille is serving corned beef and cabbage all day on both Sat. Mar. 16 and Sun. Mar. 17. On Sunday, it will also offer live Irish music.

4402 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley (831) 438-2244