Mercury Rising 2009
Cowden Center Street Grill has started up its Thursday night wine flights for the spring and summer months. Before having dinner at this lovely restaurant recently, I enjoyed a tasting of Cinnabar wines.
El Salchichero delivers a passionate mix of meaty, mouthwatering adventures
The first rule of Pork Club is: you do not talk about Pork Club, at least not to your vegetarian friends. Held after dark at one end of the Westside Swift Street Courtyard complex, the classes at El Salchichero have the feeling of clandestine meetings.
Sauvignon Blanc 2010
By Josie Cowden Right next door to the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz is the Backstage Lounge—and this place is doing some fun stuff these days. An event I attended recently at this cozy little restaurant was a dinner put on by Moveable Feast. Marisa Johnston, personal chef and catering expert, organized a sumptuous spread of three courses—all perfectly prepared in Backstage’s compact kitchen. As the guests mingled and munched on delicious appetizers, my friend and I enjoyed a pouring of Copious Sauvignon Blanc that I had taken along to have with dinner. Checking out the menu online ahead of time, my friend and I both selected fish as a main course, and the Sauvignon Blanc was a perfect pairing.
Tucked into a corner of the red clay-roofed East Cliff Village Shopping Center is a little cafe called Deli-Delicious. The building may be aging, the interior floors may be covered with heirloom linoleum topped with generations of paint, but the sandwiches are new, fresh, and uncommon.
Kao Sook brings mild to spicy versions of Thai specialties to Scotts Valley
A second Thai restaurant has opened on Scotts Valley's Mt. Hermon Road. Kao Sook recently took the place of Bruno's BBQ's previous home in the Safeway shopping center, and after a nice refurbishment, Thai food is served all day at this little sister of Sabieng.
Late for the Dance – Zinfandel Dessert Wine 2009
Don’t you love the name “Late for the Dance”! A couple, pictured in silhouette on Dancing Creek’s distinctive label, conjures up a picture of having dinner out, some nice wine – and then finishing off the evening with a voluptuous touch of sweet Zinfandel. With a tooth for all things dulce, I love to end a meal with something sweet, and a dessert wine gives one that little honey-in-the-mouth fix. Dancing Creek Winery owners, Jim and Robin Boyle, have made a lovely wine here in Late for the Dance. It has just the right amount of sweetness without being cloying. And with a piece of chocolate, it’s just divine.
The flavors at Freedom's Taqueria Mi Tiera are worth the ride
On a busy section of Freedom Boulevard, a Taco Bell and Wendy's are intermixed with an auto repair business and strip malls. It's a changing neighborhood, a mixture of old and new. Across the street from Taqueria mi Tiera, which has been open for 20 years, sits the historic Pioneer Cemetery. Next door is La Mana Panaderia, while further down the block a shiny Mi Puebla grocery store offers its own baked goods.
Mix together one part doctorate in cancer biology, one part high-tech strategist and two parts foodie, and, serendipitously, you get tofu misozuke, an ancient Japanese fermented tofu which is traditionally enjoyed in small tastes with a glass of sake.
The husband and wife team of Dang Vu and Oanh Nguyen developed their passion for food from the traditional dishes prepared by their families. Their company, Rau Om, is named for an herb that grows in Southeast Asian rice paddies and is used in their Vietnamese cuisine.
Pinot Noir 2009
Spencer’s Restaurant in Palm Springs is a very popular dining destination—with four-star American cuisine and a “French Pacific Rim” influence. Friends had told us about it, so we headed there for dinner last month when we were staying close by in the California desert for a few days. I took along a bottle of Savannah-Chanelle Pinot Noir 2009 to write about—and because I love to introduce wines from our Santa Cruz Mountains appellation to out-of-town restaurants.
Clouds Downtown now serves a creative combination of Sunday brunch dishes, as well as three day-long happy hours
Heading downtown for brunch on a Sunday morning has always been a pleasant treat. And now you can enjoy it on Church Street, where Clouds' Sunday brunch is served with a four-piece jazz ensemble.