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Jul 28th
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Food & Drink

Wine Reviews

Villa del Monte Winery

Villa del Monte Winery

 

Pinot Noir 2010

There are times when a really good bottle of wine gets your attention. I first tasted this lovely Pinot in January at the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association’s Wine & Crab Taste Off, and it’s very impressive.  
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Dining Reviews

Hopping Happy

Hopping HappyBoulder Creek Brewery and Cafe has an expanded beer selection and a delightfully flavored menu to go with it

About a year and a half ago, Executive Chef Judd Anthony took the kitchen's helm at Boulder Creek Brewery and Cafe. Their Facebook page is constantly updated with specials, the latest brews, and key market finds that would soon find their way to the table.
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Dining Reviews

Surf and Turf in Rio Del Mar

Surf and Turf in Rio Del MarWhether it's the calories burned riding icy waves, or crisp air that awakens the senses, there's something about a day at the beach that brings on a fierce appetite. In Rio Del Mar, the little Pixie Deli stands ready to assuage pangs of hunger with a concise, yet creative menu in which details matter.
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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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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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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