India Joze
Dining Reviews

India Joze’s Brunch For The Birds; A New Wine Tasting Destination in Corralitos

Plus a standout pasta at Gabriella Cafe and oil paintings at Cafe Iveta

Admit it, you’ve often talked to the wild animals you encounter. Even the birds you see along the Pogonip trail, or in your own backyard. We have scrub jays who visit us, and yes, we talk with them. You’ve probably listened in amazement at all the different vocal techniques that our sassy local crows possess. And you suspect that it all means something. Well, it does.

That wily cuisinartist Jozseph Schultz has put together a fascinating event that will help introduce you to bird language while enjoying brunch and a morning walk. The bird language tour guide is naturalist Jeff Caplan, who also leads classes and walks for local groups including the UCSC Bird School Project. Fascinating stuff that will help you tune into what nature is saying, and how to recognize different avian voices. Sensitivity training for the next time you talk to your wild bird friends.

A wonderful morning open to all, but hurry and make reservations, it’s limited to 25 participants. First a talk, then a walk along pastoral San Lorenzo River, which is currently rich with birds visiting from Canada and South America. Then brunch at 11:30 a.m., with vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and meat options.

Introduction to Bird Language + Brunch is Saturday, Nov. 10, 9am-noon, at India Joze Restaurant, 418 Front St., Santa Cruz. $35 includes class, walk and brunch (kids $15). Tix at

Lester Vineyards Tastings

For the first time Lester Family Vineyards in Corralitos, a gorgeous swath of vines currently tended by the amazing viticulturist Prudy Foxx, is open for tours and tastings.

Originally planted by Dan Lester and Foxx, the 14-acre vineyard began in 1998. Fruit from these vines has gone into some of the great wines of our region: David Bruce, Cinnabar, Soquel Vineyards, Big Basin, and Alfaro Family Vineyards. Recently the Lester family began harvesting fruit for their own wines, made under the Lester Estate Wines label. Tastings will be held at the Deer Park Ranch on Pleasant Valley Road in Aptos, in a fascinating barn filled with some of Lester’s wide-ranging collections. Flights of 2018 estate wines include three Pinots, a Rosé, and a Chardonnay.

Tastings for up to eight may be arranged for Nov. 10 and Dec. 8, at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. For details email: [email protected]

Pasta of the Week

Redolent of garlic, a bowl of exceptional porcini gnocchi tossed with local dry-farmed tomatoes and cubes of eggplant made a memorable dinner last week at Gabriella Cafe. A glass of Prosecco joined by a pristine, perfect salad of tender butter lettuces added to the gastronomic delight.

Product of the Week

New non-Greek yogurt from Chobani. Quite a departure for the Chobani folks, who created a trend for Greek-style yogurt. Well, not to be outdone by themselves, the Chobanistas have now created something truly dreamy. Ultra creamy and thick, this is yogurt that will attract even those rugged types who still consider yogurt to be sissy food. Low-fat, gluten-free, Kosher-certified, non-GMO, 120 calories per 5.3-ounce serving, it is delicious. Chobani Smooth (the fruit has been whipped in, not lying at the bottom) comes in luscious flavors such as black cherry, peach, strawberry banana, and vanilla. We love the blueberry. Find your own favorites. $2-plus at New Leaf.

Noah Gould at Iveta

An Open Studio display currently at Cafe Iveta, Gould’s oil paintings wander between student work to boldly neo-Hopper with hints of Max Beckmann. Worth a look while you’re seeking your scone fix.

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