Tag Archives: Michael’s on Main

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

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

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

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

Santa Cruz County

Food Lounge

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

 

Johnny’s Harborside

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

 

Michael’s on Main

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

 

Assembly

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

 

Hindquarter Bar & Grille

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

 

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

 

MONTEREY COUNTY

 

California Market at Pacific’s Edge

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

 

Steinbeck House

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

 

Jacks Restaurant at Portola Hotel and Spa

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

 

TusCA Ristorante at Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa

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

 

Tarpy’s Roadhouse

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

 

Gordon’s Café and Catering

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

 

Sardine Factory

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

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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)

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Santa Cruz and South Bay restaurants open on New Year’s Eve, Part 1 of 2

Innovative cuisine at The Lexington House in Los Gatos

Innovative cuisine at The Lexington House in Los Gatos

Planning to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2013 at a restaurant in Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, or another nearby South Bay city? Here are details and menu highlights for a variety of venues; I’ll publish a few more tomorrow.

Santa Cruz Area

Aquarius
Located at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn overlooking the Wharf, Aquarius is hosting two seatings for dinner on New Year’s Eve: 5-6:30 p.m (three courses, $65) and 9 p.m. (five courses, $85). The second seating includes a DJ and live music, dancing, hats/noisemakers, and a midnight toast. Call 460-5012 for reservations or more information.
175 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

Johnny’s Harborside
On New Year’s Eve, Johnny’s is serving a prix fixe, three-course dinner for $48 that includes a glass of champagne. Call 479-3430 for reservations; the first seating is 5 p.m. and the last is 9:30 p.m. Customers choose one selection from each course. Appetizer options include fresh local crab and citrus bisque. Second course choices include half steamed fresh local dungeness crab with pan-seared crab cake, herb-roasted potatoes, and green bean almondine, and grilled New York strip loin with mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach, provencal stuffed crimini mushrooms, and roasted garlic butter. Dessert selections include Meyer lemon & cranberry bundt cake.
493 Lake Ave, Santa Cruz

Michael’s on Main
The Soquel restaurant is serving a fixed-price $55 four-course dinner with seatings from 5:30 – 9  p.m. Dinner includes a glass of champagne and New Year’s party favors. Call (831) 479-9777 for reservations. Appetizer choices include Corralitos sausage and blue cheese stuffed mushrooms; second course choices include lobster bisque. Entrees include salmon wellington and desserts include cheesecake infused with late harvest moscato.
2591 Main St., Soquel

Hindquarter
The Santa Cruz restaurant is open on New Year’s Eve from 5 p.m. onward. It’s serving the regular dinner menu plus holiday specials. Call (831) 426-7770 for reservations.
303 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz

The Cocoanut Grove
Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the oceanfront Cocoanut Grove from 7 p.m. – 1 a.m. Tickets for dinner and the dance are $84; the dance only is $41 in advance and $46 at the door. Entertainment will be provided by The Alison Sharino Band, The Surfing Magician, and Innisfree Celtic Music. The dinner buffet is from Crown Café Catering and includes a glass of sparkling cider or champagne. A no-host full bar will be available.  Call (831) 423-2053 for information or buy tickets at brownpapertickets.com.

Los Gatos Restaurants

The Lexington House
The Lexington House just opened in September 2013, and it’s already gained many fans. The restaurant’s menu features products from local, organic, and sustainable sources skillfully prepared by Chef Philippe Breneman (formerly of Dio Deka and Moana Restaurant and Hotel Group, as well as a stint at Manresa).  For its first New Year’s Eve celebration, The Lexington House is offering a five-course $85 menu featuring “the best of the season.” Beginning with a Cauliflower Veloute and a Caviar Cracker, guests will have options including Diver Scallops with parsnips and brown butter; Fettuccine with uni butter and Dungeness crab; Mills Farro with wild mushroom and a slow cooked egg; Rendered Lamb Tenderloin with golden turnips and hedgehog mushrooms, and Textures of Chocolate and Maple Truffles. Call (408) 354-1600 for reservations.
40 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos

Dio Deka
Award-winning restaurant Dio Deka is offering its annual New Year’s Eve party with two seatings: the first from 6-8:30 p.m. ($95) and the second from 8:30 p.m. to past midnight ($125).  Each features a four-course menu with Greek specialties from Chef Jeff Fitzgerald such as Keftethakia lamb meatballs (I highly recommend these!), Octapothi Scharas – mesquite-grilled octopus, Avgolemono – classic egg-lemon soup with orzo; Lavraki – mesquite-grilled Mediterranean Branzino; Paithakia – Mesquite-grilled double-cut lamb chops; and Brizola – mesquite-grilled prime bone in rib eye. Guests that attend the second seating will receive party favors, a midnight complimentary champagne toast at midnight, and encouragement to ‘dance the night away when the bar opens up onto a dance floor with a live DJ.’ Call (408) 354-7700 for reservations.
210 E. Main St., Los Gatos

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Restaurants for Thanksgiving 2013 in Santa Cruz and San Jose

The dining room at Solaire in Santa Cruz

The dining room at Solaire in Santa Cruz

It’s almost Thanksgiving – time to make your reservations if you’re going out to eat! Want to dine in the Santa Cruz or San Jose area? Here are a few to consider for November 28, 2013. I’ll be publishing more options in the next couple days.

Some local restaurants, including Johnny’s Harborside in Santa Cruz Harbor, will be closed.

Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel Restaurants

Chaminade offers a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 6 p.m. The cost is $49.95 for adults, $16.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Customers are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz County. Toy drive participants will be entered into a drawing to win a 50-minute massage at The Spa, Sunday Brunch for two in the Sunset Restaurant, or an overnight stay for two. Selections include roast Tom Turkey, roast lamb leg, butternut squash ravioli, a seafood assortment, gourmet salads, and pumpkin apple soup.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz (831) 475-5600

Solaire has a four-course prix fixe Thanksgiving feast from noon – 8 p.m. for $45 (adults), $35 (seniors 65+), and $14 (kids). Children 5 and under are free. Appetizer choices are bacon-wrapped prawns and cheddar grits or wild mushroom risotto; soup/salad choices include roasted butternut soup; entrée choices include Diestel turkey, Kurobuta pork prime rib with herb spaetzle, or artichoke agnolotti. Dessert options include pumpkin pie or triple chocolate cake.
611 Ocean (inside Hotel Paradox), (831) 600-4545

Bittersweet Bistro will have a Thanksgiving buffet. Served from 12:30 – 6 p.m., the price is $53.95, (Adults) $22 (Kids 6-12), or $7 (Kids 5 and Under). Parties that are seated right at 12:30pm receive a 5% discount. The menu includes Roasted Traditional All Natural Turkey with Pan Gravy and Gluten Free Gravy, Slow Roasted Prime Rib with Au Jus and Horseradish crème fraîche, Teriyaki Salmon, Classic Glazed Applewood Smoked Ham, Baked Candied Yams, Persimmon Waldorf Salad, Classic Caesar Salad, Tossed Asian Salad, Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, and a special kids’ buffet table. Desserts include a chocolate fountain and miniature versions of “famous Bittersweet desserts.”
787 Rio Del Mar Boulevard, Aptos (831) 662-9799

Michael’s on Main is serving Thanksgiving dinner from 2-8 p.m. The restaurant will offer a 3-course prix fixe meal for adults ($32) and a special meal for kids 12 and under ($15.95). The adult dinner features choice of soup or salad, entrée choice (four selections are oven-roasted turkey with sides such as garlic mashed potatoes and green beans with caramelized shallots, Osso Bucco, pistachio-crusted salmon, or a vegetarian dish with grilled portobello), and choice of dessert (options include pumpkin cheesecake and cranberry orange bread pudding).
2591 Main Street, Soquel (831) 479-9777
San Jose Restaurants

Maggiano’s on Santana Row is doing a prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner; it’s $36.95 for adults and kids 5-12 are $17.95. The family-style dinner includes bruschetta, salad (families get to choose two of four salads offered), entrée (choose two of three entrees offered, including roast turkey with focaccia sausage stuffing or parmesan-crusted tilapia), side dishes (choose two), and pasta (choose two from selections including four cheese ravioli or gnocchi with Italian sausage). Dessert is also included; choose two from five selections include pumpkin praline cheesecake and tiramisu (I’ve heard the tiramisu is fantastic!). There are also take-out options: choose a $185 full-meal package that serves approximately five people or order a la carte.
3055 Olin Avenue, Ste. 1000 (408) 423-8973

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A Taste of Santa Cruz 2013 features 30 restaurants, wineries and breweries

Offerings from the restaurant Zameen at a previous

Offerings from the restaurant Zameen at a previous “A Taste of Santa Cruz”

The 9th annual “A Taste of Santa Cruz,” at the Cocoanut Grove on Thursday, Nov. 14, features 30 participating restaurants, wineries, and breweries. The event runs from 5:30-9 p.m. and benefits first-time home buyers. Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door. Buy tickets online.

Attendees sample food and drinks from 30 restaurants, food vendors, breweries and wineries. Proceeds from the event benefit the Santa Cruz Association of REALTORS Housing Foundation grant program that provides closing costs for first time, low-income home-buyers in Santa Cruz County.

Participating food providers include Aquarius, Cowboy Diner, Johnny’s Harborside, Michael’s on Main, Barbara & Company Catering, Süda, Main Street Garden & Café, and Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine. Wineries and breweries include Trout Gulch Vineyards, Joyce Vineyards, Seabright Brewery, and Uncommon Brewers.

Other highlights at the event: live music from West Coast Soul and Depot Dogs,  an appearance by the Derby Girls, and a silent auction with over 100 items. Items up for bid include jewelry, crafts, and vacation lodging in New Orleans. There will also be a raffle; the prize valued at $1,300 is a three-night stay at an artisan home in Lake Tahoe.

Several hundred people attend this event each year; purchasing your tickets in advance is recommended.

Event location: Cocoanut Grove Grand Ballroom, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz 95060

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Santa Cruz Restaurant Week Oct. 2-9 offers $25 3-course dinners

Food at Severino's in Aptos, one of more than 30 participants in Santa Cruz Restaurant Week 2013. Photo courtesy of SCRW Facebook page

Food at Severino’s in Aptos, one of more than 30 participants in Santa Cruz Restaurant Week 2013. Photo courtesy of SCRW Facebook page

Foodie alert: it’s time for the fifth annual Santa Cruz Restaurant Week where more than 30 local restaurants – from Aptos, Soquel and Capitola to Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Ben Lomond, and Felton – serve three-course gourmet dinners for only $25. And you can win a free Santa Cruz Restaurant Week dinner through my web site! Read end of article for details.
Special menus are offered Oct. 2-9, 2013,  and typically include three options for each course: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Customers choose one selection from each course.

The 2012 Restaurant Week was very popular and a lot of fun for those of us who participated as customers! Restaurant reservations are recommended but not required.
I will post a few menus and at least one review in the next few days.

Restaurants that are participating, in alphabetical order:
• Aquarius at the Dream Inn
• Booka
• Café Rio
• Center Street Grill
• Chocolate
• The Crow’s Nest
• El Palomar
• Gabriella Café
• Hindquarter Bar & Grill
• Hoffman’s Bistro & Patisserie
• Hula’s Island Grill
• Ideal Bar & Grill
• Johnny’s Harborside
• La Posta
• Laili
• Linwood’s at Chaminade Resort
• Louie’s Cajun Kitchen & Bourbon Bar
• Main Street Garden & Café
• Michael’s on Main
• Oak Tree Ristorante
• Oswald
• Pearl of the Ocean
• Red Restaurant & Bar
• Ristorante Italiano
• Sanderlings at Seascape Resort
• Severino’s Bar & Grill
• Soif
• Stonehouse Bar & Grill at the Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley
• Süda
• The Point Chophouse & Lounge
• Tyrolean Inn & Restaurant
• Zelda’s On The Beach
• 515 Kitchen & Cocktails
For more information, visit the event web site.

****
THE CONTEST:
This contest is open to readers of examiner.com and santacruzfoodie.com, but employees of Examiner.com are not eligible to enter.
PRIZE – One winner receives two $25 gift certificates for dinner at Center Street Grill during Santa Cruz Restaurant Week 2013. To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the words “Santa Cruz Restaurant Week.”
Or post a comment to this article on my Facebook page and include “Santa Cruz Restaurant Week.”

Either way, the entry deadline is Thurs. Oct. 3 at 9 a.m. I will pull a name from all entries and notify the winner by email.

Center Street Grill’s 2013 Restaurant Week menu includes entrée choices of Grilled Salmon Puttanesca with capers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, mashed potatoes, and green beans, Seafood Fettucine with crab, shrimp, smoked salmon, mushrooms, and lemon cream sauce, and Grilled Pork Loin Chop with blue cheese & peaches, mashed potatoes, and asparagus.
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More Valentine’s Day restaurants in Santa Cruz area and San Jose

One example of the food at Santana Row's LB Steak

One example of the food at Santana Row’s LB Steak

If you haven’t made your reservations for a special Valentine’s Day meal yet, I suggest you call immediately—and here are some more Santa Cruz area and San Jose restaurants to consider. Yesterday I posted an article on menus for Valentine’s 2013 (La Posta, Café Sparrow, Gabriella Café and Lark Creek Blue) if you need more options. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Santa Cruz & Soquel restaurant information

Aquarius

From Thurs. Feb. 14 through Sat. Feb. 16, the restaurant is serving a three-course prix fixe dinner for $48. Its regular menu will also be available; call (831) 460-5012 for reservations. Appetizer choices include lobster bisque with saffron, cream, and sherry. Entrée choices include Hawaiian ono with Bloomsdale spinach, fried plantains, and coconut-curry sauce, or grilled Colorado lamb loin with eggplant puree, baby fennel, oven roasted tomatoes, and marinated feta cheese. Desserts include cardamom crème brulee.

Location: 175 West Cliff (at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn), Santa Cruz

Johnny’s Harborside

This oceanfront restaurant is serving a four-course prix fixe dinner for $48; call (831) 479-3430 for reservations. Choices include starters such as Saffron Baby Clam Chowder or Warm Spinach Salad, appetizers such as Baked Oysters Rockefeller Crostini, entrees including Grilled Steelhead with potato crab croquette, braised kale, citrus crab crème, and Meyer lemon marmalade or Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs with horseradish mashed potatoes, red wine demi glace, and gorgonzola butter, and desserts such as white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake or passion fruit panna cotta with vanilla mango compote.

Location: 493 Lake Ave, Santa Cruz

Michael’s on Main

The Soquel restaurant is offering a four-course prix fixe dinner for $45 per person; seatings are at 5:30, 7:00, and 8:30 p.m. Call (831) 479-9777 for reservations. Appetizer choices include baked oysters with spinach and bacon or steamed half artichoke stuffed with creamy crab dip. Main course options include pine nut crusted salmon topped with mint hollandaise or petite filet in pomegranate sauce.

Location: 2591 Main St, Soquel

Oswald

This downtown Santa Cruz restaurant is serving a three-course prix fixe dinner for $55; call (831) 423-7427 for reservations and more information.

Location: 121 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz

As of Saturday evening Feb. 9, a quick glance at Open Table revealed that the following Santa Cruz, Aptos and Felton restaurants still had availability for dinner in the 7-8 p.m. range on Valentine’s Day:

· Solaire at Hotel Paradox

· Café Mare

· El Palomar

· Hoffman’s

· Hollins House

· Oak Tree Ristorante

· Sanderlings

San Jose restaurant menus

 

LB Steak

LB Steak San Jose is serving its regular lunch menu and a limited a la carte dinner menu, plus a $75 4-course prix fixe dinner menu with entrée choices of “Love Me Tender” with prime beef tenderloin, goat cheese soufflé, brandy and tarragon glace de viande; “Strip Tease” with a slow roasted New York strip loin, polenta with robiola cheese, wild mushroom fricassee; or “Abrazos y Besos” with seared scallops, celery root gratin, melted leeks, and caviar beurre blanc. All female customers will receive a complimentary rose and the restaurant will be decorated with roses. Call (408) 244-1180 for reservations.

Location: 334 Santana Row, Suite 1000, San Jose

Left Bank

The restaurant is serving its the regular lunch menu and a limited regular a la carte dinner menu, plus a $45 three-course prix fixe dinner menu with entrée choices of Butter Poached Maine Lobster Tail with sweet potato orzo, roasted butternut squash, Brussels sprout petals and fleur de sel truffle butter or Pan Roasted Filet Mignon with goat cheese and Yukon Gold potato purée, roasted baby vegetables and Béarnaise sauce (add a lobster tail for an additional $15). Call (408) 984-3500 for reservations.

Location: 377 Santana Row, Suite 1100, San Jose

Santa Cruz and San Jose restaurants open on New Year’s Eve 2012, Part 2 of 2

Left Bank Brasserie in San Jose

Yesterday I published details on many Santa Cruz area restaurants— plus a couple in San Jose — offering dinner on New Year’s Eve 2012. Here are a few more.

Santa Cruz Area

Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room

Hula’s is closed on New Year’s Day and open on New Year’s Eve serving its regular menu. Plus, there are two drink specials that night: $3 champagne and $3 mimosas. Reservations are available for parties of six or more and are recommended; call (831) 426-HULA.

221 Cathcart St., Santa Cruz

 

Bittersweet Bistro

The Aptos restaurant will be open on New Year’s Eve for dinner starting at 5:00pm; the last seating is at 10pm. The regular menu plus specials will be available. The café is open from on New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day, the restaurant is open with regular hours and menu, and the café is open from 8 a.m. – 2: 30 p.m. Call (831) 662-9799 for reservations.

787 Rio Del Mar Blvd, Aptos

Michael’s on Main

The Soquel restaurant is serving a fixed-price four-course dinner with seatings at 5:30, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Call (831) 479-9777 for reservations. At 5:30, the price is $45. At 7 and 9:30 it’s $55 and includes party favors and a glass of champagne. Live music begins at 9:30. Appetizer choices include Corralitos sausage and blue cheese stuffed mushrooms; second course choices include lobster bisque. Entrees include salmon wellington and desserts include cheesecake infused with late harvest moscato.

2591 Main St., Soquel

Sanderlings at Seascape Resort

The Aptos restaurant will offer a special New Year’s Eve buffet dinner for $99 per person plus tax (tip included). For the special event, doors open at 6:30 p.m., dinner is from 7 – 9 p.m., and dancing occurs from 8:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. with live music by Mike Hadley and the Groove and a midnight champagne toast. Call (831) 662-7141 for event reservations. The menu includes a lavish dessert buffet. On New Year’s Day, Sanderlings is serving a brunch buffet (includes coffee or tea) for $19.95 (adults) or $10.95 (kids 2-12). Brunch entrees include eggs benedict, ham and cheese omelet, sauteed beef tenderloin with mushrooms on garlic mashed potatoes and red wine sauce/ Salads include Caesar with sundried tomatoes, anchovies, and Parmesan cheese.

One Seascape Resort, Aptos

Chaminade

Chaminade is offering a celebration from 6 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. that includes a unique “strolling dinner experience” with themed, interactive chef stations and an open bar from 7 p.m. – midnight. DJ service will be provided by Music Now. The cost is $100 per person. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations. On New Year’s Day, the Sunset Restaurant at Chaminade is open from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. for breakfast.

1 Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Other Santa Cruz area restaurants serving dinner on New Year’s Eve include:

  • Hoffman’s
  • Tortilla Flats (including special tapas selections plus the regular menu)
  • Main Street Garden & Café ($60 per person, 5 courses, 5:30 or 8:30 p.m. seating)
  • Zelda’s
  • Paradise Beach Grille
  • Soif ($75 prix fixe menu and $35 optional wine pairings; choices include Maine lobster soup and Peking duck breast with baby turnips)
  • Margaritaville
  • Ideal Bar & Grill

San Jose

Left Bank Brasserie

The Parisian-style restaurant is offering service on New Year’s Eve from 11:30 a.m. onward; the last seating is at 11 p.m. For dinner, there will be a la carte options in addition to a four-course prix fixe $64.50 menu. Entrée choices include Butter Poached Lobster Tail with vanilla and honey roasted butternut squash ravioli, Swiss chard and pomegranate red wine emulsion. Call (408) 984-3500 for reservations.

377 Santana Row #1100, San Jose

Also open on New Year’s Eve:

  • Lark Creek Blue on Santana Row – call (408) 244-1244 for reservations. 378 Santana Row #1100, San Jose
  • Bella Mia – Choose a 4-course prix fixe $45 menu or order a la carte. Call (408) 280-1993 for reservations. 58 South 1st Street, San Jose

Santa Cruz restaurants open on Christmas, and 12 Days of Xmas Giveaway Day 10: Hindquarter

Seared salmon with roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts, yellow tomato purée at Aquarius, which is open both Xmas Eve and Xmas Day

It’s Day 10 of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Today’s prize is a $50 gift card from the Hindquarter Bar & Grille. See end of article for how to enter.

Hindquarter and many other restaurants in the area are serving special holiday meals on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day, while some restaurants are closed. Here are some highlights.

Hindquarter: Open on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. 12/24: Dining room closed at lunch, but bar is open at 11:30 a.m. for lunches, appetizers, etc. The dining room is open from 5 – 9:30 p.m. serving the regular menu plus holiday specials. 12/25: Closed at lunch. The dining room is open from 2 – 8 p.m. serving the regular menu plus holiday specials. Call (831) 426-7770 for reservations.

Aquarius is open on Christmas Eve (regular menu) and Christmas Day. On 12/25, there is a $55 4-course menu from 12:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. See web site for menu details. There is also a special kids’ menu available. Call (831) 460-5012 for reservations.

Michael’s on Main: Open on Christmas Eve. The bar opens at 2 p.m., and the dining room is open from 3 – 8 p.m. with a special set menu. Call (831) 479-9777 for reservations. Closed on Christmas Day.

Hoffman’s: Open on Christmas Eve, serving the regular menu plus an optional 3-course prix fixe menu for $38. See web site for menu; call (831) 420-0135 for reservations. Closed on Christmas Day. Hoffman’s is running a pie promotion until 12/31 (apple, marionberry, pumpkin, and pecan): buy one pie, get half off the second one. Normal price is $14; special price is $21 for 2.

Bittersweet Bistro: Restaurant open on Christmas Eve featuring regular menu plus nightly specials with first seating at 4 p.m. and last seating at 8 p.m. Call (831) 662-9799 for reservations. Café open 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Both café and restaurant closed on Christmas Day.

 

Closed for the holidays:

 

****

THE CONTEST:

Reminder — during the entire “12 Days of Christmas” promotion, each person can only win one prize.

DAY TEN PRIZE – The winner will receive a $50 gift certificate from Hindquarter in Santa Cruz.

To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the word “Hindquarter.”

Or post a comment to this article on my Facebook page, and include the word “Hindquarter.”

Either way, the entry deadline is Sat. Dec. 22 at 5 p.m.

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

 

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