Odonta is getting a little space from ma and pa with a fresh hangout in the old New Leaf building. Photo by Christina Waters.

Odonta is getting a little space from ma and pa with a fresh hangout in the old New Leaf building. Photo by Christina Waters.

Dare to Pair  Once again, budding young chefs are looking for vintage inspiration—and that's because it's time again for the “Dare to Pair” food and wine challenge, coming up fast on Sunday, April 29. This delightful moveable feast happens once again at the various tasting rooms of the Surf City Vintners, at Swift and Ingalls streets on the Westside.

From noon until 3:30pm this Sunday, Cabrillo College's culinary students will be teamed with a specific winery and create dishes designed to bring out the best of both. Celebrity judges as well as inquiring foodies will get a chance to sample and find their own favorite match-ups. The “people” will vote for their favorites, while chefs and restaurateurs, including Sherry Moise of Johnny's Harborside and the Shadowbrook's Ted Burke, will make their choices. Awards will be announced at roughly 4:30pm at the afterparty at Copious Winery, where the throngs can applaud the winners while enjoying apps (the edible kind, not the digital kind), live music and general partying. Tickets to this seriously fun grazing event cost $50 each; $60 the day of the event; and are available online at (click on “Dare to Pair”) or by calling 831.435.3000. All proceeds will benefit Cabrillo's outstanding Culinary Arts program.


Odonata's New Tasting Room I've been a fan of winemaker Denis Hoey's gorgeously constructed grenaches.html for quite a while, and now it will be even more fun to stop by and taste all the hand-crafted varietals Hoey makes at Odonata's new tasting room, scheduled to open the weekend of May 5-6. Odonata's new address is at 2343 Mission St., next to Companion Bakery (former location of New Leaf Market). The plan is for Odonata's new tasting room to be open every Tuesday evening 4:30­–7pm, to coincide with pizza night at Companion Bakery, as well as Saturday and Sunday noon–5pm. Even though Hoey will continue to make his wines at the Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard winery, where he continues as assistant winemaker to Jeff Emery, the Odonata brand now has its very own home. “This is a big step for us,” Hoey admits happily. “It makes Odonata and our wines more accessible to the public.” And of course it will help even more local winelovers to discover and fall in love with Hoey's beautifully made wines.


Hot Plate Any plate with one of the sensuous francese dinner rolls studded with green olives—from Gayle's—for 55 cents each. One of these will remind you why you crave something smart and stylish even if it is made with white flour.