Tag Archives: Food Lounge

Monthly Santa Cruz Night Market continues June 10 at the Food Lounge

Kutsara is a participant at the Food Lounge’s Santa Cruz Night Market June 10
Photo credit: Kutsara Facebook page

It’s time for the popular and very delicious Santa Cruz Night Market. Held the second Friday of each month at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge, it’s a popup event with food, craft cocktails and live music. For the June 9, 2017 event, there will be several local vendors selling ready-to-eat food or take-home food products. These include Fogline Farm, Tanglewood Catering (chef Rachel Hughes), Rogue Pies (formerly Artisan Hand Pies), My Mom’s Mole, and the vendors listed below.

 

You can stop by anytime between 4-9 p.m., although the earlier you go, the more food options there are.

 

  • Hanloh Thai will have five gluten-free dishes ranging from $5-10 each. These include “A Very Big Spring Roll” with green gem, quick pickled carrot & daikon, sweet chili sauce, vermicelli noodles, mint, cilantro and tofu or Vietnamese sausage (made with Fogline Farm pork belly); and deep-fried curried catfish “Tod Mun Pla” with housemade curry paste, cucumber relish and sweet & sour sauce
  • Efi’s Dutch-Indo is doing three small plates at $6 each: Satay, Rissoles, and bitterballen (mini croquettes)
  • Kutsara with chef Clarissa Flores is serving Smoked Duck Banh Mi and Tocino Chicken Bao with Homemade Green Papaya and Korean Daikon Pickles

 

Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

Contact Info: www.scfoodlounge.com, info@scfoodlounge.com

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NEXTies honor Santa Cruz businesses and individuals

The 2017 NEXTies will be awarded March 24

The 2017 NEXTies will be awarded March 24. Photo credit: Event Santa Cruz

The 2017 NEXTies event will include people from Santa Cruz’s food, coffee, art and music communities. The NEXTies, which celebrate “the area’s brightest doers,” are in their eighth year. For the annual awards ceremony, held this Friday, March 24, event organizer Matthew Swinnerton invites the public to “pull out the pearls and cufflinks and join us for an evening in honor of those in Santa Cruz County who inspire us to reach further and higher and inspire the community.” Danielle Crook and DNA are hosting the program.

 

New award categories this year include “Best Writer.” The inaugural recipient is Good Times food writer Lily Stoicheff, who is honored to receive this accolade.

 

“As a journalist who writes about food culture in Santa Cruz County, I’m drawn to the stories of people who are fearlessly passionate about enriching our community through what we eat, be it a chef, farmer, small business owner or brewer,” says Stoicheff. “I gravitate towards writing about food because it’s something we all share, and as such it holds the possibility of creating a path to understanding and connection with each other and our environment. Plus, eating is an opportunity to bring joy into our lives daily.” Being acknowledged by the NEXTies, she says, shows that the Santa Cruz community values this type of storytelling.

 

Cat & Cloud Coffee is receiving the 2017 NEXTie for “New Business of the Year.” Owners Chris Baca, Jared Truby, and Charles Jack were thrilled to hear the news.

 

“We opened this business because we love community, and we wanted Cat & Cloud to be a hub for the community. We live in the neighborhood, and its awesome to see the community recognize us and really participate in the vision we have for Cat & Cloud.”

 

Vendors from the Santa Cruz Food Lounge’s monthly “Night Market” (held the second Friday of each month) will be selling food at the NEXTies. Vendors include My Mom’s Mole (mole nachos in chicken, veggie, and combination options), TanglewoodArtisan Hand Food (with hand pies including meat and veggie options), Hanloh, and La Sofrita (empanadas and mango-cucumber salad). I personally recommend every single one of these fabulous food businesses! Andrea Mollenauer, Cat Hernandez and Sally Kane operate the Santa Cruz Food Lounge, located at 1001 Center St. in downtown Santa Cruz. Mollenauer actually won a NEXTie in 2015.

 

At the event, there will be music from 2017 NEXTie award winners The Coffis Brothers and Taylor Rae. McCoy Tyler will also perform. Beer from New Bohemia Brewing Co will be available for purchase.

 

The full 2017 NEXTies winners list:

Entrepreneur of the year: Sindy Hernandez de Cornejo
Musician of the year: Taylor Rae
Band of the year: The Coffis Brothers
Artist of the year: Irene O’Connell
Writer of the year: Lily Stoicheff
Give Back person of the year: Mariah Tanner & Natalie Anne Oliver
Foodie of the year: Elizabeth Birnbaum
New Business of the year: Cat & Cloud Coffee
Athlete of the year: Ryan Navaroli
Under 18 person of the year: Ashley Solis-Pavon: Community Agroecology Network
Non-Profit of the year: Warming Project
Mentor of the year: Keisha Frost
Innovative Business of the Year: Inboard
Innovator of the year: Nick Halmos from Cityblooms
TECHie of the year: Gabriel Jesse Medina (From Digital NEST)
Green Business of the year: Khordz Handmade Mugs
Wildcard: Happily Ever Laughter

 

Buy tickets for $30 online.

 

The NEXTies were first awarded in 2010. Four years later, Santa Cruz Next asked Matthew Swinnerton of Event Santa Cruz to take over the NEXTies. Swinnerton launched the organization Event Santa Cruz in 2013 to help tell the stories of local businesses and the people that make these businesses run. The organization presents monthly happenings around town.

 

In an effort to reduce waste, Event Santa Cruz has partnered with ReCRUZ for the NEXTies. Guests are encouraged to bring their own mug or “rent” one from ReCRUZ for free during the event.

 

Details:

Friday March 24, 2017, 6:30-9 p.m.

Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz

eventsantacruz.com/2017nexties

 

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Valentine’s Day dining in Santa Cruz & Monterey Counties, Part 2 of 2

Valentine's dessert trio at Michael's on Main: passion fruit mousse shooter, strawberry-filled chocolate bon bon & French vanilla bean macaroon. Photo credit: Michael's on Main

Valentine’s dessert trio at Michael’s on Main: passion fruit mousse shooter, strawberry-filled chocolate bon bon & French vanilla bean macaroon. Photo credit: Michael’s on Main

Valentine’s Day is two days away; have you made your plans? Here are details on a few options in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. If you missed yesterday’s post, here is a link.

Santa Cruz County

Food Lounge

The Santa Cruz Food Lounge (1001 Center St., Santa Cruz) has a couple options on Valentine’s Day. People can sit at the bar and have a chocolate tasting accompanied by a drink or two, or they can pick a spot in the dining room or lounge and order food from Tanglewood. Chef Rachel of Tanglewood will be creating selections including carrot ginger soup topped with crema and cilantro oil; and dinners with choice of pork tenderloin or grilled portabella mushroom plus lemon white wine sauce and garlic mashed potatoes. Roasted veggies accompany the tenderloin, and arugula in balsamic vinaigrette accompanies the portabella. No reservations are required (or allowed); and everyone is welcome including families, singles, etc. Hours are 4 to 8 p.m.

 

Johnny’s Harborside

Johnny’s Harborside (493 Lake Ave., Santa Cruz) is offering a four-course Valentine’s prix menu. Cost is $60 per person. Starter choices include raw abalone nigiri with honey miso glaze and seaweed salad; second courses include Dungeness crab bisque and salad with strawberries, candied walnuts, Gorgonzola and balsamic. Four entrée selections include prosciutto-wrapped halibut or Surf and Turf with 4 oz. filet mignon and half lobster tail. Desserts include strawberry shortcake or lemon tart. Call (831) 479-3430 for reservations.

 

Michael’s on Main

Michael’s on Main (2591 Main St., Soquel) began offering its Valentine’s prix menu Friday, Feb. 10 and it lasts until Tuesday. Cost is $35 for three courses. Appetizers include ahi tuna poke cups with wasabi cream; four entrée selections include cold water lobster tail with forbidden black rice, veggies and pink peppercorn beurre blanc or petit NY steak (8 oz.) with garlic mashed potatoes, Béarnaise and veggies. Everyone receives a dessert trio (see photo above) with passion fruit mousse shooter, strawberry-filled chocolate bon bon and French vanilla bean macaroon. Call (831) 479-9777 for reservations.

 

Assembly

Assembly (1108 Pacific, Santa Cruz) is offering a three-course Valentine’s prix menu for $55 per person; a few optional supplements are extra such as Kusshi oysters ($3/$15/$24 single/1/2 dozen/dozen). Starter choices include roasted quail with wild mushrooms, pinot soaked figs and herbed couscous. Four entrée selections include grass-fed Manhattan filet with creamed nettles and truffled Yukons and arugula almond pesto or sand dab Meuniere with caper brown butter sauce and roasted cauliflower rice. Desserts include sorbet trio from Penny Ice Creamery or dark chocolate pave with candied kumquats and salted butter ice cream. Call (831) 824-6100 for reservations.

 

Hindquarter Bar & Grille

Hindquarter Bar & Grille (303 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz) will have Valentine’s specials like Rack of Lamb, Prime Rib and seasonal seafood from 5-9:30 p.m. The restaurant will also serve its regular menu. Call (831) 426-7770 for reservations.

 

Ideal Bar & Grill (106 Beach St. at the Santa Cruz Wharf), The Point Chophouse & Lounge (3326 Portola Dr., Santa Cruz), Café Cruz (2621 41st Ave., Soquel) and Severino’s Bar & Grill (7500 Old Dominion Ct., Aptos) are all serving Valentine’s Day specials.

 

MONTEREY COUNTY

 

California Market at Pacific’s Edge

California Market at Pacific’s Edge at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands (120 Highlands Drive, Carmel) is serving a Valentine’s prix fixe dinner. The four-course Valentine’s dinner is $125 per person and reservations are required at 831-622-5445. First course choices include ahi tuna tiradito with fennel-cucumber salsa. Entrees include Colorado rack of lamb with piquillo peppers and chimichurri or wild mushroom risotto with winter truffle and Parmesan cheese crisps.

 

Steinbeck House

The historic Steinbeck House (132 Central Ave., Salinas) is serving a Valentine’s Day dinner. The meal includes one glass of wine, cheese tortellini soup, Caesar salad, entrée (choice of Porterhouse steak or filo-baked salmon) and dessert. Call 831-424-2735 for reservations; seatings are available from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Cost is $60 per person inclusive.

 

Jacks Restaurant at Portola Hotel and Spa

Jacks Restaurant (Two Portola Plaza, Monterey) is serving a prix fixe menu 5 to 10 p.m. on Valentines Day, Tuesday, Feb. 14. The four-course meal is $64.95 plus tax and gratuity; call 831-649-7874 for reservations. The meal starts with an amuse bouche of Hog Island oysters and caviar. First course options include lobster bisque with brioche croutons, Pernod and orange oil. Entrée choices include filet mignon and sweet breads with potato puree, local porcinis and Périgord truffles or wild King salmon with Dungeness crab gratin, haricot verts and Meyer lemon sauce. Dessert is passion fruit soufflé for two with macadamia nut and crème anglaise, plus a box of chocolate strawberries to go. Also, the hotel is offering a romance package until March 31. This includes accommodations, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot delivered to your room, breakfast for two at Jacks and more.

 

TusCA Ristorante at Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa

TusCA (1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey) is serving a special menu designed for two, from 5:30-9 p.m. Cost is $80 for two people. For reservations call 831-657-6675. Customers can choose an appetizer and dessert to share, and each person receives an entrée and a glass of sparkling wine.

 

Tarpy’s Roadhouse

Tarpy’s (2999 Monterey-Salinas Highway, Monterey) is doing a couple promotions for Valentine’s Day. Customers will receive fifty percent off all “bubbles by the glass” plus full and half bottles. Also, the restaurant will feature a special appetizer of seared diver scallops with lobster-parsnip puree and artichoke-corn succotash. Call 831-647-1444 for reservations.

 

Gordon’s Café and Catering

Gordon’s (343 Main St., Salinas) is doing a take-out promotion. If you order dinner to go for two people, the restaurant will include a special complimentary appetizer created just for Valentine’s Day. Call 831-422-4133 for more information.

 

Sardine Factory

Sardine Factory (701 Wave St., Monterey) is serving a prix fixe menu from 5 to 10 p.m. The four-course meal is $75 per person. A limited a la carte menu and Valentine’s drink specials will also be available. The meal begins with Dungeness crab bisque with sherry, cognac and crème fraiche, followed by a salad with greens, roasted strawberries, toasted pecans, feta cheese and cocoa balsamic dressing. Entrée choices include filet mignon and foie gras or King salmon with truffled gnocchi and artichokes. Dessert choices include chocolate pot au crème with spun sugar, Chantilly crème and chocolate-covered espresso beans. Reservations are required at 831-373-3775.

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Last minute foodie holiday gifts in Santa Cruz

Cookies from Pacific Cookie Co. Photo credit: PCC web site

Cookies from Pacific Cookie Co.
Photo credit: PCC web site

Haven’t finished your holiday shopping and have some foodies on your list? Want to shop local? There are lots of choices in the Santa Cruz area including some discounts; here are some highlights including a gift fair tomorrow that has plenty of options–whether you want to buy something food/drink-related or something else that’s made locally.

First, the gift fair:

2nd Annual Holiday Artisan Food & Gift Market — Saturday 12/17 at Food Lounge

I went to this fabulous event last year and bought gift items for several friends/family members, not to mention a few things for myself! The market will feature locally made packaged foods including jams, olive oil and hot sauce that are currently available in the Food Lounge Pantry, which opened in September. The holiday market will also offer beautiful jewelry, textiles, glass art, print art and kitchen antiques. Additionally, a few small-batch food producers will offer tamales, empanadas, meat pies and other items that would work well for holiday entertaining or for a delicious dinner with your family. Plus they will sell ready to eat food that customers can enjoy while shopping like empanadas (from La Sofrita Puerto Rican pop-up), tamales (Yoli’s Adobo) and savory pies (Artisan Hand Pies).

“We offer this market as close to the holidays as possible so that all of our vendors’ food-based products are fresh for gift-giving and entertaining,” said Andrea Conklin Mollenauer, one of the three partners in the Food Lounge, an incubator kitchen and event venue that will celebrate its second birthday in January. “We are excited to offer market space to 25 local vendors who don’t have their own brick-and- mortar places to sell products.”

Vendors with food gifts will include Friend in Cheeses Jam Co., Notso Hot Sauce, My Mom’s Mole, Ashby Confections, and Farmer Freed Salts. Non-food vendors will include True Blue Indigo (textiles), Love Light Vintage Candles, Verdant California (body products) and  Fereshteh Fatemi (artisan jewelry and greeting cards – disclaimer, this is the author’s mother).

In addition to the holiday market, the Food Lounge Pantry is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to

7 p.m. as a hub for local artisan food products – a perfect stop for holiday shopping, including next week when you realize which folks you forgot to buy for!

Location: Food Lounge, 1001 Center St. Santa Cruz

Date/Time: Sat Dec. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Next, some gift card discount highlights:

Until Christmas, Hula’s Santa Cruz (221 Cathcart St.) is offering a special: Purchase a $50 gift certificate for someone else and get a free $10 certificate for yourself; purchase $100 and get a free $20 gift card to treat yourself.

Mission Hill Creamery (1101 Pacific Ave.) has these discounts until Christmas: Buy a $25 gift card for $20 OR buy four $10 gift cards and receive the fifth free OR re-Charge your existing gift card with at least $20 and get 20% off your gift card purchase.

Through Dec. 24, Johnny’s Harborside (493 Lake) is offering a bonus: Purchase a $50 gift certificate for someone else and get $10 free; spend $100 and get $20 free, etc.

Other gift ideas

Last but not least, other foodie gift options include certificates from local restaurants. The Glass Jar announced they’re offering a card that’s good at any of their three restaurants—that’s Assembly, The Picnic Basket AND The Penny Ice Creamery. If you know people who are fans of Soif and/or La Posta, you can also purchase gift cards that are good at both. And Crow’s Nest gift cards are redeemable at the restaurant or its neighboring Crow’s Nest Beach Market.

Want to send a sweet Santa Cruz-themed food gift to someone? Pacific Cookie Company has lots of options. These include Top Tier Cookies & Chocolate Box ($49.95), with 36 two-ounce cookies and 32 white and milk chocolate flower medallions made by local chocolatier Mackenzies Chocolate; Sweet Elegance Cookie Gift Box ($37.95) with 24 two-oz. cookies, Season’s Eatings Christmas Tin ($26.95) with 36 one-oz. cookies, and Classic Cookies and Milk ($24.95) with a dozen two-ounce cookies and two 8-oz cartons of organic milk (it’s shelf-stable low-fat Horizon milk which doesn’t require refrigeration). Also, Los Gatos-based Manresa Bread now ships its scrumptious artisan bread anywhere in the continental U.S.; see my November article and/or the Manresa site for details.

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Ty’s Eatery returns to Santa Cruz for benefit dinner at Food Lounge

At the 2nd annual Give Back Dinner at the Food Lounge, 100% of the proceeds will benefit Wings Homeless Advocacy

At the 2nd annual Give Back Dinner at the Food Lounge, 100% of the proceeds will benefit Wings Homeless Advocacy

Ty Pearce, owner and chef of Ty’s Eatery, had a loyal following for his popup brunches and dinners at the Food Lounge before relocating to the East Bay earlier this year. So people are thrilled that he’s returning for one night—Thursday, Dec. 1—especially because it’s for his second annual Give Back dinner.

 

The 2015 version of this dinner raised more than $1,300 in cash plus many in-kind donations for the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center. This year’s event benefits Wings Homeless Advocacy; read more about the nonprofit below. I attended last year’s dinner; there was delicious food, but what I remember even more was the palpable spirit of community and generosity that filled the room.

 

Ty’s Eatery and a group of volunteers will create and serve a buffet dinner from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. Cost is $15 for adults and $7 for kids. The meal features local, organic produce and dessert is included. There will be options for vegetarians. All attendees who bring an in-kind donation for Wings (see welcome home basket list below) will receive a free raffle ticket and raffle tickets will also be for sale.

 

Here’s the menu for Thursday:

  • Kale salad (green goddess dressing, Parmesan, croutons)
  • Carrot salad (fresh herbs, raisins, cumin citrus vinaigrette)
  • Beets (goat cheese, dill, hazelnuts)
  • Broccolini with garlic
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Spinach/ricotta lasagna
  • Lemon & rosemary roasted chicken

 

Desserts will include Sunrise Bistro lemon bars and brownies, Buttercup Cakes mini cupcakes and Susie Cakes cupcakes. There will be many raffle prizes from local businesses such as Stripe, Berdels, Verve Coffee, Crossfit West and Palace Arts. There will be live music, a photo booth, a visit from Santa and a yummy-and-fun kids’ activity: decorating homemade gingerbread cookies!

 

Wings Homeless Advocacy provides newly housed individuals and families with a mattress and a “welcome home” laundry basket filled with new, basic household supplies to get them started. The organization is committed to living out its values of compassion, respect and dignity for all people by uniting the community to be volunteer advocates for those moving out of homelessness and onto a path of healing. Their goal is for all to work together to end chronic homelessness in Santa Cruz County. Working with professional case managers, Wings acts as advocates to some of the most vulnerable, chronically homeless individuals in our community.

 

Wings Welcome Home Basket list (optional contributions for people to bring Thursday)

  • New dishtowels
  • Can opener
  • Spatula
  • Serving spoon
  • Dish soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Hangers
  • Plunger
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo

Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

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Trifecta of food events in Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley Friday, Oct. 28

Food from vendors  in the Oct. 28 Food Trucks A Go Go event: Choke Coach carne asada fries, Ate3One poke nachos, G's Mexican Tacos taco plate, Aunt LaLi's sundae

Food from vendors in the Oct. 28 Food Trucks A Go Go event: Choke Coach carne asada fries, Ate3One poke nachos, G’s Mexican Tacos taco plate, Aunt LaLi’s sundae

There are several food- and wine-related events in the Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley areas this weekend; here are three going on tonight, Friday Oct. 28 — actually they all start in the late afternoon, at 4 or 4:30 p.m., depending on the specific event.

Scotts Valley Dinner & Movie with Food Trucks A Go Go

Food Trucks A Go Go has organized dinner & a movie at Scotts Valley Community Center. The original venue was the outdoor Skypark one block away, but that was changed due to the rain forecast. Dinner service is from 4:30-7:30 pm. The movie, Transylvania 2, begins at 6:30pm. Valley Churches United is hosting a Beer & Wine Garden and is also collecting canned goods. People who come dressed in a Halloween costume and who make a canned good donation will receive a treat. The food truck line-up is Ate3One, G’s Mexican Tacos, Aunt LaLi’s and Choke Coach.

Location: Scotts Valley Community Center, 360 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

 

Tanglewood Halloween Popup at MJA

Chef Rachel Hughes of Tanglewood Catering is collaborating with MJA Vineyards for Pop Up in the Cellar: Halloween by Tanglewood at the Westside Santa Cruz wine tasting room. The menu is influenced by Halloween and the wines of MJA. Food will be available from 4 p.m. until it’s sold out; items are sold individually. The menu is Carrot Ginger Soup with a Sour Cream Web ($5), Meatballs in a Red Sauce with Alfredo ($8), Green-eyed Deviled Eggs with Red veins ($6), Bleeding Panna Cotta ($7) and Medusa Chocolate Mousse Cake ($7). There will be a costume contest as well.

Location: MJA, 328 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz

 

My Mom’s Mole at Food Lounge

My Mom’s Mole is doing a “Dia de los Muertos” night of dining and dancing at the Food Lounge.  Costumes are encouraged. It starts with Happy Hour from 4-6 with dinner service from 5 to 9 pm (or until sold out). There will be rueda de casino (Cuban-style salsa) dance throughout the night. Beverages (beer, wine, cider & cocktails) will be available from the bar. The food choices will be roasted chicken, pulled pork, roasted root vegetables, and wild rice & butternut squash with fall herbs, all served with My Mom’s Mole (vegan), Mole Poblano (Gluten Free), or Mole Verde (Gluten Free).

Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

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Santa Cruz Seafood PopUp Dinner Thursday from Ocean2Table and Halibut4Humanity

Fish tacos from a past Ocean2table pop-up

Fish tacos from a past Ocean2table pop-up

Ocean2table and Halibut4Humanity are partnering for a “Pescetarian PopUp” from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 at the Food Lounge in downtown Santa Cruz

 

Organizers say that attendees can expect “delicious and sustainable seafood, veggies and foraged mushrooms.” Another bonus of supporting this event: all profits will benefit single mothers in Santa Cruz County through scholarships awarded by nonprofit organization Halibut4Humanity.

 

Orders will be taken on a “first come, first served” basis. No tickets are required. Visit Ocean2table’s website for more information.

 

As always, the seafood will be local, wild and sustainable—fresh from the boat either that day or the day before. The menu will also include locally sourced, organically grown vegetables and green morel mushrooms that Ocean2table has foraged. Selections for sale will include fresh fish tacos and fish cakes. The Food Lounge bar will be selling local beer, wine and liquor.

 

Isaac Simpson recently started Halibut4Humanity. Its mission is to raise funds for disadvantaged single mothers in Santa Cruz County. For Thursday’s menu, Simpson will be contributing a few ingredients such as smoked Alaskan sockeye salmon that he caught and prepared himself.

 

Charlie Lambert and Ian Cole founded seafood company Ocean2table. They put on all their popups with the goals of encouraging community support and of educating attendees about local, sustainable and organic food.

 

Ocean2table provides very fresh seafood to customers in several local areas; you can choose to pick up or get your fish delivered. Subscribers to the email list (fresh catch “fish alerts”) get notified the day before local fresh fish is available. Customers must place half- or full-share orders by the announced deadline. You can remain on the email list and buy seafood as many or as few times as you’d like. For more information on Ocean2table and its seafood alerts, visit getocean2table.com.

Date/Time: Thursday, Sept. 8, 5 to 8 p.m. (or earlier if food sells out)

Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St.

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Venus spirits event, winemaker dinner and more at Santa Cruz Food Lounge this week

There is an MJA Vineyards winemaker dinner at the Food Lounge Aug. 19

There is an MJA Vineyards winemaker dinner at the Food Lounge Aug. 19

Attention fine wine, spirit and beer lovers: the Santa Cruz Food Lounge is hosting events you can enjoy on Thursday, Friday and Saturday Aug. 18-20, 2016.

Thursday: Venus Spirits Meet the Maker & Tasting

The event is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. with local spirit maker Sean Venus of Venus Spirits. At 5:30, doors open and the kitchen begins serving food; there is a limited selection that night (cheese plate and/or chicken entrée) and people can pre-purchase online to receive a discount and ensure the food doesn’t sell out. At 6:30 p.m., guests will learn the story behind the local distillery and the craft of making spirits as Venus leads attendees through six tastings of his award-winning agave, gin, and whiskey. A special crafted cocktail by Venus mixologist Andrew Hansen will conclude the evening. Cost for the spirit tasting and talk is $25; buy tickets at eventbrite.com.

 

Friday: MJA Winemaker’s Dinner

Chef Rachel Hughes of Tanglewood Catering is collaborating with MJA Vineyards for a multi-course dinner with wine pairings beginning at 6:30 p.m. Kristy Dawn Silveira and winemaker Marin Artukovich of MJA Vineyards will be present. Wines served will be Sauvignon Blanc (paired with watermelon/feta skewers), Chardonnay (with Burrata, beet and pancetta salad), Pinot Noir (pork medallions with smoked cherries and apple/potato mash), Merlot (“Forest Floor” savory nut crumble, roasted wild mushrooms, micro scallions and braised short ribs). The dessert course is Cabernet Sauvignon with bittersweet chocolate pot de crème with chocolate-covered coffee beans. Tickets are $75 with wine and $65 without. Buy online at eventbrite.com.

Saturday: Biergarten

The Food Lounge debuted a summer beer garden series in June, and it continues today from noon to 7 p.m. There will be many beers available plus German-style food. There is lots of patio seating and a relaxing atmosphere. Free admission; attendees pay separately for food and drinks. The event is pet- and family-friendly.

 Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

Contact Info: www.scfoodlounge.com, info@scfoodlounge.com

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Bay Area Father’s Day restaurants, Part 2—Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, Moss Landing

The Summit Wineries presents Solstice on the Summit Father’s Day weekend Credit: The Summit Wineries

The Summit Wineries presents Solstice on the Summit Father’s Day weekend
Credit: The Summit Wineries

Father’s Day 2016 is now three days away; have you made your plans? Here are details on a few options in Santa Cruz and nearby including restaurants and wine events. If you missed my first Father’s Day post, here are highlights for San Francisco, Monterey/Carmel Valley/Pebble Beach.

SANTA CRUZ
The Chaminade

The Chaminade (One Chaminade Lane) serves a decadent Father’s Day brunch buffet from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m; the price is $52.95 (adults), $18.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. The menu includes grilled steak with Churassco sauce, prime rib, an omelet bar, eggs benedict, cheese blintzes, fresh fruit, a cheese display, and a delectable selection of pastries and desserts.  Children’s dishes include chicken strips and curly fries, mini pancakes, and macaroni and cheese. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.

Food Lounge
The Santa Cruz Food Lounge (1001 Center St.) has a couple different highlights for Father’s Day weekend:
• Summer Beer Garden debut
All day Saturday and Sunday June 18-19, it’s the first of the Food Lounge’s summer beer garden series. Each month, on the third weekend, the lounge, FL will serve German-style food and local beer on the spacious outdoor patio. There will also be live music, and it’s pet- and family-friendly. Free admission; attendees just pay for food and drinks.

Father’s Day gifts
All dads who visit the Summer Beer Garden from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday receive a free gift.

Soif
Soif Wine Bar & Restaurant (105 Walnut Ave.) will host European winemakers Johannes Selbach and Vincent Brundlmayer 1-3 p.m. Sunday for a taste of German and Austrian wines, including Rieslings. Tickets are $15 and include bread and snacks. Wine club members get one free entry. Call (831) 423-2020 or email alyssa@soifwine.com to reserve a tasting.

MOSS LANDING
The Haute Enchilada

While the Haute Enchilada Café (7902 Moss Landing Rd., 831-633-5843) doesn’t have a special “Father’s Day menu,” it would still make a great place for Father’s Day lunch. I ate lunch there in March; it was a perfect stop during a drive from Santa Cruz to Carmel Valley and I really enjoyed the food (as I have the other times I’ve gone, once for lunch and once for dinner). During my March lunch, I ordered roasted chile poblano bisque and Brussels sprout salad. For the salad, locally grown sprouts are steamed and sautéed in olive oil with garlic, and mixed with organic arugula, bacon, Parmesan, toasted walnuts and walnut oil/chile de arbol dressing. I had a bite of my husband’s Pork Cubano during lunch and it was equally divine. I have to also mention a fantastic dish that I had during an August 2015 dinner: Peruvian empanadas stuffed w/squash blossoms, zucchini, ricotta and topped with chile de Arbol aioli. Looking at the web site just now, it appears this is currently on the lunch menu and not the dinner menu.

Another note of interest: Haute Enchilada recently received a 2016 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.The achievement celebrates hospitality businesses such as eateries and accommodations that have earned great reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor “bubble rating” of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

LOS GATOS/SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS
Summit Wineries

The Summit Wineries are offering the fifth annual “Solstice on the Summit” Vintners Festival on Father’s Day weekend. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 18-19. A $25 ticket includes a wine glass and is good for admission both days at all five participating wineries (Burrell School, Silver Mountain, Villa del Monte, Wrights Station, and Muns Vineyard—the latter will be at The Summit Store on Sunday only). There will be food, wine tasting, local artisan gifts for sale, live music and tours. Tickets are available from any participating winery. For more information including a list of what is happening at each winery, visit the web site.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Lots of pop-ups in Santa Cruz this weekend

Lemon rice is one of the dishes Monsoon Kitchen will be preparing at Midtown Friday, May 20. Credit: Midtown Facebook page

Lemon rice is one of the dishes Monsoon Kitchen will be preparing at Midtown Friday, May 20. Credit: Midtown Facebook page

These days, Santa Cruz is often buzzing with popup energy—and this weekend, May 20-21, there are quite a few food popups. Here are some highlights.

Friday: My Mom’s Mole at Popup
On Friday, My Mom’s Mole is featuring “enmoladas” (enchiladas with mole) for dinner at POPUP from 5 to 9:30 p.m. — or earlier if the food sells out. They are also offering mole tacos, and cactus/kale salad. Taco/enmolada filling choices are roasted chicken, slow-cooked pork, or roasted veggies (Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, potatoes, green beans, and pasilla peppers with cilantro). Sauce choices are traditional My Mom’s Mole, vegan My Mom’s mole, or gluten-free mole verde.
Location: POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave.

Friday: Monsoon Kitchen at Midtown
On Friday, Monsoon Kitchen will be in residence at Midtown Cafe from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Menu items will include egg curry, lemon rice, naan, kabobs, and mango pie, and they recommend pairing these with Discretion Brewing beer (on tap at Midtown) or a glass of wine (also available at Midtown).
Location: Midtown Cafe, 1121 Soquel Ave.

Friday: Cider & Sliders at Food Lounge
The Food Lounge is hosting “Cider & Sliders: Take 2” from 5 to 9 p.m. Chef Andrea and her partners held the first “Cider/Sliders” night a few weeks back, and were surprised by the extremely large crowd that showed up, so they sold out before everyone had a chance to partake. This time, they are ready! They promise “cider flights, food made and paired with cider, and mouth-watering sliders.”
Location: Food Lounge, 1001 Center St.

Saturday: Indian pop-up benefiting animals at Food Lounge
Karma Khana will be cooking at an Indian cuisine dinner pop-up at the Food Lounge from 5 to 9 p.m. A percentage of proceeds will benefit the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. Dishes available will include several vegan options like chundal (chickpeas, coconut and turmeric), vegetable biriyani, and Gobi Manchurian (fire-roasted cauliflower breaded in chickpea flour, served with tangy garlic-ginger-soy sauce). Non-vegan options include kofta curry meatballs made with a choice of locally sourced turkey or grass-fed lamb.
Location: Food Lounge, 1001 Center St.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.