Results from Clam Chowder Cook-Off
The 40th annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off Reimagined was quite popular, with advance tasting kits selling out. The winners have been announced. Paradise Beach Grille won Best Professional overall, Best Professional South County, and tied for People’s Choice third place. Malone’s Grille earned second place for Best Professional overall, won Best Professional North County, and tied for People’s Choice third place. Pleasure Pizza East Side Eatery received first place for People’s Choice and second place for Best Professional overall. Jack O’Neill Restaurant & Lounge won People’s Choice second place and Firefish Grill won Best Professional on the Wharf. The event raised vital funds for The City of Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation Department.
Colectivo Felix offers food Saturdays at Swift Street wineries
Colectivo Felix recently started offering an empanada and small plate selection to those tasting wine on Saturdays at Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Sones and Equinox (all located in the Swift Street Courtyard plaza on Ingalls Street). From noon to 5 p.m. each Saturday, patrons at those wineries can order and pay online using a QR code. Then, staff from Colectivo Felix—also located in the Swift Street Courtyard —will walk over the food as customers enjoy their wine flights. This coming Saturday, in addition to empanadas, the menu will include flank steak sliders with yellow chile aioli and apple chimichurri; ceviche; and gluten-free pão de queijo (tapioca cheese bread). For those not interested in wine tasting, you can also visit Colectivo Felix directly at 402 Ingalls St. To learn more, visit colectivofelix.square.site.
Seabright Deli adds outdoor seating
Last week, Seabright Deli (415 Seabright Ave., seabrightdeli.com, 831-515-7484) added outdoor seating. The restaurant continues to offer sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, and sweets. Current hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Alfaro offering wine tasting
Alfaro Family Vineyards recently started offering outdoor tastings again at its Corralitos winery location (420 Hames Road, alfarowine.com). This is on Saturdays by appointment only—call 831-728-5172—and groups are limited to a maximum of six people. Tasting hours are noon to 5 p.m. and selections include 2018 Trout Gulch Chardonnay, 2018 Lindsay Paige Pinot Noir, and 2017 Bates Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. Also, the winery currently has several by-the-case specials for wine to take home.
Virtual cooking class on deck
Denise Ward and Mirella Savegnago will lead a virtual cooking class 6-7 p.m. March 8 in honor of International Women’s Day. Participants are encouraged to cook during the session. The menu is Sicilian orange linguine with smoked salmon, olives, and bread crumbs. Cost is $48; this includes a food pack with Prosecco plus Seascape Market ingredients. There is also a $25 option that does not include ingredients. Registration is available through Eventbrite until March 6; search “Cooking with Denise+Mirella or Sicilian Orange Pasta.” For details, contact 831-600-5794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pelican Ranch hosts wine tasting Saturday
Pelican Ranch Winery (2364 Bean Creek Rd., 831-332-5359, pelicanranch.com) invites customers to learn the difference between Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Gewürztraminer this Saturday in the garden. The flight will include glasses of three Pelican Ranch Vitis vinifera wines: 2019 Sauvignon Blanc (pre-release), 2019 Chardonnay (described by the winery as medium-bodied with notes of apple, fig, melon, and pineapple) and 2018 Gewürztraminer. Patrons are encouraged to make reservations and to bring their own cheese and crackers.
Early bird pricing for Homeless Garden Project CSA
It is National CSA Week, and Homeless Garden Project just announced that early bird pricing is available for those who sign up by April 1 for its 23-week CSA which starts in May. With the discount the regular pick-up is $650 (instead of $700), or $475 (instead of $525) for the u-pick option where you harvest produce yourself at the Westside Santa Cruz farm. The season runs May 21 through Oct 22. Customers get a weekly basket of Certified-Organic vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruit grown by trainees, staff and volunteers at the HGP organic farm. Each share feeds approximately 4 adults and includes a flower bouquet. Additional options include the popular value-added offering ($120 extra) for an HGP food product every other week during the regular season (12 total), including jams & jellies, seasonings, and baking mixes. Visit homelessgardenproject.org/csa.
Café Rio temporarily closes
Café Rio (131 Esplanade, caferioaptos.com, 831-688-8917) has decided to temporarily close until Santa Cruz County restaurants are given the go-ahead to serve customers inside their dining rooms once again. “I will post our opening date as soon as we know, and don’t forget about our sister restaurant Flats Bistro next door,” owner Jeanne Harrison posted on social media last week. Flats Bistro (113 Esplanade, flatsbistro.com, 831-661-5763), remains open daily for takeout and outdoor dining. The menu includes pizza, sandwiches, salads, and pastries.
Quick Bites, compiled by Tara Fatemi Walker, is your weekly helping of Santa Cruz County restaurant, food and drink news. Send items to email@example.com (Sunday 7 p.m. deadline for that week’s column). Want local food & drink news as it happens? Follow the Sentinel’s food crew on Twitter (@santacruzfood); on Instagram (@santacruzfood); or on Facebook (Santa Cruz Food).