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Dec 17th
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Food & Drink

Dining Reviews

Country Family Buffet

Country Family Buffet

I was recently encouraged to try the all-you-can eat weekend brunch buffet at Mollie’s Country Kitchen in Scotts Valley. It’s a farmhouse-style feast, and with the recent spate of beautiful mornings, the outdoor seating is a refreshing sojourn.

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Wine Reviews

Vine & Dine: Poetic Cellars

Vine & Dine: Poetic Cellars

Syrah 2006—A Well-versed
Wine and Poetry Lover’s Dream

Poetic Cellars makes the most romantic wines. With a verse or two of beautiful poetry on every label, mostly poems of love and romance, this is the perfect wine to open up over dinner with your sweetheart. I particularly love winemaker Katy Lovell’s Syrah ($28) with its voluptuous velvety textures and dark fruit flavors.

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Dining Reviews

The Pleasure of Süda

The Pleasure of Süda

Eastside venue wins points for its imaginative menu, stellar service and welcoming atmosphere

Süda is a happening place. As my friend Jan and I were enjoying dinner, every table in the restaurant filled up and nearly all the outdoor seating was occupied as well. Located in the Pleasure Point area, Süda is a magnet for just about everybody hanging out in that neck of the woods.

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Wine Reviews

Vine & Dine: Pine Ridge Vineyards

Vine & Dine: Pine Ridge Vineyards

Chenin Blanc + Viognier 2012

On a recent trip to Palm Springs, I came across Pine Ridge Vineyards’ Chenin Blanc + Viognier at a new downtown restaurant called Lulu. Superbly decorated in Hollywood-esque style and with a very hip vibe, this California bistro is one of the hottest new dining spots—and the Chenin Blanc was just the right wine to pair with some of Lulu’s Happy Hour tapas-style food. And eating outdoors in the desert’s warm night air makes a chilled white wine taste even better.

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Dining Reviews

May Day in the Alps

May Day in the Alps

An extensive repertoire of German favorites brings us back to Tyrolean Inn

When my daughter returns to Santa Cruz from her new home in Los Angeles, she comments on how quiet it is here. It was even more so during a trip to Ben Lomond, when we set out for a sample of her second favorite macaroni and cheese. Sitting at the front of the Tyrolean Inn restaurant, the green tarp with plastic windows kept out the chill as well as the noise of an occasional passing car. A new draft beer celebrating the German spring, Maibok ($6) was refreshing, served in a hefty glass stein, but specialty cocktails are unique as well.

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Wine Reviews

Vine and Dine: Manzoni Vineyards

Vine and Dine: Manzoni Vineyards

Chardonnay 2011

It’s nice to get out of Dodge, as they say, and indulge in completely different surroundings—even if it’s just an hour’s drive down the coast. My husband and I love to go to Carmel and Monterey, and over time we have stayed in an amazing assortment of interesting hotels and bed & breakfasts places.

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Dining Reviews

Step on up to the Bar

Step on up to the Bar

It’s time to dive into the healthy array of local salad buffets

Here in Santa Cruz County, we are privileged to have farm-fresh greens year-round. Making a nightly salad at home is a snap since the emergence of pre-washed greens, and vinaigrette dressing is made easily with your favorite vinegar and small spoon of Dijon mustard whisked with a bit of olive oil.

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Wine Reviews

Vine and Dine: Cliff Lede Vineyards

Vine and Dine: Cliff Lede Vineyards

A wine to try in Napa: Sauvignon Blanc 2011

My stepdaughter and her husband, Julie and Chris, live in Walnut Creek, and my husband and I often go to stay with them in this beautiful part of California. Handily located close to Napa, the four of us went wine-tasting there recently—with a stop at Cliff Lede Vineyards’ tasting room for Julie and Chris to pick up their wine shipment. I particularly love Sauvignon Blanc, and Cliff Lede’s 2011 vintage is superbly crafted and absolutely delicious.

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Dining Reviews

The Pizza Grail

The Pizza Grail

Lunchtime at Mama Mia's brings tasteful twists to the classics

For more than 25 years Mama Mia's has been delighting San Lorenzo Valley residents, who rave about the pizza. I like pizza. Wood-fired, gas-fired, barbecued, thin crust, deep-dish, you name it; as long as it's well-made. But I have this memory of a pizza from a long-gone Italian restaurant in Cupertino.

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Wine Reviews

Vine and Dine: Husch Vineyards

Vine and Dine: Husch Vineyards

Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Looking for a lively Sauvignon Blanc that will pair well with a wide array of foods? Then Husch Vineyards’ 2011 should do the trick. With its zesty aromas of guava, lime, passion fruit and grapefruit, this is an easy-to-drink wine that will go well with global foods such as Mexican, Greek, Thai or Indian.

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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Understanding Sagittarius and its Symbols

Sagittarius is the sign of direction. The arrows of Sag are sharp, and pointed in a specific direction. The archer guides the arrows toward a specific goal. The goal is truth and justice—the virtues of Sagittarius. The sun transmitting Sagittarius light to Earth has a specific goal—that of justice, truth and right judgment. The sun is the father aspect. Each of us, son/daughter of the father, is to follow the father’s (sun’s) direction each month (different tasks provided in each sign). In Sag we set goals through our imagination (mind). We gather all energies and previous experiences (the food of life) and aim the arrows of our imagination toward our goals. Our imagination releases a light from our head center. In meditation, Jupiter, the lord (ruler) of Sag, provides direction, guidance and expansion. When a sense of direction is rightly developed, purpose comes forth and the personality aligns with the divine plan (God’s thoughts). We are not to look hither and thither for direction. We follow the direction (arrows) set for us by the Soul. Thought has power. When the imaginative mind releases (like arrows) such power in a given direction, the goal is reached. Arjuna, a Sagittarius student, was given right direction by Lord Krishna (the Teacher). Consequently Arjuna fulfilled the plan. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna (the Teacher) of warrior-student Arjuna, says “I am the month of Sagittarius. I am the Teacher and the Teaching.” Artemis/Diana are the female Sagittarius deities. Sag is the photographer. Sag’s focus brings forth expanded awareness and consciousness through Jupiter, the planet of great generosity and love (Ray 2) leading to wisdom. We focus on what presents itself. Sunday, Uranus squares Pluto again (sixth time). It’s the revolutionary transformative agent initiating us into the Aquarian Age.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Unhappy Feet

Novice hiker hits the road to redemption in ‘Wild’
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to celebrate the holidays?

I went up to a Santa and asked what he wanted for Christmas, and it turned out that he was a hired homeless man. It was really crazy, but really rewarding in the end. Hani Esengio, Santa Cruz, Waitress

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire