Pesto pasta was a quick dinner when my kids were growing up. The sauce latched nicely into the ridges of radiatore pasta, to which I added some steamed vegetables and leftover bits of meat.
Cabernet Franc 2008 – A Lyrical Wine You Will Love
Looking for a romantic wine—and with a romantic label to go with it? Poetic Cellars fits the bill. Poetic’s labels show a picture of two lovers embracing, and every back-of-the-bottle label carries a beautiful poem by Joseph Naegele—a partner and owner in the winery along with Katy Lovell. But the true poetry appears in the wine itself. Winemaker Lovell makes the kind of wine that reminds one of a sonnet—with an ode to a lover in each sip.
Downtown’s Laili celebrates the flavors of the Mediterranean
The final weeks of summer sift through my crossed fingers as I hope for another beautiful fall. It is the time of year when I most appreciate al fresco dining, I thought, as I relaxed on the patio of Laili, whose restaurant celebrates Silk Road flavors.
Rattlesnake Rock Syrah 2008
Big Basin Vineyards is turning out some incredible wines these days—not the least of which is the Rattlesnake Rock Syrah. Made entirely from grapes grown on Big Basin’s estate in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the 2008 is wondrous nectar to be sure.
Louie's Cajun Kitchen and Bourbon Bar serves Southern Favorites with a twist
When I enjoyed the new brunch at Cloud's Downtown last April, I had no idea that the Southern-themed menu was a foreshadowing of the makeover that was revealed this month.
When looking for a bottle of wine, Gewürztraminer is not the first to come to mind. Given the popularity of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir – to name but a few – Gewürztraminer sits low on the totem pole. Somewhat sweeter than most wines, Gewürztraminer is often drunk with dessert – as is a Sauterne or a port wine. That doesn’t mean to say that it can’t ever be drunk with savory food.
At Vasili's, home-style Greek classics continue to fill the house
The annual Greek Festival from Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church is just around the corner (Sept. 14-16). I thought I'd get an early start on the celebration since home-style Greek food is available year-round at Vasili's.
Pinot Noir 2007 – Estate Reserve Principal’s Choice
A Russian, a Greek and a Brit go out for dinner and drink a bottle of Pinot Noir. It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but I, the Brit, do, in fact, have friends from Russia and Greece and we go out for dinner now and again.
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.