Johnny’s Harborside launches new summer menu
It’s easy to drive past the seafoam green building without noticing the restaurant with an intimate view of harbor life perched upstairs. Head down Lake Avenue on the one way street towards the harbor, make the first right, and you will find quick gourmet lunches, amiable neighborhood happy hours, relaxing weekend brunches, and romantic sunset dinners at Johnny’s Harborside.
Most red wine drinkers love Zinfandel. It’s a grape that grows well in California – producing spicy, jammy wines of varying intensity. I have a hard time steering my husband toward anything else, in fact. If we’re out for dinner, he nearly always orders Zinfandel.
When it comes to locally produced Zin, we are very fortunate. We have wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation making some of the best there is in our Golden State. On a wine-tasting trip to Pleasant Valley Vineyards, I thoroughly enjoyed all of their wines – especially the Austin Craig Zinfandel 2006 ($33). All the typical aromas of Zinfandel are present – lots of raspberry, blackberry, cherry and plum. There’s a spicy pepper in there, too. You just know it’s going to be wonderful from the very first sniff.
It’s summer and stores are stocked with grilling supplies including cedar planks. Cooking meat on wood over fire is an ancient technique perfected by Northwestern Native Americans. But there’s no need to fire up the grill if you head over to Cypress Lounge, where Cedar Plank Salmon ($16.95) headlines the menu.
The hot days of summer are finally here – the time of year when I gravitate more toward white wines than red. A light and fruity Pinot Grigio for an outdoor lunch, or a crisp Chardonnay for dinner on a warm evening seem so much more appealing than a heavy Pinot Noir or a meaty Merlot. Of course, living on the cool coast as we do, we still get those chilly evenings all through July, August and September – when the aforementioned reds can be just the right libation for one’s evening meal.
Pearl of the Ocean serves well-seasoned Sri Lankan cuisine
Sri Lanka, the Resplendent Island, has been called “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean.” With miles of coastline, it is home to coconut palms, fruit trees, rice paddies, and true cinnamon. Using ingredients such as these, Pearl of the Ocean brings healthy Sri Lankan cuisine to Water Street.
Lillian’s Italian Kitchen celebrates its second birthday
In a nightly ritual, anticipative patrons relax in wooden folding chairs outside of Lillian’s Italian Kitchen, the darling of the Seabright neighborhood. Voted the best new restaurant by Good Times readers in 2008, it is the hospitality extended by patriarch Joseph Moreno, son Matt and the servers up front, along with home-style Italian specialties marvelously executed by son Chris in the kitchen that has garnered this cozy eatery a loyal following. With service so unique that you can enjoy a cocktail at one of the neighboring establishments: your cell phone will ring when your table is ready.
Inside the local spice the company doing big business
In a large industrial building on the west side of Santa Cruz, a steady staccato rhythm of machinery fills hundreds of tea bags each minute. The blender mixes 400 pounds of leaves, with perhaps orange peel and cinnamon, which are funneled into bags. Tags are added to spoke-like strings on the rotating vertical turret. Boxes carrying the brand name of a nationally ranked beverage company are stacked on pallets awaiting shipment. This is the manufacturing room of Monterey Bay Spice Company.
In addition to processing their own products, it acts as the manufacturing arm of other companies, an arrangement called contract manufacturing. Owner Scott Carpenter illustrates the concept, describing a couple in Florida.