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May 24th
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Food & Drink

Dining Reviews

Pins and Needles

Pins and Needles

Ever eat a cactus? Many parts are edible. Learn how to cook this plant, and taste entries from the cactus cook-off at Santa Cruz’s Festival del Nopal in the street in front of the downtown library on Sunday, July 22.

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Wine Reviews

Storrs Winery

Storrs Winery

Chardonnay 2010 - Gold Medal Winner at San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 


One of the best-known wineries in Santa Cruz County is Storrs. Their wines are easy to find in most local supermarkets and liquor stores, and you will see them on many a restaurant’s wine list. And the reason is – they make excellent wine that is reasonably priced for the quality product you get.

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Dining Reviews

Cuisine With A View

Cuisine With A View

Nearby—and perfect for a staycation getaway—the Carmel Hyatt Highlands charms with its world-class food, wine and more 

Situated in a magical spot on the California coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the stunning Carmel Hyatt Highlands offers the guest much more than simply an upscale place to stay.

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Wine Reviews

Zayante Vineyards

Zayante Vineyards

Chardonnay 2010

And a Life on the Ocean Wave By Josie Cowden Sailing out to sea on the Chardonnay II with a glass of Chardonnay in hand is wine-tasting at its best. The two Chardonnays go together like bunches of grapes ripening on a vine.

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Dining Reviews

Finger Food

Finger Food

Small plates at Bonny Doon Vineyard's restaurant are big on fresh flavors

It may have been April Fool's day, but it was no joke. Randall Grahm, winemaker and self-proclaimed "President-for-Life" of Bonny Doon Vineyard, announced the renaming of his Cellar Door Restaurant and Tasting Room. It is now called Le Cigare Volant, in honor of his winery's flagship wine, first released in 1984.

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Dining Reviews

Freshly Baked and Gluten-free

Freshly Baked and Gluten-free

One of my favorite places downtown is the sidewalk that passes in front of Pacific Cookie Company. The sugary aroma of cookies baking draws me through the doorway, and after choosing one of my favorite flavors I head back onto that sidewalk and slowly savor its comforting crumbliness.

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Wine Reviews

Hallcrest Vineyards

Hallcrest Vineyards

Pinot Noir 2008—A Lovely Libation

There are Pinots and then there are Pinots. When John Schumacher, winemaker and owner of Hallcrest Vineyards, makes a Pinot Noir, the result is usually a knock-your-socks-off wine. And the 2008 Pinot ($48) most certainly falls into that category.

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Dining Reviews

Doing The Diner

Doing The Diner

Variety and accessibility make Santa Cruz Diner a popular destination

A yellow banner hangs from the roof at the Santa Cruz Diner announcing that "Guy ate here." This would be a reference to Guy Fieri, host of Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Clearly, this give owners Chip and Kim Kirchner something to cheer about.

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Dining Reviews

Hopping Happy

Hopping Happy

Last weekend we were in San Francisco and stumbled across one of the five locations of Pizza Orgasmica. Besides wolfing down a pretty tasty salami, sausage and mushroom pizza, we really enjoyed sampling their craft beers.

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Wine Reviews

Odonata Wines

Odonata Wines

Rosé of Petite Sirah 2011

The opening weekend of Odonata’s new tasting room at the beginning of May was a huge success. With an abundance of delicious food catered by Nonno’s Restaurant in Redwood Estates, and a packed house of customers trying Denis Hoey’s fabulous wines, it’s on the cards that this is going to be a hot new spot.

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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