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Oct 01st
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Dining

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

Dining Reviews

A Carnivore’s Dilemma

A Carnivore’s Dilemma

Sid’s Smokehouse and Grill brings dry-rubbed and slow-smoked meats back to Aptos

Sid the bulldog, looking quite dapper in his spiked red collar, glances at you with a fun and mischievous look in his eyes. As the namesake and mascot of Sid’s Smokehouse and Grill, which opened last month where SmoQe previously resided, he probably knows the secret seasonings.

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Wine Reviews

Muns Vineyard

Muns Vineyard

Pinot Noir 2007

Cooking is not one of my greatest skills, so when the opportunity arose to polish up my culinary prowess by attending a cooking class, I grabbed a bottle of wine to take with me for fortification.

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Dining Reviews

Bulli for You

Bulli for You

A creative collection of recipes from one of the world's best chefs graces the menu at Haute Enchilada

A visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium offers sightings of a giant Pacific octopus, a new jellyfish exhibit, and seahorses better disguised than Dana Carvey.For me the journey is enhanced by a stop at one of Moss Landing's unique eateries.. Previously a bustling antiques marketplace, the center is now revitalized by the Haute Enchilada Cafe and Galerias, with local artwork on display and an artist's reception on the third Sunday of the month. 

 

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Dining Reviews

Lemony Sip-it

Lemony Sip-it

In the back yard of my grandparents’ Live Oak home was a lemon tree whose branches bent under the weight of a multitude of huge thick-skinned fruits. Gramma adored her morning glass of ice cold tomato juice with salt, pepper, and plenty of freshly squeezed lemon.

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Wine Reviews

Cinnabar Winery

Cinnabar Winery

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.

 

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Dining Reviews

The Pork Club

The Pork Club

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.

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Wine Reviews

Copious Winery

Copious Winery

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.

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Dining Reviews

Picnic Season

Picnic Season

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.

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Dining Reviews

Oodles of Noodles and More

Oodles of Noodles and More

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.

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Wine Reviews

Dancing Creek Winery & Wine Events

Dancing Creek Winery & Wine Events

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.

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On the Waterfront

As the wharf celebrates its centennial, a personal reflection on its essential place in Santa Cruz’s history

 

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs this year during Libra, the sign of creating right relations with all aspects life and with earth’s kingdoms. We contemplate (the Libra meditation) forgiveness, which means, “to give for another.” Forgiveness is not pardon. It’s a sacrifice (fire in the heart, giving from the heart). Forgiveness is giving up for the good of the other. This is the law of evolution (the path of return).

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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New Capitola bakery takes gluten-free goods to the next level

 

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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

 

Apricot Wine for Dessert

Thomas Kruse Winery, a participant in the new Santa Clara Wine Trail, has been around for a long time—since 1971, to be exact. When our little group arrived to try some wine at the Kruses’ low-key tasting room, Thomas Kruse and his wife Karen were there to greet us. Theirs is a small operation, and they’re proud to offer quality wine at affordable prices. “Because we are small and low-tech, it’s easy to relate to the whole winemaking process,” says Karen—and the Kruses take pride in making wine “just like it has been made for centuries.”