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Jul 31st
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Dining

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

Dining Reviews

Eat and Meet

Eat and Meet

If preparing marvelous meals appeals to you, the Santa Cruz Mountains Gourmet Dinner Club allows you to explore the world of food and wine, as well as the opportunity to meet people throughout the county.

The SCMGDC will hold its annual membership drive and brunch on Sunday April 15 from noon until 3 p.m. in Ben Lomond. Reservations are required for the $15 event which will include a sampling of the members’ culinary skills. Wines will be available for purchase.

A shared supper table has long been a source of building communities. What began as a club for residents of the San Lorenzo Valley has expanded to include Aptos, Capitola, Live Oak, Santa Cruz, Bonny Doon and Redwood Estates.

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Wine Reviews

Bonny Doon Vineyard

Bonny Doon Vineyard

Contra 2009

 
It’s always exciting to find local wines in places out of town. My husband and I were in Palm Desert recently for the Paribas tennis tournament in Indian Wells—staying at one of the Marriott villas, complete with full kitchen. Although it’s fun to try the huge variety of wonderful restaurants in the area, we also like to prepare our own dinner now and again, so we stopped by Bristol Farms grocery store for something to cook out on the grill. 
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Dining Reviews

Scrumptious Send-off

Scrumptious Send-off

 

Downtown's Oswald continues to combine flavorful seasonal ingredients with appetizing presentations 
 
This wasn't the first time my son has said goodbye to Santa Cruz. Going away to college, from my perspective, was significant, but landing a job with a promising career path and securing an apartment in San Francisco, I consider monumental. 
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Dining Reviews

Beyond Beef

Beyond Beef

Aptos Burger Company is approaching it's 11th birthday. It's located in the Rancho Del Mar shopping center, which will undergo big changes after its recent purchase by Safeway.

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Dining Reviews

The True Olive Connection

The True Olive Connection

A Taste of Things to Come

When The True Olive Connection opened up in Downtown Santa Cruz in November 2010 with a fine collection of olive oils from all over the world, the store was an instant hit. It filled a niche for shoppers and tourists – providing a place to taste gourmet olive oil in a beautiful setting. 

Olive oil has been a staple of Mediterranean and other cuisines for hundreds of years, but is now showing up in pantries across the United States. As people become more health conscious, the days of cooking in unhealthy fats are dwindling.

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Dining Reviews

Tea For Three

Tea For Three

 

Delightful atmosphere, goodies, and service make a trip to Bloomsbury Tea Room memorable 
 
It seemed an appropriate venue for a reunion of two beautiful young women who first met in daycare two decades ago. For the first time, my daughter had missed a Santa Cruz Christmas due to obligations in the county swathed in Dodger Blue. Finally able to sneak north, we got fancy and headed to Capitola's Bloomsbury Tea Room.
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Dining Reviews

From the Porch

From the Porch

Start saving your eggshells, because it's almost time to plant tomatoes. Love Apple Farm's annual heirloom seedling sale is under way at a new venue; Ivy's Porch in Scotts Valley.

 
 

Ivy's porch is a one-acre collective, on Scotts Valley Drive just south of Victor Square, specializing in home decor, antiques, and collectibles. Beautiful gardens feature topiaries and statuary. The Farm has planted a garden which showcases attractive combinations of ornamental and edible plants.

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Wine Reviews

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Trout Gulch Vineyards

 

La Belle Petite Poulette Grenache Rosé 2010
 
I love writing about Rosé wines. They are making such a comeback from days of yesteryear, and I am thrilled about all the good ones being made locally.
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Wine Reviews

Villa del Monte Winery

Villa del Monte Winery

 

Pinot Noir 2010

There are times when a really good bottle of wine gets your attention. I first tasted this lovely Pinot in January at the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association’s Wine & Crab Taste Off, and it’s very impressive.  
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Dining Reviews

Hopping Happy

Hopping HappyBoulder Creek Brewery and Cafe has an expanded beer selection and a delightfully flavored menu to go with it

About a year and a half ago, Executive Chef Judd Anthony took the kitchen's helm at Boulder Creek Brewery and Cafe. Their Facebook page is constantly updated with specials, the latest brews, and key market finds that would soon find their way to the table.
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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

 

Muns Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir

This vivacious cherry-pink Rosé is a simply beautiful summer wine.