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Jul 29th
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Food & Drink

Dining Reviews

Movin' on Up

Movin' on Up

Ristorante Avanti's focus on local, sustainable ingredients continues to shine at its new location

With its move a few blocks up Mission Street, Santa Cruz’s revered Ristorante Avanti gains 30 additional seats and a full bar. Even with the extra capacity, it still took three tries to get a coveted weeknight reservation. You can’t blame the place for being so popular.

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Wine Reviews

Pleasant Valley Vineyards

Pleasant Valley Vineyards

Austin Craig Zinfandel 2008 —Big Red Zinfandel 

Looking for a Zinfandel that’s bold, voluptuous and deliciously good? Then let me introduce you to Pleasant Valley Vineyards’ 2008 Austin Craig Zin. Here’s a sinful Zinful if ever there was one. From the time that Craig and Cathy Handley purchased Pleasant Valley Vineyards in 1996, they have been producing some excellent wines—and the 2008 Grand Reserve Zin ($40) is one of them.

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Dining Reviews

Variety, the Spice of Life

Variety, the Spice of Life

Hearty servings, stir-fries with still-crisp produce, and a friendly atmosphere make Canton Chinese a comforting destination

It's been about five years since Canton Chinese Restaurant moved slightly up 41st Avenue to a shiny new mustard-colored stand-alone building. And just recently, the restaurant, run for years by various members of the Leung family, obtained a full liquor license.

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Dining Reviews

Three-peat

Three-peat

It was a filling afternoon meal with plenty of vegetables, protein, and even an adult beverage, with a tab that came to just $12.96.

It was the "Three and three at 3:00" Happy Hour at the Dragon Lounge at Canton Restaurant, which is offered daily and all day on Wednesdays.

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Wine Reviews

Vino Tabi Winery

Vino Tabi Winery

2008 California Red Wine Blend

Once a month I get together with my British group of women friends, and it usually the one who is hosting makes dinner for the group. My friend Joanna has gone on an organic vegan diet so the food she prepared for us all was ultra healthy with spinach from her garden and palm sugar in the dessert instead of white sugar.

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Dining Reviews

Have It Your Way

Have It Your Way

Carbonero Café & Catering brings its fresh and wholesome gourmet repertoire to Scotts Valley

My visit to Carbonero Café and Catering felt eerily familiar. Winding down a narrow tree-lined road, I followed the reddish umbrellas into what was previously a cafeteria for Seagate Technologies, and now home to Fox. I spent almost half of my life in buildings like this, where patches in the shiny lacquered concrete floors spoke of bygone product lines.

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Dining Reviews

Good to Go

Good to Go

One thing I love about Santa Cruz is the plethora of neighborhood markets. I can walk to mine for a gallon of milk or missing ingredient faster than I can drive there. Capitola’s Grady’s Market is uniquely situated to not only serve its neighbors, but to supply visitors headed toward the Esplanade and beach.

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Wine Reviews

Naumann Vineyards

Naumann Vineyards

Tre Rosso Cali 2009—Three Reds of California

Don Naumann, winemaker and owner of Naumann Vineyards, has produced an interesting wine called Tre Rosso Cali, which translates to three reds of California. This is his first release of this particular blend of three red varietals—Merlot 60 percent; Cabernet Sauvignon 30 percent; and Cabernet Franc 10 percent—and it comes together beautifully.

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Dining Reviews

Dock Days of Summer

Dock Days of Summer

Aldo’s dishes up old-school Italian and fashionable California fare

I usually go to Aldo’s for sunny summer morning breakfasts. There is plenty of activity to behold from its tables on the dock. Fishing boats and kayaks drift by, while cormorants and seals dive for their sustenance. My favorite meal is the pesto, sour cream and Swiss cheese omelet ($10.75) with raisin fugasa toast, and the best hash browns I’ve found anywhere.

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Dining Reviews

Pierogi Party

Pierogi Party

Recently, friends invited us over to make pierogies; butter-fried, empanada-like peasant food stuffed with potatoes, onions, and cheese. It became an opportunity to connect with my lost heritage. 

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The Binding of Edmund McMillen

How a Santa Cruz designer created one of the most unlikely hits in video game history

 

Sun in Leo, Rosy Star, Venus and Uranus Retrograde

Three major celestial events occur this week. Wednesday, the Sun enters Leo, highlighting the heart center of everyone. Leo is a sign of deep sensitivity (along with Cancer). Wednesday is also the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Saturday, July 25, Venus turns stationary retrograde at 0 Virgo (progressed Regulus, the Law, Hall of Records). Venus retrogrades for 44 days and nights, forming one petal of a five-pointed rosy star (pentagram) in the sky (five retrogrades over eight years = star). Venus retrograde turns values upside down. Our usual sense of beauty, values, the real price of things, relationships—all turn into a bundle of confusion. We don’t seem to know anything. Luxury goods are mispriced, values are jumbled, we wonder who that person is we’re in relationship with. We don’t know where our money is or where it’s gone. Venus, in daily life, represents values (resources, money, possessions and quality of relationships). Venus retrograde asks, “What do I value?” Venus retrograde puts us in touch with what has changed and what is truly of value in our lives. Venus retrogrades from 0 Virgo to 14 degrees Leo (July 25-Sept. 6). Leo is about the self and our creativity, which is how we come to know and value ourselves. We “know ourselves through what we create.” In Venus (values) retrograde (inner focus) we will ask, “What are values (not just money and finances)? What are my values? What do I create? How do I value my creations? Do I value myself?” Sunday, Uranus—planet of all things new, revelatory and revolutionary—also retrogrades (from 20 to 16 degrees Aries) until the full moon of Christmas Day. Five months of Uranus retrograde. In July and continuing on through the following months we have many planets retrograding. Things therefore slow down. Everyone’s focus becomes subjective, hidden by veils and curtains. A time when inner reserves of strength are available. A time of protection.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 24

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Latest Comments

 

AJ’s Market

Local cult fave keeps getting bigger and better

 

What do you think of Bernie Sanders?

He’s what we need, more hardcore Democrats. Old-school, ’70s-style Democrats. Tony Dolan, Santa Cruz, Freelancer

 

Hunter Hill Vineyards & Winery

Calling all Merlot lovers—Hunter Hill has released its 2013 estate Merlot ($25)—and a superb one it is, too.

 

Turn Up the Beet

Golden beets with buffalo mozzarella, plus single-malt whiskies and award-winning local Chardonnays