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  • 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

  • Exec Chef Leaves Quail Lodge

    881bb249-c8c2-422d-b5fa-81b2ca5a5758June 21, 2016 - Chef Ken MacDonald has suddenly left Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley after three years and a half years there as executive chef.

    His last day on the job was Sunday and club manager Kai Lerman said, “We’re all a little devastated here.”

    Chef Ken—who converted the resort to organic food and generously donated his talents for a variety of local causes—is moving to northern California for family reasons.

    “It’s really sad. It was a hard choice for him, but family comes first,” said Quail GM Max Schroeder.

    “Our goal is to stick with organics, once we changed over there’s no going back,” he said, adding that the resort is actively looking for a new executive chef ... Read More

  • Unlocking the mysteries of mole

    DSC_0054June 21, 2016 - Once a month—usually the second Saturday of the month—Cesario Ruiz, the founder of My Mom’s Mole, opens the doors at the Commercial Kitchen Incubator in Watsonville and offers an afternoon cooking class about mole.

    ‘Mysteries of Mole Unlocked!’ runs from 2pm to 6pm with the first three-hour portion being hands-on and the final hour being dinner when the class participants taste and enjoy their mole creations. I had the opportunity to attend the class this past weekend with a friend. On our way up to Watsonville, I joked, “Maybe I’ll finally understand what mole is. Every recipe I read is different. It really is a mystery!”

    Pronounced MOH-lay, the word derives from the Aztec ... Read More

  • Move over Oscar Mayer, there are new dogs in town

    12031433_1004902406253401_6772799352407503977_oJune 21, 2016 - Hot dogs have come to be synonymous with America and baseball, although the sausage without the bun (also known as a frankfurter or wiener) is culturally German. There is some discrepancy as to just who the first person to sell a hot dog a roll was, but the most widely accepted claim is that it was a German immigrant named Charles Feltman, who began selling them on Coney Island around 1870. Nearly 150 years later on the other side of the continent, hot dogs are making a comeback and they’re getting an upgrade.

    Brittany Crass opened her gourmet mobile hot dog cart, Sun’s Out Buns Out, in Santa Cruz this April. She ... Read More

  • Chef Jason Franey leaving 1833

    67704e46-f4b3-4c74-b0bb-7f7bf31ab095June 14, 2016 - Executive chef Jason Franey of Monterey's Restaurant 1833 is leaving in August to start his own restaurant. "I’ve always dreamt of opening my own restaurant and am excited to finally make it happen," says Franey, adding only that it would be somewhere in Northern California, perhaps even in the Monterey Bay area.

    Franey arrived at 1833 in December 2014 from the award-winning Canlis in Seattle and feels he has accomplished what he set out to achieve.  "Absolutely. It’s a bittersweet departure, but it’s been such a pleasure to join the Coastal Luxury Management team and make the move from Seattle out to California. Monterey has some of the best ingredients in the country," ... Read More

  • Earthbelly to debut in Santa Cruz

    Facebook-ProPic2.jpgJune 14, 2016 - Get ready to fill up at a new non-GMO, organic food stop for the masses called earthbelly set to open early next month at the corner of Ocean St. and Soquel Ave. in the former Caffe Lucio.

    "There are so many people who are struggling and still trying to eat well, we will be cranking out good food that is organic and not going to break the bank," says Tammy Ogletree, half of the husband and wife chef team behind the project. Ogletree and husband Chad Greer previously owned Beso restaurant in New York's Hudson Valley, a hotbed of organic agriculture. 

    The new restaurant and take out bar will be counter-service only to reduce costs. "We are ... Read More

  • Steamer Lane Supply Opens in Santa Cruz

    Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 12.21.30 PMJune 14, 2016 - After three years of hard work, unstoppable chef and farmer Fran Grayson has opened Steamer Lane Supply, a combination café and surf shop at Lighthouse Field in Santa Cruz.

    "It feels amazing, just a huge sense of relief," says Grayson, who also owns and operates The Truck Stop food truck. The tiny cafe is now open Tuesday to Sunday from 7am to 7:30pm, serving healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner items and hot drinks to surfers and tourists alike, just a few steps from the waves.

    Hot breakfast dishes include quesadillas and grilled rolls with homemade butter and homemade jam. Lunches and dinners feature a variety of arepas, a ... Read More

  • Chef John Cox Joins New Latin-influenced Venture in Carmel

    Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 6.31.52 PMJune 7, 2016 - An exciting new Carmel restaurant project just got even more exciting with the addition of a new partner, chef John Cox.

    Cox and Sarah Kabat-Marcy, the original mastermind behind Cultura – bebida y comida, are expected to open the new Latin-influenced restaurant and mezcal bar in on Dolores between 5th and 6th Ave. in late July or early August. The pair is also planning a new farm in San Juan Bautista that will eventually provide the restaurant with heirloom Mexican and other produce, and agave varieties that they select for use in their ambitious and eclectic food and drink menus.

    “I am beyond elated and thrilled,” says Kabat-Marcy, who brought Cox on ... Read More

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