Tag Archives: Rosie McCann’s

Get tickets soon for A Taste of Santa Cruz on Oct. 18

Treats from Aldo’s Italian Bakery at the 2017 “A Taste of Santa Cruz” – Photo credit: ATOSC

The 14th annual “A Taste of Santa Cruz,” at the MAH from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, features about 20 participating restaurants and food vendors plus several wineries and one brewery. This year, organizers switched the celebration from November to October and moved the time earlier, to take advantage of warmer weather. The event benefits first-time home buyers. Tickets are $50 in advance or $55 at the door if it’s not sold out.

The cost includes a commemorative glass plus tastings from all vendors. Participants will have the opportunity to sample lots of food and drinks including a new raw oyster bar on the third floor (the refreshments are spread across all three floors, and there’s a wine bar at the museum’s outdoor sculpture garden where attendees can purchase extra glasses of wine). Buy tickets online, and visit atosc.com or call 831-464-2000 for more information.

Food vendors include Splash!, Five Star Catering, Aldo’s, Rosie McCann’s, Gordo Gustavo’s, Casa Nostra, East Side Eatery, The Jerk House, Hula’s Island Grill, Percy’s Pies, burger, Woodstock Pizza, H&H Fresh Fish Co., Shucked Raw Oyster Bar, Vinocruz, The Turkey Boat, Buttercup Cakes, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Marini’s Candies, and Back Nine Bar & Grill.

At the 2017 event, Splash! offered a tasty bite with house-smoked trout and tomato confit; Hula’s served up a delicious Hawaiian Ceviche (fresh whitefish cooked in citrus with coconut milk, chili, cilantro, and garlic), and Buttercup handed out their always-fantastic cupcakes.

Wineries include Alfaro Family Vineyard, Kissed by an Angel, Stockwell Cellars, Bargetto, Roudon Smith, 37th Parallel, DeVincenzi Cellars, McHenry Vineyard, and Loma Prieta. East Cliff Brewing Co. will be providing beer.

This year’s event is at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History for the second consecutive year, and Habit for Humanity Monterey Bay is a presenting partner for the second year in a row. There will be live and silent auctions. Live auction items include an eight-day unique Hawaii vacation that includes three different places to stay, a Jeep rental, restaurants, beach adventures and a massage. Silent auction items include wine tasting, and excellent tickets to the first 2019 pre-season game for the San Francisco 49ers.

All proceeds from the event benefit the grant assistance program of the Santa Cruz Association of Realtors Housing Foundation, which provides closing costs for first time, low-income home-buyers in Santa Cruz County. In 2017, the event sold out—for the first time ever!—and raised nearly $25,000. The Taste of Santa Cruz has raised almost $400,000 since its inception in 2004. 

Location: MAH, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz

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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.

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

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

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Recap of delicious Santa Cruz restaurant Dishcrawl debut: next one is Feb. 26

Meatballs and homemade pasta at Cafe Mare during Dishcrawl Santa Cruz’s debut dinner

I had the great fortune to attend Dishcrawl’s debut in Santa Cruz last week (read preview article). I really loved it, and can’t wait to attend more in the near future – whether it’s the next one in downtown Santa Cruz in late February (see end of article for discount tickets), or maybe I’ll travel over the hill for something different — there are many South Bay Dishcrawl events.

I must admit that I had my doubts as to whether it would be a fun night – especially hearing that 1) I would probably be dining with a group of 25 or more people (it was 40!), and 2) we wouldn’t know what three of the four restaurants would be, and would find out the first one just 48 hours ahead of time. But it was a delightful mix of interesting people, delicious food, and new tastes and experiences.

The debut event on January 23, like the Dishcrawl slated for Feb. 26, featured restaurants within walking distance of each other in downtown Santa Cruz. We started at Pono Hawaiian Grill at 7pm. Although there weren’t quite enough tables for everyone, this forced my dining companion and I to actually talk to new people right away (a very nice foursome welcomed us to share their table – after I started engaging in interesting conversation, it didn’t bother me at all that I didn’t have a chair). This isn’t usually the case; most of the time at Dishcrawl there are pre-set tables for the attendees – and I found out later in the evening that when an older group of attendees didn’t have a table, a younger group graciously offered theirs up. The food at Pono was plentiful and wonderful. We had large tofu spring rolls that were fresh and flavor-packed, with herbs including cilantro and a macadamia nut dipping sauce. We also ate chicken katsu and pork kalua sliders, all fantastic. That was my first time eating at Pono and I’ll definitely return. Note: vegetarians can be accommodated if they let Dishcrawl know ahead of time.

After about 40 minutes, we left Pono (Dishcrawlers typically spend 30-40 minutes at each stop). Walking outside, we were told to follow the leader as we walked to the next stop – still not knowing where we were going. I was excited about this “restaurant mystery journey.” We reached Café Mare a few minutes later, and the restaurant was ready for us, with plenty of tables and a personal welcome by the owner. The food there was tasty and also visually appealing. We sampled a mini-Bruschetta that included eggplant, a couple homemade meatballs, and a homemade pasta dish. Again, it was my first visit to Mare and I look forward to dining there in the future.

One of the attendees that I got to know over the course of the evening is Dannettee Shoemaker, who came with her husband; they both enjoyed Dishcrawl as much as I did. “Bob and I love downtown Santa Cruz and the Dishcrawl event gave us an opportunity to share some of our local restaurants with a variety of really nice people we may have never had an opportunity to meet,” shared Dannettee. “The tastings format provided new menu choices for future visits. We will definitely participate in more Dishcrawls!”

Our next stop was Rosie McCann’s. I was already full, but I managed to eat and enjoy the food here as well! The presentation was great; we got mini-versions of three signature dishes: fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, and a grass-fed burger. Even though there was a blackout on the entire block about 30 minutes into our visit, everyone just stayed in their seats and finished their food or drinks…no one complained; it was wonderful. People were in really good moods, and I think it was the Dishcrawl that did it.

Our last stop was Mission Hill Creamery, and it did not disappoint. Owner Dave Kumec gave a fabulous speech, thanking Dishcrawl for including his shop and thanking all of us for participating. He talked a little about Mission Hill’s ice cream, explaining that all the dairy he uses is from organic Straus (you can taste the difference!). He announced we could choose a scoop of any of his 16 flavors for our dessert, including his top-selling Salted Caramel, in a cup or homemade waffle cone. He explained it might take a little while to serve all of us since it was just him and one employee scooping, but again, no one seemed to mind! I saw lots of happy expressions as people tasted Maple Candied Bacon, Dark Chocolate, and of course Salted Caramel.

It was neat to see the foodie community embracing this new event so enthusiastically.

Another perk: at each restaurant a manager or owner came out to talk to our group, and this happens at every Dishcrawl. One thing to note: the amount of food can vary depending on the venue, but typically each restaurant presents a “trio of items.” Of course, there are exceptions including Mission Hill’s one-item dessert (which was plenty).

For $5 off your ticket to the Feb. 26 event, order online and enter the word “santacruzfoodie” after finding and checking the box “I have a promotion code.” See you there!