Tag Archives: Discount

Four days remain for Crow’s Nest downstairs specials–plus other restaurant news

“Drunken Prawns” with prawns, Andouille sausage, potato Parmesan pancake and crispy onions in bourbon gravy: a recent Thursday prix fixe entrée option at Crow’s Nest Photo credit: Crow’s Nest Facebook page

“Drunken Prawns” with prawns, Andouille sausage, potato Parmesan pancake and crispy onions in bourbon gravy: a recent Thursday prix fixe entrée option at Crow’s Nest
Photo credit: Crow’s Nest Facebook page

Santa Cruz harbor restaurant The Crow’s Nest has some great Monday through Thursday specials, valid at both lunch and dinner, and they’re ending this Thursday, March 9, 2017 — although the “Deal With a View” dinner special, served only in the upstairs bar, is also wonderful and that one’s valid through May 25.

Let’s first discuss the main restaurant weekday specials, served in the regular downstairs restaurant. These are called “Downstairs Classic Specials,” and are valid at both lunch and dinner:

  • Monday is retro menu ($21.95) with your choice of tempura scallops, broiled salmon or enchilada and sirloin. Each entrée comes with soup or house salad plus rice and vegetables.
  • Tuesday is lobster ($21.95) — broiled lobster tail with soup or house salad plus rice and vegetables.
  • Wednesday is steak day ($21.95): choose prime grade large top sirloin with crispy fried onions and Chef’s steak sauce or petit filet mignon with mocha rub and porcini butter or smoked 10 oz. prime rib (while they last). All come with soup or house salad, mashed potatoes and vegetables.
  • Thursday is prix fixe menu ($25), where customers receive a three-course menu designed by the chef. Two recent entrées are pork tenderloin in a syrah demi-glacé, topped with house smoked blue cheese and accompanied by pumpkin gnocchi with candied bacon; and “Drunken Prawns” with prawns, Andouille sausage, potato Parmesan pancake and crispy onions in a bourbon gravy.

 

As I mentioned, there are four days remaining this season to get the above weekday specials; they might be back again after Labor Day.

 

Deal with a View, on the other hand, is still running after this week. It’s only available upstairs, in the Crow’s Nest Breakwater Bar & Grill. It’s served from Monday through Friday evenings from 6 p.m. until the kitchen closes. For $9.95, customers receive entrée choice of Tuscan Chicken Sandwich, Fish Tacos, or Aloha Burger, served with soup, salad or fries (salad bar option costs an extra $2).
Another option: I just bought food from the restaurant’s next-door shop, Beach Market, for the first time. I highly recommend it. They have lots of very reasonably priced wood-fired pizzas plus sandwiches, salads and more. I enjoyed chicken pesto pizza and my young daughter liked the Hawaiian variety. My husband loved his pizza sandwich (mozzarella and red sauce with choice of three toppings on a francese roll).

 

For details on all of these, visit the Crow’s Nest web site.

Crow’s Nest is at 2218 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, 831-476-4560

 

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Hula’s celebrates 10th anniversary with gift certificate giveaways, discount food and drinks

Hula’s is offering a discount burger combo during its anniversary month Photo credit: Hula's

Hula’s is offering a discount burger combo during its anniversary month
Photo credit: Hula’s

Downtown Santa Cruz restaurant Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room is celebrating its 10th birthday with gifts for the local community all month long and special promos on November 16, 2016.

 

Until Nov. 30, customers can order $10 Hula Burger combos—that’s a burger plus fries and a soda—any time of day, for lunch, dinner or somewhere in between. Hula’s is open for lunch Tuesday- Sunday from 11:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m., dinner nightly from 4:00 p.m.–close, and of course there’s always happy hour with daily specials (Tuesday–Sunday 2-6 p.m., Monday 4:30–6).

 

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, all day long, Hula’s is serving up special discounts:

  • Tiki Drinks 2/$10 – a couple popular ones are “Dr. Funk” (includes rum, pineapple and coconut) and Mai Tais
  • Pupus 2/$10 – choose from dishes like crispy coconut shrimp rolls or Hawaiian ceviche with whitefish, coconut milk, chili, cilantro and garlic
  • The first 10 customers will receive a $10 gift certificate
  • The 100th lunch customer will win a $100 gift certificate
  • The 100th dinner customer will win a $100 gift certificate

 

Personally, I am a big fan of family-owned and operated Hula’s. I’ve found over the years that their diverse menu appeals to generations of my family, and I enjoy dishes infused with Asian, Latin and Caribbean flavors.

 

In case you want to start holiday shopping early, Hula’s is doing a gift certificate promotion until Dec. 23. If you buy a $50 certificate, you receive a $10 gc to keep for yourself. If you buy a $100 gc, you get a $20 gc to treat yourself!

 

Location: 221 Cathcart St., Santa Cruz, 831-426-HULA

 

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Santa Cruz Restaurant Week continues: highlights from Hula’s and Chaminade

Baby Beet Salad with pomegranate seeds and goat feta crumbles is one of Chaminade’s appetizers for Santa Cruz Restaurant Week 2016

Baby Beet Salad with pomegranate seeds and goat feta crumbles is one of Chaminade’s appetizers for Santa Cruz Restaurant Week 2016

Santa Cruz Restaurant Week, which continues through Wednesday, Oct. 19, includes nearly 40 restaurants such as Hula’s and Linwood’s at Chaminade Resort and Spa.

 

Restaurants offer three-course prix fixe dinners for $25 or $35 during Restaurant Week, and also continue to serve regular menus during this time. Read details about Assembly’s menu selections and inspiration in my article from yesterday.

 

Hula’s Island Grill (221 Cathcart St., 831-426-HULA) is serving a three-course $25 menu. Appetizer choices include crispy coconut shrimp rolls with pineapple and horseradish dipping sauce; and Hawaiian ceviche with whitefish, coconut milk, chili, cilantro and garlic. Desserts include Hula pie with macadamia nut ice cream, Oreo crust, hot fudge and house-made whipped cream.

 

Hollis Ferguson, general manager of Hula’s in Santa Cruz, commented on why Hula’s is a longtime Santa Cruz Restaurant Week participant: “It’s fun to be part of a community wide event that encourages people to take a night off and go out to eat, try new restaurants they haven’t before and/or a dish they might not have tried before.”

 

Ferguson says that the Kalbi Ribs, an entrée on the Restaurant Week menu this year, are a good classic Hawaiian dish, plate lunch style (they’re served with macaroni salad and rice). “Our Lemongrass Hapu is more exotic and showcases flavors of Thailand and Polynesia,” she adds. Customers can also substitute tofu for the Hapu (which is Hawaiian sea bass); both versions include lime-ginger-cream sauce, rice and slaw.

 

Executive chef Nick Church, from Linwood’s at the Chaminade (One Chaminade Lane, 831-475-5600), has created a $35 menu that includes seasonal ingredients such as squash, apples and sweet potatoes. Appetizers include roasted butternut soup with spicy apple relish and toasted pumpkin seeds; and baby beet salad with frisee and escarole, vanilla vinaigrette, pomegranate seeds and goat feta crumbles. Entrée choices are grass-fed grilled NY steak with wild mushroom ragout, sweet potato gratin, grilled asparagus and roasted baby carrots; grilled pork chop with Calvados demi, apple puree, smashed fingerling potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts; and pan-seared local halibut with heirloom tomato relish, farro and Dungeness crab risotto plus wilted greens and sauteed baby vegetables. Desserts include persimmon crisp with lavender ice cream.

Even though it just started two days ago, Church is already enjoying Restaurant Week. “We love seeing all of the locals come up to the property while experiencing Linwood’s and hearing all of the their favorite Chaminade stories,” Church said. “There is so much history and so many fun and personal memories people have, it’s refreshing to hear the positive feedback during Restaurant Week.”

Restaurants participating in SCRW, in alphabetical order:

  • 515 Kitchen & Cocktails
  • Aquarius at the Dream Inn
  • Assembly
  • Back Nine Grill & Bar
  • Café Mare
  • Chocolate
  • Crow’s Nest
  • El Jardin
  • Gabriella Café
  • Hindquarter Bar & Grill
  • Hoffman’s Bistro & Patisserie
  • Hollins House at Pasatiempo
  • Hula’s Island Grill
  • Ideal Bar & Grill
  • Johnny’s Harborside
  • Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta Bar
  • Laili
  • Linwood’s at Chaminade Resort
  • Margaritaville
  • Michael’s on Main
  • Mozaic
  • Pearl of the Ocean
  • Red Restaurant & Bar
  • Ristorante Italiano
  • Rosie McCann’s
  • Sanderlings at Seascape Resort
  • Severino’s Bar & Grill
  • Soif
  • Solaire
  • Splash!
  • Stonehouse Bar & Grill at the Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley
  • Süda
  • The Cremer House
  • The Point Chophouse & Lounge
  • The Water St. Grill
  • Tyrolean Inn
  • Your Place
  • Zelda’s On The Beach

For more information and full menus, visit the event web site at santacruzrestaurantweek.com.

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Santa Cruz Restaurant Week started yesterday and includes restaurant Assembly

“Fresh off the boat” seafood stew is one of Assembly’s three prix fixe entrée choices for Santa Cruz Restaurant Week 2016

“Fresh off the boat” seafood stew is one of Assembly’s prix fixe entrée choices for Santa Cruz Restaurant Week 2016

Santa Cruz Restaurant Week started yesterday, and continues through Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. Downtown Santa Cruz restaurant Assembly (1108 Pacific Ave., 831-824-6100) is one of the nearly 40 participants from across the county that have created special three-course prix fixe dinners that cost $25 or $35 depending on the venue. These SCRW menus typically include three options for each course: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Customers choose one selection from each course.

 

For its $35 special menu, one of Assembly’s “starter” selection choices is Kabocha squash soup with brown butter sautéed apples, crème fraiche and fried sage. When chef/owner Kendra Baker owner Zach Davis were planning the menu, Baker was thrilled to see that Route One Farms’ Kabocha squash would be here in time for Restaurant Week. “I love sharing my favorites of the season,” said Baker. “These Japanese Pumpkins have a lovely chestnut-like sweetness and make the most velvety soup.”

 

Two of Assembly’s SCRW entrée selections are seafood stew and braised chicken leg. The stew, described as “fresh off the boat,” is served with potatoes, chard, zucchini, creamy polenta and a tomato-saffron broth. “As the seasons are changing my taste buds were longing for a soul-satisfying brothy seafood dish,” said Baker. “Working on developing this stew I envisioned the earthy notes of tomatoes with the saffron, oils of lemon zest, fennel and white wine being the perfect partners for the bounty of seafood we have available to us.”

 

The chicken entrée includes caramelized leeks, brussel sprouts, gigante beans and fried bread with a lemon butter caper sauce. There’s also a vegetarian option available. “Developing the braised chicken recipe for restaurant week, I had my father’s newfound love for capers at the age of 63 in mind,” said Baker. “He never ceases to surprise me. For the better part of my life I have known him as the iceberg lettuce and garbanzo bean salad with blue cheese dressing kind of guy.”

 

Baker’s partner Davis also has a new caper fan in his family. “My daughter discovered capers a couple days ago at the age of two and loves them,” said Davis. “I’m very excited to have her try this dish!”

 

Dessert choices for the SCRW menu include caramelized apple pie with brown sugar oat streusel and whiskey custard ice cream, and Penny Ice Creamery sorbet trio. Baker and Davis operate The Penny Ice Creamery, Picnic Basket and POPUP in addition to Assembly. In fact, a couple weeks ago they started offering some of their Picnic Basket selections at POPUP (a small storefront connected to Assembly at 1108 Pacific). These include sandwiches and cookies and are available Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

I will post a few more SCRW highlights in the next couple days.

 

Restaurants that are participating in SCRW, in alphabetical order:

  • 515 Kitchen & Cocktails
  • Aquarius at the Dream Inn
  • Assembly
  • Back Nine Grill & Bar
  • Café Mare
  • Chocolate
  • Crow’s Nest
  • El Jardin
  • Gabriella Café
  • Hindquarter Bar & Grill
  • Hoffman’s Bistro & Patisserie
  • Hollins House at Pasatiempo
  • Hula’s Island Grill
  • Ideal Bar & Grill
  • Johnny’s Harborside
  • Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta Bar
  • Laili
  • Linwood’s at Chaminade Resort
  • Margaritaville
  • Michael’s on Main
  • Mozaic
  • Pearl of the Ocean
  • Red Restaurant & Bar
  • Ristorante Italiano
  • Rosie McCann’s
  • Sanderlings at Seascape Resort
  • Severino’s Bar & Grill
  • Soif
  • Solaire
  • Splash!
  • Stonehouse Bar & Grill at the Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley
  • Süda
  • The Cremer House
  • The Point Chophouse & Lounge
  • The Water St. Grill
  • Tyrolean Inn
  • Your Place
  • Zelda’s On The Beach

For more information and menus, visit the event web site at santacruzrestaurantweek.com.

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A few April classes—and class discount—at New Leaf Community Markets

Learn how to make superfood energy balls at a New Leaf cooking class

Learn how to make superfood energy balls at a New Leaf cooking class

New Leaf Community Markets has announced a bunch of classes for April and May, and it’s offering a discount: 10% off any class that costs more than $20 (except series). To receive the discount, use promo code SPRING10. The organic, community market urges readers who are amateur chefs to sign up today and “Unleash your kitchenthusiasm” (New Leaf’s theme for April). Another reason to be enthusiastic at New Leaf? The sustainably farm-raised Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon is $3 off during April. Verified by FishWise as a “Best Choice,” this fish is free of hormones and antibiotics and raised in the pristine waters of New Zealand.

Below are a few cooking class highlights for April; these are all at the Westside location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306). ALSO: Another interesting event – not a cooking class – is an opportunity to learn about reducing your impact on the environment. On Friday, April 15 at 7pm, for only $5 (no discount for this one), people can attend “Zero Waste Lifestyle: Reduce Your Eco Footprint.” New Leaf’s Eva Pollard, founder of “thekindplanet.com,” will explain how and why she lives a zero-waste life by not creating trash or using plastic. Eva will show how everyone can reduce their trash footprint and teach about the benefits of a zero-waste lifestyle. Attendees are encouraged to “bring an open mind and heart, as well as your own cup.”
Preregistration http://newleaf.com/events/ is required.

Spring Dips & Dressings – April 13
Nutrition consultant and chef Madia Jamgochian teaches this class. If you love eating fresh salads, but sometimes lack the inspiration for making a tasty dressing, New Leaf encourages you to attend this class. Learn how to prepare yourself for the week by whipping up several different types of healthy salad dressings and dips that will “keep you reaching for the veggies.” Each attendee will get to take home recipes and a small jar of dressing made in class. Preregistration is required.
Cost is $25 or $40 for 2 before discount. Wednesday, April 13, 6-8 p.m.

Pickling Workshop – April 16
Home Chef Lisa Bono leads this hands-on workshop. Attendees will learn how to make classic pickles and pickle other kinds of veggies using vinegar, sugar and spice. The class will cover pickling and food preserving basics: equipment, technique, ingredients, storage, and recipes. You’ll leave class with a few jars of your own creations and the knowledge to start pickling at home. No experience necessary. Preregistration is required.
Cost is $25 before discount. Saturday, April 16, 2:30-4pm.

Superfood Energy Balls – April 20
Goji berries, lecithin, bee pollen, lacuma and chocolate are all nutrient-dense superfoods. Join the Westside New Leaf’s Wellness Specialist Sundari Lauren in this hands-on cooking class. Using nuts, fiber, good carbs, protein and healthy fats as a base, participants will create a variety of flavor packed treats and take home a box of their final products. Learn new recipes and experiment with making your own unique favorite. Preregistration is required.
Cost is $25 or $40 for two before discount. Wednesday, April 20, 6-7:30pm.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

National Ice Cream Month in Santa Cruz includes Mission Hill Creamery’s birthday

Ice cream from Mission Hill Creamery, used with permission

Ice cream from Mission Hill Creamery (photo used with permission)

July is National Ice Cream Month, and here in Santa Cruz this coincides with Mission Hill Creamery’s 5th birthday plus a contest where you can win free ice cream for a year.

First, the Mission Hill Creamery news: Dave Kumec founded this wonderful artisan ice cream company in July 2010. To celebrate Mission Hill’s fifth birthday, the downtown shop is offering $1 ice cream scoops from noon to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21. There will also be live music and drawings for Santa Cruz Warriors merchandise. Kumec loves giving back to the community. I asked him to reflect on the last five years. “I feel like the business has become a grown-up,” Kumec shared. “We had some challenges early on, but now we are finding a great groove. It’s all about the team you surround yourself with and our team is fantastic. It’s a fantastic career knowing you make people happy all day long.”

Kumec and Mission Hill started out in the former Front Street Culinary Center, and moved to the current Pacific Avenue site in 2012. They serve a variety of ice creams, desserts, milkshakes, and floats—with local and organic ingredients like Straus organic cream and Santa Cruz County strawberries—plus coffee and espresso, and packed pints. Mission Hill Creamery products are also sold at many Northern California stores and other venues including Whole Foods Market and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Next, here are details for the ice cream contest Downtown Santa Cruz is sponsoring. It’s a coloring contest, and the Ice Cream for a Year prize will be comprised of 50 gift certificates: 10 gift certificates for a scoop, from each of the 5 participating locations. The idea is you get one scoop of ice cream per week, for all but two weeks of the year.

How to play: pick up a coloring sheet at one of Downtown Santa Cruz’s five participating stores: Cold Stone Creamery, Marini’s Candies, Mission Hill Creamery, Pacific Cookie Company and the Penny Ice Creamery. Return your completed coloring sheet to the Info Kiosk in front of New Leaf Market on Pacific Ave. by July 31 and you will be entered in the contest. The winner will be notified by email during the the first week of August.

People are encouraged to follow Downtown Santa Cruz on Facebook and check out the front windows of Palace Art on Pacific Ave. to see featured coloring sheets, and participants are encouraged to post photos of both ice cream treats and coloring sheets on Instagram with the hashtags #downtownsantacruzicecream and #downtownsantacruz.

Location details:
Mission Hill Creamery, 1101B Pacific Ave. near Cathcart
The Penny Ice Creamery, several locations including original downtown branch, 913 Cedar St.
Pacific Cookie Company, two locations including downtown, 1203 Pacific Ave.
Marini’s Candies, two locations including downtown, 1308 Pacific Ave.
Cold Stone Creamery, 1129 Pacific Ave.
New Leaf Market, 1134 Pacific Ave.
Palace Art, 1407 Pacific Ave.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Silicon Valley Restaurant Week Oct. 15-22: discount prix fixe 3-course dinners

 

Heirloom tomato salad from Village California Bistro & Wine Bar this summer; a similar salad is available during Silicon Valley Restaurant Week 2014. Photo from the restaurant's Facebook page.

Heirloom tomato salad from Village California Bistro & Wine Bar this summer; a similar salad is available during Silicon Valley Restaurant Week 2014. Photo from the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Silicon Valley Restaurant Week is Oct. 15-22, 2014. During this time more than 45 local restaurants – from Los Gatos, Downtown San Jose and San Jose’s Santana Row to Mountain View, Saratoga, and Palo Alto – are serving three-course gourmet dinners for $35-68 per person.

Special menus typically include three options for each course: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Customers choose one selection for each course. Some way wonder why the prix fixe menu prices vary so greatly; event organizers explain this is because selected restaurants choose to serve larger portions, use more expensive ingredients, and/or want to showcase signature dishes.

Silicon Valley Restaurant Week began in 2009 as an annual event. It’s now held twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. Restaurant reservations are recommended but not required.

For more information, and to see menus and prices for selected restaurants, visit the event web site at www.siliconvalleyrestaurantweek.com. The site is also searchable by cuisine and city, if you’re craving a particular kind of food or only want to travel a certain distance.

A few highlights:
At Saratoga’s Sent Sovi, Executive Chef/Owner Josiah Slone has designed a $35 menu with three choices each for the first two courses, and two choices for dessert. First-course choices include Lonely Mountain Farms fall squash soup. Entrée choices include Parisian-style gnocchi with fall vegetables and savory heirloom apples, and roasted trout stuffed with “herbs, alliums and lemons from Josiah’s backyard.” Dessert choices include red wine poached pears with Icelandic stout ganache.

LB Steak is offering different menus at its Santana Row and Menlo Park locations. Menlo Park costs $45, and Santana Row costs $65. The Santana Row menu has ahi tuna tartare (with fuyu persimmon, harissa, tahini lavash) and Wagyu beef carpaccio (olive, caper, and rosemary relish, plus Parmigiano Reggiano) included in the appetizer choices. Entrée selections such as porcini-crusted filet mignon or honey chipotle glazed beef shortribs or lemon/herb-crusted local swordfish, and desserts such as pumpkin parfait and apple tart round out the special menu.

More tidbits to whet your appetite:

• The Restaurant Week menu is $35 at Scott’s Seafood in San Jose. Dessert choices are pumpkin cheesecake and molten chocolate cake; entrée choices include pumpkin and prawn risotto.
Hult’s in Los Gatos has an intriguing $65 menu that’s divided into water, land, air, and earth. Selected dishes include oxtail wonton, 36-hour chicken breast (creamy potato puree, black truffle puree, pinenut-apricot-cranberry chutney), and octopus carpaccio.
Morton’s The Steakhouse in San Jose is serving a $45 menu. Entrée choices include filet mignon and honey-chili glazed salmon filet. Desserts include double chocolate mousse.
Village California Bistro & Wine Bar on Santana Row offers a $40 menu for Restaurant Week. Its four entrée choices are 38 North ‘Two-Way’ duck (seared breast and confit leg), wild Coho salmon (accompaniments include butternut squash risotto and bacon gastrique), braised all-natural lamb shank, and Creekstone Beef Wellington. Appetizer selections include late harvest heirloom tomato salad featuring shaved cucumber, green beans, and burrata (see photo above).

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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf offers discounts for creating their coffee at home

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf offers discounts for creating coffee at home

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf offers discounts for creating coffee at home

Now until October 12, 2014, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s single serve coffee boxes are “Buy 2, Get 1 Free.” Also, there are several products in their retail coffee and tea line that are on sale for “2 for $20.” Specifics for each promotion are below.

Here are the details for the Buy 2 promotion: The Coffee Bean’s single serve coffee boxes include K-Cup and CBTL Capsules. If you buy two 16-count K-Cup® boxes (starting at $11.95 each), you receive a complimentary 16-count box of K-Cup® packs. The same offer applies to CBTL® Capsule Boxes (of equal or lesser value), which start at $6 each. If you’re unfamiliar with capsules, these are single servings of espresso, coffee, and tea that are brewed using The Coffee Bean’s at-home CBTL® system that’s for sale at retail locations and at coffeebean.com.

Selections valid for this offer include:

  • Costa Rica Coffee K-Cup® Pack ($11.95)
  • NEW Jasmine Green Tea K-Cup® Pack ($11.95)
  • NEW Darjeeling Tea K-Cup® Pack ($11.95)
  • CBTL® Italian Espresso Capsules ($6)
  • CBTL® Chai Tea Capsules ($6)

Next, you can save money on the company’s signature retail coffees and teas—such as whole leaf teas, whole bean and ground coffees. If you buy one bag of whole bean or ground coffee, and one tin of tea, you get both for $20 (exclusions apply).

Selections valid for this offer include:

  • Espresso Roast Coffee ($14.95)
  • French Roast Coffee ($14.95)
  • Lemon Chamomile Herbal Infusion ($8.75)
  • Tropical Passion Black Tea ($8.75)

These promotions are currently being offered at participating The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf retail locations. To find your nearest location, visit the Coffee Bean’s store locator. Launched in 1963, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is the oldest and largest privately held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the US. There are stores in more than 20 other countries, as well. Read more at coffeebean.com.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Summer specials at Aptos restaurant Au Midi

Paella from Aptos restaurant Au Midi

Paella from Aptos restaurant Au Midi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 2 Santa Cruz dumpling pop-up plus Silicon Valley Restaurant Week

Food from LB Steak on Santana Row, a Silicon Valley Restaurant Week participant

Food from LB Steak on Santana Row, a Silicon Valley Restaurant Week participant

Here are details for two local culinary events:

First, a one-night dumpling pop-up in Santa Cruz Friday, May 2,  beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Location: POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave.
in downtown Santa Cruz next door to Assembly, from the folks who brought you The Penny Ice Creamery and The Picnic Basket.
Tonight’s event showcases food from “Mortal Dumpling.” The talented man behind this business is Chef Noah Kopito, who also cooks for Hidden Peak Teahouse. I have tasted his dim sum once before—including BBQ pork buns and sesame balls—and I highly recommend it! He also sells his food each Monday from 5:30-7:30  p.m. at Front St. Kitchen (504A Front). Visit Mortal Dumpling’s site for more info and see its regular Monday  menu.

If you haven’t heard of it, POPUP is a space that has rotating “curated food concepts and events” as stated on its web site heypopup.com. Since launching in April, POPUP has had 3 events: two food ones and one with nonprofit Walnut Ave Women’s Center.

Next, Silicon Valley Restaurant Week
The event started Wednesday, April 30 and lasts until May 7. More than 50 local restaurants – from Los Gatos, Downtown San Jose and San Jose’s Santana Row to Mountain View, Saratoga, and Palo Alto – are serving discounted three-course gourmet dinners.

Special menus are offered and typically include three options for each course: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Customers choose one selection for each course. The SVRW menu prices do tend to vary; last fall, restaurants generally priced their meals between $35 and $65. This is because some choose to serve larger portions, use more expensive ingredients, and/or want to showcase signature dishes.

Silicon Valley Restaurant Week is held twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. Restaurant reservations are recommended.  For more information, and to see menus and prices for selected restaurants, visit the event web site at siliconvalleyrestaurantweek.com.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.