• La Balena’s Brad Briske to Open his Own Restaurant

    July 19, 2016 — Chef Brad Briske, who became known for his farm-forward, fresh and intensely flavorful cuisine at Carmel’s La Balena and Il Grillo and before that, Soquel’s Main Street Garden & Café, will head back to Santa Cruz County this fall to open his own place.

    “It’s really a dream,” Briske says of the chance to own and run his own restaurant, and he has big plans for it.

    Briske intends to call the restaurant Home — a reference both to the homey vibe he wants to create with the restaurant’s food and atmosphere, as well as the sense of home the Grass Valley native feels in Santa Cruz, where his first child was born and he had some of his most formative cooking experiences.

    Briske ... Read More

  • Quail Lodge Welcomes Brian Kearns as Chef

    July 19, 2016 — It was a tough spot for Quail Lodge to be in last month when Executive Chef Ken MacDonald announced he would be leaving, but stepping into the post, post-haste, is Chef Brian Kearns, formerly of La Bicyclette in Carmel-by-the-Sea — it’s coming up on the busiest time of year at Quail. July and August are filled with special events such as Classic Car Week and private parties.

    Luckily, Kearns jumped in to take charge of Quail’s culinary offerings, which include not only Edgar’s Restaurant and the Quail’s Nest snack bar, but also banquets, weddings and other events held at the popular Carmel Valley golf club.

    “We’re thrilled to have him on board,” said Quail GM Max Schroeder, who said that it’s likely that Kearns ... Read More

  • Tricycle Pizza’s Brick-and-Mortar Home in New Monterey

    EAP_TricyclePizzaJuly 19, 2016 — A creative solution that provides a permanent setting for a mobile pizza eatery is set to open Thursday in New Monterey.

    Tricycle Pizza, a favorite at area farmers’ markets and as a caterer for weddings and other events from Carmel to San Francisco, opens its brick-and-mortar place this week at the corner of Lighthouse and David avenues, at the site of what used to be a tire and automotive shop.

    This will be no ordinary restaurant, however. Owner Danica Alvarado said because of water restrictions in the city of Monterey, she had to do things a little bit differently. With the help and blessing of the city, she is making it work by parking a brand-new food ... Read More

  • Beauregards Debate What to Plant at New Vineyard

    July 14, 2016 - If winemaker Ryan Beauregard has his druthers, he’ll soon have a brand new chardonnay vineyard next to the already thriving Coast Grade pinot noir that was planted in 2008. The land is all cleared and ready to go: seven more acres of the yet to be determined varietal await their fate.

    It’s a pretty steep grade, way steeper than where the pinot is planted, and it gets a decidedly stiff breeze off the nearby ocean. It looks like an ideal spot for chardonnay. It might even be dicey for pinot. The trick with chard is that you can crop it pretty heavy and it still delivers gobs of gorgeous flavor, while pinot has to be cropped way ... Read More

  • Organics sector gathers for first summit

    logoJuly 12, 2016 - Heavy hitters in the world of organic fruits and vegetables are gathering in Monterey on Wednesday and Thursday for the world's first Organic Produce Summit. Big names like author Mark Bittman and Laura Batcha, CEO of the Organic Trade Association, will share insights with some 75 growers of organic fruits and vegetables, including big local companies like Lakeside Organic Gardens, Earthbound Farm, Driscoll's, Ocean Mist and Taylor Farms, as well as produce buyers from supermarket chains and specialty retailers.

    "The Central Coast is the epicenter of everything innovative in organics," said organizer Nick Pasculli of the decision to hold it here. But Bittman is ... Read More

  • Pastry Wizard Ben Spungin heading to Post Ranch

    a5983988-9f3d-4670-8775-cf4b22a6f59eJuly 5, 2016 -  The wildly creative Ben Spungin is returning late this month to Post Ranch Inn’s Sierra Mar restaurant as its pastry chef after stints at Bernardus Lodge and, most recently, Restaurant 1833 and its parent, Coastal Luxury Management.

    At Sierra Mar, Spungin will replace fellow local pastry rockstar Yulanda Santos, who recently left to take the top sweet spot at Aubergine vacated by their talented colleague Ron Mendoza, who is opening his own ice cream shop, Revival Ice Cream, in Monterey. Read our preview of Revival Ice Cream here.  

    “It’s pretty epic, it’s almost surreal for me,” says Spungin, who has a deep love for Big Sur as well as the Post ... Read More

  • Intercontinental The Clement’s C Restaurant Ups the Ante with Cocktail Program

    26584a1d-bee6-47de-805c-08148bd99c69July 5, 2016 - As if the cuisine of talented executive chef Matt Bolton and the dramatic views of Monterey Bay were not enough, Intercontinental The Clement Hotel’s C Restaurant has dreamed up some new ways to lure you in this summer: two novel cocktail offerings and a new take on the ice cream cone.

    The latest addition to the C’s cocktail program is a twist on the flights of wines that our wine-loving region is so fond of. But instead of tastes of wine, the restaurant is offering an innovative “Single Malt Sampler,” a selection of one-ounce pours of single malt whiskies, one American, one Japanese and one from Scotland.

    For devotees of the Monterey Bay’s fresh and ... Read More

  • Making a splash on the Santa Cruz wharf

    13308215_1150030705018513_3995855984004788202_oJune 28, 2016 - More than five years in the making, the long-delayed Splash Restaurant and revolving bar will open its doors to the public tomorrow on the municipal wharf in Santa Cruz.

    "We couldn't be more thrilled to finally open," said GM Dawit Taddese. "Everything that could go wrong, did," he added, pointing to problems with the rotating bar and with the Coastal Commission as major hurdles. But all will be forgotten once the sparkling new eatery opens on Wednesday in the space once occupied by Carniglia's.

    Splash offers sweeping views of the Monterey Bay from every seat and a menu that aims to raise the bar on wharf food with craft cocktails and dishes like Rodoni Farms artichoke ... Read More

  • Shims and session cocktails debut at Jeninni Kitchen

    Negroni BarrelJune 28, 2016 - Shims are little pieces of wood used under table legs to keep it from being wobbly. Shim cocktails serve the same purpose. They keep you from being wobbly, because they have less alcohol.

    "Shims have started taking off on both coasts," says Thamin Saleh, owner and sommelier at Jeninni Kitchen + Wine Bar. "People want to have the taste of a cocktail without all the booze." 

    On Thursday Jeninni is launching a full line of inventive seasonal housemade shims and session cocktails—which like a session beer contain lower levels of alcohol.

    Among the new drinks are blueberry mojitos, fig provencal shims, classic cocktails like the manhattan and negroni, as well as the brand new PG ... Read More

  • An Effervescent Evening: Porter’s hosts Battle of the Bubbles

    e87f5c44-77d3-4e7b-b030-3a077106b892June 28, 2016 - There is a reason celebrations are paired with champagne. Opening a champagne bottle, particularly if we let the cork fly, affects us like fireworks, with a pop and a whoosh, and a spray of stars that rain down around us. It matches the soaring emotions that accompany achievement, like getting married, graduating from school, having a baby, landing the job, winning the race, the tournament, the lottery.

    A toast to Dom Perignon, the monk credited with discovering the fermentation glitch which resulted in the release of CO2 that blew corks right out of their bottles. He, too, celebrated his achievement with a glass of champagne.

    Champagne is flirty, festive and fun. It is sophisticated, sparkly and ... Read More

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