Tag Archives: Ideal Bar & Grill

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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Thanksgiving 2014 restaurants & food options in Santa Cruz and Monterey

Pie at Emily’s Bakery

Pie at Emily’s Bakery

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

Santa Cruz, Aptos & Soquel Restaurants

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

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

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

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

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

Monterey Restaurants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other options in Santa Cruz & Capitola

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

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

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

Eat up at the 33rd annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off and Festival

A scene from the 2013 Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off

A scene from the 2013 Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off

This Saturday is the 33rd annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off and Festival at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

The Feb. 22, 2014 chowder cook-off has free admission. If you want to eat chowder, tasting kits are $9 and include five samples plus two “People’s Choice” ballots.

More than 50 individuals and teams are participating, including teams from Aquarius, Pleasure Pizza East Side Eatery, Severino’s, Solaire, South Beach Pizza, Ideal Bar and Grill, and Local Harvest Catering.

The competition features two divisions:

• Best Individual – with subcategories for both Manhattan & Boston varieties
• Best Professional – with subcategories for both Manhattan & Boston varieties

Teams can choose to compete in one or both of the Manhattan & Boston categories. They are also in the running for prizes such as “Most Original.”

Some participants dress in whimsical costumes including mermaids and scuba divers. In 2013, there was a Clam-I-Am team with Dr. Seuss-style green chowder and chefs wearing clam hats.

The 2013 winners included:

  • South Beach Pizza of Santa Cruz (awarded 1st place professional by official judges for Best Restaurant Boston)
  • Severino’s Bar & Grill of Aptos (awarded 1st place professional by official judges for Best Restaurant Manhattan AND 1st place professional in People’s Choice for Manhattan)
  • Ideal Bar & Grill of Santa Cruz (awarded 1st place professional in People’s Choice judges for Boston)

On Saturday, the Boardwalk rides will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Cook-Off Schedule:

10:00 a.m. Cooking starts & tasting kits go on sale
1:00 p.m. Public tasting begins (there is also a judges’ tasting)
4:00 p.m. Winners announced

The cook-off is a fund-raiser for the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department. In 2013, the event raised more than $60,000.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz and San Jose restaurants open or closed on Christmas, Part 2 of 2

Delicious Mojo Cauliflower at Aptos restaurant Booka, open on Christmas

Delicious Mojo Cauliflower at Aptos restaurant Booka, open on Christmas

Yesterday I published highlights for a few restaurants open on Christmas in Santa Cruz and San Jose. Here are several more.

Also, note some Santa Cruz restaurants will be closed just for Christmas (like Hula’s, closed on both Xmas Eve and Xmas Day, and Johnny’s Harborside & Crow’s Nest, both closing at 3pm Xmas Eve and closed entire Xmas Day) while some shut down for a few days over the holidays:

  • Charlie Hong Kong (closed evening of 12/23 when the food runs out, through 1/1/14 – reopening 1/2/14)
  • Sabieng (closed 12/23 through 12/26 lunch, reopening 12/26 at dinner)
  • Little Shanghai (closed 12/22 through 1/5, reopening 1/6/14 at 11:30 a.m.)
  • Café Iveta (closed 12/25 through 1/1, reopening 1/2/14)

Santa Cruz, Capitola & Aptos restaurants

Booka Restaurant & Bar
On Christmas Eve Booka is offering a prix fixe dinner menu, and on Christmas Day Booka will feature a prix fixe tapas menu. For reservations and information call (831) 685-9500.
8041 Soquel Drive, Aptos

Café Mare
Café Mare is open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Call (831) 458-1212 for reservations.
740 Front St, #100, Santa Cruz

Gabriella Cafe
Gabriella Café is open on Christmas Eve until 7:30 p.m. Call (831) 457-1677 for reservations.
910 Cedar St, Santa Cruz

Ideal Bar & Grill
Ideal is open Xmas Eve from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. with a regular menu. On Christmas Day, the restaurant is open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. For dinner, it’s serving selections including slow-roasted prime rib, turkey with yams, stuffing, etc., and live Maine lobster. Call (831) 423-5271 for reservations.
106 Beach St at the Santa Cruz Wharf, Santa Cruz

Severino’s Bar & Grill
On Christmas Day the restaurant at Seacliff Inn has a buffet from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  with Black Angus prime rib, Dungeness crab, roasted leg of lamb, and more. The cost is $39 for adults, $17 for kids 5-10, and free for 4 and under. For reservations and information call (831) 688-8987.
7500 Old Dominion Court, Aptos

Zelda’s
Zelda’s is open on Christmas Day with breakfast at 7:30 a.m., and a holiday menu & dinner specials beginning at noon. Specials include traditional turkey or maple baked ham dinner ($16.95 adults, $10.95 kids). Call (831) 475-4900.
203 Esplanade, in the Capitola Village

San Jose

Il Fornaio
The restaurant at the Sainte Claire is open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Call (408) 271-3366 for reservations.
302 South Market St (at the Sainte Claire), 
San Jose

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Santa Cruz, Monterey, & San Jose restaurants for Thanksgiving, Part 2

Bacon-wrapped sturgeon at Restaurant 1833, a variation of which the restaurant will serve at Thanksgiving

Bacon-wrapped sturgeon at Restaurant 1833, a variation of which the restaurant will serve at Thanksgiving

Here are a few Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Jose restaurants open on Thanksgiving, so you can make reservations for Thursday, Nov. 28 if you’re planning to dine out. A few restaurants, including Booka in Aptos, will be closed.

For more choices, see:

Santa Cruz and San Jose restaurant highlights, Part 1

Walnut pie and other Thanksgiving food from Whole Foods Market in Santa Cruz and Capitola

Thanksgiving food from Lifestyle Culinary Arts in Santa Cruz (it’s too late to order, but you can plan ahead for next year and article includes link to cranberry chutney)

Santa Cruz & Aptos

Aquarius is offering a $48 prix fixe three-course menu from 1-8:30 p.m. (a kids’ menu will also be available), and complimentary valet parking. The Minor Third Jazz Trio will perform from 4 – 8 p.m. For family-style whole turkey dinners to go, contact Gus Siggins at gsiggins@jdvhotels.com.
175 West Cliff (at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn), Santa Cruz, (831) 460-5012

Ideal Bar & Grill has a few highlights beginning at 11 a.m. including:
• Traditional Turkey Dinner $15.95 for 12oz, $19.95 for 16oz
• Slow roasted Prime Rib $24.95 12oz, $27.95 16oz
• Homemade desserts including Pumpkin Pie
106 Beach Street (at the Santa Cruz Wharf), (831) 423-5271

Café Gratitude is serving a free organic, vegan feast as its “Second Annual Community Appreciation Meal.” The lunch will be served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
103 Lincoln Street, Santa Cruz, (831) 427-9583

Sanderlings has a three-course prix fixe menu; the price is $34.95 for adults. There is also a $17.95 meal (one course) for kids. Soup/salad choices include Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. Four entrée choices include Sage Butter Roasted Turkey Breast or Grilled Salmon with Polenta Cake, Roasted Red Peppers, Baby Artichoke, Spinach, and Nage.
One Seascape Resort Drive (at Seascape Beach Resort), Aptos, (831) 662-7120

Severino’s Bar & Grill is offering a buffet; the price is $32 for adults, $16 for kids 5-10, and free for kids 4 and under. The buffet is open from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Selections include fresh salads, butternut squash soup, vegetarian ravioli, salmon Dijon, honey glazed ham, leg of lamb, roasted turkey with all the traditional sides, and homemade desserts.
7500 Old Dominion Court (at Seacliff Inn Beach Resort), Aptos, (831) 688-7300

Monterey
Restaurant 1833 is serving a special $55 three-course prix fixe menu that begins with an amuse bouche. Reservations are highly recommended. Menu items include:

  • Mushroom Soup with truffle butter, brioche, chives
  • Root Vegetable Salad with pomegranates, winter greens and espelette
  • Bacon Wrapped Sturgeon with herb puree, roasted carrots, maple sherry sauce
  • Chestnut Ravioli with apple, sage, cashew and apple cider
  • “The Turkey” with a choice of white or dark meat and served with cranberry sauce, green beans with almonds, potato puree, sweet potato marshmallows, stuffing and gravy
  • Choice of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll with buttered pecan ice cream and maple syrup or Chocolate Financier with hazelnut cream and cranberry coulis

Also, Chef Levi Mezick’s famous Bacon Cheddar Biscuits will be available a la carte.
500 Hartnell St., Monterey, (831) 643-1833

Cannery Row Brewing Company’s Chef Daniel Furey will offer a traditional Thanksgiving meal including:

  • Artisanal Greens with spiced and candied pecans and cranberry vinaigrette
  • Smoked Turkey with giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, served with Green Bean Casserole, Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake with pumpkin seed brittle and spiced Chantilly cream

The three-course menu is available for $32 per person as well as a la carte for $18.95 for the Smoked Turkey dish. The regular menu will be available and the restaurant will be open for regular hours, 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.; bar is open until 12:00 a.m. Reservations are recommended but walk-ins are welcome.
95 Prescott Ave, Monterey, (831) 643-2722

San Jose

The Fairmont San Jose is serving a special Harvest Buffet from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The cost is $67 per adult and $33 per child 5-12. Kids under 5 are free. Buffet highlights include Alaskan King crab legs, sage basted roast turkey, honey baked ham with port wine sauce, and a lavish pastry display. There will also be gourmet salads and an omelet and pancake station. For full menu, click here.
170 South Market St, San Jose, (408) 998-3960

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Restaurants for Easter in Santa Cruz and San Jose

Brunch at Johnny's Harborside in Santa Cruz

Brunch at Johnny’s Harborside in Santa Cruz

Hard to believe but it’s already Easter 2013; if you haven’t made plans for dining out this Sunday, here are some restaurants in Santa Cruz and San Jose with special offerings.

 Santa Cruz Restaurants

Hindquarter Bar & Grille

Hindquarter is open on Easter Sunday. From 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. it will be featuring a special brunch menu with “savory and sweet selections plus luscious libations.” From 5:30-9 p.m. it will be serving its full dinner menu special appetizers, entrees and desserts for Easter. Call (831) 426-7770 for reservations.

303 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz

Johnny’s Harborside

Santa Cruz restaurant Johnny’s Harborside is offering a special Easter brunch menu from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (last seating at 2:15 p.m.). Dinner service begins at 3 p.m. with a few specials in addition to the regular menu. Easter brunch specials include a variety of Eggs Benedicts (such as a crab cake variation for $16, traditional for $12), a lobster omelet with asparagus and havarti cheese ($16), and a proscuitto breakfast sandwich ($11). Call (831) 479-3430 for reservations.

493 Lake Avenue, Santa Cruz

 

Chaminade

The Chaminade offers its annual Easter Brunch Buffet from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; the price is $49.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. Selections include prime rib, honey baked ham with Jack Daniels glaze, rosemary and garlic encrusted lamb leg, a seafood bar with teriyaki salmon, peel and eat prawns, fried calamari and more, omelets made to order, and Belgian waffles with fresh berry compote. Additional highlights: several salads, roasted vegetables, cheese ravioli, a chocolate fountain, and a sundae bar. There will be Easter egg hunts for the kids at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m, and 2:30 p.m. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.

One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

 

Ideal Bar & Grill

Ideal Bar & Grill is serving special Easter Brunch selections, plus a regular limited brunch menu, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and dinner from 4-9:30 p.m. The Easter Bunny will be at the restaurant from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Brunch specials include Crab Benedict ($15) plus Pancetta-wrapped Pork ($15) marinated in rosemary, thyme, and garlic, served with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. Call (831) 423-5271 for reservations.

106 Beach Street, Santa Cruz

 

The Point

The Point is serving special Easter dishes for brunch (8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and dinner (4 p.m. onward). Brunch specials include Cajun Blackened Salmon ($12) with avocado and asparagus benedict, and dinner specials include Bleu Cheese and Prosciutto Stuffed Pork Chop ($16) and Crabmeat and Lobster Lasagna ($21). Call (831) 476-2733 for reservations.

3326 Portola Dr, Santa Cruz

San Jose

Left Bank

Left Bank on Santana Row is serving Easter Brunch special dishes in addition to its regular menu. One selection is Quiche a la chair de crabe dormeur et asperge local ($14.50), which is 
Dungeness crab meat and local asparagus quiche served with organic mixed greens, honey, and passion fruit vinaigrette. Call (408) 984-3500 for reservations.

377 Santana Row, Suite 100, San Jose

Other local restaurants doing Easter meals include Café Cruz in Soquel (dinner begins at 4 p.m.; call (831) 476-3801) and Faz in Sunnyvale (brunch from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. plus easter egg hunt; call (408) 752-8007).

 

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

 

 

Santa Cruz February 2013 restaurant news includes second Sawasdee location

Representatives from award-winning Ideal Bar & Grill at the 32nd annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off and Festival

Representatives from award-winning Ideal Bar & Grill at the 32nd annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off and Festival

Here are some highlights of recent restaurant news for Santa Cruz and nearby neighborhoods, which includes several changes and a near-future opening: a second location for the owners of Sawasdee Thai Cuisine.

Opening Soon

Sawasdee in Santa Cruz

Soquel restaurant Sawasdee serves excellent Thai cuisine with very fresh ingredients, and I’m thrilled to hear that owners Bill and Dee Hongmanee are going to be opening a second location. They’re taking over the former space of Casablanca (101 Main Street in Santa Cruz), across from the beach near the Boardwalk. Bill hopes to be open by late March. Some of my favorite dishes at Sawasdee are fresh spring rolls, tom kha soup, pumpkin red curry (with succulent scallops plus tender prawns and chicken), and to finish a meal, dessert of sweet rice and mango.

Changes Hula’s – expanded lunch & happy hours

On February 19th, downtown Santa Cruz restaurant Hula’s Island Grill & Tiki Room expanded its lunch service. It’s now open for lunch six days a week: Tuesday-Sunday from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. The restaurant describes its cuisine as “tropical dining…a menu infused with Asian, Latin, and Caribbean touches, all with a Hawaiian inspiration.” Hula’s also just increased the length of its happy hour; it’s now FOUR hours long, on Tues-Sun from 2-6 p.m. Promotions still include $5 pupus (including coconut shrimp rolls) and $5 tiki drinks.

221 Cathcart Street, Santa Cruz, (831) 426-HULA

Vasili’s – now open daily

Greek restaurant Vasili’s in Westside Santa Cruz, formerly open Wed-Sun, is now open daily.

1771 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, (831) 458-9808

Pizzeria Avanti – expanded menu

Pizzeria Avanti now has a “pizza slice bar” at its restaurant. Cheese and pepperoni slices are available for $2.50 and $3. In the past, the only pizza option available to customers was whole pizzas (both small and large) with lots of different topping combinations.

1771 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, (831) 425-1807

Awards/Accolades

The 32nd annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off and Festivalwas held on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. There were more than 70 contestants competing in individual (amateur) and professional categories, for either best Boston style or best Manhattan style chowder. Three local restaurants did very well: Ideal Bar & Grill (chef Jesus Garcia) won the People’s Choice award for Best Professional Boston, while official judges awarded Best Professional Boston to South Beach Pizza (chef Dany Pena) and Best Professional Manhattan to Severino’s Bar & Grill (chef Miguel Perez).

The Super Bowl in Santa Cruz: food and drink specials and recommendations

Tacos at Santa Cruz’s Crow’s Nest, one of several restaurants with Super Bowl specials

This Sunday, several Santa Cruz area restaurants and bars are offering food and drink specials during the Super Bowl — here is a round-up. Super Bowl kickoff is at 3:25 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013.

Bittersweet Bistro

The bar opens at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday for the Super Bowl. For a $25 price, Bittersweet is offering a special Super Bowl buffet and viewing on its 110” TV in the back room. Buffet includes shaved prime rib, French dip with carmelized onion au jus, Bittersweet chili, Nathan’s hot dogs, sliders, nachos, chips and dipsm fruit salad, buffalo chicken wings, submarine sandwiches, tacos, black beans and Spanish rice, pizzettas, and taquitos. Or you can sit in the bar, watch the game on one of seven HD flatscreen TVs, and purchase food and drink off of the bar menu. There will be drink specials and prizes (chance to win Santa Cruz Warriors tickets, a mini Weber BBQ, and more).

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

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is throwing a Super Bowl party. The microbrewery will set up TVs both inside the bar and on the deck outside, and offer its organic beers on tap plus Wing Ding wings.

402 Ingalls Street, Suite 27, Santa Cruz (831) 425-4900

Crow’s Nest

The oceanfront restaurant’s Super Bowl party kicks off at 3:30 p.m. in the upstairs bar when happy hour prices begin. Crow’s Nest will serve half-price appetizers and well drinks, plus draft beer specials. The happy hour prices last all night – including after the live comedy show starts at 9 p.m.

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

Woodstock’s Pizza

The pizzeria Woodstock’s is offering happy hour prices on drinks during the Super Bowl. Also, if you buy an extra-large pizza with 1 topping or more, you can purchase 12 wings for $5 (valid all day Feb. 3 for dine-in, take-out, or delivery; mention Super Bowl deal when ordering).

710 Front St, Santa Cruz (831) 427-4444

el Salchichero

It’s not a restaurant – but it’s a great butcher shop and retail store if you are having people over for the Super Bowl and have some last-minute shopping to do (or if you just want to cook for yourself). It’s open Sunday (and every Tues-Sun) from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. el Salchichero recommends any or all of these items for Super Bowl treats: beer bacon, blood orange marinated chicken thighs, grass fed steaks, sausages for sandwiches or appetizers, cured meats for a charcuterie plate, Yucatan flat iron, and Mad Marge’s meatballs. If you’re in Live Oak and need last-minute Super Bowl meats, el Salchicero will be at the Live Oak Farmers Market from from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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

Hula’s

Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room is offering $5 pupus all night on Super Bowl Sunday. Traditionally the $5 pupus are offered 4:30 – 6 p.m. seven days a week. I went to Hula’s the other night and can recommend these tasty pupus: Abalone Style Calamari (pan-fried calamari with lime-ginger-cream sauce and soy glaze), Sweet Potato Fries (addicting!), and Spicy Edamame.

221 Cathcart Street, Santa Cruz (831) 426-HULA

 

Ideal Bar & Grill

Ideal is showing the Super Bowl on 10 big screen TVs. Game day specials include the following $5 appetizers: chicken wings, nachos, potato skins, garlic fries, calamari, and quesadillas. Happy Hour is from gametime through closing; drink specials include $3 domestic beers and $3 Cuervo margaritas.

106 Beach Street at the Santa Cruz Wharf, Santa Cruz (831) 423-5271

Santa Cruz & San Jose restaurants for Thanksgiving 2012, Part 2

Salmon entree at Lark Creek Blue in San Jose

 

 

Here are several Santa Cruz and San Jose restaurants – including Santana Row’s Lark Creek Blue – open on Thanksgiving, so you can make your reservations for dining out on Thursday, Nov. 22 if you aren’t in the cooking mood.

 

For a few other choices, see:

Santa Cruz Restaurants for Thanksgiving

Aquarius, open from 12:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, is offering a $45 prix fixe three-course menu for adults, and a special kids’ meal for $15. A local jazz trio will perform from 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. Appetizer choices include Pumpkin Panzanella with roasted pumpkin, apple, arugula, brioche, pepitas, and apple cider vinaigrette and Vanilla Poached Gulf Prawns with baby fennel, mushrooms, pancetta, and truffle cream. Entrée choices include Traditional Turkey Plate with chestnut and sage stuffing, potato puree, baby vegetables, rosemary gravy, and cranberry sauce, and Sweet Potato Gnocchi with lacinato kale, brown butter, mushrooms, and pecorino cheese. Desserts include Pumpkin Pie with cinnamon whipped cream and Maple Spice Cake with sweet mascarpone, pomegranate seeds, and orange-ginger syrup.

175 West Cliff (at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn), Santa Cruz, (831) 460-5012

Ideal Bar & Grill has a few options including Traditional Turkey Dinner ($18.95 captain’s portion, $14.95 adults, $9 kids): herb-roasted sliced turkey served with homemade gravy, maple-roasted yams, green beans and carrots, garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing, and orange-cranberry sauce. Another selection is Herb Crusted Prime Rib ($22.95 petite cut, $25.95 full cut) served with garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, and horseradish cream sauce.

106 Beach Street (at the Santa Cruz Wharf), (831) 423-5271

Café Gratitude is serving a free Thanksgiving feast with raw, vegan selections. The meal will be served from 12 – 3 p.m. and include a beverage, entrée, and dessert.

103 Lincoln Street, Santa Cruz, (831) 427-9583

Sanderlings has an all-day buffet; the price is $42.95 for adults, $19.95 for kids 2-12, and free for kids under 2. The buffet is open from 1:30 – 7:30 p.m. Selections include Spinach Salad with Crumbled Bleu Cheese, Glazed Pear, Caramelized Walnut, and Cranberry-Walnut Oil Dressing, Roasted Beets and Arugula Salad with Feta Cheese and Pomegranate Dressing, Cheddar -Corn Muffins with Jalapeno-Honey Butter, Domestic and Imported Cheese and Dried Fruit, Sweet Corn and Bacon Chowder with Sautéed Minced Onions, Sage Butter Roasted Turkey Breast with Apple-Sourdough Stuffing, Sorrel Seared Salmon with Large Pearl Couscous, Spinach and Cioppino Sauce, and Rosemary Roasted Prime Rib of Beef with Creamed Horseradish and Au Jus. The kids’ buffet includes turkey fingers and macaroni and cheese.

One Seascape Resort Drive (at Seascape Beach Resort), Aptos, (831) 662-7120

Michael’s on Main has dinner seatings at 3, 5, and 7 p.m. The restaurant is serving a 3-course prix fixe meal for adults ($28) and a special meal for kids 12 and under ($12). The adult dinner features choice of soup or salad, entrée choice (selections include oven-roasted turkey with sides such as garlic mashed potatoes and green beans with caramelized shallots, or Osso Bucco, or pistachio-crusted salmon), and choice of dessert (options include pumpkin cheesecake and cranberry orange bread pudding).

2591 Main Street, Soquel, (831) 479-9777

San Jose Restaurants

Lark Creek Blue on Santana Row opened on August 1, 2012 (it replaced Lark Creek Restaurant Group’s Yankee Pier which closed on July 15). For Thanksgiving, the restaurant has a special “Maine Lobster for the price of Turkey” promotion. Customers receive a 3-course prix fixe dinner, with either traditional Thanksgiving turkey plus “farmers market sides” or a pound-and-a-quarter live Maine lobster with “traditional accompaniments.” The price is $45 for adults, $22.50 for kids 10 and under (it’s half the size of the adult portion), and free for kids under 3. Lark Creek Blue will also be offering dishes from its regular menu including steak and seafood.

378 Santana Row, Suite 1100, San Jose, (408) 244-1244

The Fairmont San Jose is serving a special Champagne Harvest Buffet; seatings are from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (every half-hour). The cost is $58 per adult and $29 per child 5-12, plus tax and 22% gratuity. Kids under 5 are free, and there will be a special kids’ buffet and entertainment. Buffet highlights: a selection of salads such as Artichoke, Oyster Mushroom and Fingerling Potato Salad with Shallot-Mustard Vinaigrette and Caesar Salad with Garlic Focaccia Croutons, hot options such as Sage Basted Roast Tom Turkey, Herb Roasted Sea Bass with Saffron Israeli Couscous, Lemon Butter Sauce, Smoked Bacon and Chicken Apple Sausage, a waffle station, an omelet station that switches to a pasta and mushroom station at 2 p.m., a carving station with prime rib and honey baked ham, and desserts including chocolate dipped strawberries and pumpkin pie. For full menu, see http://www.fsjholidays.com/.

170 South Market St, San Jose, (408) 998-3960

 

 

Restaurants for Easter in Santa Cruz and San Jose, Part 2

The Chaminade is serving its annual festive Easter Brunch Buffet this Sunday in Santa Cruz

Dining out on Easter is a great way to celebrate with friends or family or both, and Santa Cruz and San Jose has many restaurants offering special menus this Sunday. See Part 1 for more restaurants, and see below for the second and final group of restaurants I am highlighting. Happy Easter!

Santa Cruz
Bonny Doon Vineyard’s Le Cigare Volant
Le Cigare Volant (formerly Cellar Door) in Westside Santa Cruz offers a prix fixe Easter brunch for $40 created by new chef Ryan Shelton. The three-course meal, served from 10am-3pm, includes one glass of wine. Here is the menu: “Smoked Salmon” Arctic Char Frittatta and Frisee Salad with Complimentary Pairing: Fragola Frizzante (2009 Moscato Frizzante w/Strawberry Nectar), House Made Duck Sausage with Blueberry Granola Farrotto, and Bread and Butter Pudding with Maple Bacon Ice Cream.
Call (831) 425-6771 for reservations.
328 Ingalls Street (in Swift Street Courtyard), Santa Cruz

Chaminade
The Chaminade offers its annual Easter Brunch Buffet from 9am-3pm; the price is $49.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. Selections include prime rib, honey ham with Jack Daniels glaze, rosemary and garlic encrusted lamb leg, a seafood bar with teriyaki salmon peel and eat prawns, and more, omelets made to order, and Belgian waffles with fresh berry compote. Additional highlights: gourmet salads, cheese ravioli, quiche, a chocolate fountain, and a sundae bar. There will be Easter egg hunts for the kids at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm, appearances by the Easter Bunny, and balloon artists. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations or email chaminadeinfo@benchmarkmanagement.com and include your phone number.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz 95065

Ideal Bar & Grill
Ideal Bar & Grill has Easter Brunch specials plus limited selections from its regular brunch menu. Selections include Crab Benedict ($15) and Pancetta-wrapped Pork ($15) marinated in rosemary, thyme, and garlic, served with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. Call (831) 423-5271 for reservations.
106 Beach Street, Santa Cruz 95060

San Jose
Left Bank
For Easter, Left Bank on Santana Row is offering special “Spring-inspired” brunch, lunch, and dinner menu additions. A limited regular menu will also be available. Brunch additions include Quiche au Chorizo et Poivrons (Basque-style quiche, housemade chorizo, bell peppers, tomatoes, basil, Ossau Iraty cheese, wild arugula salad, basil vinaigrette) and Crêpes au Jambon et au Fromage de Chèvre (spinach, Parisian ham, goat cheese crêpes, sunny-side-up egg), both $11.75. Dinner additions include Longe D’Agneau Grillèe (marinated grilled lamb loin, polenta cake, spring vegetables, lamb jus, $32) and Flétan D’Alaska (pan-roasted Alaskan halibut, ratatouille, basil oil, $28). Call (408) 984-3500 for reservations.
377 Santana Row, Suite 1100, San Jose, CA 95128

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