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Jan 26th
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Food & Drink

Wine Reviews

Pelican Ranch Winery

Pelican Ranch WineryChardonnay 2008

Lindwood’s Bar & Grill at Chaminade puts on a great Happy Hour. Meeting up with friends at this lovely resort is always a pleasure—especially in the more casual setting of Linwood’s. Happy Hour features all drinks for $5. And the good news is that Daylight Saving Time starts on March 11 so we can now enjoy longer days on the outdoor terrace of Chaminade.
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Dining Reviews

Touring Italy

Touring ItalyFrom simple to exotic, the fresh flavors and house-made sauces at Cafe Mare are memorable 

Cafe Mare at lunchtime is brightly lit by a sea of white tablecloths reflecting light from the expansive arc of windows. It wasn't busy mid-week, with a few people at the bar eating or enjoying cups of espresso.

The menu has an incredible amount of choices. Salads ($7 to $10) include arugula with truffle oil, roasted pancetta and goat cheese, with choice of prawns, chicken or salmon (add $4).
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Dining Reviews

Let's be Friends

Let's be FriendsIn the car, I munched on a slender French-style baguette. The flavor and crispy crust took me back to a breakfast table in Montbéliard, where family members tore off sections of fresh loaves, smeared them with unsalted butter and strawberry preserves, and dipped them in bowls of milk-laced tea.
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Wine Reviews

The Organic Wine Works

The Organic Wine WorksBountiful Blush 2010

With spring just around the corner, it’s time to bring out the picnic wines. And by that I mean the fruity Rosés, Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs. As the weather warms up, people tend to gravitate more toward Rosés and white wines than the heavier reds.
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Dining Reviews

What Freedom Brings

What Freedom BringsFreedom's El Azteca has plenty of surprises on its menu, including healthy ones

We headed into the hills above Freedom Boulevard in need of some amazingly delicious honey from Pacific Crest Apiaries. Hungry as well, we noticed a stack of business cards for El Azteca, located just down the road, and asked co-owner Dana Mumm about it. She gushed about the family and the food, and suggested we try grilled shrimp soft tacos, which aren't on the menu.
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Dining Reviews

Fill Me Up

Fill Me UpThe owners of the Chevron gas station on the corner of Park Avenue and Soquel Drive have taken the notion of a quick stop to the next echelon.

A recent remodel added a car wash and a delightful Victorian-inspired building which houses AJ's Market and Natural Foods.
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Wine Reviews

Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery

Hunter Hill Vineyard & WineryBarbera 2010 and Center Street Grill  

With our bottle of Hunter Hill Barbera in hand, we head to Center Street Grill for dinner. I often take my own wine to restaurants—especially if I have one I really want to try—and pay the corkage fee. Center Street Grill is a restaurant we visit on a regular basis. I lived in Greece for 13 years, so I particularly love the Mediterranean-influenced food prepared by owner Danny Voutos. Voutos is of Greek descent, so he grew up appreciating olive oil-based cuisine, and flavoring food with fresh herbs and spices.
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Dining Reviews

Ancient Maize

Ancient MaizeA pre-Colombian soup of Mesoamerican shelled corn continues to nourish and warm us centuries later

The Aztec and other ancient cultures in Mesoamerica gave us many things. For instance, the words chocolate and avocado originated in the Nahuatl language, as did pozole [poh-soh-ley].
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Dining Reviews

Deals on Meals

Deals on MealsIt's a one-man-band in the kitchen at Chubby's in Scotts Valley. Owner and Chef Dino Saabedra took the small skillet in hand, and with a deft flick of his wrist my eggs were airborne to achieve over-easy perfection.
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Wine Reviews

Byington Vineyard & Winery

Byington Vineyard & Winery2010 Rosé Saignee

High in the Los Gatos hills and along the winding Bear Creek Road is Byington Winery. I have been there many times and always find it a pleasurable experience. The occasion this time was a picnic organized by a friend, which included wine tasting and a guided tour of the vineyard and very interesting cellar where events are held.
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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

What’s old is cutting-edge again in Felton

 

How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.