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May 24th
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Food & Drink

Dining Reviews

A Whole Lot of Heart

A Whole Lot of Heart

Süda’s inventive menu brings pleasure to Portola

Süda means heart in Estonian, and at the newest restaurant in Pleasure Point, I found a lot to love. It is no surprise, that with seasoned owners Mike Pitt of Motiv, and Dan Voskoboynikov of Harbor Café, it has quickly gained a following. The menu is delightful, and the efficient, knowledgeable, and energetic staff, attired professionally in black, worked together as a well-practiced team.

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Dining Reviews

Late Risers

Late Risers

Earlier in the summer, Süda served breakfast. With the introduction of dinner, early morning meals were discontinued in order to focus on the other two. However, when lunch service begins at 11 a.m., some of the most popular morning dishes are served until 2 p.m., perfect for a weekend brunch.

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Wine Reviews

Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery

Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011—A brand new release from Soquel’s Hunter Hill

I first tasted Hunter Hill’s Sauvignon Blanc at the Capitola Art & Wine Festival in September. On a particularly hot day for our neck of the woods, this was perhaps one of the lightest and most refreshing wines around, and I went back for another tasting.

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Dining Reviews

A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True

Seabright’s Tramonti makes pizza and pasta the Italian way

Tramonti is a town on the Italian Amalfi Coast in the region of Campania, known for its mozzarella, especially bufala, made from the milk of water buffalos. The town now lends its name to a pizza and pasta restaurant in the Seabright neighborhood that is the product of a dream at least a decade in the making.

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Dining Reviews

Is Bigger Better?

Is Bigger Better?

I finally had my fresh Jack O’lantern pumpkin purée recipe down to a science when I read that the smaller sugar pies were a better choice. So I conducted a head-to-head competition.

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Wine Reviews

Frederick William Cellars

Frederick William Cellars

Syrah 2009—A Beautiful Wine to Savor

Aptos resident Fred Scherrer is very involved in the wine business—both making it and marketing it, but it was a long path that led to that point. Scherrer so loved good wine and wanted to make it under his own label that he volunteered at Kathryn Kennedy Winery for two years, working with one of the best winemakers in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Marty Mathis. “Marty taught me to make wine and emphasized the key issues when doing so, and some common pitfalls to avoid,” says Scherrer.

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Dining Reviews

Buon Cibo

Buon Cibo

Hearty platefuls of creative Italian fare continue to fuel the success of Café Mare 

My stepdaughter and son-in-law came to stay for the weekend recently, so my husband and I took them to dinner at Café Mare for some tasty Italian fare. Owned by Jean Pierre Iuliano from Calabria and Andrea Mura from the island of Sardinia, their passion to make authentic Italian stems from growing up in an environment of homemade pasta, excellent olive oil, flavorful plump olives and rich sauces.

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Wine Reviews

Vine and Dine

Vine and Dine

 

Solaire Restaurant in the new Hotel Paradox  

I am so excited about the opening of Hotel Paradox. I was taken on a tour about two weeks before it officially opened by Executive Chef Ross McKee and Food & Beverage Outlets Supervisor Guy Freshwater and was greatly impressed. 

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Dining Reviews

Welcome To Michaella’s Kitchen

Welcome To Michaella’s Kitchen

Capitola Coffee Roasters finds a comfy new home at Capitola Book Café

Capitola Coffee Roasters and Patisserie has found a new lease on life at the Capitola Book Café. Owner Michaella Olavarri, pâtissier extraordinaire, noted on the restaurant’s Facebook page recently that she has never been happier.

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Wine Reviews

Pierce Ranch Vineyards

Pierce Ranch Vineyards

Albariño 2009

Trying a lovely bottle of wine in a new restaurant is always high on my list of things to do. My husband and I spent a night in Carmel at the Hofsas House, a delightful boutique hotel about five minutes’ walk from the center of town, and as we were looking for an interesting place to eat, the hotel recommended Mundaka—an upbeat little tapas restaurant with a terrific vibe.

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Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
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Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival