Tag Archives: Chocolate the Restaurant

“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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Chocolate for Halloween and Beyond: Recchiuti Confections truffles & Chocolate on Pacific’s 20th anniversary

Calavera Truffles Collection, photo credit: Recchiuti Confections

I have sweet news from San Francisco-based Recchiuti Confections and Santa Cruz-based restaurant Chocolate.

Recchiuti Confections

Recchiuti Confections makes small batch chocolate using traditional European techniques and chocolate from Guittard, El Rey, and Valrhona. Their Calavera Truffles collection launched late last month just in time for Halloween. This collection ($22, available in-store and online) consists of eight pieces of Recchiuti Confections’ signature burnt caramel truffles. They are decorated with hand-placed artwork of the calavera, “meaning ‘skull’ in Spanish, symbolizing the celebration of ancestors and vibrant journey of life,” says a Recchiuti representative. On Oct. 29, the company is releasing a similar truffle box but this one is “fall-themed.” Also priced at $22 for eight pieces, Autumn Harvest Truffles have founder/chocolatier Michael Recchiuti’s signature burnt caramel truffles topped with visuals of autumn-inspired greenery. If you find yourself falling in love with the caramel flavor (as I did when the company kindly sent me a sample), you should know there is a scrumptious-sounding Burnt Caramel Sauce available as well — $12 for a nine-ounce jar. Recchiuti’s web site recommends serving over your favorite dessert or eating by the spoonful.

Store locations are One Ferry Building, Shop #30 (415-834-9494) and 801 22nd St. (415-834-9494), San Francisco. Visit recchiuti.com for details or to order online.

Chocolate

Restaurateur David Jackman is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his Santa Cruz restaurant Chocolate with a dinner and party from 5-9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3. The event will feature live music, and attendees can choose a family-style dinner for $35 (or four for $120) or can order from the regular menu. Visit eventbrite.com for tickets and more information. The family-style dinner will include appetizers, antipasto, hot and cold entrees, a special birthday cake, and assorted chocolate mousse truffles. All seating will be at tables for six to nine guests seated together. Cocktail servers will have trays with drinks for an additional fee.

If you’re unfamiliar with Chocolate, the traditional menu includes lots of fabulous desserts plus savory dishes like spicy chocolate BBQ roast pork, or chicken mole made with Mary’s free-range chicken braised in mole sauce made with organic bittersweet chocolate. Mole lovers have the choice of poblano (roasted sweet peppers, peanuts, chocolate, garlic, and chipotle pepper) or Oaxacan (plantains, peanuts, almonds, chocolate, and five kinds of spicy toasted chiles). The restaurant is also renowned for its hot chocolate menu with about a dozen options, such as a dark chocolate/milk chocolate/cardamom combination and drinks with Mexican or Belgian chocolate. See chocolatesantacruz.com.

Location: 1522 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 831-427-9900

 

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More Mother’s Day restaurants for the Santa Cruz area

Aquarius Restaurant – Photo courtesy of Aquarius Facebook page

Did Mother’s Day 2018 sneak up on you? Mother’s Day is Sunday – some restaurants in the Santa Cruz area, including Bargetto Winery, which only has one seating – are fully booked, but others are still available. Below are a few.

Refer to my May 3 article for a few Santa Cruz County restaurant highlights (plus one for Monterey), but I am not sure which of those still have reservations available.

Also, if you want something off the beaten path, Roaring Camp Railroads is hosting a brunch buffet ($39 adults, $29 kids) from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Bret Harte Hall (last seating at 1). There are train rides to go on after brunch (diners receive $2 fare discount); visit this site.

As of 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, the following restaurants still had selected Mother’s Day brunch reservations available—these are based on a party of 4. Call or make reservations through OpenTable.com.

BRUNCH

  • Chocolate the Restaurant (831) 427-9900
  • Ideal Bar & Grill (831) 423-5271
  • Jaguar Restaurant (831) 600-7428
  • Mozaic (831) 600-7428
  • Solaire Restaurant & Bar (831) 600-4545
  • Suda (831) 600-7068
  • Zelda’s on the Beach (831) 475-4900

 

DINNER

  • Aquarius-Dream Inn (831) 740-8138
  • Café Cruz (831) 476-3801
  • Chocolate the Restaurant (831) 427-9900
  • Gabriella Café (831) 457-1677
  • Ideal Bar & Grill (831) 423-5271
  • Jaguar Restaurant (831) 600-7428
  • Mozaic (831) 600-7428
  • Pearl of the Ocean (831) 457-2350
  • Persephone (831) 612-6511
  • Solaire Restaurant & Bar (831) 600-4545
  • Suda (831) 600-7068
  • Zelda’s on the Beach (831) 475-4900

 

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Inauguration day Planned Parenthood benefits in Santa Cruz

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

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

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

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

 

Details:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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Last-minute Valentine’s Day restaurants in Santa Cruz area and Monterey

Pasta at Lago di Como in Santa Cruz

Pasta at Lago di Como in Santa Cruz

Valentine’s Day is Friday – many restaurants in the Santa Cruz and Monterey areas are fully booked– but others are still available. I’ve listed a few that still have available reservations via OpenTable.com.

Here are my Valentine’s guides for other cities, with menu highlights:

Also, Chaminade in Santa Cruz doesn’t have online reservations — you need to call for availability — but it does have two large dining areas, plus a few other Valentine’s-and-beyond specials worth reading about.

Chaminade (831-475-5600) is serving Friday dinner from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Executive Chef Kirsten Ponza has created a palate pleasing, heart pounding, three course prix fixe menu to be enjoyed at Linwood’s Bar & Grill or the Sunset Dining Room.  Guests will enjoy a choice of salad, entrees that include filet mignon, duck confit, double cut pork chop, petrale sole or a roasted wild mushroom lasagna, and a delectable dessert.  Price is $65 per person not including tax or gratuity.

Here are Chaminade’s wine, spa, and hotel specials:

Sip & Savor Sparkling Wines of the World
On Saturday, February 15th, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Chaminade Resort & Spa is hosting a sparkling wines of the world tasting event.  The package includes a sampling of four different types of sparkling wines including prosecco, cava, brut and blanc de blanc paired with savory menu items, a guest speaker who will share the nuances of champagnes and sparkling wines from grape to bottle and “how to” tips and demonstrations.  Package price is $50 per person or $90 per couple plus tax and gratuity.   For reservations and information, call 831-475-5600.

Spaaatacular Valentine’s Day Treatments
The Spa at Chaminade has created two exclusive treatments featuring aphrodisiac ingredients guaranteed to heighten the senses of the most discerning spa goer – including Aphrodite herself!  Be My Valentine package includes an antioxidant cocoa body wrap, a seasonal rosemary and peppermint facial, a glass of Gloria Ferrer champagne, and chocolate covered strawberries.  Package price is $352 and includes a 20% savings and includes gratuity.  Serenity for Two includes two 80-minute simply Zen massages in The Spa’s couples room, followed by a relaxing reprise in a heated whirlpool on The Spa’s private patio and topped off with a glass of Gloria Ferrer champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for two.  Price is $376 and includes a 20% savings and includes gratuity.  For reservations and information call The Spa at Chaminade at 831-465-3465.  Both treatments will be offered February 1-28, 2014.

An Affair to Remember
Spend Valentine’s weekend at Chaminade Resort & Spa overlooking Monterey Bay and enjoy luxurious accommodations for two, a bottle of sparkling wine or cider, chocolate covered strawberries, a $75 resort credit in Linwood’s Bar & Grill and 20% off select spa services and spa products.  Package prices start at $259, not including tax or resort fee.  For reservations or information call 1-800-283-6569 or visit www.chaminade.com. This deal might be available later in February, as well.

VALENTINE’S DINNER VIA OPENTABLE – SANTA CRUZ AREA
As of 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, the following restaurants (listed alphabetically) still had selected Valentine’s Day dinner reservations available. Call or make reservations through OpenTable.com:

  • Café Mare  (831) 458-1212
  • Chocolate the Restaurant (831) 427-9900
  • Hoffman’s Bistro (831) 420-0135
  • Johnny’s Harborside (831) 479-3430
  • Lago Di Como (831) 454-8257
  • Pearl of the Ocean (831) 457-2350
  • Rosie McCann’s (831) 426-9930

VALENTINE’S DINNER VIA OPENTABLE – MONTEREY AREA
As of 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, the following restaurants (listed alphabetically) still had selected Valentine’s Day dinner reservations available. Call or make reservations through OpenTable.com:

    • Domenico’s on the Wharf (831) 372-3655
    • the C restaurant & bar (831) 375-4800
    • Fish Hopper (831) 372-8543
    • Jacks-Portola Hotel & Spa (831) 649-2698
    • Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar (831) 372-2628
    • Tarpy’s Roadhouse (831) 647-1444

TusCA Ristorante (831) 372-1234

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival with wine, food, and more benefits UCSC scholarships

Treats from previous Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival

Treats from previous Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival

The 7th annual Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 benefits UCSC scholarships, and I have lots of delicious food and wine highlights to share. The event is from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Cocoanut Grove by the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

The Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival brings together more than two dozen vendors. Last year’s festival welcomed wineries for the first time, and that tradition continues in 2014.

Participants range from local confectioners and bakers like Snake and Butterfly, Original Sin Desserts & Catering, and Saratoga Chocolates, to local restaurants like Chocolate and India Joze, to vendors from other states (like Theo Chocolate from Washington). Other local companies who will be present include Zizzo’s Coffee, Mission Hill Creamery, and wineries Sones Cellars, Alfaro Family Vineyards, and Silver Mountain.

I’ll publish information about specific items vendors will have for you to taste, and more details on some of these companies,  later tonight and tomorrow so watch for Part 2 and Part 3!

Each vendor will have treats such as truffles, cake, or ice cream available in exchange for a tasting ticket. Buy tasting tickets at the event (admission is free) or online. Each $15 purchase gets you six tickets. Another note: there will be a silent auction, cupcake decorating ($3) and some vendors are also selling chocolate products—remember that Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching!

The festival benefits re-entry student scholarships at UC Santa Cruz, for students returning to higher education after an extended absence, often students who are also parents or military veterans. The chocolate festival is presented by the UCSC Women’s Club, a nonprofit organization open to women of both the campus and local communities. The club has meetings throughout the year (except for the summer) with engaging speakers, and also hosts interest groups including book clubs. In the last 37 years the club has awarded over 330 scholarships totaling nearly $230,000 to deserving women and men for research activities, tuition and childcare.

The Details
Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival
Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz 95060
Sunday, January 19, 2014 from 1-4pm

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