Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

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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Thanksgiving 2016 at Whole Foods Market on the Central Coast

A few Thanksgiving side dishes from Whole Foods Market Credit: Whole Foods Market

A few Thanksgiving side dishes from Whole Foods Market
Credit: Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market locations in Capitola, Santa Cruz and Monterey have a wide array of Thanksgiving selections. You can place your Thanksgiving dinner orders in person or online http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/online-ordering — and if you order by Tuesday, Nov. 22, you get a $10 credit to use on a future in-store purchase of $75 or more (valid from Nov. 27 through Dec. 31).

Another promotion WFM is currently offering is if a customer buys a fresh or frozen organic turkey from the meat department, they receive a few free items from the “365” product line: a free 365 stuffing, free 365 broth and two 365 canned vegetables.

WFM has an online 2016 holiday guide. Selections include the always-popular traditional turkey dinner for eight for $99.99. It contains a fully cooked 10-lb. oven-roasted Diestel turkey, four pounds each of herb stuffing and mashed potatoes, a quart of turkey gravy, a pint of cranberry relish, 16 dinner rolls, and a nine-inch traditional pumpkin pie. For the same dinner for eight with an organic turkey, the cost is $159.99. When customers pick up these dinners, products are cold but they are packaged in reheatable containers (WFM recommends allowing up to three hours for reheating turkeys).

Other prepared meals include spiral-cut ham dinner for eight ($129.99) that includes green beans with roasted shallots, sweet potato mash and more. I bought some sweet potato mash yesterday from the Capitola location’s hot bar and enjoyed it last night with my dinner; it went well with a roasted ready-to-eat chicken plus kale from my Live Earth Farm CSA that I cooked with olive oil and garlic. I’ll definitely be buying more sweet potato mash this season.

You can also order turkeys a la carte (cooked or uncooked), and ready-to-eat sides a la carte—in addition to the aforementioned sweet potato mash, stuffing, green beans with roasted shallots, and mashed potatoes, there are dishes like cauliflower potato puree with crème fraiche, broccoli cheddar gratin, sweet cornbread pudding, roasted butternut squash salad and vegan spicy pumpkin soup.

Want to cook your own Thanksgiving dinner, or are you tasked with bringing a dish or two to a friend or family member’s house? The store has lots of great ingredients, including made-in-house sausage that’s perfect for stuffing. If you’re hosting a feast at your house, WFM also stocks many party-friendly options including an exquisite variety of cheeses—actually each shop has between 250 and 1,000 varieties! One example, new this year at WFM, is an exclusive porcini flavored Herve Mons Camembert. If you want to pre-order appetizer platters, choices include a 3-pound fruit/cheese tray ($39.99); the cheeses are Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Saint Andre Triple Cream Brie and Chevre.

For dessert, pie choices include pumpkin, caramel apple, pecan and strawberry rhubarb. The latter is vegan and gluten-free, from the company Natural Decadence. Other selections include pumpkin vanilla roulade cake.

Local Store Details

 

For more Whole Foods Market locations, see the store locator.

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Manresa Bread in Los Gatos now ships nationwide

Manresa Bread now ships across the U.S. Photo credit: Manresa Bread

Manresa Bread now ships across the U.S.
Photo credit: Manresa Bread

Fans of Los Gatos-based Manresa Bread who live outside the Bay Area are now in luck: starting Nov. 22—just in time for Thanksgiving—the bakery will ship its artisan bread anywhere in the Continental U.S. The web site manresabread.com is already accepting orders.

In addition to bread, customers can order items like coffee from Santa Cruz’s Verve Coffee Roasters  (served at both retail locations, Los Gatos and Los Altos) plus granola and limited edition Manresa Bread coffee mugs. Orders are baked fresh, packed, and shipped on Tuesday of each week to arrive at people’s homes via 2-day, or less, shipping. Deliveries include information on how to store and rewarm the bread so guests can enjoy the product as if they picked it up that day from the bakery.

Manresa Bread was conceived by Head Baker and Partner Avery Ruzicka in the kitchen of Chef David Kinch’s three Michelin-star Manresa restaurant. Using high quality, artisanal products, a carefully selected variety of produce and dairy are mixed with house-milled grains, salt, and water to create an assortment of naturally fermented sourdough breads.

“We started with a small stand at our local farmer’s market and as we’ve continued to evolve we’ve realized there’s a demand for our breads on a national level,” says Ruzicka. “We tested a lot of options and this shipment method is the best way for us to ensure that the quality is preserved while it’s en route to our customers who can’t visit in-person.”
All orders ship on Tuesday of each week and include the customer’s choice of four loaves of bread ($40, not including shipping). Here are some bread highlights:

Manresa Levain
Organic white and edison flour. 90% hydration. 3% salt. Naturally fermented

Pumpernickel Buckwheat Rye
House-milled pumpernickel meal, fermented rye berries, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, toasted buckwheat. Naturally fermented

Fruit & Nut Loaf
Organic bread / hard red spring / edison / durum flours. Dates, pumpkin seeds, walnuts.
Naturally fermented

Whole Wheat
House-milled einkorn, hard red spring, edison wheats. Pinch of organic white flour.
Naturally fermented

Pullman Loaf
Organic White Flour. Fresh Yeast.

See manresabread.com for more information.

Retail shops:

Flagship Los Gatos location: 276 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408-402-5372

Second location, Palo Alto: 271 State Street, Palo Alto, 650-946-2293

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A few restaurants in Napa Valley and San Francisco for Thanksgiving 2015

An August dinner entrée at Michelin-starred Luce, which will offer a three-course prix-fixe Thanksgiving menu Credit: Luce Restaurant

An August dinner entrée at Michelin-starred Luce, which will offer a three-course prix-fixe Thanksgiving menu
Credit: Luce Restaurant

It’s less than a week to Thanksgiving; if you’re planning to dine in San Francisco or Napa Valley, here are a few restaurants to consider.

Napa Valley
Lucy Restaurant & Bar at the Bardessono hotel and spa in Yountville is offering a four-course holiday dinner ($90 adults, $40 kids under 10). As always, it will be fresh, garden-inspired cuisine. The menu features traditional holiday dishes that incorporate a twist, with sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients picked fresh from the onsite culinary garden when possible. First course choices include carrot salad with confit carrots, carrot chips, curry shallot dressing, and carrot fronds; and roasted pumpkin soup with pomegranate and nutmeg crème fraîche. Second course choices include butternut squash risotto with caramelized pears. Entrée selections are turkey with marjoram and brioche stuffing; house-cured honey ham with cabbages and little potatoes, whole grain mustard and caramelized pear jus; and pan-roasted sturgeon with brussels sprouts, napa cabbage, house cured bacon, and dijon beurre blanc. For reservations call 707-204-6030 or visit OpenTable. If you decide to make your special holiday feast part of an overnight getaway, you’ll be happy to know the Bardessono is an eco-conscious LEED Platinum-Certified property.

San Francisco Restaurants
Luce Restaurant

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco will feature a 3-course prix-fixe menu for Thanksgiving. Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey is offering a seasonal selection of items like winter squash with whipped ricotta, butternut marmalade, and pomegranate; slow-cooked turkey breast with sage and rosemary, brussels sprouts, and potato puree; and diver scallops with celery root and navel orange confit and green olives. Dessert options include bread pudding; sticky toffee pudding; and chocolate cheesecake. Cost is $85 per person; $45 for kids (4 – 12 years). Pricing excludes tax and gratuity. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 415-616-6566 or visiting Luce’s web site.

Presidio Social Club
Presidio Social Club will be offering a prix-fixe Thanksgiving dinner from 11am-5pm for $60/person. This year’s menu will include kale salad with pomegranates, apple, and pumpkin seeds; cauliflower soup with roasted chestnuts; turkey with wild mushroom and sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce; pumpkin pie; and bourbon chocolate pecan pie. Call 415-885-1888 or email info@presidiosocialclub.com for reservations.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Thanksgiving brunch and dinner are available at Top of the Mark. Presented by Chef Nenad Stefanovic, the buffet will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature breakfast selections (from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.), antipastos, raw bar, salads, soups, desserts, and more. Seasonal specials include smoked duck breast with grilled persimmons, toasted pumpkin seeds and fig compote; sherry-molasses roast beets with allspice crème fraiche, candied walnuts and tondo, pickled butternut squash and pancetta jam; and roasted free range turkey with orange-cranberry sauce and giblet gravy. Desserts will include traditional holiday delights along with pumpkin foster martinis with diced pumpkin, apple brandy, cinnamon sugar and graham cracker cookie ice cream. In addition to the feast, entertainment will be presented by Michael Athens and Ricardo Scales on piano and a “Little Explorer” petting zoo will be in the lobby from noon to 4 p.m. Top of the Mark’s Thanksgiving brunch and Thanksgiving dinner cost $119 per adult and $59 per child (ages 4-12). Reservations are required at 415-616-6941.

One Market Restaurant
One Market is serving a three-course prix fixe menu by Chef Mark Dommen. The four first course choices include artichoke soup with hazelnuts, garlic flan, and lemon balm; and beet carpaccio with radish, chèvre, and sherry vinaigrette. Four entrée selections include roasted turkey with cornbread-sausage stuffing, root vegetables, and shallot-thyme gravy, and mushroom risotto with yuzu, pine nuts, and scallions. Three dessert selections include triple layer sugar pie pumpkin cheesecake with ginger-mascarpone ice cream. The price is $74 per adult and $39 per child 10 and under. Please call 415-777-5577 or visit OpenTable for reservations.

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Thanksgiving selections at Whole Foods Market in Capitola and Santa Cruz

Whole Foods Market's many Thanksgiving options include cooked turkeys

Whole Foods Market’s many Thanksgiving options include cooked turkeys

As usual, the Santa Cruz and Capitola branches of Whole Foods Market have stocked up on lots of delicious Thanksgiving options. You can place your Thanksgiving orders in person or online — but remember the deadline for both is Tuesday, Nov. 24. Here is the 2015 holiday menu.

Whole Foods Market’s selections include prepared meals such as turkey dinner for two, four, or eight people. Choices include regular, organic, smoked, or lemon herb turkey. Other dinners include 72-hour sous vide short ribs, and spiral-cut hams. You can also order cooked (or uncooked) turkeys a la carte, and sides a la carte. A few side dish highlights are sage sausage sourdough stuffing, broccoli cheddar gratin and sweet potato mash. Serving a vegetarian Thanksgiving and want to do your own cooking? Check out Whole Foods Market’s online menu, complete with recipes.

If you’re in charge of bringing appetizers to your Turkey Day feast, they have many appealing party trays to choose from.  A classic antipasto platter features ingredients like prosciutto, salami, and marinated olives, artichokes and mushrooms; other platter options include vegetable-stuffed mushrooms. For something less traditional, there are selections like pumpkin-almond wontons (vegan) and Sriracha chicken wontons. Of course, top-quality cheese always serves as a dependable appetizer, accompanied by your favorite cracker or perhaps olive or walnut bread, and Whole Foods has hundreds of selections ranging from cow-milk to goat, sheep, and buffalo. In fact, any given location has anywhere from 250 to 1,000 varieties that come from all over the world—many of these are organic, too. One of my favorites is Red Hawk, a triple cream variety from Cowgirl Creamery. Each market has a cheese expert who can help guide you.

Let’s not forget about dessert. The bakery team at each Whole Foods Market makes pies from scratch, on site. Varieties include pumpkin (traditional or vegan), brown butter walnut, and apple cranberry. I had the traditional pumpkin one last year, and loved it.

The Capitola and Santa Cruz locations will both be open the day before Thanksgiving, Wed. Nov. 25, from 7 am–10 pm, and Thanksgiving Day from 7 am – 2 pm. Whole Foods Market Capitola is located at 1710 41st Ave. Call (831) 464-2900 for more information. Whole Foods Market Santa Cruz is located at 911 Soquel Ave. Call (831) 426-9901 for more information.

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Pre-order Thanksgiving food in Santa Cruz county and Los Gatos

Pumpkin pie from ManresaBread, available for pick up in Los Gatos or Santa Cruz Photo credit: ManresaBread

Pumpkin pie from ManresaBread, available for pick up in Los Gatos or Santa Cruz
Photo credit: ManresaBread

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and there are many stores, bakeries and caterers that can help you with prepared food options. These include New Leaf Community Market; see comprehensive article on their offerings  or visit store web site.

ManresaBread is offering advance orders for select items through their website available for pickup. Orders are required 48 hours in advance, and can be placed until November 23 for Thanksgiving (pick up November 25, the day before Thanksgiving). Pre-order a selection of breads, pies, sweet/savory pastries and more for pick up at the 276 N. Santa Cruz Avenue location in Los Gatos. Santa Cruz area residents can also pick up at PopUp (1108 Pacific Avenue) the day before Thanksgiving. Seasonal selections include pumpkin loaf, apple galette, pain d’Epices, and pumpkin pie.

The last day for Thanksgiving orders at Companion Bakeshop is Saturday, Nov. 21. Seasonal items available for pre-order include biscotti, pies such as pecan bourbon, Meyer lemon buttermilk pie, apple, pumpkin, and walnut (the latter two have gluten-free options), chocolate tartlets, maple bacon biscuits, and squash/herb galettes. Call (831) 252-2253 for more information.

The meat and seafood department at Staff of Life has lots of Thanksgiving offerings including pre-orders of organic turkey from Heidi’s Hens, pork crown roast, loin roast, grass-fed and finished prime rib, lamb crown roast. Other selections include Dungeness crab from Washington, seafood platters, and take-and-bake entrees.

Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola has pre-ordering available for a la carte items or packages. However, orders for complete dinners with a Diestel whole or half turkey are now closed (they sold out of pre-orders). They are still offering these dinners but with sliced turkey breast. Vegetarian options such as kale and wild rice stuffed acorn squash (with apricots, cranberries, and more) and butternut squash & carrot ginger soup are also available. Plus, they of course feature their famous bread plus a huge range of desserts such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake or shimmering pumpkin princess (chocolate cake, raspberry jam, pastry cream, chocolate whipped cream, with a pumpkin-shaped shell and a dusting of gold).

For the catering company Lifestyle Culinary Arts, orders must be in by 8 p.m. Nov. 21 and they can be picked up at the Food Lounge at 1001 Center St.; email chef Andrea Mollenauer at andrea@lifestyleculinary.com or call (831) 588-4515 to place order. See menu at Lifestyle’s Facebook page. Selections include whole cider-brined turkeys (stuffed with apples, onions, citrus, herbs), stuffed boneless turkey breast (white meat, ready to roast), and signature cranberry chutney (tart & sweet with a hint of ginger). For sides that will complement Lifestyle’s offerings, chef Andrea recommends Local Harvest Catering. Selections include sweet potato mash, green beans with caramelized onions and toasted pecans, and butternut squash/persimmon soup. See full menu at their Facebook page. Customers need to email orders to chef@localharvestcatering.com by Friday, Nov. 20, and Local Harvest orders can be picked up on Wed. Nov. 25th at Front Street Kitchen. For questions, call chef Denna at (831) 818-8482.

Emily’s Bakery offers items like stuffing, dinner rolls, cakes, and pies (the latter come in flavors like chocolate pecan, pumpkin, and apple). Customers need to place orders by Friday, Nov. 20. Call (831) 429-9866 for more information.

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New Leaf Community Markets: Thanksgiving offerings & holiday-themed classes

Thanksgiving dinner available from New Leaf Community Markets Photo credit: Angela Aurelio Photography

Thanksgiving dinner available from New Leaf Community Markets
Photo credit: Angela Aurelio Photography

Organic, Santa Cruz-based New Leaf Community Markets is offering lots of options for Thanksgiving Dinner. The store will be open until 2pm on Thanksgiving Day itself (Nov. 26) for any last- minute holiday needs. Also, they’ve added online ordering; you need to order online by Friday, Nov. 20 for meat and Sunday, Nov. 22 for deli items. You can still order in-store after these dates. Keep reading for specific selections and for highlights of a few holiday-themed classes.

During Thanksgiving week, New Leaf will have a large selection of a la carte items available in three areas: their grab ‘n’ go coolers, hot bar and deli. On Thanksgiving Day itself, the hot bar will have a “Green Plate Special” where you can get a turkey dinner with all the fixings for $9.99.

For personalized help during this busy season, the market is offering Holiday Solutions Stations at its stores—except for Felton and Boulder Creek. This is where you can place holiday orders, taste samples, get cooking tips, and ask questions about suggested pairings or accommodating your guests’ dietary restrictions. You are also welcome to sip on some seasonal beverages.

New Leaf only uses turkey from Sonora-based Diestel Family Turkey Ranch. There are many varieties available and they are featuring a few fully-cooked options that only require a quick reheat. These options include brown & serve turkeys and smoked turkeys. Other options include New Leaf’s herb rubbed and brined turkey, organic heirloom turkey, Cornish game hens, duck, or goose.

New Leaf also offers complete, freshly prepared turkey dinners that require no cooking. The “Turkey Dinner Package” ($99, feeds 4-6 or $119, feeds 6-8) includes an all natural brown and serve Diestel turkey, a 9-inch housemade pumpkin pie, and your choice of a side dish package (the latter has four selections to pick from including gluten-free and vegan offerings).

Some of their popular ready-to-heat-and-eat dishes:

  • parsnip bread pudding: a savory bread pudding with organic parsnips; which one staff member refers to it as “earthy” – it also includes bread cubes, grated Parmesan cheese and thyme
  • green bean casserole: a creamy mushroom sauce surrounds tender organic green beans, topped with housemade gluten-free crispy organic onions
  • butternut squash lasagna: a combination of sweet-and-savory roasted butternut squash and fresh sage
  • stuffing (a big serving of this is one of my personal indulgences every Thanksgiving—that and pumpkin pie, of course!): New Leaf is offering organic herb bread stuffing, gluten-free bread stuffing, and a cornbread version with sausage and apples

You can check out all of New Leaf’s offerings online at reservations.newleaf.com

Here are a few of New Leaf’s many upcoming classes; these are at the Westside location (1101 Fair Ave. in Santa Cruz). Pre-register here:

Cooking Class: Allergy-Free Holiday Side Dishes
Join Chef Lauren Hoover-West for a fun and educational hands-on cooking class. You will help prepare favorite holiday classic sides that are gluten- and dairy-free: stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, stove-top candied sweet potatoes, “never go back to the can cranberry sauce,” and veggies. You’ll learn to plan the meal so you can relax and enjoy your own holiday party. At the end of class, you’ll sit down with the class mates and sample tastes of all of the fabulous side dishes.
Tuesday, November 17, 5:30pm-8:30pm, $35/2 for $60

Fun with Succulents: A Wreath-Making Workshop
In this workshop, instructor Madia Jamgochian will guide you through the step-by-step process of creating your very own succulent decoration. Wreath rings, moss, and succulent cuttings will be provided. Hang your masterpiece up for the holidays, or give it away as a special gift. Succulent wreaths will thrive indoors, outside in your garden, or even as a table centerpiece, (put a candle in the center). Space is limited to 10.

Sunday, December 6, 2-4pm, $42

Holiday Cookie Exchange

This class, for kids and teens with their parents or relatives, happens once a year. We will be baking an assortment of cookies including Chocolate Chip, Ginger Snaps, Oatmeal and Shortbread Sugar Cookies to decorate. All gluten-free, dairy-free, low sugar, and high protein and fiber. There will be vegan cookies too. Come learn how to make no-guilt holiday cookies that everyone will want to enjoy, they also make great gifts. You will get to take home a plate of all the cookies we bake!

Thursday, December 10, 5:30-8:30pm, $20/kid, $30/adult

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Thanksgiving weekend wine tasting & holiday shopping in Santa Cruz & Carmel

Surf City Vintners is hosting an art, wine & gift bazaar

Surf City Vintners is hosting an art, wine & gift bazaar

I’ve got details on two wine and holiday shopping events worth checking out this holiday weekend: one in Santa Cruz, and one in Carmel Valley.

Santa Cruz
Surf City Vintners is hosting an art, wine and gift bazaar on Friday afternoon in Westside Santa Cruz at the Swift Street Courtyard.

Surf City Vintners is comprised of 10 wineries including Equinox/Bartolo, Odonata, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Silver Mountain Vineyards, and Vino Tabi. At the event, there will be wine tasting, plus gifts for sale by local artisans. Attendees are encouraged to bring donations of clothing or non-perishable food for the Walnut Ave. Women’s Center. Wineries are also donating a portion of the day’s tasting fees, which range from $5-10, to the Women’s Center. For more information, visit surfcityvintners.com.

Swift Street Courtyard is at Ingalls & Swift Streets.

Carmel Valley
Holman Ranch Vineyards & Winery is holding a special two-day event at its Carmel Valley Village wine tasting room from 1-4 p.m. Friday-Saturday Nov. 28-29.

You’re invited to taste wine as you browse beautiful jewelry and cards for sale from Santa Cruz-based designer Fereshteh Fatemi (disclaimer: I might be biased about the “ beautiful” because Fereshteh is my mother, but she definitely has a lot of fans!). Fifteen percent of all sales will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

Beginning Nov. 28, if you visit the tasting room you can pre-order holiday wreaths and gifts from family-owned Creekside Farms, and 15% of these sales will benefit Alzheimer’s research. Other holiday gifts that are available from Holman regularly – not just this weekend – include wine packs, wine club memberships, and organic Holman Ranch extra virgin olive oil (the latter has a 50-case limited production).

The Holman Ranch Tasting Room is at 19 E. Carmel Valley Road. Visit holmanranch.com.

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More Bay Area restaurants for Thanksgiving: Monterey, San Jose, Santa Cruz

Restaurant 1833 in Monterey

Restaurant 1833 in Monterey

Here are a few more choices for dining out in the Bay Area on Thanksgiving.

If you missed my earlier Thanksgiving articles, see below:
Santa Cruz and Monterey area restaurants
San Francisco

Monterey & Carmel

Restaurant 1833

On Thanksgiving, Restaurant 1833 will host a feast from 1:30 – 7pm with a special three-course menu for $65 per person. Located in the historic California landmark, the Stokes Adobe house, guests can enjoy selections such as Roasted Apple Soup with sage, Brandy syrup and candied walnuts; Herb-Roasted Free Range Turkey with sage and chestnut dressing, potato puree, haricot verts, cranberry-orange relish, and classic gravy; Acorn Squash Ravioli with roasted mushrooms, port-braised shallots, and Parmesan; and choice of Pumpkin Mousse Pie or Spiced Chocolate Cremeux for a sweet ending. Reservations can be made through Open Table or by calling (831) 643-1833.
500 Hartnell St., Monterey

Cannery Row Brewing Company
The restaurant will offer its regular full menu on Thanksgiving, plus a three-course Turkey Dinner.  The dinner will be $29.95 for adults and $12 for kids 12 and under. Make reservations via Open Table or at (831) 643-2722.
95 Prescott Ave, Monterey

Il Fornaio
Il Fornaio in Carmel, located at the Pine Inn, will offer its full menu on Thanksgiving plus a special Thanksgiving dinner with traditional favorites. They invite you to celebrate “Thanksgiving with an Italian twist.” Make reservations via Open Table or at (831) 622-5100.
Ocean Avenue & Monte Verde St., Carmel

San Jose
Lark Creek Blue

The restaurant is offering a three-course prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner for $49 (adults). Children 10 and under get a half portion for half-price. First course options include roast butternut squash soup with maple glazed bacon lardons; jumbo shrimp cocktail; and steamed clams with housemade chorizo, scallions, garlic, cilantro, white wine, and butter. Entrée choices include lobster (stuffed with bay shrimp and served with green beans and drawn butter), and turkey accompanied by traditional items like cornbread stuffing and mashed potatoes. One dessert option is a fun decorate-your-own gingerbread cookie that benefits charity (click here for more info on the month-long promotion).
378 Santana Row, San Jose, (408) 244-1244

The Fairmont San Jose
The Fairmont San Jose is serving two special meals: the Fountain Restaurant is the site of their Family Orchard Buffet; reservations are available from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The cost is $54 per adult and $27 per child 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free. Appetizers include fruit, chilled jumbo prawns, Caesar salad, and sushi. Entree highlights include an organic egg and omelet bar; parsley, rosemary, and thyme rubbed roast turkey; honey baked ham with bourbon mustard and brown sugar glaze; and garlicky Spanish saffron and seafood stew. There will also be festive holiday desserts. The Imperial Ballroom is hosting a Fairmont Harvest Brunch; reservations are available from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The cost is $69 per adult (includes one glass of sparkling wine, mimosa, or house wine) and $34 per child 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free. Appetizers include pulled duck confit; honey-glazed salmon; King crab legs; kale-and feta-faro-pomegranate seed salad. Entrees include an organic egg and omelet bar; parsley, rosemary, and thyme rubbed roast turkey; and sustainably fished Arctic char with pickled onion-cabbage slaw.
For full menus, visit fsjholidays.com/thanksgiving2014.html.
170 South Market St, San Jose, (408) 998-3960

Santa Cruz
Lago Di Como

Lago Di Como is serving Thanksgiving brunch, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with brunch and dinner menus plus specials including an Italian roasted turkey meal. Make reservations via Open Table or at (831) 454-8257.
21490 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

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