Tag Archives: LionFish SupperClub

Santa Cruz First Friday food highlights for March 4

For First Friday, HGP’s Angie Smith is making sweet potato and kale boxty with gingered applesauce

For First Friday, HGP’s Angie Smith is making sweet potato and kale boxty with gingered applesauce

Friday, March 4 is the next “First Friday Art Tour” in Santa Cruz; that night there are lots of related events with good food plus a couple unrelated events with delicious food that happen to be the same day. Here are a few highlights. FYI, the free First Friday tour happens every month, rain or shine, at different venues including restaurants, cafes, wineries and galleries.

Santa Cruz’s Homeless Garden Project (HGP) is hosting an event at its downtown shop to coincide with First Friday. Retail store and product manager Angie Smith will be cooking up tasty treats for attendees: sweet potato and kale boxty (latkes) with gingered applesauce (vegan and gluten-free), and vegan chocolate Stout cupcakes (plus some non-alcoholic chocolate cupcakes). There will also be “Sasquatch Red” wine (a blend from Humboldt County). There will be a special exhibit by Jessie Case, “Volunteers Giving While Getting Back,” which is a photo essay. Jessie photographed and interviewed some of Homeless Garden Project’s volunteers. The theme of the night is “Celebrating our Growing Community.” In 2015, nearly 2,500 people volunteered their time at HGP. “It’s also National Social Work Month so we are celebrating the Social Work interns that work with our trainees,” says Smith. “Since it’s March, we are having an Irish band and Irish themed appetizers.”

The HGP store stocks items including culinary products made in its training program from herbs and flowers grown at its organic farm. Income from sales helps provide job training and transitional employment for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and volunteer and educational opportunities for community members who want to learn about and practice sustainable agriculture and social justice.
Location: 110 Cooper St.

The Art Bar at the Tannery Art Center is having a grand opening celebration during First Friday with paella and more. Chef Antonette Wood is cooking up Spanish seafood paella for 100 (!) in the Art Bar’s patio using a traditional paellara. Read more about The Art Bar and its current offerings in my Feb. 27 restaurant news article. Ian McRae of Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room has taken over as sole proprietor of The Art Bar. On First Friday, The Great Morgani will perform from 7-8 p.m., and Kirby Scudder will be creating a 6 x 8 ft. live action painting of “a prominent politician… he won’t say who,” says McRae. “I think it will be Trump.” As usual, there will be lots of Tannery artists participating in First Friday; people are encouraged to visit the surrounding studios at 1050 and 1060 River St.
Location of The Art Bar: 1060 River St. #112 in the Tannery Arts Center

My Mom’s Mole will be at POPUP for dinner on Friday, March 4. The menu, which will include items from $3-10, will feature their signature mole sauce AND a new mole verde (green mole) served with chicken, pork and veggie tostadas paired with a locally sourced cactus and kale salad. I have tasted the signature mole several times—including at last week’s wonderful Event Watsonville night at the Commercial Kitchen Incubator—and can vouch that it’s delectable!

Here is a description of the food from Cesario Ruiz, who created the My Mom’s Mole recipe after watching his mother make mole and seeing all of the different ingredients she used: “My Mom’s Mole was named Best Mole, People’s Choice at the 2015 Mole & Mariachi Festival at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. The signature recipe is in the Guanajuato style and is more savory with a bit of heat at the back of the palate…our mole verde, also known as pipián, has a subtle, yet rich & fresh flavor to it. We are excited to share it with you; it may be our next product in stores so we can’t wait for you to try it!” There will be vegetarian/vegan (Guanajuato style) and gluten-free (verde) options available.
Location: POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave.

LionFish SupperClub is having its grand opening celebration and Santa Cruz Chamber ribbon cutting at the MOTIV upstairs bar/kitchen starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The menu that night will include chili-carmel brussels sprouts, rosemary-parmesan fries, French onion soup, smoked duck carnitas tacos, foraged mushroom ragout, candy cap souffle cheesecake, and caramel creme brulee. Read more about LionFish in my March 2 restaurant news article.
Location: 1209 Pacific Ave.

Mutari Chocolate is hosting a First Friday popup café and shop at Front Street Kitchen from 5 to 9 p.m. accompanied by the art of Randy Cardona. Mutari will be serving up a full menu of hot chocolates and sipping chocolates. Bean-to-bar, single origin chocolate bars will also be available. During First Friday, customers will receive 10% off any in-store retail purchases. For more news on Mutari changes, see March 2 restaurant news article.
Location: 504A Front St.

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Santa Cruz restaurant news highlights, Part 2 of 2

Savory hand pies at Buttercup Cakes & Farmhouse Frosting

Savory hand pies at Buttercup Cakes & Farmhouse Frosting

Here is some restaurant news for Santa Cruz — I published Part 1 of this two-part series a few days ago.

Openings

Buttercup Cakes & Farmhouse Frosting opened its new spot about 2 weeks ago, moving to Pacific Ave. (former Noah’s Bagels site) from around the corner on Locust. It’s got so many changes that it’s basically a brand-new place! Don’t worry: the amazing cupcakes, regular or mini-size ($4 or $2), are still available in flavors including signature Triple Orange (Earl Grey frosting on blood orange cake). Now you can order espresso from Lulu’s to accompany the sweet treats. New food items include granola with yogurt or milk ($5), spicy corn muffins with paprika garlic cream cheese, gluten-free vegan “miracle muffins” (ingredients include coconut and almond flour), and vegan scones (like lemon cherry; ingredients include coconut oil). There are savory and sweet “handpies” (mini $2, regular $5) with rotating flavors like potato-egg-cheddar or The Greek (feta, spinach, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts). Rotating soup varieties include chipotle corn chowder ($4/bowl). Current hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun-Thurs, and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri-Sat. In the future, hours will expand to 8am-9pm daily.
Location: 1411 Pacific Ave., (831) 466-0373.

Ashby Confections now has a second storefront—it’s keeping the Victor Square store in Scotts Valley, and is now offering lots of goodies—including selected handmade chocolates and caramels—at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge (it took over the space formerly occupied by Mutari; for more on Mutari, see “Changes” section below). Just today Ashby announced a new, freshly made ganache “made with Askinosie Chocolate dark milk chocolate made with single origin Filipino cacao with a touch of goat milk powder and sea salt.” They are serving lots of hot chocolates including “European style” and traditional South American-style drinking chocolates made by local company CACOCO. They also offer fresh honey marshmallows and vanilla bean whipped cream. Hmmm, and there is rain in the forecast the next few days…sounds like a good combination! In the future, Ashby will have a variety of chocolate milks and frozen desserts available at the Lounge. Current hours are Wed-Sun noon to 8 p.m. Location: 1001 Center St.


Opening Soon

Café Iveta will be opening its second location soon, probably in late March: an expanded restaurant at UCSC. The original Westside location—2125 Delaware near Swift—will remain open (and thriving!). The new location will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It will feature a full espresso bar and sustainable coffee, plus craft beer and wine. Campus hours will be 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon-Fri and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. Location: Graduate Student Commons (across from the Bay Tree Bookstore), UCSC, 1156 High St.

Changes
The Santa Cruz Food Lounge is now open 5 to 9 p.m. Wed-Sat with a full bar serving local wine, beer, cider, and artisan spirits. There will be special guest bartenders on occasion; this Saturday, March 5 features Tabitha Stroup (owner of Friend in Cheeses Jam Company) who will be “slinging original cocktails incorporating her delicious locally made jams” according to Food Lounge owner Andrea Mollenauer. On March 5 customers can also purchase food from Tanglewood…if you haven’t tried this yet, I highly recommend it. I tried Tanglewood chef Rachel Hughes’ meatballs at the last Artisan Market and they were delicious. Hughes is a former Ty’s Eatery sous chef. Tanglewood will be serving food at the Food Lounge bar regularly (except at the times other local chefs are doing popup dinners). Location: 1001 Center St.

Ty’s Eatery, which used to do a weekly pop-up Sunday brunch at the Food Lounge, is no longer a regular participant. However, Ty still does catering; for details call him at (925) 451-7944.

Mutari Hot Chocolate is no longer at the Food Lounge. Owners Adam and Matt Armstrong closed that location at the end of 2015, and sold the business to Katy Oursler and Stephen Beaumier. Mutari fans can still buy products online, and Oursler and Beaumier are hosting occasional popup cafés at Front Street Kitchen (504A Front St.). The next one is Friday, March 4, 5 to 9 p.m.

LionFish SupperClub has big news. It has discontinued the weekly Tuesday popup gig at the Food Lounge. LionFish is now offering dinner service every Wednesday through Saturday at nightclub MOTIV’s upstairs bar/kitchen (formerly known as Pearl Alley Bistro). Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Wed-Thurs and 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fri-Sat. The grand opening celebration and Santa Cruz Chamber ribbon cutting is Friday, March 4, beginning at 5:30 p.m. LionFish will continue to hold occasional special events such as dinners (at various venues) and private culinary events. Location: 1209 Pacific Ave./110 Pearl Alley.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie. Have food/restaurant/wine/culinary event news to share? Write me at tfatemi@gmail.com.

Santa Cruz’s Food Lounge: three upcoming events

Chocolates from Ashby Confections, one of the vendors at Food Lounge’s Artisan Market

Chocolates from Ashby Confections, one of the vendors at Food Lounge’s Artisan Market

Santa Cruz’s Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. is hosting many upcoming events in the near future. Here are details for three in the next week; the dates are Jan. 8, Jan. 12 and Jan. 15.

Friday, Jan 8: Food Lounge’s Artisan Food Market
From 4-8 p.m., the Food Lounge is the site of the Artisan Food Market, described as ‘farmers market meets cocktail hour.’ There will be several local food artisans and pop-up vendors, with an emphasis on prepared foods this time (lots of opportunities for purchasing food to eat on-site or to take home). There will also be local wine and beer, and cocktails—and the Food Lounge has announced that later in January, they will be adding artisan cocktails to the regular bar menu. Vendors will include longtime market participant Ashby Confections, Zocalo Gourmet Tamales, LionFish SupperClub, My Mom’s Mole, Ocean2Table Sustainable Seafood, Hand Made Meat Pies, and Hidden Fortress Farm (locally roasted coffee, hot drinks, and more). The band Wild Iris will perform. The Artisan Market series, which began last June, is held the second Friday of each month.

Tuesday, Jan 12: LionFish SupperClub’s Ramen Popup
From 5-9 p.m., LionFish SupperClub is hosting its first Tasty Tuesday of 2016. This one will focus on ramen. They promise three different ramen choices plus some side dishes and dessert. Traditionally, LionFish creates dishes for a popup every Tuesday night. They often rotate cuisines on a monthly. In 2015, customers got to visit places like India and Thailand through their delicious menus.

Friday, Jan 15: Ocean2table’s Pescetarian Popup
From 5:30-8:30 p.m., Ocean2table is holding a “Pescetarian” Popup dinner with a la carte items available for purchase. The main ingredients will be sourced from no further away than 50 miles from Santa Cruz. Their partners for the dinner are Fogline Farm, Lionfish SupperClub, and Crescent Farm. Charlie Lambert and Ian Cole started Santa Cruz-based Ocean2table as a company that provides sustainably harvested fresh seafood to the local community. Last April they launched a popup dinner series with the goal of encouraging community support for local, sustainable food.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz and nearby restaurant news highlights, Part 1 of 2

Dinner at Santa Cruz's Mozaic Mediterranean Restaurant

Dinner at Santa Cruz’s Mozaic Mediterranean Restaurant

Here is some restaurant news for Santa Cruz and other local areas. I haven’t published a roundup of restaurant news since June, so there’s a lot of information to share. I’ll be publishing part two in the next few days. I also wanted to remind my readers: if you have any food/restaurant/wine/culinary event news to share, please email me at tfatemi@gmail.com.

Openings
Five Guys Burgers and Fries opened a Capitola location in November, in the old Carl’s Jr. spot at Capitola Mall (1855 41st Ave.). Hours are 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and you can reach the restaurant at (831) 475-1948. There are hundreds of Five Guys locations in the U.S., including approximately 100 in California. A Santa Cruz location is opening soon at 1101 Pacific Ave. in the old Taqueria Vallarta spot next to Mission Hill Creamery.

Mozaic Mediterranean Restaurant opened in downtown Santa Cruz in August. I went the second day it opened; read my recap. I’ve been back many times since then and enjoyed more dishes such as the fun and tasty flaming cheese appetizer. Last time I split the grilled octopus appetizer with my sister and it was heavenly (a colleague of mine had recommended it, saying she has extremely high octopus standards and it’s the best she’s had in a long, long time). It’s very rich so I advise splitting it with at least one other person. Mozaic is at 110 Church St. off Pacific in the former Louie’s Cajun Grill location, (831) 454-8663. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun-Thurs and 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri-Sat.

Steel Bonnet Brewing Company opened in Scotts Valley in October. The family-owned-and-operated brewery produces small batches of craft beer in various styles such as stout and IPA. They usually have about seven beers on tap. Steel Bonnet is at 20 Victor Square, (831) 454-8429. They’re open from 4-8 p.m. Mon-Fri and 1-8 p.m. Sat-Sun.

Café Hanna opened in Scotts Valley in June. Husband-and-wife owners Adbeen and Jamie Karam serve what they call Greek fusion; selections include falafel sandwiches and spanakopita. According to the restaurant’s web site, all sauces and dressings are made in-house, including an olive oil-based hot pepper sauce. Falafel fritters are made from scratch with ground garbanzo beans and several dishes use the restaurant’s housemade yogurt. Café Hanna is at 5272 Scotts Valley Dr., (831) 708-8845. It’s open from 11 a.m. -7 p.m. Mon-Fri (closed Sat-Sun).

Sushi Garden opened its third location in Scotts Valley in August. The other restaurants are in Capitola and Watsonville.  The newest location is at 5600 Scotts Valley Dr. where Yamamori used to be. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m. daily. You can contact them at (831) 438-9260.

Mandarin Gourmet opened in downtown Santa Cruz in October, in the old Little Shanghai location at 1010 Cedar St., (831) 458-2460. It’s open from 11 a.m. -9:30 p.m. Mon-Sat and 5-9 p.m. Sun.

Starbucks opened a new Santa Cruz location in October. It’s located at 21620 E Cliff Dr. Hours are 5 a.m. -10 p.m. Sun-Thurs and 5 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Fri-Sat.

Opening in the Future
The Bywater, from Santa Cruz resident David Kinch (owner/chef at Michelin-starred Manresa), will open in Los Gatos in January. Read my preview article.

Closings
Taqueria Vallarta at 1101 Pacific Ave. closed in October; the restaurant still has four locations (three in Santa Cruz and one in Felton).

Yamamori Sushi & Grill in Scotts Valley closed during the summer.

Little Shanghai closed at the end of June.

Changes

Lúpulo Craft Beer House expanded in October. Their new space includes a second dining room, which the existing bar wraps into, as well as a “pub” room in the back equipped with two large screen TVs, shuffleboard, and a stand up-piano for “Pianoman” nights. These rooms added extra seating for Lúpulo, plus there are now spaces available for private parties and meetings. Lúpulo’s menu remains the same: the food is a seasonal rotation of tapas and other selections designed for sharing, while the beer is 16 constantly rotating taps.

Santa Cruz Food Lounge: some pop-up tenants have changed schedules, or plan to in the near future. See below.
Ty’s Eatery: although they no longer offer pop-up dinner Wednesdays, they serve pop-up brunch every Sunday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
LionFish SupperClub: they now serve pop-up dinner every Tuesday from 5-9p.m. (they used to only serve it every 2 weeks)
Mortal Dumpling: the Monday night pop-up dinner (5:30-9p.m.) will stop at the end of December

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz County food & wine events this week

Chaminade’s “Happy Yappy Hour” is July 6 from 5-7pm. Photo Credit: Chaminade

Chaminade’s “Happy Yappy Hour” is July 6 from 5-7pm.
Photo Credit: Chaminade

There are many food and wine events occurring this week in Santa Cruz County. Below are details for a few of them–including one tonight, July 6.

Monday, July 6: Chaminade’s “Happy Yappy Hour”
From 5-7 p.m., Chaminade Resort & Spa is hosting “Happy Yappy Hour” on the Sunset Patio. They’re offering drink, appetizer, and “yappetizer” specials, and invite dogs and their owners to attend. Chaminade is donating a portion of the proceeds from this event to the Santa Cruz Animal Shelter. They will also be serving Chateau La Paws wine; this company contributes funds to no-kill shelters and animal rescue organizations.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz, chaminade.com

Wednesday, July 8: Soif’s “Re-Opening Celebration”
Soif invites the community to a re-opening celebration from 4-6:30 p.m. July 8. They’ll be serving appetizers and drinks. As you may recall, Soif reopened two weeks ago after extensive renovations. Learn about their new food menu, new wine bar, and upgraded wine shop in my June 19 article.
105 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, soifwine.com

Thursday, July 9: Lionfish SupperClub’s “A Taste of Ancient Grace”
From 6-10 p.m., Lionfish SupperClub is holding a special outdoor dinner event at the downtown Food Lounge. Attendees must purchase tickets in advance for $75. Last week’s preview event at the Lounge, where Lionfish sold a la carte Greece-inspired items, was very well received. Highlights included spiced ground lamb souvlaki skewered on freshly picked rosemary stems—a very succulent, flavorful dish—and a wonderful, chilled lemon-herb zucchini soup.
1001 Center St., Santa Cruz, lionfishsc.com

Friday, July 10: Food Lounge’s “Artisan Food Market”
From 2-7 p.m., the Food Lounge is the site of the Artisan Food Market, described as ‘farmers market meets cocktail hour.’ There will be more than 20 local food artisans and pop-up vendors, plus local wine and beer available for purchase. The first of these monthly events was held in June; read details.
1001 Center St., Santa Cruz, scfoodlounge.com

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Artisan Food Market: Farmer Freed culinary salts, oysters, & other local treats

Spice It Up Salt from Farmer Freed, a vendor at the inaugural Artisan Food Market Photo credit: Farmer Freed Culinary Salt Blends

Spice It Up Salt from Farmer Freed, a vendor at the inaugural Artisan Food Market
Photo credit: Farmer Freed Culinary Salt Blends

Farmer Freed culinary salts and Belle Farms olive oil to enhance your cooking, Mortal Dumpling dim sum and comfort food from Kickin Chicken to provide a delicious easy dinner: these are just a few examples of what will be available at the debut Artisan Market this Friday afternoon and evening at the Food Lounge. See the full list below, and keep reading for more details.

The Food Lounge’s Andrea Molleanauer describes the inaugural Artisan Market as ‘farmers market meets cocktail hour.’ She encourages attendees to stop by whether they want to stock up on delicious food and supplies for the weekend, sit and have a drink after work or grab a snack from one of the pop up vendors. It’s family-friendly, and bound to be a unique, fun event. I know I am excited, what with the wonderful space at the new venue and all the fabulous local food artisans that are participating.

Emily Freed of Farmer Freed is also excited. “Farmer Freed is thrilled to be a vendor at the Inaugural Artisan Food Market because this event will create an opportunity for farmers and local food entrepreneurs (both grassroots and established) to gather together and sell their wares to Santa Cruz community members who are interested in supporting local food related businesses,” Freed shared.  “There are so many wonderful people making exceptional food products in the area…I hope there is a lot of cross pollination between vendors, consumers, and tourists at the event, and that the community comes out to support their fellow artisans who work so hard to produce unique food products.”

At Friday’s market, CardamomTuesday’s Naomi Woldemar will be pouring tastes of “The Dirigible,” described as a Negroni-like craft cocktail made with the company’s new Bitter Orange Chocolate Elixir. Like many of the participating Artisan Market vendors, CardamomTuesday is a Food Lounge tenant, using their incubator kitchen. Woldemar will also be selling her CardamomTuesday Elixirs (natural syrups) at the event. These are house made from real food ingredients like green cardamom, Maturi cacao nibs, organic bitter orange, gentian, and saffron. They can be used to sweeten coffee, cocktails, sparkling water, and even be used as marinade for fish.

Friend In Cheeses Jam Company will be debuting their “Drought Responsible Project utilizing either dry farmed or low water need crops to help preserve our precious resources with jars of love.” Tabitha Stroup announced on Facebook that they will be serving Dirty Shirley Cocktails with Pinot Cherries.

This is the first of a planned monthly event. The second one will be Friday, July 10.

Vendors with packaged or fresh foods

  • Belle Farms Olive Oil
  • CardamomTuesday Elixirs
  • Farmer Freed Culinary Salt Blends
  • Fish Princess Farms
  • Fogline Farm
  • Friend In Cheeses Jam Company
  • La Onda Sauces
  • Mäkse Bar
  • Ocean2Table
  • Squash & Blossom Alternative Flour Bakery

Vendors with grab n go foods

  • Kickin Chicken
  • La Marea Oyster Bar
  • LionFish SupperClub
  • Mutari Hot Chocolate
  • Mortal Dumpling
  • Melissa’s Mexican Tamales

Beverages

  • MJA Vineyards
  • Tanuki Cider

Where: Food Lounge, 1001 Center Street, Santa Cruz
When: Friday, June 12, 2-7 p.m.
For more info, see facebook.com/scfoodlounge

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.