Craft Brewers Look to Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing's Emily Thomas spilled her secrets at the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington D.C. (Photo by Chip Scheuer)

Emily Thomas, owner and brewer at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing was selected by the Brewers Association to speak at the annual Craft Brewers Conference last week in Washington, D.C. Thomas, a top micro-brewing entrepreneur talked at the brew-expo about creative fundraising, something she has done with flair at her popular brewery in the Ingalls Street complex.

Continue Reading →

Lavish Lunches at Tramonti

Giuseppe Vitagliano, owner and pizzamaker at Tramonti

New and lively, Tramonti has already won the tastebuds of Seabright locals with its large portions, delicious pizzas and can-do service. When Rita and I had lunch at Tramonti last week, we found all of the above—and more. Yes, Tramonti is open for lunch Monday through Saturday, noon to 2:30pm. Pizzas are quite tasty here, she assured me—again, big is the game plan. Generous portions served by very well-trained, friendly staffers.

Continue Reading →

Plastic Wine Plugs from Zork Cork

The Zork Cork is the latest way to cap off a bottle of wine.

We discovered a bottle of delightful Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from a Sonoma estate named for an old adobe, Leese-Fitch. We found the wine itself light, crisp, lemon grassy and utterly easy to drink. The $10 price tag didn’t hurt, either. But what was most intriguing about this bottle of wine was its closure. Not a cork, nor the infamous Stelvin screw cap. It was something much, much different.

Continue Reading →

Renee Shepherd Turns Heirloom Seeds Into Global Business

When UCSC alumna Renee Shepherd opted out of an academic future and into the rarified world of heirloom growing, it was early days in the world of regional gardening. That was 25 years ago, and whether or not her PhD in History of Consciousness had anything to do with it, Shepherd struck up a friendship with a Dutch seed broker who basically planted the seed (so to speak) of her now-global heirloom seed business. The only thing that doesn’t grow on Shepherd is moss.

Continue Reading →

Post-Holiday Dining

Anna Landan of Gayle's shows off their garden salad with grilled chicken.

Soif is closed until Jan. 11 for its annual refreshing, but the restaurant at Casablanca Inn & Bistro is closed for renovations prompted by what a spokesperson called “damage from a recent storm.” There’s no word on when the beachfront landmark will reopen. So meanwhile, there’s Michael’s on Main, continually reinventing itself, most recently by opening its kitchen up on Tuesdays to ambitious guest chefs.

Continue Reading →

Oktoberfest at Davenport Roadhouse

Bring a major thirst and a sense of fun to the Davenport Roadhouse Restaurant and Inn on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30, for an outdoor spectacle of great food, beer, live music and lots of stuff to make the kids happy. The event, by the way, helps to raise funds for beach clean-up efforts in Santa Cruz, called Tip the Ocean—developed by LiVBLUE in partnership with the Davenport Roadhouse and Save Our Shores.

Continue Reading →

New Capitola Eatery Offers Eceltic Options

Sudo's taco trio comes highly recommended.

Restaurateurs Daniel Voskoboynikov of the Harbor Cafe and Mike Pitt of Motiv and Castaways have melded their minds and aesthetics and opened Süda, the new Pleasure Point hot spot. Locals will hardly recognize the old Rock of the Sea, which has had a major face lift (and for once the procedure really has left her looking younger and healthier). The open, light-filled restaurant incorporates recovered wood, stone and living plants into the design. Picnic tables serve as outdoor seating where neighbors in the know can be seen lounging over a pitcher of beer with their two- and four-legged friends.

Continue Reading →