Tag Archives: The Crow’s Nest

Four days remain for Crow’s Nest downstairs specials–plus other restaurant news

“Drunken Prawns” with prawns, Andouille sausage, potato Parmesan pancake and crispy onions in bourbon gravy: a recent Thursday prix fixe entrée option at Crow’s Nest Photo credit: Crow’s Nest Facebook page

“Drunken Prawns” with prawns, Andouille sausage, potato Parmesan pancake and crispy onions in bourbon gravy: a recent Thursday prix fixe entrée option at Crow’s Nest
Photo credit: Crow’s Nest Facebook page

Santa Cruz harbor restaurant The Crow’s Nest has some great Monday through Thursday specials, valid at both lunch and dinner, and they’re ending this Thursday, March 9, 2017 — although the “Deal With a View” dinner special, served only in the upstairs bar, is also wonderful and that one’s valid through May 25.

Let’s first discuss the main restaurant weekday specials, served in the regular downstairs restaurant. These are called “Downstairs Classic Specials,” and are valid at both lunch and dinner:

  • Monday is retro menu ($21.95) with your choice of tempura scallops, broiled salmon or enchilada and sirloin. Each entrée comes with soup or house salad plus rice and vegetables.
  • Tuesday is lobster ($21.95) — broiled lobster tail with soup or house salad plus rice and vegetables.
  • Wednesday is steak day ($21.95): choose prime grade large top sirloin with crispy fried onions and Chef’s steak sauce or petit filet mignon with mocha rub and porcini butter or smoked 10 oz. prime rib (while they last). All come with soup or house salad, mashed potatoes and vegetables.
  • Thursday is prix fixe menu ($25), where customers receive a three-course menu designed by the chef. Two recent entrées are pork tenderloin in a syrah demi-glacé, topped with house smoked blue cheese and accompanied by pumpkin gnocchi with candied bacon; and “Drunken Prawns” with prawns, Andouille sausage, potato Parmesan pancake and crispy onions in a bourbon gravy.

 

As I mentioned, there are four days remaining this season to get the above weekday specials; they might be back again after Labor Day.

 

Deal with a View, on the other hand, is still running after this week. It’s only available upstairs, in the Crow’s Nest Breakwater Bar & Grill. It’s served from Monday through Friday evenings from 6 p.m. until the kitchen closes. For $9.95, customers receive entrée choice of Tuscan Chicken Sandwich, Fish Tacos, or Aloha Burger, served with soup, salad or fries (salad bar option costs an extra $2).
Another option: I just bought food from the restaurant’s next-door shop, Beach Market, for the first time. I highly recommend it. They have lots of very reasonably priced wood-fired pizzas plus sandwiches, salads and more. I enjoyed chicken pesto pizza and my young daughter liked the Hawaiian variety. My husband loved his pizza sandwich (mozzarella and red sauce with choice of three toppings on a francese roll).

 

For details on all of these, visit the Crow’s Nest web site.

Crow’s Nest is at 2218 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, 831-476-4560

 

Follow me on:

Twitter @santacruzfoodie

Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

Food, wine and beer at 2016 Grazing on the Green benefiting cancer research

logo-thumb-website-1

The 13th annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green—Saturday, Sept. 24 at Aptos Village Park, features 70-plus vendors including local restaurants and caterers, other food businesses, and local wineries, breweries, and spirits distilleries. Proceeds benefit the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG).

 

The event is from noon to 4 p.m. Buy $65 tickets at New Leaf Community Markets (downtown, Westside or Capitola locations) or online http://sccbg.org or it will be $70 at the door if it’s not sold out. If you have a group of 10, you can get tickets for $60 each. Adult admission includes food, drinks and a souvenir wineglass. Kids 10 and under are free; kids ages 10-20 are $35.

 

Participating restaurants, farms, and food vendors for 2016 include The Crow’s Nest, Café Cruz, Café Rio, Real Good Fish, Niman Ranch, SunRidge Farms, Ashby Confections, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, Cremer House, Ella’s at the Airport, Surf City Sandwich, Hula’s, Hollins House and Sid’s Smokehouse.

 

Participating wineries, breweries and distilleries include Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery, Beauregard Vineyards, Hallcrest Vineyards, Kathryn Kennedy Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Sones Cellars, Wargin Wines, Wrights Station Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Discretion Brewing, Seabright Brewery, New Bohemia Brewing Co. and Venus Spirits.

 

Proceeds from SCCBG’s events benefit these local cancer support and research organizations: Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Association, Katz Cancer Resource Center, researchers from UC Santa Cruz, the Teen Kitchen Project, and WomenCARE Cancer Advocacy.

For more information on the event, see www.sccbg.org.

There is free shuttle service every 15 minutes from Cabrillo College; parking is also free.

Aptos Village Park: 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos

Follow me on:

Twitter @santacruzfoodie

Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

Lots of food and wine at biggest Grazing on the Green ever to benefit cancer research

Food at a previous Gourmet Grazing on the Green

Food at a previous Gourmet Grazing on the Green

The 12th annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green, Saturday, Sept. 19 at Aptos Village Park, has more food and drinks than ever before! As of press time, there are 73 vendors including local restaurants and caterers, other food businesses, and local wineries, breweries, and distilleries. Proceeds benefit the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG).

The event, which is from noon to 4 p.m., usually sells out so it’s smart to buy tickets ahead of time. Buy $70 tickets at New Leaf Community Markets (downtown, Westside or Capitola locations) or online. If you have a group of 10, you can get tickets for $60 each. Admission includes food, drinks a souvenir wineglass, and live music.

Participating restaurants, farms, and food vendors for 2015 include The Crow’s Nest, Café Cruz, Café Rio, Solaire Restaurant and Bar, Real Good Fish, Niman Ranch, Smart Chicken, New Leaf Community Markets, Ella’s at the Airport, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, and Sid’s Smokehouse.

Participating wineries, breweries and distilleries include Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery, Beauregard Vineyards,  Cima Collina, Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery, Kathryn Kennedy Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Sones Cellars, Bonny Doon Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Discretion Brewing, Seabright Brewery, and Venus Spirits.

Non-alcoholic beverages will include drinks from Tulsi Teas, Pacific Coffee Roasting Co., and Pure Valley Water.

Proceeds from SCCBG’s events benefit these local cancer support and research organizations: Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Association, Katz Cancer Resource Center, UCSC’s fellowship program for cancer research, the Teen Kitchen Project, and WomenCARE Cancer Advocacy.

More details:
There is free shuttle service every 15 minutes from Cabrillo College Lot E; parking is also free.
For more information on the event, see sccbg.org or call (831) 465-1989.

Aptos Village Park: 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Don’t miss Gourmet Grazing cancer research benefit with a wide array of food & wine

Attendees at a previous Gourmet Grazing on the Green

Attendees at a previous Gourmet Grazing on the Green

It’s time for the 11th annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green, where you can enjoy a large amount of first-rate food (from local restaurants and caterers)—plus beverages from local wineries, breweries, and distilleries—in a friendly and festive atmosphere. And you will be helping support the very worthwhile Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG).

Gourmet Grazing is Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014 from noon to 4 p.m. at Aptos Village Park.

The event usually sells out a few days ahead of time, so I recommend you buy tickets soon. This year organizers are allowing 1,200 tickets to be sold instead of 800, so it is possible that tickets won’t sell out as fast—but you never know! SCCBG Board member Mary Anne Carson commented: “Due to its popularity, we’ve expanded our space in order to bring in more food purveyors, restaurants and vintners, as well as more Grazers, this year. We look forward to another stellar event and raising even more funds for the benefit of our beneficiaries.”

Purchase $65 tickets at New Leaf Community Markets (downtown, Westside or Capitola locations) or online. If you have a group of 10, you can get tickets for $50 each. Admission includes food, wine, beer, a souvenir wineglass, and live music. The event is outdoors; last year it actually rained for a short while, but everyone just ran under the few sheltered spots and it stopped as quickly as it started.

New this year is a “big bottle silent auction,” courtesy of new festival partner Santa Cruz Mountain Winegrowers Association (SCMWA). There will also be a bottle booth operated by SCMWA, an alliance of more than 60 wineries promoting wine produced from the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Appellation.

Some of the food creations that participants will taste have been created with products generously donated by event sponsors Coke Farm, Watsonville Coast Produce, and presenting sponsor New Leaf Community Markets.

Some of my favorite dishes from last year’s festival included Café Rio’s Rio Prawn Spring Roll (included mung bean noodles, sprouts, carrots, green onion, basil, and mint) and Johnny’s Harborside’s Gazpacho Seafood Cocktail (calamari, scallops, shrimp, garnished with baby romaine and a watermelon radish). For more 2013 highlights, see my recap article.

There are more than 25 participating restaurants, farms, and food vendors for 2014 including The Crow’s Nest, Shadowbrook, Café Cruz, Café Rio, The Whole Enchilada, Solaire Restaurant and Bar, Hula’s Island Grill, Santa Cruz Fish Co., Everett Family Farm, MacKenzie Bar & Grill, Friend in Cheeses Jam Co., Redwood Hill Farms, The Penny Ice Creamery, and The True Olive Connection.

More than 25 participating wineries, breweries and distilleries include Venus Spirits, Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery, Beauregard Vineyards,  Burrell School Vineyards, Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Seabright Brewery, Sones Cellars, Bonny Doon Vineyards, and Kathryn Kennedy Winery.

This year, Kathryn Kennedy Winery will pour wine including 2011 Kathryn Kennedy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains, which sources say is “amazing.”

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 Association, Katz Cancer Resource Center, UCSC Cancer Research, the Teen Kitchen Project, and WomenCARE Cancer Advocacy. Over the last decade, SCCBG has distributed more than $1.5 million to directly support the Santa Cruz community.

There will be a raffle, with ticket sales benefiting SCCBG. Prizes include jewelry, restaurant gift certificates, a wetsuit from O’Neill, and SCMWA Wine Passports.

More details:
There is free parking and free shuttle service from Cabrillo College Lot E.
For more information on the event, see www.sccbg.org or call (831) 465-1989

Aptos Village Park: 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz and San Jose restaurants open or closed on Christmas, Part 2 of 2

Delicious Mojo Cauliflower at Aptos restaurant Booka, open on Christmas

Delicious Mojo Cauliflower at Aptos restaurant Booka, open on Christmas

Yesterday I published highlights for a few restaurants open on Christmas in Santa Cruz and San Jose. Here are several more.

Also, note some Santa Cruz restaurants will be closed just for Christmas (like Hula’s, closed on both Xmas Eve and Xmas Day, and Johnny’s Harborside & Crow’s Nest, both closing at 3pm Xmas Eve and closed entire Xmas Day) while some shut down for a few days over the holidays:

  • Charlie Hong Kong (closed evening of 12/23 when the food runs out, through 1/1/14 – reopening 1/2/14)
  • Sabieng (closed 12/23 through 12/26 lunch, reopening 12/26 at dinner)
  • Little Shanghai (closed 12/22 through 1/5, reopening 1/6/14 at 11:30 a.m.)
  • Café Iveta (closed 12/25 through 1/1, reopening 1/2/14)

Santa Cruz, Capitola & Aptos restaurants

Booka Restaurant & Bar
On Christmas Eve Booka is offering a prix fixe dinner menu, and on Christmas Day Booka will feature a prix fixe tapas menu. For reservations and information call (831) 685-9500.
8041 Soquel Drive, Aptos

Café Mare
Café Mare is open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Call (831) 458-1212 for reservations.
740 Front St, #100, Santa Cruz

Gabriella Cafe
Gabriella Café is open on Christmas Eve until 7:30 p.m. Call (831) 457-1677 for reservations.
910 Cedar St, Santa Cruz

Ideal Bar & Grill
Ideal is open Xmas Eve from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. with a regular menu. On Christmas Day, the restaurant is open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. For dinner, it’s serving selections including slow-roasted prime rib, turkey with yams, stuffing, etc., and live Maine lobster. Call (831) 423-5271 for reservations.
106 Beach St at the Santa Cruz Wharf, Santa Cruz

Severino’s Bar & Grill
On Christmas Day the restaurant at Seacliff Inn has a buffet from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  with Black Angus prime rib, Dungeness crab, roasted leg of lamb, and more. The cost is $39 for adults, $17 for kids 5-10, and free for 4 and under. For reservations and information call (831) 688-8987.
7500 Old Dominion Court, Aptos

Zelda’s
Zelda’s is open on Christmas Day with breakfast at 7:30 a.m., and a holiday menu & dinner specials beginning at noon. Specials include traditional turkey or maple baked ham dinner ($16.95 adults, $10.95 kids). Call (831) 475-4900.
203 Esplanade, in the Capitola Village

San Jose

Il Fornaio
The restaurant at the Sainte Claire is open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Call (408) 271-3366 for reservations.
302 South Market St (at the Sainte Claire), 
San Jose

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Center Street Grill’s 2013 Restaurant Week menu includes entrée choices of Grilled Salmon Puttanesca with capers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, mashed potatoes, and green beans, Seafood Fettucine with crab, shrimp, smoked salmon, mushrooms, and lemon cream sauce, and Grilled Pork Loin Chop with blue cheese & peaches, mashed potatoes, and asparagus.
On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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.

Taste of the Harbor 2013: Santa Cruz restaurants benefit O’Neill Sea Odyssey

Food from Cafe El Palomar at Taste of the Harbor 2012

Food from Cafe El Palomar at Taste of the Harbor 2012

The sixth annual “Taste of the Harbor” on Tuesday Sept 17 offers food from Santa Cruz restaurants and benefits O’Neill Sea Odyssey (OSO) through the Intero Foundation.

The event, hosted by Intero Real Estate Services at the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor, is from 4:30 p.m. to sunset and includes live music and an auction. Advance reservations are $49 per person, or pay $55 at the door. It’s located at Intero Real Estate Services and the adjacent Harbor Beach, at the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor.

Participating restaurants include several at the harbor – Café El Palomar, The Kind Grind, Aldo’s, Johnny’s Harborside, and The Crow’s Nest – plus others such as Zameen, Aunt LaLi’s Treats, and Hula’s. For more information see event web site.

OSO was founded in 1996 by surfer Jack O’Neill, who created a unique, hands-on program aboard a boat in the Monterey Bay (follow-up programs are held in an education center that’s on land). Central California kids in the 4th-6th grades participate and learn about topics including marine science and conservation. Since its launch, OSO has served more than 75,000 students so far with this free program (each group completes a community service project in order to participate).

Event parking at the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor is $2. There is complimentary shuttle service available from the upper harbor, and a water taxi from the west harbor.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Fun Gourmet Grazing with food & wine benefits Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group

Seared ahi tuna from 2011's Gourmet Grazing on the Green

Seared ahi tuna from 2011’s Gourmet Grazing on the Green

The annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green allows attendees to partake in unlimited wine and beer plus lots of delicious gourmet food from local restaurants and food vendors, while raising funds for the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG). The 10th annual Gourmet Grazing is on Sat Sept 21, 2013 from 12-4 p.m. at Aptos Village Park.

The event usually sells out a few days ahead of time, so it’s recommended that you buy tickets immediately. Purchase tickets for $65 at New Leaf Community Market or online. If you have a group of 10, you can get tickets for $50 each. Admission includes food, wine, beer, a souvenir wineglass, and live music.

SCCBG board member Mary Anne Carson explains the festival’s popularity: “We offer the ‘best of Santa Cruz County’ all in one beautiful spot for a great value! Grazing is a delight for all of the senses: smell, sight, sound, touch and best of all, taste! We’ve offered high quality at a great value for the past 10 years which is why this event has a strong loyal following and will sell out!  Every year there is something new and every year the food purveyors, restaurants and chefs have become more creative.”  Some of my favorite dishes from last year’s festival included The Whole Enchilada’s squash blossom and zucchini tamale with avocado green salsa, and Café Cruz’s Southwestern gazpacho with shrimp. For more 2012 highlights, see my recap article.

There are more than 30 participating restaurants and food vendors for 2013 including The Crow’s Nest, Café Cruz, Penny Ice Creamery, The Whole Enchilada, Fresh Prep Kitchens, Solaire Restaurant and Bar, Hula’s, The Fish Lady, New Leaf Community Markets, Friend in Cheeses Jam Co., Niman Ranch, Redwood Hill Farm, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, Sweet Cheeks Bakeshop, and True Olive Connection. Some highlights: Cafe Rio will serve “Rio Prawn Spring Roll” which includes mung bean noodle & sprouts, carrot, green onion, basil, mint, and house made hoisin sauce. Severino’s will be serving lobster ravioli in a cherry white wine cream sauce paired with a raspberry salad. Together We Eat Catering is serving a Summer Strawberry Panini featuring strawberries from California Giant Berry. East Side Eatery is serving Chicken Pozole with chicken, hominy, spicy tomato broth, and garnish of fresh corn, cilantro, green onions, queso fresco, lime wedges, sour cream, tortilla strips, and diced jalapeños.

More than 25 participating wineries and breweries include Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery, Beauregard Vineyards,  Burrell School Vineyards, Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery, Heineken, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Seabright Brewery, Sones Cellars, Bonny Doon Vineyards, and Vino Tabi. One highlight: Sante Arcangeli Family Wines will be pouring their 2011 Chardonnay, Split Rail Vineyard & 2011 Corralitos Duet Pinot Noir.

For the full list of participating restaurants, wineries, breweries, and exhibitors, click here.

All funds raised by SCCBG through events stay local. “We’ve raised well over $1 million since our inception in 1995 for the benefit of and distribution to local cancer support groups and cancer research at UCSC,” says Mary Anne Carson. “This is one of the hardest working, most passionate group of individuals I’ve ever encountered. SCCBG is an all volunteer organization.” 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 Services, The Katz Cancer Resource Center, UCSC Cancer Research, and WomenCARE. Last year the event raised more than $65,000 (up from $56,000 in 2011).

More details: there is free parking and free shuttle service (every 15 minutes) from Cabrillo College Lot E. There will be a raffle, with ticket sales benefiting SCCBG. Prizes include gift baskets and gift certificates contributed by businesses such as Whole Foods Market, Trader Joes, Paradise Grille, and Coke Farms, a wetsuit from O’Neill, wine tastings, and wine.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Taste of the Harbor: Santa Cruz restaurants benefit O’Neill Sea Odyssey

Fresh fish featured in a delightful dish at Johnny’s Harborside, one of many restaurants participating in Taste of the Harbor 2012

The fifth annual “Taste of the Harbor” on Tuesday September 11 offers food and wine from Santa Cruz restaurants and benefits O’Neill Sea Odyssey through the Intero Foundation.

The event, hosted by Intero Real Estate Services at the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor, is from 4:30 p.m. to sunset and includes a raffle and live auction plus live music by The Original Substitutes. Advance reservations are $49 per person, or pay $55 at the door.

Participating restaurants include several at the harbor – Café El Palomar, The Kind Grind, Aldo’s, Johnny’s Harborside, and The Crow’s Nest – plus others such as Aquarius and Hula’s. For more information visit event web site.

O’Neill Sea Odyssey (OSO) was founded in 1996 by surfer Jack O’Neill, who created a unique, hands-on program aboard a boat in the Monterey Bay (follow-up programs are held in an education center that’s on land). Central California kids in the 4th-6th grades participate and learn about topics including marine science and conservation. OSO has served more than 60,000 students so far with this free community program.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie