Pearl of the Ocean wines
Food & Drink

Pearl of the Ocean Crushes It

Sri Lankan restaurant offers its own boutique wine

Ayoma Wilen with wines specially made for her restaurant, Pearl of the Ocean. PHOTO: KEANA PARKER

Not only is Ayoma Wilen, owner of Pearl of the Ocean, adept at running her Sri Lankan restaurant, she has gone into the wine business as well.

Dining there recently with my husband, we were impressed with Wilen’s White Pearl Chardonnay, which was specially crafted for Pearl of the Ocean restaurant, and bottled by the well-known Pat Paulsen Vineyards in Livermore.

In addition to selling this Chardonnay in her restaurant, Wilen has plans to export it, along with another wine she has had specially made—Pearl of the Ocean Cabernet Sauvignon—to her homeland of Sri Lanka, said to be the “jewel” of the Indian Ocean. And what could be better than California wine in this exotic country—known for its world-class teas and spices?

Wilen, a Best Chefs America award winner in 2013, serves superb vegan and vegetarian food—with some meat and fish offerings as well—in Pearl of the Ocean’s cozy setting. It’s well worth a visit, not only for the excellent organic food, but also to try Wilen’s specially made Chardonnay and Cab. They sell for $42 a bottle.

Pearl of the Ocean, 736 Water St., Santa Cruz, 457-2350. pearloftheocean.net.

Picnic in the Vineyard

One of Morgan Winery’s fun upcoming events is a picnic in the vineyard, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10 in the Double L Vineyard. For more info and cost visit morganwinery.com.


Farm to Table Dinner at Chaminade

The next farm to table dinner is Friday, Sept. 9, featuring Everett Family Farm and the wines of Martin Ranch. Visit chaminade.com for more info.


Greek Festival

I’m not too disappointed about missing the Greek Festival on Sept. 9, 10 and 11 because I’ll actually be in Greece, eating their incredibly delicious cuisine. But, if you can’t be on Hellenic soil anytime soon, then the next best thing is to head to this annual fest of food, music and dancing to partake of all things Greek. The festivities are to be held in the street outside the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in downtown Santa Cruz. Contact Sophie Polyhronakis at 428-1110 or email [email protected] for more info.

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