Tag Archives: Solaire

Thanksgiving highlights for Santa Cruz & Scotts Valley

The dining room at 1440 Multiversity in Scotts Valley
Credit: 1440 Multiversity

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and there are lots of offerings you can choose from—including a unique day at Scotts Valley’s 1440 Multiversity, restaurants with lunch or dinner, and caterers and personal chefs that have prepared food options. Here are a few highlights.

 

1440 Multiversity is offering an inclusive day of Thanksgiving programming. The cost is $125; this includes breakfast (8-9 a.m.), lunch (noon-1:30 p.m.) plus Thanksgiving dinner (4:30-6:30 p.m.). Tickets must be purchased by 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. The dinner menu includes Oven Roasted Turkey, Cranberry Confit, Turkey Gravy (vegetarian entrée available); Roasted Brussels Sprout Apple Hash, Chive Gremolata, Fresh Horseradish; and Green Bean Casserole, Wild Mushroom, and Oven Dried Shallot. For the day, attendees will have full access to the campus including workshops, hiking trails, movement classes such as yoga, and an infinity tub soak at the Healing Arts center (participants also receive a $20 discount on any healing treatment of 50 minutes or longer, including massage). A kirtan concert follows dinner. Buy tickets and see full schedule online.

800 Bethany Dr., Scotts Valley, 1440.org

 

Vegetarian Thanksgiving to go: organic prepared food business The Open Hearth is offering a to-go Thanksgiving menu. All orders must be placed by Friday, Nov. 17 and will be ready for pick up Wednesday, Nov. 22 after 4:30 p.m. Selections are Winter Squash Apple Bisque; Pomegranate Persimmon Spinach Salad w/ Goat Cheese & Pomegranate Vinaigrette; Baked Tofu Strips (with Wildwood sprouted firm tofu); Garlic Mashed Potatoes; Portobello Mushroom Gravy; Roasted Brussels Sprouts (with Rodoni Farms sprouts); Cashew Carrot Spread; Jumbo Cornbread Muffins; and Cranberry Apple Crisp. Founder/chef Beth Freewomon has been offering ready-made meals made from organically grown, gluten-free, plant-based and whole unprocessed foods to the local community for more than 10 years. Visit IAmTheOpenHearth.com or contact 831-471-9677 or bethfreewomon@yahoo.com

 

Whole Foods Market has many take-out and catering options available in Santa Cruz and Capitola. All orders must be placed by Tuesday, Nov. 21; WFM recommends ordering as soon as possible, as some selections will sell out. WFM partnered with Philadelphia-based fine dining vegan restaurant Vedge to create a Vegan Meal for Two ($39.99), which includes lentil-mushroom stuffing, mustard-glazed cauliflower, a chocolate toffee mini cake and more. A la carte vegan dishes include roasted butternut squash. Gluten-free selections include several pie varieties from the company Natural Decadence. A traditional turkey dinner for eight for $119.99 contains a fully cooked 10-lb. oven-roasted turkey, herb stuffing, mashed potatoes, organic turkey gravy, and two pounds each of organic cranberry orange sauce and green beans with crispy garlic and parsley (the latter two selections are vegan). For a similar dinner for eight with an organic turkey and slightly different selections, the cost is $159.99. You can place your Thanksgiving dinner orders in person or online at wholefoodsmarket.com/online-ordering. They also have a comprehensive online holiday guide which includes lots of tips and recipes.

911 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz (831) 426-9901

1710 41st Ave., Capitola, (831) 464-2900

 

Chaminade has a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 6 p.m. The cost is $60 for adults, $20 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Selections include roast turkey with warm orange-cranberry compote, roasted Dijon-crusted lamb leg with mint jelly, apple cider braised pork loin with dried cherry bordelaise and crispy prosciutto, butternut squash ravioli with porcini crème and roast vegetable bruschetta, a Greek display (dolmas, falafel, tzatziki, hummus and more), several salads, and winter squash soup with toasted pepita seeds.

One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz (831) 475-5600

 

Aquarius at the Dream Inn is offering a buffet from 1:30-7 p.m. Cost is $64 for adults and $29 for kids 12 and under. Selections include Diestel free range turkey and prime rib carved to order; butternut squash bisque; a salad bar; cheese and charcuterie including Cypress Grove Bermuda Triangle, Marcona almonds, honeycomb, prosciutto, smoked duck breast, assorted pates and seafood and vegetable terrines; and traditional Thanksgiving sides like Yukon gold mashed potatoes and glazed sweet candied yams. Desserts include pumpkin pie, Kentucky bourbon pecan pie, mini pastries and cupcakes.

175 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz (831) 426-4330

 

Severino’s Bar & Grill is offering a buffet from noon to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $42 for adults and $17 for kids 5-10; ages 4 and under are free. Selections include turkey, Angus prime rib of beef, honey-baked country ham and leg of lamb carved to order; traditional stuffing and Yukon mashed potatoes; Caesar salad; clam chowder; fish of the day; and vegetarian ravioli. Desserts include pumpkin pie, pecan pie and vanilla crème brulee.

7500 Old Dominion Court, Aptos (831) 688-8987

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A roundup of Santa Cruz and Monterey County restaurant Thanksgiving offerings

The main dining area at Solaire, one of several local restaurants serving a special Thanksgiving menu Photo credit: Hotel Paradox

The main dining area at Solaire, one of many local restaurants serving a special Thanksgiving menu
Photo credit: Hotel Paradox

The countdown to Thanksgiving is on – if you’re planning to dine out in the Santa Cruz area or in Monterey County, here are a few restaurants to consider.

Santa Cruz & Capitola

Solaire at Hotel Paradox offers an a la carte Thanksgiving menu from 4-10 p.m. The nature/nurture-themed menu highlights local, sustainable cuisine with fresh ingredients. Entree choices include Roasted Turkey with mashed potato, stuffing, blue lake beans and gravy, Slow Roasted Prime rib, Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb, and Zucchini Fritters with spinach, red cabbage and chive cream. Other highlights include roasted pumpkin soup, butternut squash salad, and cranberry white chocolate chunk graham bars and miniature pumpkin pies. Call 831-425-7100 or visit hotelparadox.com for reservations.

I wanted to also share a fun Hotel Paradox package, whether you’re a local planning a staycation or have friends or family visiting Santa Cruz sometime this holiday season. The Polar Express™ Train Ride package makes it easy to enjoy this seasonal attraction. Afterward, families are invited to snuggle fireside at Solaire for smores and hot cocoa. The “I Believe” package includes overnight accommodations, an exclusive Golden Ticket required for entry to the train, fresh-baked cookies and milk delivered after check-in, a keepsake “I Believe” sleigh bell, and complimentary parking and Wi-Fi. Price is $175 adults/$29 kids. The Polar Express is traveling to Santa Cruz for the first time this season, recreated to match the sights and sounds of the beloved story. It departs from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. On board the train, dancing chefs will serve warm cookies and hot cocoa to guests, while the Polar Express™ movie soundtrack–including a reading of the story–is played. Santa Claus will meet with each child, delivering silver sleigh bells. Contact the hotel at 831-425-7100 or hotelparadox.com for details.

Chaminade has a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 6 p.m. The cost is $59.95 for adults, $18.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Selections include roast turkey with warm orange-cranberry compote, roasted Dijon-crusted lamb leg with mint jelly, apple cider braised pork loin with dried cherry bordelaise and crispy prosciutto, butternut squash ravioli with porcini crème and roast vegetable bruschetta, several salads, and winter squash soup with toasted pepita seeds.

One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz (831) 475-5600

 

Zelda’s has a traditional turkey dinner plus additional items on its holiday menu, beginning at noon. The dinner includes oven-roasted turkey, sage stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied sweet potatoes, cranberries and a roll. A 10 oz. adult portion is $19.95, 14 oz. is $23.95. Kids are $11.95 and pumpkin pie is $5.95.

203 Esplanade, Capitola (831) 475-4900

 

Hoffman’s is serving both brunch and dinner on Thanksgiving. Brunch is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner starting at 3 p.m.

1102 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 420-0135

 

Your Place has a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 7 p.m. The cost is $36.95 for adults, $13.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Selections include traditional roast turkey and house-made cranberry sauce, apple pecan bread stuffing, prime rib, honey brown sugar-glazed ham, grilled salmon with lemon caper sauce, eggs benedict (until 2 p.m.), penne pasta Bolognese, roasted beet salad, Caesar salad, pumpkin pie, apple crisp, lemon tart, chocolate cake and carrot cake.

1719 Mission St., Santa Cruz, (831) 426-3564

 

Monterey County

Anton & Michel Restaurant will serve its regular dinner menu plus a prix fixe three-course Thanksgiving dinner noon to 8 p.m. There are two choices for first course including spinach and radicchio salad with grilled pears, toasted walnuts, goat cheese and cinnamon-pear vinaigrette. The entrée is roast free-range turkey with cornbread and sausage stuffing, cranberry-port chutney, sweet potato-green onion mash and more. Dessert choices are pumpkin cheesecake and pecan pie. Tea and coffee are included.

Cost is $42 for adults and $21 for kids 12 and under.

Location: Court of the Fountains on Mission between Ocean and Seventh Avenues, Carmel, 831-624-2406

 

Estéban

Estéban at Casa Munras is offering a few options for Thanksgiving Day, from 1 to 7 p.m. The last seating is at 6:30 p.m. A prix fixe three-course meal is $48 for adults and $23 for kids 5-12. Chef Thomas Snyder will offer two appetizer selections including butternut squash soup with rock shrimp and piquillo peppers. Customers can choose an entrée of turkey, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and homemade cranberry sauce or Snake River trout with white beans, garlic confit and bacon lardons. These items plus Snyder’s signature tapas will also be available a la carte.

700 Munras Ave., Monterey, 831-324-6773

 

Fandango is serving a prix fixe meal on Thanksgiving from noon to 8 p.m. Cost is $38.95 for adults and $16.50 for kids 12 and under. Entrée choices are roast Tom turkey with chestnut sage stuffing and fresh cranberry sauce; roast sirloin with mushroom sauce; Virginia baked ham with Hawaiian sauce; grilled salmon filet with Café de Paris butter; and fresh cheese tortellini with basil cream sauce. Mashed potatoes and vegetables accompany all entrees except the tortellini.

223 17th St., Pacific Grove, 831-372-3456.

 

The Portola Hotel and Spa is serving a Thanksgiving buffet from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in its grand ballroom. Selections include California cheeses and cured meats; peel and eat shrimp; carved to order turkey, prime rib and maple glazed country ham; candied garnet yams; Coke Farm beets with feta, pancetta, Marcona almonds and cider vinaigrette; and acorn squash with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds. Desserts will include pecan and pumpkin pie and holiday cookies. Cost is $54.95 for adults, $39.95 for seniors 65 and up, and $25.95 for kids 6-12. There will be live music by pianist David Conley in the ballroom from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. and football games will be showing in the foyer.

Two Portola Plaza, Monterey, 831-649-7874

 

Pacific’s Edge at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands will serve a four-course dinner on Thanksgiving with seatings from 3 to 8 p.m. Cost is $95. Selections include butternut squash soup with Frangelico, brown butter and pepitas; roasted beets with buttermilk mousse, pomegranate seeds, wild arugula and pistachio; and Pacific halibut with mussels, clams, heirloom chile bouillabaisse, saffron rouille and foccacia bread stick.

Hyatt Carmel Highlands, 120 Highlands Dr., Carmel, 831-622-5445

 

Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel is serving a prix fixe meal on Thanksgiving, with seatings from 2 to 9 p.m. Cost is $150 per person with optional wine pairings for $110. Selections include white truffles from Alba with carnaroli risotto ($85 supplement); slow-roasted organic turkey; and 21-day dry aged ribeye.

Monte Verde Street and Seventh Avenue, Carmel, 831-624-8578.

 

The C at Intercontinental The Clement Monterey is serving lunch and dinner on Thanksgiving. Lunch is 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and there will be a la carte Thanksgiving dishes in addition to the regular lunch menu. Selections include Diestel Farms turkey with Yukon potato puree and sage-brioche stuffing. A prix fixe three-course dinner, from 5:30 to 10 p.m., costs $85 or $125 with wine pairings. Kids 5-12 cost $45. Choices include persimmon salad with Humboldt Fog, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette; matsutake and sweetbreads with parsnip puree and truffle vinaigrette; Niman Ranch natural ribeye with salsify, chanterelle, creamed spinach and sauce bordelaise; and pumpkin upside down cake. There will be live music from noon to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. In the evening, a bar menu will be available for bar and patio seating only.

750 Cannery Row, Monterey, 831-375-4800

 

Sardine Factory is serving a four-course prix fixe menu on Thanksgiving. Seatings are available between 1 and 8 p.m. The menu includes a first course of butternut squash bisque with toasted pumpkin seeds and maple Chantilly crème and an entrée of all-natural Diestel turkey with sage dressing, pan gravy, cranberry orange relish, Yukon gold and sweet potato gratin, fresh green beans and buttered baby carrots. The menu costs $49.75 for adults, $47.75 for 65 and older, $25 for kids 6 to 12. It’s free for kids five and under. A limited a la carte menu and the regular kids’ menu will also be available.

701 Wave St., Monterey, (831) 373-3775

 

Andre’s Bouchee is serving a three-course prix fixe menu from 2 to 8:30 p.m. Three appetizer choices include Redwood Farm goat cheese salad with baked cheese, baby greens and honey apple cider vinaigrette; and pumpkin soup with brown butter and cinnamon. Three entrée selections are free-range turkey stuffed with chestnuts and winter truffles with mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce; Bavette (flank) steak; and Monterey black cod with wild mushrooms and cognac reduction. Cost is $46 for adults and $21 for kids 12 and under.

Mission Street between Ocean and Seventh, Carmel, 831-626-7880

 

TusCA Ristorante at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa is serving a buffet brunch from 1 to 6 p.m. (last seating is at 5:45). Selections include pumpkin soup; seasonal salads; a carving station with roasted turkey and honey ham; a pasta station; and sides such as green bean casserole and glazed yams with marshmallow gratin. Cost is $55 for adults, $25 for children ages 6-12 and free for kids 5 and under. The price includes one glass of champagne for adults over age 21, or sparkling cider. There will be live jazz from 3 to 7 p.m.

1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, 831-657-6675

 

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Eat up at the 33rd annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off and Festival

A scene from the 2013 Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off

A scene from the 2013 Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off

This Saturday is the 33rd annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off and Festival at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

The Feb. 22, 2014 chowder cook-off has free admission. If you want to eat chowder, tasting kits are $9 and include five samples plus two “People’s Choice” ballots.

More than 50 individuals and teams are participating, including teams from Aquarius, Pleasure Pizza East Side Eatery, Severino’s, Solaire, South Beach Pizza, Ideal Bar and Grill, and Local Harvest Catering.

The competition features two divisions:

• Best Individual – with subcategories for both Manhattan & Boston varieties
• Best Professional – with subcategories for both Manhattan & Boston varieties

Teams can choose to compete in one or both of the Manhattan & Boston categories. They are also in the running for prizes such as “Most Original.”

Some participants dress in whimsical costumes including mermaids and scuba divers. In 2013, there was a Clam-I-Am team with Dr. Seuss-style green chowder and chefs wearing clam hats.

The 2013 winners included:

  • South Beach Pizza of Santa Cruz (awarded 1st place professional by official judges for Best Restaurant Boston)
  • Severino’s Bar & Grill of Aptos (awarded 1st place professional by official judges for Best Restaurant Manhattan AND 1st place professional in People’s Choice for Manhattan)
  • Ideal Bar & Grill of Santa Cruz (awarded 1st place professional in People’s Choice judges for Boston)

On Saturday, the Boardwalk rides will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Cook-Off Schedule:

10:00 a.m. Cooking starts & tasting kits go on sale
1:00 p.m. Public tasting begins (there is also a judges’ tasting)
4:00 p.m. Winners announced

The cook-off is a fund-raiser for the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department. In 2013, the event raised more than $60,000.

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Solaire at Hotel Paradox offers Santa Cruz Warriors special promotions

Hotel Paradox staff showing their Warriors love with foam fingers

Hotel Paradox staff showing their Warriors love with foam fingers

If you’re a Santa Cruz Warriors fan, you can enjoy a great promotion at the restaurant Solaire—it even includes a free ride to the game!

Solaire Restaurant and Bar is located at Santa Cruz’s Hotel Paradox. Here’s the deal: for all of basketball team Santa Cruz Warriors’ home games, the restaurant is offering a $12 special. You get a draft beer, house burger, foam finger, and a free shuttle ride to and from the game. The burgers and produce Solaire uses are all free range, organic and ground in-house.

The shuttle leaves the Paradox 30 minutes prior to game time every home game. Anyone who dines in Solaire before the game is welcome to the shuttle (you don’t have to order the burger/beer special). The shuttle drops off right in front of the stadium, and will pick up passengers and deliver them right back to the Paradox. Also, Solaire stays open later on game nights for any fans that want to have food and/or drinks after the game.
Solaire Restaurant and Bar at Hotel Paradox, 611 Ocean St, Santa Cruz
(831) 600-4545
www.solairerestaurant.com

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Santa Cruz and San Jose restaurants open on New Year’s Eve 2013, Part 2 of 2

arya kabobYesterday I published details on many Santa Cruz area restaurants – plus a couple in Los Gatos — offering dinner on New Year’s Eve 201; here are a few more highlights for Santa Cruz area venues plus a couple in San Jose and Cupertino.

Santa Cruz Area

Solaire at Hotel Paradox
On New Year’s Eve Solaire is doing a multi-course prix fixe dinner with reservations required; call (831) 600-4545. Also, Hotel Paradox is throwing a party; buy tickets online. The party is 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. and costs $25, which includes DJ and dancing plus a champagne toast.
611 Ocean St, Santa Cruz

Soif
Soif is serving a $75 prix fixe multi-course dinner with a $35 optional wine pairing supplement. Dinner starts with an amuse bouche trio: roasted beet, ricotta, & maple-ginger pecans; Kumamoto oyster with apple & cured Meyer lemon; shrimp shumai with mushroom kombu. Customers then get to select their appetizers, entrees and desserts from a delightful array of choices including appetizer shellfish chowder with pork belly confit, radish, and basil; entrée bison striploin with cavolo nero, roasted Chanterelle mushrooms & potato-onion cream, and dessert olive oil cake with Hachiya persimmon. Make reservations by calling (831) 423-2020. Note that Soif will be closed from Jan 1-17 for its annual winter break.
105 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz

Booka
On New Year’s Eve Booka is offering a prix fixe menu plus live music. With a special four-course dinner, Booka and Executive Chef Eli Epstein promise to take attendees on a culinary tour “…around the Mediterranean Sea that will wow your taste buds, with flavors from Spain, France & Italy.” For reservations and information call (831) 685-9500.
8041 Soquel Drive, Aptos

Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room
Hula’s is open on New Year’s Eve serving its regular menu. Plus, Tuesdays is always “Happy Hour all night” and the restaurant is honoring that tradition even though it’s a holiday. Reservations are available for parties of six or more and are recommended; call (831) 426-HULA.
221 Cathcart St., Santa Cruz

Chaminade
Chaminade is offering a New year’s Eve masquerade celebration from 7 p.m. – midnight that includes a “unique dining experience,” a 5-hour open bar, and a DJ and dancing. The price is $125 per person plus tax and gratiuity. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.
1 Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

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

  • Laili
  • La Posta
  • Bittersweet Bistro
  • Lago di Como Ristorante
  • West End Tap & Kitchen
  • Hoffman’s
  • Red Restaurant and Bar
  • Paradise Beach Grille
  • Chocolate
  • El Palomar
  • Café Mare
  • Au Midi

San Jose & nearby
Arcadia at the San Jose Marriott
Steakhouse Arcadia is offering two seatings on New Year’s Eve. The first is $65 and features a three-course menu that begins with amuse bouche “Truffle Royale” with wild mushrooms, herb salad, sherry vinegar and black truffles. It’s followed by choice of cauliflower soup or Dungeness crab salad, a selection from three entrées, and a selection from two dessert choices. The second seating is $89 and has five courses plus amuse. It starts with the same amuse, followed by cauliflower soup AND crab salad, a third course of crispy pork belly, and a choice of entrée and dessert. Call (408) 278-4555 for reservations.
At the San Jose Marriott, 100 W. San Carlos St., San Jose

Arya
Middle Eastern restaurant Arya is serving its regular menu from 4-7 p.m. Then at 8:30 p.m. it’s hosting a New Year’s Eve party which costs $89 and includes a four-course dinner, champagne toast, party favors, belly dancing, and music. Children are welcome at a discount price. Call (408) 996-9606 for reservations or more information.
19930 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino

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 and a children’s menu in addition to a four-course prix fixe $64.50 menu. Entrée choices include surf and turf with pan roasted filet mignon, garlic butter roasted Maine Lobster tail, star anise carrot puree, and braised escarole. 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

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Santa Cruz and South Bay restaurants open on Christmas, Part 1 of 2

Aquarius in Santa Cruz

Aquarius in Santa Cruz

It’s the countdown to Christmas; do you have your restaurant reservations yet for Santa Cruz or another South Bay area? Here are details and menu highlights for several venues; I’ll publish a few more tomorrow and also let you know of some restaurants that are closed for a few days over the holidays.

Santa Cruz Restaurants

Aquarius
Located at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn overlooking the Wharf, Aquarius is serving a special 3-course prix fixe menu on Christmas Day from 1-8:30 p.m. The cost is $48; there will be a kids’ menu available. Entrée choices include 12-ounce prime rib with horseradish crème fraiche and roasted root vegetables, and chanterelle mushroom pappardelle. Call (831) 460-5012 for reservations or more information.
175 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

Chaminade offers a Christmas Eve buffet from 5-9 p.m. The cost is $46.95 for adults, $15.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. On Christmas Day the restaurant is serving a buffet from noon-6 p.m. The price is $49.95 for adults, $16.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Visit the holiday web site to view menus. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Hindquarter
The restaurant is open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 12/24: Hindquarter is open from 5-9 p.m. 12/25: Hindquarter is open 2-8 p.m. The restaurant is serving the regular menu plus holiday specials. Call (831) 426-7770 for reservations.
303 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz

Solaire at Hotel Paradox
On Christmas Day Solaire is offering a four-course prix fixe menu from noon-8p.m.: $45 for adults, $35 for seniors, $14 for kids 6 and older, and free for kids 5 and under. For reservations call (831) 600-4545.
611 Ocean St, Santa Cruz

Also note that Hoffman’s is open on Christmas Eve, but closed on Christmas Day. For Christmas specials visit the restaurant’s web site at hoffmanssantacruz.com.

San Jose

LB Steak
The Santana Row restaurant is open on Christmas Eve from 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. It’s offering a regular menu at lunch. At dinner there will be a limited regular menu, plus a special $64.50 prix fixe four-course dinner (the prix fixe selections are also available a la carte). Entrée choices include crispy roast pork shoulder with parsnip puree, roasted cauliflower, cipollini onions, and salsa verde. Call (408) 244-1180 for reservations.
334 Santana Row, Suite 1000, San Jose

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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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Great 2013 Gourmet Grazing festival raised money for Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group

Asian Tuna Tartare on rice crisp & slaw with candied ginger peanut dressing from The Chef’s Table. Photo courtesy of SCCBG

Asian Tuna Tartare on rice crisp & slaw with candied ginger peanut dressing from The Chef’s Table. Photo courtesy of SCCBG

The annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green features a wonderful atmosphere, amazing food, and lots of delicious wine and beer. The 10th annual Gourmet Grazing, a sell-out, was held Saturday Sept 21, 2013 and raised important funds for the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group. Everyone had a great time, even with the rainy weather! Read my preview article.

If you missed it this year, I recommend planning ahead for 2014. Buy your tickets early, either online or at New Leaf Markets. Because only a limited number of tickets are sold, the festival doesn’t get overly crowded. It’s enjoyable for families (I brought my young daughter) and individuals of all ages.

Here are some highlights from the 2013 festival to whet your appetite for 2014!

Food

  • Café Rio: Rio Prawn Spring Roll with mung bean noodles, sprouts, carrots, green onion, basil, and mint
  • Johnny’s Harborside: Gazpacho Seafood Cocktail with Calamari, Scallops and Shrimp and garnished with Baby Romaine and a Watermelon Radish

I must confess I had seconds of both of the above; they were that good!

  • The Whole Enchilada / Haute Enchilada: Delicious and refreshing Peruvian Ceviche with shrimp, Peruvian corn, onion, clam juice, sweet potato, mango, cilantro, habanero chile, and fresh lime juice.
  • East Side Eatery (Pleasure Pizza’s newest spot): Chicken Pozole which was hearty and satisfying, especially given the weather. It had a fun “add your own toppings” spin including green onions, queso fresco, and jalapenos. Apparently the version at the restaurant itself also includes avocados, so I’m sure it’s even better there!
  • Fresh Prep Kitchens: Mushroom and Asparagus Quinoa Risotto
  • The Chef’s Table: Asian Tuna Tartare on rice crisp & slaw with candied ginger peanut dressing (see photo)
  • Severino’s: Lobster Ravioli in a cherry-white wine-cream sauce
  • MacKenzie Bar & Grill at Pasatiempo: Pulled pork slider with coleslaw (very addicting!)
  • Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine: Lamb & Beef Gyro Wrap with heirloom tomatoes, lettuce & tzatziki sauce, served with Beet Salad
  • Solaire at Hotel Paradox: Sous vide shortrib over sweet polenta

Beer and Wine

  • Kathryn Kennedy: the winery poured a few exclusive bottles of their 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, for the lucky few that had a chance to taste before it was all gone!
  • Santa Cruz Ale Works: Santa Cruz AleWorks IPA, Santa Cruz AleWorks Kolsch
  • MYKA Cellars: 2012 Mitzi Unoak Chardonnay, 2012 Malbec Dry Rose, 2011 Kane Cabernet Sauvigonon
  • Santa Cruz Mounting Brewing: Madame Grey – Milk Honey Stout infused with earl grey, Fresh Hop Black IPA, Wilder Wheat

SCCBG has funded cancer research and local groups — including many that support people living with cancer — since 1995. The organization was started by a small group of friends who used to play tennis together once a week; they had each lost a relative or friend to cancer and wanted to do something to make a difference. The first event the group hosted was a Spring Forward Against Cancer Tennis Tournament and Celebration; these tournaments are still held each year. Proceeds from SCCBG’s events, including this year’s Gourmet Grazing, benefit these local cancer support and research organizations: Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support and Services, The Katz Cancer Resource Center, UCSC Cancer Research, and WomenCARE.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Celebrate Independence Day 2013 with a poolside barbecue at Santa Cruz’s Solaire

Cooking it up at Solaire in Santa Cruz

Cooking it up at Solaire in Santa Cruz

Celebrate Independence Day 2013 at Santa Cruz’s Hotel Paradox, which boasts the fabulous Solaire Restaurant and Bar.

 

Solaire is hosting an all-American barbecue from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 4th. It’s $25 for a “day pool pass” with a full plate of BBQ plus a chocolate brownie sundae, or $80 for a family 4-pack with pool passes & BBQ plates/desserts. Food will be served all day There will also be $4 draft beers, and DJ Magic Touch spinning on the Pool Deck from 12 -3:30 p.m. From 4 -8 p.m. there will be live music by West Coast Soul Band.

 

Here are more details on food & beer:

Food Menu

  • Field Greens Salad With Assorted Dressings
  • Napa Cabbage Coleslaw
  • Paradox Potato Salad
  • Grilled Corn On The Cob
  • Barbeque Baked Beans
  • Grilled Summer Vegetables
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich
  • House Ground Hamburger
  • Herb-Mustard Grilled Chicken
  • Chocolate Brownie Sundae

 

$4 Draft Beers

  • Santa Cruz Mountains Pale Ale
  • Santa Cruz Ale Works IPA
  • Firestone Solace
  • Scrimshaw
  • 21st Amendment Black in Black
  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

 

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

 

 

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