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Jul 22nd
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Dining

Restaurant dining and wine reviews for Santa Cruz County >
Menu Guide for Santa Cruz area.

Dining Reviews

Cypress Lounge

Cypress Lounge

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.

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Wine Reviews

Bargetto Winery CHARDONNAY 2006

Bargetto Winery CHARDONNAY 2006

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.

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Dining Reviews

Spice Island Specialties

Spice Island Specialties

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.

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Dining Reviews

Capitola Crêpes

Capitola CrêpesSweet Pea’s Café offers an alternative to fast food near the Capitola Mall. The younger sister of a downtown Los Gatos establishment, and almost hidden in an office and retail building between Highway 1 and Clares Street (adjacent to Burger King), they serve a freshly prepared medley of wholesome nourishment.
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Wine Reviews

MOUNT EDEN VINEYARDS Chardonnay 2007

MOUNT EDEN VINEYARDS Chardonnay 2007

Life is not all plain sailing. My car broke down outside of Reno after a 4,000-mile trip across country. It was a Friday night, with all car repairs shops already closed, so after getting towed by AAA to Mercedes of Reno,

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Dining Reviews

Worth the Wait

Worth the Wait

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.

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Dining Reviews

Tea for Two Million

Tea for Two Million

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.

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Dining Reviews

The Royal Treatment

The Royal TreatmentIt’s all about meat—and plenty of it—for the county’s ‘Rib King’

The Rib King wakes up at 4:30 a.m. every day. A half hour later he slips into his work kitchen in Soquel, and begins a day cooking up some of Santa Cruz’s finest meats for delivery around town. He douses pork ribs with his award-winning barbecue sauces, and then cooks them to a tender texture in his smoker. While the hours tick away as the ribs undergo a delicate and delicious process that will later yield more than a few watering mouths, the Rib King preps the rest of his lunch buffet: chicken salads, monstrous burritos, beans, potato salad, macaroni salad, paniolo pork and other tasty barbecue favorites.
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A Year of Creative Self-Expression

Wednesday, after a year in Cancer’s nourishing waters, Jupiter enters fiery Leo. Next Tuesday, the sun joins Jupiter in Leo. Leo is the sign of the three fires of life, of seeking our individuality, our gifts and talents. Life for the next year will be quite dramatic, expressive, creative and generous. Jupiter, the heart of Aquarius, is the planet of expansion and truth, distributing Ray 2 of Love and Wisdom.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 18

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Art Files: Opposites Attract

Using found objects, Victoria May seeks beauty in dichotomy and tension, the creepy and absurd
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Posted

Desserts at Seabright’s La Posta, a pop-up breakfast, local ethnic cuisine, and a long-lost varietal 

 

What is the most outrageous thing you did as a kid?

Santa Cruz | Retired

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Loma Prieta’s Pinotage

Although drinking alone is not half as much fun as drinking with others, after a busy day of dashing around, I came home and poured myself a glass or two of Loma Prieta’s Pinotage 2010 (saving a bit for my husband). There’s something about taking that first sip of a worthy wine that gives one an all-over glow.