Tag Archives: Vinocruz

“Dining in” at Santa Cruz County restaurants, June 19, 2020

Bacon & egg croissant from Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticerria
Photo courtesy of Gayle’s

So much has changed since my last article at the end of May, with restaurants now being allowed to open for dine-in service if they follow restrictions and social distancing guidelines. Here are some highlights of places that are open for onsite dining, whether that’s on an outdoor patio, in a dining room with limited seating, or both. Many of them are also still doing food to-go. I will try to publish an update in a few days.

Most of these are “listings only” but first, I wanted to share more details for a few local businesses:

Seabright Social, in the former location of Seabright Brewery (519 Seabright Ave., seabrightsocial.com) opened June 12 and features lots of outdoor seating plus some indoor seating. Hours are 11:30am-11:30pm daily (closed on June 22 for one day only). Reservations are recommended at 831-426-2739. After buying the brewpub and restaurant in 2019, local residents/co-owners Jason and Keiki McKay (who run Aptos-based Cantine Winepub in Aptos) and Jon Bates have done renovations to the building and the menu. Food includes salmon ceviche and a street taco trio with chicken mole, pork carnitas, and beef asada. Drinks include several Seabright Brewery draft beers, local wine, and a full bar.

Scrumptious Fish & Chips recently restarted its popups. Upcoming appearances include Steel Bonnet Brewery in Scotts Valley (5-8 p.m. on several Friday nights), the Scotts Valley (Saturday) and Live Oak (Sunday) farmers markets, and Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing in Westside SC. Visit https://www.scrumptiousfc.com/find-us for complete schedule.

The Palm Deli has its patio open again, with tables spaced appropriately, at 3000 Valencia Ave. They have returned to regular hours, opening at 7am every day, closing at 6pm weekdays and 5pm Sat-Sun. Visit https://www.thepalmdeli.com.

Hula’s Island Grill at 221 Cathcart St. offers the choice of dining indoors or on the lanai deck out front (takeout is also still available). They open at 2pm every day, and close at 8pm Sun-Thurs and 9pm Fri-Sat. Visit https://www.hulastiki.com/

Gayle’s Bakery at 504 Bay Ave. has newly extended hours of 7am-7pm daily and is now allowing socially distanced sit-down dining. Also, with online orders there is now next-day pick up (shorter wait time—when they first reopened, it was a two-day wait). Visit https://www.gaylesbakery.com.

May’s Sushi closed its 1800 Soquel Ave. location on June 1, and is now operating out of Sesame Korean Grill at 435 Front St. Both cuisines are still available, as the restaurants have the same owners. In addition, the owners announced they will be opening a new restaurant called Crazy Crab, adjacent to Sesame, which will feature seafood boils. Visit https://www.sesame-koreangrill.com/ or call 831-454-8355.

Vim at 2238 Mission St. reopened its dining room and patio on June 17, and it’s open 5-8pm Wednesday-Saturday and 10 am-1pm Sunday (Vim started doing Sunday brunch during shelter in place, and it was popular so they’re continuing now that they’re open for onsite dining). Visit https://www.vimsantacruz.com.

Mentone at 174 Aptos Village Way now offers first-come-first-serve tables outside in the parking lot on the weekend, from 3:30-7pm Fridays and 12-6ish Saturdays and Sundays. There is beer, wine, cocktails, pizzas, salad, and a variety of snacks.  Takeout pizza is available Wednesdays and Thursdays. Visit https://www.mentonerestaurant.com or call 831-708-1174.

Madrone Kitchen, a meal delivery business from chefs Reeny Marquez and Sean Adams, is doing Friday popups at Aldo’s (790 Mariner Park Way) from 5 p.m. to sellout. They sell food items while Aldo’s offers beer, wine and cocktails for sale.  Sample popup menu offerings include Mojo Shrimp Skewers with citrus garlic herb sauce, Cuban-style black beans, rice, and fried plantains. Madrone Kitchen also does weekly Sunday dinner delivery. Visit madronekitchen.com.

Although not yet open for “dining in,” Soif Restaurant and Wine Shop (831-423-2020, http://www.soifwine.com/) now has curbside pickup for food and wine from 4-8 pm  Wednesday-Saturday. They had stopped doing takeout in early April. Also, the May/June issue of California Bountiful, the magazine for the California Farm Bureau Federation, featured an article about Soif’s executive Chef Tom McNary with several recipes. Sister restaurant La Posta (831-457-2782, https://www.lapostarestaurant.com), formerly open Friday-Sunday, is doing pickup 4-8pm Thursday through Sunday. Also, there is a Thursday special: pizza or pasta with salad for one person, for $20.

Colectivo Felix now offers delivery Friday through Sunday to local residents (formerly only Fri-Sat). Empanadas are available by the half dozen or dozen, and they create a rotating variety of salads, soups, and desserts. Also, customers can now order a seasonal Ridge to Reef Organics produce box. Visit https://colectivofelix.square.site/ to order, or email info@colectivofelix.com with questions.

As always, please email tara@santacruzfoodie.com if you have information to share, or corrections, for future articles.

Open for “dine-in” service

Alderwood (831-588-3238 or 831-888-6901, https://www.alderwoodsantacruz.com)

Auntie Mame’s Café (831-438-1840, https://auntiemamescafe.co)

Belly Goat Craft Burgers (at Abbott Square Market on Front St., https://www.bellygoatburgers.com)

Bittersweet Bistro (831-662-9799, http://bittersweetbistro.com)

Blaze Pizza (831-607-2030, https://www.blazepizza.com)

Blue Bunny Tacos (at Abbott Square Market, https://www.instagram.com/bluebunnytacos)

Britannia Arms (831-464-2683, https://www.facebook.com/britanniaarmscapitola/)

Café Iveta (Westside and campus locations, iveta.com)

Café Mare (831-458-1212, http://www.cafemare.com)

Café Rio (831-688-8917, https://www.caferioaptos.com)

California Grill (831-722-8052, www.californiagrillrestaurant.com)

Chaminade’s “The View, A Treeside Restaurant” (831-475-5600, www.chaminade.com/santa_cruz_restaurants)

Chocolate (831-427-9900, https://chocolatesantacruz.com)

Coffeetopia (http://www.coffeetopia.com)

The Crepe Place (831-429-6994, https://thecrepeplace.com)

The Crow’s Nest (831-476-4560, https://crowsnest-santacruz.com)

Daisuki Octagon Sushi (831-316-5464, at Octagon by Abbott Square, http://daisukioctagonsushi.com/)

Dharma’s (831-462-1717, www.dharmasrestaurant.com)

East End Gastropub (831-475-8010, http://eastendpub.com/)

El Jardín (831-477-9384, https://www.eljardinrestaurant.net/)

El Palomar (831-425-7575, https://elpalomarsantacruz.com)

The Farm House (831-536-5363, https://www.farmhousewatsonville.com)

Firefish Grill (831-423-5200, http://www.firefishgrill.net/)

Gabriella Café (831-457-1677, http://gabriellacafe.com)

Holy Smokes Country BBQ (831-471-8787, https://www.holysmokescountrybbqandcatering.com)

HOME Soquel (831-431-6131, http://www.homesoquel.com)

Hula’s Island Grill (831-426-4852, https://www.hulastiki.com)

Jalisco’s (https://www.jaliscorestaurant.com)

Jeffery’s Restaurant (831-425-1485, https://www.facebook.com/Jefferys-Restaurant-2348536278713065/)

Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta Bar (831-469-4400, https://www.kiantis.com/)

The Kitchen at Discretion (831-316-0662, https://www.discretionbrewing.com)

Lago di Como (831-454-8257, http://lagodicomoristorante.com/)

Laili Resaturant (831-423-4545, www.lailirestaurant.com)

Lillian’s Italian Kitchen (831-425-2288, https://www.lilliansitaliankitchen.com)

Michael’s on Main (831-479-9777, www.michaelsonmain.com)

Mission Hill Creamery (831-508-0774, http://missionhillcreamery.com)

Mutari Chocolate (http://www.mutarichocolate.com)

Oasis Tasting Room & Kitchen (831-621-8040, oasissantacruz.com)

Olive Garden (831-462-0120, https://www.olivegarden.com)

Oswald (831-423-7427, http://www.oswaldrestaurant.com)

Oyunaa’s Mongolian Cuisine (831-469-9900, http://www.oyunaas.com)

Palm Deli (831-688-3354, https://www.thepalmdeli.com)

Pizza My Heart (https://www.pizzamyheart.com)

Pizzeria La Bufala (831-999-0301, at Abbott Square Market, https://www.pizzerialabufala.com)

Pleasure Pizza—East Side Eatery (831-6058, https://www.pleasurepizzasc.com)

Pono Hawaiian Kitchen & Tap (831-476-7458, ponohawaiiangrill.com)

Rosie McCann’s (831-426-9930, https://rosiemccanns.com/santacruz)

Roux Dat (at Octagon by Abbott Square, https://rouxdatcajuncreole.com)

Sanderlings at Seascape Resort (831-662-7120, https://www.sanderlingsrestaurant.com/menus)

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing (831-425-4900, https://www.scmbrew.com)

Scopazzi’s (831-338-6441, www.scopazzisrestaurant.com)

Tortilla Flats (831-476-1754, https://www.tortillaflatstogo.com)

Tramonti (831-426-7248, http://tramontisantacruz.com)

Veg on the Edge (831-423-3000, at Abbott Square Market, https://vegontheedge.com)

Vino Locale Wine Bar & Tapas (https://www.vinolocalesantacruz.com)

Vinocruz Winebar & Kitchen (https://vinocruz.com, 831-426-8466)

Woodies Café (https://www.facebook.com/woodiescafeca).

Woodstock’s Pizza (831-427-4444, https://woodstockscruz.com)

Zachary’s (831-427-0646, http://www.zacharyssantacruz.com)

Zelda’s (831-475-4900, http://zeldasonthebeach.com)

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Saturday’s Taste of Soquel benefits Second Harvest

Bill and Dee Hongmanee of Sawasdee at a previous “A Taste of Soquel” event

The ninth annual “A Taste of Soquel,” benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank, takes place in the courtyard of the Congregational Church of Soquel Saturday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be lots of food, drinks and music at this family-friendly festival.

 

Attendees can enjoy food from restaurants and vendors HOME, The Kitchen at Discretion, El Chipotle Taqueria, Café Cruz, Bella Chi-Cha, Jeff Walls’ Family Honey, Aldo’s Italian Bakery, and Sawasdee Thai Cuisine. There will be fresh cider from Everett Family Farm, beer and wine from Discretion Brewing, Soquel Vineyards, Bargetto Winery, Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery, VinoCruz, Wargin Wines and Poetic Cellars.

See menu details  below.

 

There will be lots of live music, including The Carolyn Sills Combo and “members of the EXPENDABLES Unplugged.” Complimentary coffee will be served by The Ugly Mug, plus tea, lemonade, and more from The Bagelry, Driscoll’s and Donut Station. A kids’ area will feature free activities such as singing with Musical Me, face painting, drumming, art with CherryVale Art Farm, inflatable archery with Kennolyn Camp, and crafts with Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery. More than 50 local businesses participate in the raffle, featuring prizes such as store and restaurant gift certificates.

 

Tickets are $25 for adults (includes music, food, wine) and $10 for youth 12-20 (includes music, food). Kids under 12 are free. Call 831-475-2867 for details. Advance tickets are available at the church or online www.brownpapertickets.com.

 

During the past eight years the event has raised over $62,000, providing 250,000 healthy meals to families in need in Santa Cruz County. The Congregational Church of Soquel and the Capitola/Soquel Chamber of Commerce co-sponsor A Taste of Soquel. Learn more at tasteofsoquel.org.

 

A few selections at Taste of Soquel 2017

Aldo’s: Tiramisu and Lemoncello Bites; Assorted cookies

Bella Chi-Cha: Pesto Sauce; Cheese Spread

The Kitchen at Discretion: Sourdough Crostini, Strawberry Gastrique, Fresh Herbed Ricotta, Pickled Red Onions

Sawasdee: Papaya Salad; Orange Chicken Thai

El Chipotle: Fresh Chips, Guacamole and Red Salsa

Jeff Walls’ Family Honey: Sample honeys from a variety of floral sources their bees have worked including Soquel-Wildflower, Sage, Buckwheat, Pumpkin-Squash, Lima Bean, Tocalote Thistle & Vanilla (infused) Sage while checking out the observation hive where you can see the inner workings of a hive.

 

Bargetto                        Merlot and Pino Grigio

Soquel Vineyards       Trinity Rosso & Trinity Bianco

Hunter Hill                      2014 Merlot & 2013 Chardonnay

Poetic Cellars                2012 Cab Sauvignon & 2010 Pinot Noir

Wargin Wines               Sangiovese & Pinot Gris

Everett Family Farm      Soquel Cider

 

Location: Congregational Church of Soquel, 4951 Soquel Dr., Soquel

 

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Santa Cruz weekend highlights including Church Street Fair

Food from G’s Tacos, one of the vendors at Church Street Fair this weekend. Photo credit: G’s Tacos Facebook page

The summertime bounty of events in Santa Cruz continues; here are a few highlights for the weekend of Aug. 5-6, 2017, including refreshment options at the annual Church Street Fair.

 

Saturday & Sunday, Aug. 5-6: Church Street Fair

The Church Street Fair is part of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, which lasts until Aug. 12. As usual, there will be music, dance, art, food, and wine. Participating breweries and wineries include Corralitos Brewing (noon-3:30 p.m. Saturday), New Bohemia Brewing Co. (4-7 p.m. Saturday), Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing (noon-3:30 p.m. Sunday), Uncommon Brewers (4-7 p.m. Saturday), Storrs Winery, Odonata Wines, Soquel Vineyards, Rexford Winery, Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery and Birichino WinesVinocruz—which is opening in Soquel soon—will be pouring the wine both days. Falafel of Santa Cruz, the chefs from Prophet Elias Orthodox Church who put on the annual Greek festivals, food truck G’s Tacos, and Efi’s Dutch-Indo will sell food on both fair days. Food truck Ate3One will participate on Sunday.

Event organizers promise that “non-stop performances from global traditions will keep your spirits high as you select from a variety of local food purveyors, vintners and brewers, and explore the work of dozens of regional artists and craftspeople” (see site for entire performance schedule, which includes Flor de Cana and Broken English Saturday & Watsonville Taiko Sunday).

Location: Church Street between Chestnut & Cedar

 

Other highlights:

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Special Santa Cruz film, food & wine event includes Assembly, Vinocruz, and The Del Mar

Preview food from soon-to-be-opened Assembly at a Feb. 6 Santa Cruz event

Preview food from soon-to-be-opened Assembly at a Feb. 6 Santa Cruz event

There is a fabulous collaborative event in the Santa Cruz community next week; tickets are selling fast for this “Spinning Plates” evening of film, food, and wine.

As you may recall from my article earlier this month, the team behind Santa Cruz’s The Penny Ice Creamery and The Picnic Basket—Zach Davis and Kendra Baker—are about to open their first full-service restaurant, Assembly, with Executive Chef Carlo Espinas. On Thursday, Feb. 6 you can preview Assembly’s food and watch an award-winning restaurant-related documentary film, “Spinning Plates.” The event will also include samples from The Penny Ice Creamery and The Picnic Basket, and Vinocruz is pouring wine that evening.

When you purchase a ticket online (see information at The Nick/Del Mar web site), you can choose to buy a ticket that includes the film, food and wine ($24) or just the film and food ($18). You also select which time you’d like to enter for the refreshments: 6:30, 6:50, or 7:10 p.m. The movie will be screened at 8 p.m.

Ike Jablon, Director of Marketing & Special Events for Nickelodeon Theatres (this encompasses The Nick, Del Mar & Aptos Cinema), is excited about the event and the community’s response to it (as of press time, the 6:30 & 6:50 admission times had already sold out and the last time is quickly approaching sell-out status). “I’m looking to have our three theatres collaborate as much as possible with other locally owned businesses in the area. When we found out about the film ‘Spinning Plates,’ it seemed like a perfect fit for us to work with Kendra and Zach.” Jablon adds that since the film is about the creativity and perseverance it takes to own and run a restaurant, it aligns perfectly with the team that has worked so hard and opened two Penny Ice Creameries, the Penny Kiosk Downtown, The Picnic Basket and soon Assembly.

Davis shares Jablon’s excitement. “We’re huge fans of The Nick/Del Mar and thrilled to be putting this event together with them,” he says. “It’s really special to be bringing The Penny, Picnic Basket and Assembly together under one roof. The Assembly portion of the food will be indicative not only of Carlo’s menu and style, but also of his excitement about getting involved in the community outside of Assembly’s four walls.”

An update on Assembly: As of January 30, 2014, the opening date of this highly anticipated restaurant (it’s going to be the largest in Santa Cruz, seating 100 diners!) is set for February 25th.

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Downtown Santa Cruz Tuesday Food and Wine Specials include Pacific Thai, Vinocruz, Hula’s

Restaurant Hula's in Downtown Santa Cruz

The Downtown Association of Santa Cruz has been coordinating a “Tuesday specials” promotion for some time now with many restaurants and food and wine vendors participating.

Selected Tuesday specials each week:

Pacific Thai offers $1 off Thai teas and $1-2 off entrees that are “Thai-titled” (dine in only). If you haven’t tried this restaurant, I highly recommend it – Pacific Thai offers friendly service plus fresh, delicious food including first-rate Tom Kah (Coconut Milk) soup available with your choice of tofu, chicken, prawns, or mixed seafood. Note: the soup doesn’t have “Thai” in its title so it’s not discounted on Tuesdays, but it’s well worth the investment (and reasonably priced). Another bonus of this restaurant:  you can see beautiful fruit carvings by employee Petcharee Tamawong; read about her carvings.

Location: 1319 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, (831) 420-1700

If you’re a wine lover, you’re in luck: On Tuesdays, the popular, well-stocked wine shop and wine bar Vinocruz offers two wines for $5 per glass from 4-6:30pm. Since 2005, Vinocruz has showcased wine from the Santa Cruz Mountains. It offers more than 200 wines from 70 local wineries. Daily tasting flights are available and the selections change weekly. Vinocruz is also right next to the Museum of Art and History www.santacruzmah.org., which offers 2-for-1 admission on Tuesdays.

Location: Vinocruz —Abbott Square off of Cooper Street between Pacific and Front, (831) 426-VINO (8466)

Museum of Art and History—705 Front Street, (831) 429-1964

In a tropical mood? Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room has two Tuesday specials: kids eat free all night long, and adults can purchase $3 Longboard beers. I have enjoyed Hula’s several times; the food is flavorful, and hearty and refreshing at the same time.

Location: 221 Cathcart Street, (831) 426-4852 (HULA)

For those with a sweet tooth, the family-owned Pacific Cookie Company offers $1 off every 1/2 dozen cookies purchased after 5pm.

Location: 1203 Pacific Avenue, (831) 429-6905

See full list of Downtown Santa Cruz Tuesday specials – find discounts on other food and drinks plus books, toys, and more.

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