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Aug 02nd
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Food & Drink

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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Dining Reviews

White House Dining

White House Dining

Casablanca Bistro offers inviting fare and stunning views

Located on the site of the enormous turreted, Victorian Sea Beach Hotel, which burned to the ground in 1912, the historic Casablanca Inn and Bistro was once the secluded private residence of Marcel Cerf. From our window seat in the multi-level Casablanca Room we admired the fog bank hugging the horizon at the edge of the sapphire bay. On Main Beach below, volleyball players frolicked under the spring day's final hour of sun.

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Wine Reviews

Bargetto Winery

Bargetto Winery

Brut Sparkling Wine ... a drop of celebratory bubbly  

On June 2, all of Great Britain was rejoicing for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. I sincerely wish that I could have been there at that time—in the country of my birth —celebrating Her Majesty’s reign of 60 years.

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Dining Reviews

Let's Do Lunch

Let's Do Lunch

Extensive lunch menu at ABC Chinese fills you up without emptying your wallet  

Business is brisk during the lunch hour at ABC Chinese Restaurant in a tidy Scotts Valley business park. More than 40 lunch specials include huge bowls of soup ($5.25) and main courses ($5.45 to $6.45) which are served with the appetizer and soup of the day, and fried or steamed rice.

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Dining Reviews

Fast Food, Santa Cruz-style

Fast Food, Santa Cruz-style

I was on a mission to disprove the theory that advises against entering a grocery store when hungry. I had run out of cereal and was just too starved to cook. Across the street from my parking space at Staff of Life, Burger King unsuccessfully launched a counter-offensive, beckoning me with the promise of Cini-minis with sugary frosting dip.

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Wine Reviews

Big Basin Vineyards

Big Basin Vineyards

Riesling is a much-loved wine in many parts of the world, especially in Germany and France’s Alsace region where many of the best Rieslings come from.

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Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover