Dining Reviews

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

fd waddellRoute One Summer Farm Dinner

You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?

Experience the terroir of Route One—visually and orally—translated into plein air flavors by chef Damani Thomas of Oswald. Quick now! Make a reservation to join the al fresco Farm Dinner at Rancho del Oso (a half hour north of Santa Cruz) on June 29 starting at 4 p.m. The afternoon will start with a welcome reception and a walking tour with farmer/owner Jeff Larkey. Dinner will be served family style near the orchard. Expect to be dazzled by the sweeping views, and of course by the freshly harvested flavors. To register for the $100 per person dinner visit the Route One website, route1farms.csaware.com.

Odonata buys River Road winery

Congratulations to Denis Hoey, winemaker of Odonata Wines, who just bought five acres with a winery and tasting room ready to rock on River Road in Salinas. Hoey has been making his sensuous wines—his Syrahs are perfection—in one of the Surf City Vintner facilities on Ingalls Street, with a handsome tasting room a few blocks away near Companion Bakeshop.

But this summer he hopes to open another new tasting room out on the River Road property followed by a production facility and vineyards to expand the Odonata line. Luckily for Santa Cruz fans, Odonata’s Westside Tasting Room will remain in the act. Can’t wait to tour the new Odonata later this summer.

Summer Fun @ Live Earth Farm

While we’re talking country, imagine that you and your young ones are spending time out at a real working farm, making friends with the chickens and goats, harvesting and cooking fresh veggies from the fields. Live Earth Farm offers a summer camp program for young farmers and emerging cooks. In fact, the farm offers three different weeklong summer camps this year for kids of all ages to engage in “farm to fork” learning experiences. Young ones will be able to get their hands dirty in the garden and animal pens, learn to prepare foods and expand their senses—and have a lot of fun doing it. Check out the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program Facebook page and website for complete details about these innovative and delicious programs—help a young person you love grow their appetites and imaginations in a local farm environment.

Tiny Tips

Louie’s Cajun Kitchen doesn’t just stock more than 55 bourbons and ryes, the popular downtown watering hole also offers flights of ryes and bourbons, 1-ounce pours, to help inquiring palates discover new favorites.  Templeton Rye, Buffalo Trace—these are some favorites at Louie’s. Get on down to 110 Church St. in Downtown Santa Cruz and learn more about America’s number one liquor … Chef Katherine Stern was on a duck kick last week, just in time for my buddy Renee and I to enjoy a fabulous dinner at La Posta that featured the delicious game meat. My entree of seared duck breast arrived on a bed of braised little gem lettuces and snap peas, garnished with the tangy sweet flavor of braised kumquat. Incredible pairing! 

Christina Waters was born in Santa Cruz and raised all over the world (thanks to an Air Force dad), with real-world training in journalism, painting, music, woodworking, winetasting, trail running, reiki, organic gardening, and teaching. She has a PhD in Philosophy, teaches in the Arts at UCSC and sings with the UCSC Concert Choir.

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