Tag Archives: Soif

Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets Pop-Up Breakfast Series tickets on sale

Food at a 2015 farmers’ market pop-up breakfast

Food at a 2015 farmers’ market pop-up breakfast. Photo credit: Carolyn Lagatutta

Credit: Carolyn Lagatutta

Tickets are on sale for the entire 2016 season of pop-up breakfasts at the Westside Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley farmers’ markets. The first event is the morning of Saturday, May 28 at the Westside market with chef Kevin Koebel of Local FATT—see menu below. There is limited seating; $37 tickets are available for purchase online and at the markets.

Different local chefs are featured at each event. For each dish at these multi-course meals, nearly 100% of the ingredients are sourced from farms at the markets. Event proceeds benefit the markets’ public educational programs including the Foodshed Project.

2016 Pop-Up Breakfast Dates and Chefs:

Scotts Valley market

Westside market

Full menus will be posted on the web site as events draw closer.

Santa Cruz’s Food, What?! youth empowerment program graduates provide service at the events, which begin at 9:30 a.m. Attendees choose their seats by placing their own plates and silverware at spaces along u-shaped, family-style tables. At 10 a.m., plates of seasonal cuisine made with ingredients sourced from the markets begin rolling out. As the guests eat and visit, farmers and chefs share their knowledge and perspectives regarding agriculture, community and consumer choice within the food system. There is also live local music at each breakfast.

The first summer series occurred in 2013, and the farm-to-table breakfasts continue to draw sell-out crowds. For more information call 831-325-4294 or email education@santacruzfarmersmarket.org.
May 28 Pop-Up Breakfast Menu

  • PAN GRIDDLED WALNUT-VANILLA BEAN FRENCH TOAST with Strawberry-caramelized sugar compote and crème fraiche
  • LATE SPRING SAVORY SALAD: micro greens with prosciutto di parma carpaccio, crispy leek and savory Tuile
  • GRILLED WILD SALMON FILET BRIOCHE WITH FARM EGG AND GREENS served with a duo of lemon chutney and cilantro chutney
  • SPRING VEGETABLE CADEAUX (bundle) wrapped in sweet leek, roasted and served with Meyer lemon-local sea salt beurre blanc sauce
  • SWEET FINISH Champagne syrup macerated fruit gratin
  • TASTY BEVERAGES COURTESY OF Lulu Carpenter’s Coffee

Read more about the Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Food truck, Homeless Garden Project events in Scotts Valley & Santa Cruz

Salad at a previous HGP Sustain dinner. Credit: Crystal Birns

Salad at a previous HGP Sustain dinner. Credit: Crystal Birns

There are many food events occurring this weekend in local cities such as Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley—here are details for a first-time Scotts Valley food truck event Friday and a benefit feast with star chefs at Homeless Garden Project Saturday.

Friday, Sept. 18: Food Trucks a Go Go
Food Trucks A Go Go, a food truck event company, is hosting its first food truck event at Skypark in Scotts Valley Friday night. Attendees can choose from four local trucks, and there are picnic tables at the park. Participating food trucks are Ate3One (Philly cheesesteak, tacos & more), Zameen Mediterranean (falafel, gyros, etc.), The Choke Coach (menu includes artichokes a la carte and as ingredients in other dishes), and Aunt LaLi’s Mobile Café (ice cream and sweets).

Aunt LaLi’s owner, LaLi Kates, has been bringing her treats to the local community for years, and she is the founder of Food Trucks A Go Go.  Kates says that for years, both she and her customers have been wanting food trucks in the area, and that the timing is now right to make this happen. Save the date for the next Go Go Gathering: Friday, Oct. 23, same time and place.

Date/Hours: Friday, Sept. 18, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Location: Skypark, 361 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

Saturday, Sept. 19: Homeless Garden Project benefit dinner
Santa Cruz’s Homeless Garden Project (HGP) is holding an organic benefit dinner at its farm, the latest in its Sustain Farm Dinner series. Sustain is a seasonal gourmet dinner series featuring organic produce from the farm, wine pairings, and guest speakers discussing sustainable topics. The admission fee, $125, benefits HGP; the prices are higher this season because HGP is celebrating its 25th anniversary so the dinners are more extensive and the speakers are nationally known. The dinner held in August featured Greens Restaurant founder Deborah Madison, and Catherine Sneed is Saturday’s keynote speaker. Sneed began the horticulture program at the SF County Jail in 1982. Read more and purchase tickets online.

A different chef will prepare each of the four courses. David Morgan, chef for David Kinch’s soon-to-open The Bywater in Los Gatos (read more in my recent article) will prepare a first course duo: fried green tomatoes, bagna cauda and ricotta cheese; and smoked pork boudin with mustard and pickles. The Food Lounge’s Andrea Mollenauer will prepare a salad for the second course, while Soif’s Mark Denham will create an entrée of tea smoked quail, quinoa & kale “fried rice,” spiced eggplant, blistered padrons, and chimichurri  (vegetarian and vegan options are available if ordered ahead). Renowned Aubergine pastry chef Ron Mendoza is providing dessert: Japanese cheesecake with carrot and cilantro. There will also be live classical music performed by a quartet comprised of musicians from the Santa Cruz Symphony.

Date/Hours: Saturday, Sept. 19, 4-7:30 p.m.
Location: HGP Farm, Shaffer Road at Delaware Avenue, Santa Cruz

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets Pop-Up Breakfast Series continues Saturday

Bloody Marys from Chef Brad Briske, at the 2014 pop-up breakfast series.  Photo credit: Carolyn Lagatutta

Bloody Marys from Chef Brad Briske, at the 2014 pop-up breakfast series.
Photo credit: Carolyn Lagatutta

The summertime pop-up breakfast series at the Westside Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley farmers markets is in full swing, with the next event this Saturday, July 18 in Scotts Valley. There is limited seating; tickets are $36 and are available for purchase online and at the markets. Different local chefs are featured at each event; this Saturday it’s Kevin Koebel of Local FATT—see menu below.

The August 22 breakfast features chef Mark Denham of Soif Restaurant & Wine Bar, and chef David Jackman of Chocolate is cooking for the September 12 breakfast. Both are at the Westside market; see web site for full menus.

Graduates of Santa Cruz’s Food, What?! youth empowerment program provide service at the events. Upon arrival, attendees choose their seats by placing their own plate and silverware at a space along a u-shaped, family-style table. A local band provides music while guests drink a hot beverage and await the first course. At 10 a.m., plates of seasonal cuisine made with ingredients sourced from the markets begin rolling out. As the guests eat and visit, farmers and chefs share their knowledge and perspective regarding agriculture, community and consumer choice within the food system.

The first summer series occurred in 2013, and it draws more and more fans each year. The 2014 Pop-Up events sold out well in advance. These farm-to-table meals are hosted at the Westside and Scotts Valley Markets between June and September. The June event at the Westside Market featured Kendra Baker and Carlo Espinas of Assembly, the Penny Ice Creamery, and Picnic Basket. As a market spokesperson states, “the goal of these ticketed, outdoor, events is to highlight our rich local agriculture and food artisan community while raising funds for the markets’ public educational programs including the Foodshed Project.” For more information call 831-325-4294 or email education@santacruzfarmersmarket.org.

July 18 Pop-Up Breakfast Menu
• DRY FARMED TOMATO CARPACCIO with collard-whole cream, tarragon savory bread pudding and cherry-balsamic syrup
• CORN BEEF AND HASH TIMBALE shredded roasted potato, slow cooked brisket and spinach
• ROSEMARY EGG FLAN topped with meyer lemon, macerated raw beet and a cilantro-arugula coulis
• FIG AND FENNEL SALAD mint, chevre and strawberry vinegar reduction
• BRAISED GREENS roasted alliums, olive oil and salt
• SWEET FINISH honey-lemon curd with lavender shortbread
• TASTY BEVERAGES COURTESY OF Hidden Fortress Coffee

Read more about the Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets at santacruzfarmersmarket.org.

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

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Soif reopens tonight with expanded menu, new wine bar, revamped wine shop

Soif chef Mark Denham and owner Patrice Boyle in the newly renovated kitchen. Photo credit: Soif

Soif chef Mark Denham and owner Patrice Boyle in the newly renovated kitchen. Photo credit: Soif

Downtown Santa Cruz’s Soif Restaurant & Wine Bar has just finished a month-long renovation, resulting in expanded food and beverage menus plus a new wine bar and an upgraded wine shop. Soif has been closed for a few weeks, and is re-opening tonight, Friday June 19, at dinnertime.

The renovation consisted of three major elements: a new kitchen, new retail shop, and new bar area. The new kitchen, nearly double the size of the old one, features direct views into the chef’s preparation area, and includes new culinary tools such as a grill, griddle, fryer and plancha that provide Chef Mark Denham the opportunity to expand the range of dishes available to diners, including finger foods such as fritters. “I’m particularly excited to have a grill,” says Denham. “Not just because it allows us to add a classic steak or burger to the menu (which we have), but also because it allows us to utilize it with unique ingredients not normally associated with it — such as potato-ricotta gnocchi with charred broccoli di cicco pesto, walnuts & Parmesan.”

If you haven’t had a chance to eat at Soif since Chef Denham joined the restaurant last year, you’re in for a treat. His experience includes cooking at top Bay Area restaurants like Chez Panisse, Manresa, and Postrio. His seasonal menu changes almost daily. Every dish – including small plates, appetizers, entrées and desserts – focuses on sustainably grown ingredients primarily sourced from Bay Area farmers and suppliers. Dishes on the new menu include Moorish-style lamb meatballs with cumin yogurt; polenta frites (cornmeal fritters with smoked blue cheese aioli); grilled local asparagus with fried farm egg, pecorino, and mustard bread crumbs; caramelized cauliflower with fingerling potatoes and salsa verde; and Napa lamb mixed grill with spring peas, their tendrils, braised Little gem lettuces, and cipollini.

As Soif fans may recall, the retail shop was formerly in a space next door to the restaurant. Now, it’s in a completely new, larger space connected to the main dining room. This translates to a wider selection of local wines plus hard-to-find and lesser-known wines from around the world. The wine inventory emphasizes small, family-run domains that employ organic practices. There are also wine-related gift items and chilled wine bottles available to go. In the future, they hope to create a lounge area with comfy chairs, Wi-Fi, and a library of wine books, where visitors would have the ability to relax and enjoy drinking wine during the day before the restaurant opens.

Wine Director John Locke, who has done a fantastic job overseeing the wine at Soif and sister restaurant La Posta for many years, will continue in his role. Retail Operations Manager Alyssa Twelker, who collaborates with Locke on Soif’s wine programs, received her sommelier certificate from the French Culinary Institute.

What has happened to the former retail shop space, you are wondering? That is now Soif’s bar area, where customers can purchase wine, local draft beer, and wine-based cocktails (think Spanish Rebujito with yuzu juice and cucumber or Chimera with fresh pluots and aperitif wine) — plus the full dining menu during the restaurant’s normal operating hours.

The bottom line: the new Soif seems destined for a fabulous future. “Great restaurants know when it’s time to mix things up a bit, and that’s exactly what we’ve done at Soif,” said Proprietor Patrice Boyle. “We’re so pleased to offer more variety in our dining and beverage menus for our loyal customers, and we hope, of course, that we meet new customers as a result.”

Details: Soif, 105 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz
(831) 423-2020
soifwine.com

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz restaurant news highlights including Sabieng opening Marina location

Noni's Frittata from Surf City Sandwich.  Photo credit: Surf City Sandwich Facebook page

Noni’s Frittata from Surf City Sandwich.
Photo credit: Surf City Sandwich Facebook page

Here is some restaurant news for Santa Cruz and other local areas. Have some food/restaurant/wine/culinary event news to share with me? Please write me at tfatemi@gmail.com.

Openings
Surf City Sandwich opened in late April. All their sandwiches are served with housemade potato chips. Sandwiches include Napa Grilled Chicken with grilled chicken salad, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, melted brie, and organic spring mix on grilled Francese; Surf City Banh Mi with Vietnamese style skirt steak, pickled cucumber, carrots, cilantro, jalapeno, mayo, and Sriracha on sweet baguette; and Noni’s Frittata (a special featured last month) with zucchini, spinach and marinated artichoke hearts, baked with eggs, cream, cheddar, Parmesan and fresh thyme, served with mayo, pickle, tomato and spring mix on ciabatta roll. Other selections include Caesar salad with organic romaine, housemade croutons, shredded Parmesan, and creamy Caesar dressing (option to add grilled chicken or grilled shrimp brochette), and a kids’ menu that includes PB&J, grilled cheese, and tater tots. There is a rotating wine and beer menu. Current beer on tap includes Corralitos Brewing’s Belgian Wheat and Uncle Dave’s Rye IPA from Discretion Brewing.
Visit surfcitysandwich.com
Location: 4101 Soquel Drive (in the new Soquel Tower plaza at the north end of 41st Ave.), Santa Cruz
(831) 346-6952

Santa Cruz Food Lounge got a few new tenants, and some of its existing tenants began regular or semi-regular service. Details:

  • Ty’s Eatery: pop-up brunch every Sunday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. (dishes include chilaquiles, pancakes, and omelettes) AND pop-up dinner every Wednesday 5-9 p.m. (dishes include Moroccan chicken, broccolini with lemon/toasted garlic/chili flakes, and Live Earth Farm beet salad with citrus)
  • Kickin Chicken: pop-up dinner selected Sundays 5-9p.m. Dishes include fried chicken and cornbread waffles.
  • Mortal Dumpling: pop-up dinner every Monday 5:30-9p.m. Dishes include steamed or fried dumplings (fillings like chicken/cilantro), garlic green beans, and pork bao.

See my February restaurant news article if you missed original details on the new Food Lounge and the first tenant that was opening there, the Chocolate House operated by Mutari Hot Chocolate.
Visit facebook.com/scfoodlounge for details on the Food Lounge AND the individual businesses
Location: 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

New Bohemia Brewing Company (or Nubo for short) opened in late March. As their web site says, they make many different kinds of beer but “specialize in brewing European-style craft lagers.” They usually have eight beers on tap. Customers can select from a few snacks that are designed to complement the beer, and these all feature local products including bread from Companion Bakeshop (Rustic Bread Board, which also has churned butter and Hawaiian lava sea salt) and Friend in Cheeses Jam Company (Three Blind Mice Board, which has four cheeses and other items like seasonal Friend in Cheeses spreads).  In May, Nubo started weekly event nights: Monday has happy hour prices all night long, Tuesday is trivia & growler night, and Wednesday offers live acoustic music.
Visit nubobrew.com
Location: 1030 41st Ave., Santa Cruz
(831) 350-0253

Main Street Burgers and Brews opened in Watsonville in April, after a postponement from their projected Fall 2014 opening. They offer several burger varieties, hot dogs, and sandwiches like BLTs and grilled cheese. They also feature about a dozen beers on tap.
Visit watsonvilleburgers.com
Location: 1116 Main St., Watsonville
(831) 536-4632

Opening in the Future
Although it’s not in Santa Cruz, it has a Santa Cruz connection: Anna (Nicharat) Sawadpeera used to operate Thai restaurant D’Anna Thai in Marina. She closed that restaurant to open Ginger Thai Kitchen in Salinas at the end of May. Owners of Santa Cruz’s Sabieng Thai and Scotts Valley’s Kao Sook, including Thailand native Wanlop Kachinthorn, are opening a new restaurant in the former D’Anna Thai location at 210 Reindollar Ave. Their new venture will be called Coconut Thai Kitchen and they hope to be open by July.

Perfectly Pressed Juice Bar ‘n’ Eatery is opening a Pleasure Point location at 3617B Portola Drive. The company already has locations in Salinas, Seaside, Marina and Prunedale (the latter just opened in May). They will soon have a second Salinas express location (juice only). At traditional locations, there are many cold-pressed organic juices made with fruits and/or vegetables for sale, plus a small selection of food. Visit perfectlypressedjuice.com.

Soif Wine Bar & Restaurant has been closed for several weeks for renovations. They are re-opening this Thursday, June 4.
Location: 105 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz
soifwine.com
(831) 423-2020

Closings
Two venues in Capitola recently closed:
Tony & Alba’s on 41st closed May 30 after losing their lease. The rumor is that a new brewery is taking over the spot.
Carl’s Jr. at the Capitola Mall has closed.

Changes
Zizzo’s Coffee
in Capitola—at Brown Ranch Marketplace adjacent to Trader Joe’s and Bed, Bath and Beyond—added a wine bar and became Zizzo’s Coffee, Wine & Piano Bar
Learn details at zizzoscoffee.com

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Restaurants gather for Santa Cruz Homeless Services Center

2010’s Soupline Supper – credit to Red Bat Photography via Soupline web site

2010’s Soupline Supper – credit to Red Bat Photography via Soupline web site

The community is invited to eat unlimited soup from dozens of local restaurants, caterers, and other food businesses on Thursday April 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to benefit Santa Cruz’s Homeless Services Center.

The 16th Annual Soupline Supper benefit is at the Cocoanut Grove at the Santa Cruz boardwalk. For $30 per person or $55 for two, you receive soup, salad bread, and dessert. Kids’ tickets are $15. As the event tagline says, you can simultaneously “Feed Your Family. Feed Your Community. Feed Your Philanthropy.”

More than 40 participating restaurants in 2015’s Soupline include new participants Assembly, Tramonti, Cremer House, and The Hideout, plus past participants The Art Bar & Cafe at the Tannery, The Bagelry, Bittersweet Bistro, Café Cruz, Chaminade, Charlie Hong Kong, Crow’s Nest, Dharma’s, India Joze, La Posta, Manuel’s, Sawasdee, Shadowbrook, Soif, The Walnut Ave Café, and Zameen. See full restaurant list at souplinesupper.org/restaurants.

At the event there are different tables around the perimeter of the room, all with large containers of homemade soup, with about a dozen available at any one time (selections rotate throughout the evening). Attendees walk around and choose which ones to sample. Public officials and other community leaders serve the soup. This year’s “Celebrity Ladlers” include local politicians David Terrazas, Cynthia Chase, and John Leopold; pastor Rene Schlaepfer (Twin Lakes Church), business owner Larry Pearson (Pacific Cookie Company), and arts leader Nina Simon (Executive Director MAH).

There are lots of tables set up in the dining room where you can relax and enjoy your meal. There is also a raffle and silent auction. Buy tickets and read more information online at the site souplinesupper.org.

Free parking after 4 pm is available at the Boardwalk lot across from the Cocoanut Grove.

The Homeless Services Center is a community-supported non-profit organization dedicated to the coordinated provision of services for homeless persons. The goal of the Homeless Services Center is to provide both emergency and transitional services to homeless individuals that will enable clients to achieve self-sufficiency.

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

Santa Cruz area restaurant news highlights through February 2015

Hideout Burger served with housemade chips (note: it's usually served with fries)

Hideout Burger served with housemade chips (note: it’s usually served with fries)

Some of this is more recent restaurant news for the Santa Cruz area, and some is much older. I recently discovered that quite a few people I know weren’t aware of certain closings, so I am distributing information that might seem out of date to those who keep on top of local restaurant news.

Openings
The Hideout opened in Aptos in January. I haven’t made it there yet, but I’ve been hearing positive comments. It’s open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 9p.m. except Tuesdays, when it doesn’t open until 5 p.m. Sandwich/burger selections include Reuben, roasted vegetables with goat cheese, grilled chicken club, and a signature burger with a ground beef/bacon patty and crumbled bleu cheese (see photo above). Dinner entrees served after 5 include Merlot-braised short ribs, pistachio-crusted chicken, New York strip, and Petrale sole piccata. Several pasta dishes, soup, salads, sides, and starters round out the menu.
Location: 9051 Soquel Drive, Aptos (most recently the site of restaurant Ma Maison)
Contact Info: 688-5566, thehideoutaptos.com

Opening Soon
Mutari Chocolate House
is opening in early March; co-owner Adam Armstrong says they’re aiming for March 5th. He and his brother Matt will be the first tenants to officially open in the Food Lounge, the new venue from Andrea Mollenauer of Lifestyle Culinary Arts. They create their product Mutari Hot Chocolate on site. This chocolate is “Stone Ground Bean to Bottle” made from cacao that is “always certified organic and ethically traded (and mostly Rainforest Alliance Certified).”  You can enjoy hot chocolate at the Chocolate House or buy your own bottled mix to take home — it’s also sold at retailers like Artisans Gallery so you may have noticed it in the last few months. Learn more at mutarichocolate.com and facebook.com/mutarichocolate. I got to experience a hot chocolate tasting at Mutari last fall when they had their factory at Front St. Kitchen and I really liked the varieties I sampled. The new Chocolate House will serve coffee, hot chocolate, sipping chocolate, mini cupcakes (from Buttercup), and more.

More on the Food Lounge: Mollenauer and partners Cat Hernandez and Sally Kane are launching this unique space that has lots of options including: you can throw a party there, have an event for your business, or attend a pop-up. Other tenants at the Lounge include Fogline Farms, Ocean2table, and Mortal Dumpling. Officially the Food Lounge will be an “innovative community-minded event venue, commercial incubator kitchen, and full-service food hub aimed at fueling, educating, and inspiring Santa Cruz.” Visit scfoodlounge.com to sign up for the email list.
Location: 1001 Center Street, Santa Cruz

Verve Coffee is opening a new location at 1010 Fair in Westside Santa Cruz at some point in the future, in the former spot of Chimera Tattoo. This is the same plaza where Bantam Restaurant is located.

Closings
Two venues in downtown Santa Cruz on Pacific shuttered their doors:
Sushi restaurant Benten closed Jan. 31.
Noah’s Bagels closed on Feb. 24.

Santa Cruz restaurant The Greek closed at the end of November. A permit taped to one of the restaurant windows indicates a Korean eatery will be opening in the future. A post on the restaurant’s Facebook page mentioned that owner Vasili was retiring (yes, this is the same Vasili that formerly owned Vasili’s in Westside Santa Cruz).

Changes
Downtown Santa Cruz restaurant Assembly is now closed on both Mondays and Tuesdays. They used to be closed on Mondays, and beginning January 6 they are only open Wednesday through Sunday. This is continuing “at least through the winter months.”
Location: 1108 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz
Contact Info: 824-6100, assembleforfood.com

Soif is closing in late March for a few weeks, to do some remodeling.
Location: 105 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz
Contact Info: 423-2020, soifwine.com

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Cruzin’ Courses offers women’s progressive wine dinner and benefit

One dining area at Hotel Paradox, the site of the Cruzin' Courses' start and finish

One dining area at Hotel Paradox, the site of the Cruzin’ Courses’ start and finish

The ninth annual Cruzin’ Courses is Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in downtown Santa Cruz, from 4 to 10 p.m.

Participants are encouraged to park their cars at Hotel Paradox, where the evening begins. It’s a women’s evening of strolling, eating, drinking, shopping, talking, and discovering. One goal of the night is for guests to “discover and rediscover all that our thriving Center (Santa Cruz) has to offer.”

At Hotel Paradox, attendees will enjoy appetizers (coriander cured duck breast, figs, and Bellwether Farms Crescenza cheese) and wine (Chalone Cabernet Sauvignon and Estancia Pinot Grigio). From there, folks will stroll to Soif for soup, salad, and wine, followed by a shopping opportunity (with discount) at Annieglass. The entrée portion of the evening will take place at Red Restaurant and Bar, while dessert will be enjoyed back at Hotel Paradox. See the full schedule below.
Tickets are $125. The event traditionally sells out, so if you’re interested it’s recommended you buy tickets online soon via eventbrite.com (search for “Cruzin’ Courses”).

In the past, this event has benefited scholarships for young women through the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce’s Women-In-Business education program. They are still going to receive a portion of the proceeds, but this year, a second beneficiary has been named: a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Santa Cruz Women’s Health Center.

More details:
Event organizers have announced “dressy dinner attire is appropriate.”  Self-parking is complimentary and available on a first-come, first-served basis; valet parking is $15. Also, Hotel Paradox is offering a special rate of $165 for overnight accommodations that evening.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.
2014 Strolling Schedule and Menu Choices
Hotel Paradox (4pm-5:10pm) hors d’oeuvres
Coriander cured duck breast, figs, and Bellwether Farms Crescenza cheese
Wines: Chalone Cabernet Sauvignon and Estancia Pinot Grigio
Hunter Hill Winery will offer select wines
Soif (5:30pm-6:15pm) soup and salad
Soup:  Fall root vegetable soup with Belle Farms extra virgin olive oil
Salad:  Salad of Blue Heron red lettuces with scallions, radishes and cucumbers
(Both dishes are dairy, nut, and gluten free)
Wine:  Tyrell’s Hunter Valley Semillon 2007
Annieglass (6:25pm-7:35pm) retail therapy
Enjoy a refreshing palate cleanser and receive a 20% discount on all first quality Annieglass pieces.

Red Restaurant and Bar (7:45pm-8:30pm) entrée
Petrale Sole
Pan fried, with sautéed Blue Lake beans, potato puree and caper brown butter OR
Chicken Breast
Herb roasted chicken with wild mushrooms, cheese grits and pan juices OR
Tuscan Orecchiette
Pasta with brussel sprouts, gigante beans, roasted pearl onions, garlic chips and pecorino cheese
Wine: Your choice of red or white

Hotel Paradox (9pm-10pm) dessert
Pomegranate panna cotta
Secco Moscato Dessert Wine
Coffee

A non-alcoholic beverage will also be served at all locations.

Local restaurants cook up soup benefiting Santa Cruz Homeless Services Center

A volunteer preparing dessert at Soupline 2010 – credit to Red Bat Photography via Soupline web site

A volunteer preparing dessert at Soupline 2010 – credit to Red Bat Photography via Soupline web site

Eat a variety of delicious soup from dozens of local restaurants and shops on Thursday April 24—the event benefits Santa Cruz’s Homeless Services Center.

The 15th Annual Soupline Supper and Benefit Auction is at the Cocoanut Grove at the Santa Cruz boardwalk from 5:30-7:30 p.m. For $25 per person or $50 per family (up to 4 individuals), you receive soup, salad bread, and dessert. Purchase tickets.

The event is set up with different tables where chefs serve their homemade soup, with about a dozen available at any one time (selections rotate throughout the evening). Attendees walk around and choose which ones to sample. Public officials and other community leaders serve as “Celebrity Ladlers.” There are lots of tables set up in the dining room where you can relax and enjoy your meal. Buy tickets and read more information online at the special Soupline site.

More than 40 participating restaurants in 2014’s Soupline include Aquarius, The Art Bar & Cafe at the Tannery, The Bagelry, The Buttery,  Café Cruz, Chaminade, Charlie Hong Kong, Crow’s Nest, Gabriella Café, Hula’s, Laili, La Posta, Manuel’s, Sawasdee, Shadowbrook, Soif, The Walnut Ave Café, and Zameen. See full restaurant list.

There is free parking after 4 pm at the Boardwalk lot across from the Cocoanut Grove.

The Homeless Services Center is a community-supported non-profit organization dedicated to the coordinated provision of services for homeless persons. The goal of the Homeless Services Center is to provide both emergency and transitional services to homeless individuals that will enable clients to achieve self-sufficiency.

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