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Aug 22nd
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Dining

Restaurant dining and wine reviews for Santa Cruz County >
Menu Guide for Santa Cruz area.

Wine Reviews

Vine & Dine

Vine & Dine

Pat Paulsen Vineyards Moscato 2012

A very fun wine to try that won’t break the bank is Pat Paulsen Vineyards’ Moscato 2012 (about $15).

This crisp bright wine, which has a slightly sweet finish, is a good sipping wine—or pair it with spicy foods and desserts. It exemplifies the delicious fruit and floral nature of the Muscat family of grapes—and it’s available at It’s Wine Tyme in Capitola Village. Pat Paulsen Vineyards also makes an inexpensive Sauvignon Blanc for about $16 which you can try at Vino Prima wine bar at the end of the Municipal Wharf. Pat Paulsen Vineyards’ local contact is Dennis Walker: [email protected] or visit patpaulsenvineyards.com. 

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Dining Reviews

More than Fortune Cookies

More than Fortune Cookies

When a young man of Vietnamese descent inquired as to whether there was decent pho noodle soup in the area. I sent him to Asian Express in the Capitola Mall near Togo’s in the building that houses Ross. He told me later that he was quite pleased, and also turned me on to an Asian market on the Pleasure Point end of 41st Avenue.

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Dining Reviews

The Anti-Cupcake

The Anti-Cupcake

Santa Cruz resident Hannah Balliet puts her gluten-free dessert to the test on Lifetime’s ‘Supermarket Superstar’

Upon looking for ways to control her 9-year-old son’s facial and body tics and curb her own autoimmune disease, Santa Cruz resident Hannah Balliet turned to gluten-free foods. Much to her chagrin, she quickly found that few gluten-free desserts could satisfy her son’s sweet tooth.

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Wine Reviews

Beauregard Vineyards Chardonnay 2011

Beauregard Vineyards Chardonnay 2011

Winemaker Ryan Beauregard was raised around the aromas of sandy loam topsoils and fresh dew on the vines. Growing up at the Beauregard Ranch, where his great-grandfather planted the original vineyard in 1949, he remembers playing among the vines and all the different smells he experienced. “To this day, he says, “I can smell a wine in the cellar and know specifically where it came from on the home ranch.”

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Dining Reviews

Meals To Savor

Meals To Savor

Booka breathes new life into Aptos Village

When a new restaurant opens, word quickly spreads on its performance—with food, ambiance, warmth, courtesy and service all taken into account. From my first bite of food at Booka, which opened in the historic Bayview Hotel in Aptos, I detected unusual flavors with a different twist. Everything seems to come together here, and servers look the part dressed all in black with crisp white aprons and white folded napkins in their waistbands. It’s good to see this beautifully decorated restaurant doing well and the parking lot full.

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Wine Reviews

Artesana Winery Tannat 2011

Artesana Winery Tannat 2011

Artesana Winery is famous for its production of Tannat, Uruguay’s signature varietal. Although Uruguay does not always spring to mind when one thinks of wine-producing places, thanks to the country’s coastal Atlantic climate, which is often compared to that of Bordeaux, some very impressive wines are coming our way.

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Wine Reviews

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Pinot Noir 2011

Birthdays are always fun to celebrate, and it’s also a good time to open a bottle of vino or two. My Greek friend and I took our Russian friend to dinner at Center Street Grill for her birthday, and I brought along a bottle of Bruzzone Family Vineyards’ Pinot for us all to enjoy.

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Dining Reviews

Momentary Magic

Momentary Magic

Pop-Up Breakfast series creates fleeting hubs of artisan food and community-style dining

Breakfast may lay claim to the title of most important meal of the day, but now, thanks to a new Pop-Up Breakfast series in town, it can also boast of being the tastiest.

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Wine Reviews

Corralitos Wine Company

Corralitos Wine Company

Rio Del Rhone 2010
At a recent event put on by the Corralitos Wine Company in one of their vineyards next to the Deer Park Shopping Center, I tasted a superb 2010 Rio Del Rhone Rouge ($28) a Rhone-style red wine blend with grapes from Tehama County, and packing some mighty flavor. Beautifully balanced and with lots of dense fruit, this is an easy drinking wine that will pair with many different kinds of food.

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Dining Reviews

A Taste of Cambodia

A Taste of Cambodia

Scotts Valley’s Jia Tella’s offers diverse tastes and plenty of history

Often when dining out, I reach a satiety point, enjoy another bite or two, and take the rest of the meal home. Occasionally however, that bite or two turns into three, four, or more, as I just can’t seem to get enough of the array of unique flavors. That was my experience at Jia Tella’s, the Cambodian restaurant tucked into a corner of the neighborhood mall that houses Scotts Valley Market.

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Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

The Thought Form of Solution

It’s our last week of Leo before the sun enters Virgo (next Friday/Saturday). The planets this week make complex patterns and relationships (vibrational cadences and rhythms) with the outer planets, mainly Neptune—the planet that veils, obscures, protects and finally refines us. Neptune offers us entrance into a deeply spiritual sense of comfort and solace. Neptune is the personality ruler of Pisces (saviors of the world) and soul ruler of Cancer (world mother). “The fish goddesses who leapt from earth (Virgo) to water (Pisces) unitedly give birth to the Fish God (Christ, the Soul) who introduces the waters of life  (Neptune & Aquarius) into the ocean of substance (matter, mother bringing light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” (Esoteric Astrology).

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Cultures Collide

No surprises, but lots to savor in foodie film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’
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Foodie File: Kauboi

Japanese-Western themed unites sushi with whiskey and beefgrill

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.