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Jul 30th
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Dining

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

Dining Reviews

Steppe Inside

Steppe Inside

Oyunaa’s brings traditional Mongolian nomadic fare with a dash of Russia to midtown 

In the 1970s, Mongolian barbecue chains spread like wildfire into strip malls across America. I recall gathering my choice of raw vegetables from a buffet and handing them over to a cook who would add meat and stir-fry it on a griddle; rather like the American version of Japanese teppanyaki without the cleaver acrobatics and flying shrimp.

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Wine Reviews

DaVine Cellars

DaVine Cellars

Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Fandango in Pacific Grove is one of the most popular restaurants in the area. It has gained a fine reputation over the years due, in no small part, to the expertise of chef and owner Pierre Bain, who runs this upscale restaurant with his wife Marietta.

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Wine Reviews

Quinta Cruz

Quinta Cruz

Rabelo Dessert Wine 2007

When Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard makes wine, he goes all out to make sure it is the very best product in every way. He is a talented and dedicated winemaker who likes a challenge—and he gravitates toward the more adventurous wines.

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Dining Reviews

Fins To The Left

Fins To The Left

The long menu at Watsonville’s Cadillac Café offers sensory satisfaction 

At any time of year, I find visiting the rural landscape rejuvenating. On a recent drive down Freedom Boulevard, cows on a hillside freely grazed on newly greened grass, while bright bundles of persimmon orbs dangled from leafless branches.

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Dining Reviews

The Other White Meat

The Other White Meat

The Lean Chef reports that the American Heart Association has designated pork tenderloin a Heart-Healthy food. According to the USDA database, a cooked 3.5-ounce serving of the tenderloin has only 1.2 additional grams of fat compared to a skinless chicken breast. It’s also well-stocked with B-vitamins.

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Wine Reviews

Vine & Dine

Vine & Dine

Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is just around the corner and there are always last-minute gifts to buy—including the all-important little stocking stuffers. Here are a few suggestions of things you can buy locally that I’m sure your dear ones will love:

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Dining Reviews

Take a Break from the Kitchen

Take a Break from the Kitchen

Local chefs offer creative winter menus on December 25th

I was in college when my parents transferred to South Carolina, so for many holidays, it was just my grandparents and I. Although I once cooked a turkey dinner for them in my tiny apartment, on appliances older than I was, most of the time we celebrated at a restaurant. It was a treat having my grandparents to myself, watching the winter waves from the comfort of Ideal Bar and Grill.

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Wine Reviews

Mica Cellars

Mica Cellars

Cabernet Franc 2009 

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to start thinking about stocking up your wine rack with a few bottles of good local wine. As the weather gets colder, I always like to have some robust wines at hand, especially those that go with the heartier meals served over the holidays.

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Dining Reviews

Wrap It Up

Wrap It Up

Take Thai flavors to the beach, or enjoy the cozy atmosphere of To Thai For’s café

Although Capitola Village already is home to two Thai restaurants, To Thai For adds a unique element to the culinary cornucopia. More café than restaurant, by mid-day, owner Mona Prakrong had already filled numerous takeout orders for neighboring businesses. She also offers an array of specialty coffee drinks to rev the locals’ morning engines.

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Dining Reviews

New Brew in Town

New Brew in Town

In French, à santé, is a common toast which means “to health.” In Capitola, Sante Adairius is a craft brewery whose ales, in November, earned the People’s Choice Award at the West Coast Barrel Aged Beer Festival.

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Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 25

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
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Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

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

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.