Tag Archives: Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria

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

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

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

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

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

Grocery stores (listed alphabetically)

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

Farmer’s Markets – these are currently open:

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

Restaurants & other food vendors

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

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

Breweries & wineries

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

Follow me on:

Twitter @santacruzfoodie

Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

Santa Cruz County food/drink closures & changes, as of March 19, 2020

Appetizer at HOME
photo courtesy of HOME web site

Hi everyone – I wanted to help share some information in this unprecedented environment. As this is constantly evolving and I don’t have the time or resources to gather everything at once, I am starting with one list today & including hours where I have them.

I will add a second list soon, with more in each of these categories, and try to do revised and/or additional lists in the days to come. I wish you all continued good health.

Please email me at tara@santacruzfoodie.com if you have information to share, that I can add to future lists/articles (I have some more ready to share but if I keep typing I will never finish & be able to share these).

Grocery stores

  • New Leaf Community Markets reduced hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, newleaf.com
  • Trader Joe’s reduced hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, traderjoes.com
  • Safeway: reduced hours depending on location, safeway.com/

Farmer’s Marketsthese are currently open:

Downtown Santa Cruz Wednesday

Aptos/Cabrillo College Saturday

Westside SC Saturday

Live Oak Sunday

Restaurants

Alderwood: reopening Tuesday with takeout and delivery menu, alderwoodsantacruz.com

Bad Animal Books: Wednesday, Friday, & Sunday from 4-7 p.m., take-out “family meals” with curbside pick up. Emergency first responders get a 50% discount. Order at badanimalbooks.com.

Blue Bunny Tacos: closed until further notice

Charlie Hong Kong: noon-9 p.m., takeout (curbside pickup). They will cater & deliver to serve first responders, medical/hospital staff & government workers, charliehongkong.com

Dharma’s: closed for the foreseeable future.

East Side Eatery from Pleasure Pizza: 11 a.m.-8 p.m., takeout/delivery only, with curbside pickup for online orders, pleasurepizzasc.com

Home: takeout with curbside pickup, taking phone orders between 1-6pm, 831-431-6131, homesoquel.com

La Posta: takeout with curbside pickup, lapostarestaurant.com

Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria: takeout/delivery including free delivery to limited areas, menu with family-size options through April 7, lagodicomoristorante.com

Laili: takeout/delivery, lailirestaurant.com

Nick the Greek: takeout/delivery, nickthegreeksj.com/locations

Panda Express: takeout and delivery, pandaexpress.com

Pasatiempo Golf Course: MacKenzie Bar & Grill is closed until further notice; Hollins House is doing take-out dinner. thehollinshouse.com/restaurant

Pono Hawaiian Grill: closing downtown location for the foreseeable future

Shadowbrook: closing until at least April 7.

Soif: takeout with curbside pickup, soifwine.com

Surf City Sandwich: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., takeout or delivery, see surfcitysandwich.com.

Tortilla Flats: closed until further notice

Vim Dining & Desserts: closed until further notice

Zameen: all branches will be closed through at least Sunday.

Breweries & wineries

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

Follow me on:

Twitter @santacruzfoodie

Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

Tutto Fresco in Santa Cruz offers Panini, pizza, espresso & Italian groceries

The signature Panino Tutto Fresco with turkey roasted in-house plus homemade pesto, provolone and tomato

The signature Panino Tutto Fresco with turkey roasted in-house plus homemade pesto, provolone and tomato

In June, the owners of Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria opened Tutto Fresco, an Italian deli and small grocery store next door to their Santa Cruz restaurant.

 

In the deli, they make Italian Panini on freshly baked Ciabatta bread. The most popular sandwich is signature Panino Tutto Fresco with roasted turkey, provolone, tomato, and pesto. The seasoned turkey is roasted in-house. Tutto Fresco also sells selected specialty Italian deli meats and cheeses by the pound and a few salads by the pound.

 

The chef also bakes pizza daily, which customers can buy by the slice and take to go.

 

The deli serves Illy Italian coffee and espresso plus pastries—some made onsite, some from local vendors such as Heather’s Patisserie. Tutto Fresco also has grab and go items like parfaits with fresh berries and yogurt, Odwalla juices, fresh seafood, fresh ravioli, chicken, fresh housemade pasta sauces (pesto, Bolognese, marinara and bruschetta), roasted peppers and salads.

 

Groceries that Tutto Fresco sells include dairy (mostly from Clover), produce, spices, baking supplies, jams, and a few Italian imported items like pasta, olive oils, vinegar and biscotti. A few items are gluten-free. The shop also sells barbecue supplies (including charcoal), picnic supplies and firewood.

 

Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends. Visit Tutto Fresco on Facebook.

 

Location: 21400 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz (831) 621-2063

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Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

More Bay Area restaurants for Thanksgiving: Monterey, San Jose, Santa Cruz

Restaurant 1833 in Monterey

Restaurant 1833 in Monterey

Here are a few more choices for dining out in the Bay Area on Thanksgiving.

If you missed my earlier Thanksgiving articles, see below:
Santa Cruz and Monterey area restaurants
San Francisco

Monterey & Carmel

Restaurant 1833

On Thanksgiving, Restaurant 1833 will host a feast from 1:30 – 7pm with a special three-course menu for $65 per person. Located in the historic California landmark, the Stokes Adobe house, guests can enjoy selections such as Roasted Apple Soup with sage, Brandy syrup and candied walnuts; Herb-Roasted Free Range Turkey with sage and chestnut dressing, potato puree, haricot verts, cranberry-orange relish, and classic gravy; Acorn Squash Ravioli with roasted mushrooms, port-braised shallots, and Parmesan; and choice of Pumpkin Mousse Pie or Spiced Chocolate Cremeux for a sweet ending. Reservations can be made through Open Table or by calling (831) 643-1833.
500 Hartnell St., Monterey

Cannery Row Brewing Company
The restaurant will offer its regular full menu on Thanksgiving, plus a three-course Turkey Dinner.  The dinner will be $29.95 for adults and $12 for kids 12 and under. Make reservations via Open Table or at (831) 643-2722.
95 Prescott Ave, Monterey

Il Fornaio
Il Fornaio in Carmel, located at the Pine Inn, will offer its full menu on Thanksgiving plus a special Thanksgiving dinner with traditional favorites. They invite you to celebrate “Thanksgiving with an Italian twist.” Make reservations via Open Table or at (831) 622-5100.
Ocean Avenue & Monte Verde St., Carmel

San Jose
Lark Creek Blue

The restaurant is offering a three-course prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner for $49 (adults). Children 10 and under get a half portion for half-price. First course options include roast butternut squash soup with maple glazed bacon lardons; jumbo shrimp cocktail; and steamed clams with housemade chorizo, scallions, garlic, cilantro, white wine, and butter. Entrée choices include lobster (stuffed with bay shrimp and served with green beans and drawn butter), and turkey accompanied by traditional items like cornbread stuffing and mashed potatoes. One dessert option is a fun decorate-your-own gingerbread cookie that benefits charity (click here for more info on the month-long promotion).
378 Santana Row, San Jose, (408) 244-1244

The Fairmont San Jose
The Fairmont San Jose is serving two special meals: the Fountain Restaurant is the site of their Family Orchard Buffet; reservations are available from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The cost is $54 per adult and $27 per child 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free. Appetizers include fruit, chilled jumbo prawns, Caesar salad, and sushi. Entree highlights include an organic egg and omelet bar; parsley, rosemary, and thyme rubbed roast turkey; honey baked ham with bourbon mustard and brown sugar glaze; and garlicky Spanish saffron and seafood stew. There will also be festive holiday desserts. The Imperial Ballroom is hosting a Fairmont Harvest Brunch; reservations are available from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The cost is $69 per adult (includes one glass of sparkling wine, mimosa, or house wine) and $34 per child 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free. Appetizers include pulled duck confit; honey-glazed salmon; King crab legs; kale-and feta-faro-pomegranate seed salad. Entrees include an organic egg and omelet bar; parsley, rosemary, and thyme rubbed roast turkey; and sustainably fished Arctic char with pickled onion-cabbage slaw.
For full menus, visit fsjholidays.com/thanksgiving2014.html.
170 South Market St, San Jose, (408) 998-3960

Santa Cruz
Lago Di Como

Lago Di Como is serving Thanksgiving brunch, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with brunch and dinner menus plus specials including an Italian roasted turkey meal. Make reservations via Open Table or at (831) 454-8257.
21490 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

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

 

Mother’s Day Bay Area restaurants Part 2 — Santa Cruz, San Jose & Monterey

Pastry elements for Cupcake Garden of Sweet Finale course at Restaurant 1833 for Mother's Day, courtesy of restaurant's Facebook page

Pastry elements for Cupcake Garden of Sweet Finale course at Restaurant 1833 for Mother’s Day, courtesy of restaurant’s Facebook page

Here are some more Bay Area Mother’s Day restaurant highlights — if you missed the roundup for San Francisco, Oakland, Palo Alto, and Napa, click here.

Santa Cruz & Soquel Restaurants

Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria
Santa Cruz restaurant Lago di Como is serving brunch and dinner on Mother’s Day. Brunch starts at 10 a.m. Call (831) 454-8257 for reservations.
2-1490 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz

Johnny’s Harborside
Santa Cruz restaurant Johnny’s Harborside is offering special dishes for both brunch (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and dinner (4-8:30 p.m.) in addition to its regular menu. Mother’s Day brunch specials include rock shrimp, asparagus, and prosciutto omelet with choice of potato hash, fruit, or polenta ($14), quiche lorraine ($13), and crab cake benedict ($16). Call (831) 479-3430 for reservations.
493 Lake Avenue, Santa Cruz

Tortilla Flats
Soquel restaurant Tortilla Flats is serving a few specials during Mother’s Day weekend. On Mother’s Day the restaurant opens at 11:30 a.m. Call 476-1754. Selections include Relleno Poblano (Roasted poblano chile filled with chorizo, goat cheese and green onions), Wild Caught Halibut served with Santa Fe Green Sauce, and Crepas Del Mar (Aji Limo crepes filled with lobster and prawns).
4616 Soquel Drive, Soquel

The Chaminade
The Chaminade offers its annual Mother’s Day brunch buffet from 9 a.m.-3 p.m; the price is $50.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. The menu includes a savory seafood bar, roast prime rib of beef, honey glazed ham and roast turkey breast, omelet bar, an array of traditional brunch favorites, fresh fruit and vegetable medleys, and a delectable selection of pastries and desserts.  Children’s favorites include chicken strips and fries, miniature pancakes and macaroni and cheese. There will also be face painting and balloon figures for kids. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations. Also related to Mother’s Day, there’s a special May promotion: Book overnight accommodations for two in the month of May and receive a $50 resort credit to be used toward the spa, breakfast, brunch or dinner, in addition to a scented spa candle and signature body lotion just for Mom!  Call 800-283-6569 for reservations or visit www.chaminade.com for further information.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Hollins House
The Pasatiempo Golf Club’s Hollins House is serving a brunch buffet from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The price is $55 (adults) and $20 for kids. Selections include Beet and goat cheese salad with fresh strawberries, Omlette bar with Bacon, Ham, Pasilla Chiles, Tomatoes, Cheese, Scallion, Italian Sausage, Spinach, Egg Whites and Mushrooms, Glazed Pit Ham with Orange Anise Sauce, Carved NY Steak, Horseradish Cream, Au Jus, and Mushroom Ravioli with Basil Pesto and Feta. Call (831) 459-9177 for reservations.
20 Clubhouse Rd, Santa Cruz

San Jose
Fogo de Chao

On May 11, Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse in San Jose will offer lively dining that will satisfy the whole family. Plus, moms who dine on Mother’s Day (May 11), will receive a special card — while supplies last — good for a complimentary lunch or dinner on their next visit. The Mother’s Day menu will feature the restaurant’s extensive variety of fire-roasted meats that are specially carved to each guest’s preference. Diners can enjoy selections such as the house specialty picanha sirloin, filet mignon, ribeye, lamb chops, chicken wrapped in bacon, and pork ribs, to name a few, or try the newly-introduced lighter seafood selection. Additionally, Fogo offers a colorful gourmet salad and sides bar with an abundance of fresh and seasonal choices, and Southern Brazilian side dishes such as pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, and caramelized bananas are served family style. A tempting dessert menu, creative and classic cocktails, and an award-winning wine list complement the dining experience. Pricing is $51.50 per person and Mother’s Day is being celebrated from 11:30am – 9:00pm. Special pricing is available for children 12 and under. Call 408-244-7001.
The Fairmont San Jose

The Fairmont is serving a special Mother’s Day Buffet from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The cost is $59 per adult and $29 per child 5-12, plus tax and  gratuity. Kids under 5 are free. Buffet highlights: a selection of salads such as shaved fennel, artichoke, arugula, citrus with saffron vinaigrette; hot options such as honey baked ham, herb-roasted leg of lamb, and dill-roasted salmon with tomato-olive fondue, and an omelet station with farm fresh eggs.
170 South Market St, San Jose, (408) 998-3960
Monterey
Restaurant 1833

On Sunday, May 11, Restaurant 1833 will open early and host a special Mother’s Day Brunch with a three-course menu for $55. Located in the historic California landmark, the Stokes Adobe house, guests can enjoy dishes from New Executive Chef Abby Burk with selections such as Asparagus and Leek Quiche with gruyere, goat cheese and chives; Booker’s Bourbon and Vanilla French Toast topped with marinated white peaches, whipped crème fraiche, and toasted almonds; The Fried Chicken served with cornbread and rosemary waffles, chicories and roasted grape jus, and a Stroll Through the Cupcake Garden for a sweet ending with an assortment of cupcake flavors including carrot cake, vanilla bean, strawberry & chocolate cream, and lemon meringue . As always, available for a $6 add on are sides such as 1833’s signature Bacon Biscuits served with a sausage gravy. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 831-643-1833.
TusCA Ristorante at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa (1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, 657-6675) is serving a buffet: $56 adults, $25 kids 6-12, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entrees include lavender-glazed pork loin with Point Reyes studded blue cheese.

Tarpy’s Roadhouse (2999 Salinas Highway, Monterey, 647-1444) is serving a la carte brunch dishes ranging from $4.95-$48 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entrees include Maine lobster and avocado benedict on griddled brioche with citrus-chive hollandaise, herb salad, and potatoes.

Jack’s Restaurant at the Portola Hotel & Spa (2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, 649-2698) has a buffet: $39.95 adults, $34.95 seniors, $19.95 kids 6-12. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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

Pasta at Lago di Como in Santa Cruz

Pasta at Lago di Como in Santa Cruz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TusCA Ristorante (831) 372-1234

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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

James Beard-nominated Restaurant 1833 in Monterey

James Beard-nominated Restaurant 1833 in Monterey

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

Santa Cruz & Aptos Restaurants

Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria

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

2-1490 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz

Johnny’s Harborside

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

493 Lake Avenue, Santa Cruz

Bittersweet Bistro

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

787 Rio Del Mar Boulevard, Aptos

Hoffman’s

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

1102 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz

The Chaminade

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

One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Hollins House

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

20 Clubhouse Rd, Santa Cruz

Monterey Restaurants

Restaurant 1833

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

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

 

Two restaurant events in Santa Cruz on Tuesday March 12

Food at Lago di Como Ristorante

Food at Lago di Como Ristorante

There are so many fun food- and restaurant-related events in Santa Cruz that it’s hard to keep up; here are two occurring on Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2013.

Winemakers Dinner at Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria

Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria, which opened in December, is having its first Winemakers Dinner. The cost is $62 for a six-course meal including wine pairings. Courses include salad, pasta, fish, and meat (the latter is top sirloin stuffed with artichoke, panko, Parmesan, with rosemary-white wine sauce and served atop garlic mashed potatoes). Read more and view the full menu at Lago’s Facebook page. The event begins at 6 p.m. and features winemakers from Treviso, Italy-based La Cantina Pizzolato Winery. Reservations will be accepted up until noon on Tuesday, via email (lagodicomosc@yahoo.com) or phone (831-454-8257). Read more about the restaurant here.

Location: Lago di Como Ristorante, 2-1490 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz

India Joze Persian New Year Ritual

Now Rooz, also known as Persian New Year, takes place each year at the same time as the vernal equinox. There are many celebratory rituals associated with this holiday, including one where people “jump over fire” (sometimes a mini-bonfire at the beach) while saying certain phrases to “get rid of the old and bring in the new.” India Joze is holding a few events related to Now Rooz; read more at the restaurant’s Facebook page. One event is on Tues. Mar. 12 from 7-9 p.m. There will be free Persian appetizers and desserts, plus an optional fire-jumping ritual, all right outside India Joze.

Location: India Joze, 418 Front Street, Santa Cruz

Grand opening party for Santa Cruz restaurant Lago di Como with free appetizers

Flavorful seafood ravioli from Chef Giovanni at Lago di Como Ristorante in Santa Cruz

The new Santa Cruz restaurant Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria is having its grand opening celebration Monday, and this event includes delicious complimentary appetizers. Owners Mary Ellen and Giovanni Spanu invite you to attend the party on Monday, January 28 from 5-9 p.m. Wine and beer will be available for purchase.

Husband and wife Mary Ellen and Giovanni opened Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria in mid-December; Giovanni is the restaurant’s chef. While Mary Ellen is a California native with Italian roots, Giovanni is from Bellagio, an Italian small town on Lago di Como (Lake Como). Giovanni’s diverse cooking experience includes working as a chef in various areas of Italy plus London, Santa Monica, Campbell, and San Jose. It has always been his dream to have a restaurant of his own where he can plan his own menu, make authentic Italian dishes and pizzas, and be part of the local community.

I dined at Lago di Como in late December, and enjoyed it tremendously. I tried a few dishes during my visit. Standouts included an appetizer with soft polenta, Manchego cheese, butter and garlic; a seafood ravioli entrée (it rotates and highlights a fish of the day in a light cream saffron sauce), and absolutely amazing tiramisu that’s served in a coffee cup for a fun twist. Note that while Lago di Como doesn’t yet offer pizza on its regular menu, there are occasional pizza specials. When the restaurant gains a pizza oven in the future, customers can be assured that pizza will always be available,

The restaurant is at the former site of Nuevo Southwestern Grill (which closed in Summer 2012). It’s undergone quite a transformation and has a sophisticated yet down to earth atmosphere. Former Nuevo customers might not recognize the interior; for example, the upper level separated by a divider has been removed and now the venue feels much more spacious.

“I am excited to be a part of Lago di Como Ristorante because (all biases aside) Giovanni is an excellent chef and makes some amazing Italian dishes,” Mary Ellen shares. “I also know that Giovanni takes pride in the food he prepares and has high standards in the kitchen. I enjoy seeing customers enjoying their food, relaxing and having a good time in our restaurant.”

“We love living in Santa Cruz and wanted to open a restaurant of our own right here in town,” adds Mary Ellen. “We both grew up in Italian families where mealtimes were social events. Italian families get together and have long multi-course meals and talk, eat, drink wine, and are in no hurry to get up from the table. It wasn’t a matter of waiting for a special occasion to have a nice meal — because having the nice meal became the special occasion. It was what brought everyone together.” Lago di Como definitely has the ability to bring people together for good Italian food in a pleasant environment – I recommend visiting soon, and going to the grand opening party if you can.

Lago di Como Ristorante, 2-1490 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz

Hours: Tue-Thurs and Sun 5 – 9:30 p.m., Fri-Sat 5 – 10:00 p.m.
Phone: (831) 454-8257

Web sites: http://lagodicomoristorante.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lago-di-Como-Ristorante-Pizzeria/404981246…

Last-minute Santa Cruz food-related New Year’s information — plus contest

Seafood ravioli at Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria

 

 

Here are some details on Santa Cruz restaurants and food-related venues, plus a contest where you can win a food-related prize (see end of article for details).

 

 

Refer to my articles on selected Santa Cruz and San Jose restaurants open on New Year’s:

A few more restaurants open for New Year’s:

  • Bantam
  • Crow’s Nest
  • Gabriella Café
  • Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria
  • Shadowbrook

 

Closed for New Year’s (Eve and/or Day):

  • Casablanca (re-opening Jan 4)
  • Charlie Hong Kong (re-opening Jan 2)
  • Mission Hill Creamery (open until 1 a.m. New Year’s Eve until early morning New Year’s Day; closed the rest of New Year’s Day)
  • Kelly’s French Bakery (Open New Year’s Eve regular hours; closed New Year’s Day)
  • Tramonti (closed both NYE and NY Day)

Adjusted Hours:

New Leaf Community Markets – all locations are open both New Year’s Eve and Day, with shortened hours. See web site for exact hours (varies by location).

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THE CONTEST

RULES:

1) If you are one of the 12 people who won a prize during my recent “12 Days of Christmas” promotion, you are ineligible for this contest.

2) Pick contest A or B to enter – you can only enter one!

Contest AMichael’s on Main has graciously donated a certificate for two people to enjoy its Tuesday night food, wine & beer pairing series. The normal price is $25/person, so this certificate is worth $50. These events include live music and occur throughout the year on Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The next series starts Jan. 8 and lasts through March 26. Here is the January line-up:

  • 1-8 We love Pork! In all it’s goodness….bring a bib for juicy pork spareribs, pork sliders, wedge salad with Corralitos bacon and more. Soquel Vineyards will be pouring and Ken Constable will be playing. Don’t miss it!
  • 1-15 Crab Feed with Guest Chefs Paul and Terry Gregory Quick! Before the season ends…Who can be satisfied with just one crab dinner? Not us. Reservations are required to be sure we have enough crab for everyone. Wines will come up from Monterey County’s Scheid Vineyards and music from Jay Alvarez.
  • 1-22 Cioppino – Soquel’s own Pinky Gilmore is known for her famous Cioppino. You usually have to wangle an invitation to her house for some but tonight she will make it at Michael’s. If you haven’t tried the Renwood Zin, now’s your chance. Also pouring the Lee Family Farms Verdelho. And they both go great with cioppino. Kevin McDowell will play guitar.
  • 1-29 Grandma’s House Come on down for some meatloaf, mashed potatoes and all the cozy comfort foods from Grandma’s kitchen. An old-time Soquel favorite, Bargetto Winery will be pouring and David O’Connor will play.

Contest BKelly’s French Bakery has generously donated a $25 gift certificate. Choose sweets, savories, or anything in between!

To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the words “Contest A” or “Contest B.”

Entry deadline is Sun. Dec. 30 at 6 p.m.

The drawing will take place that evening; the winner will be notified via email.