Friends had told us about the new lighting in the Seacliff Inn in Aptos, so we decided to check it out. Local lighting artist Roy Johnson has done an incredible job, virtually transforming the bar and grill into a luminous wonderland. His circular display of fish in a sea of kelp is stunning.
And what better way to experience the new lighting than to head to Severino’s, the hotel’s restaurant, for dinner? Customers have the option of dining outside on a heated patio, where the garden and koi pond provide a lovely setting of peace and calm.
Severino’s wine selection includes several good local bottles. We chose a Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard Petite Sirah 2012, one of winemaker Jeff Emery’s full-bodied creations.
As a general rule, white wine pairs well with fish, but when I saw Emery’s Petite Sirah on the wine list, I simply had to have it with our calamari appetizer and my halibut special. My husband had ribs—a perfect partnership with the spicy Sirah, full of big flavors and bold fruit.
Emery sources his grapes from San Antonio Valley’s Pierce Ranch in Monterey County and turns them into a well-made Petite Sirah ($19.75) with “many layers of complexity including deep bush berries, exotic spices and hints of black pepper.” It’s not surprising, then, that the wine was awarded 90 points by Wine Enthusiast magazine. “We suggest giving it some time in a decanter to wake up everything lurking inside,” says Emery. “Or cellar it for a few more years.”
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and Quinta Cruz, 334-A Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 426-6209, santacruzmountainvineyard.com. Severino’s Bar & Grill, 7500 Old Dominion Court, Aptos, 688-8987. severinosbarandgrill.com.
The first in the summer series of farm-to-table wine dinners at Chaminade Resort & Spa is coming up on Friday, June 3. Enjoy a five-course meal paired with Equinox/Bartolo wines. Reception is at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $110 per person all inclusive. Other dates are July 8, Aug. 5, Sept. 9 and Oct. 7. Visit chaminade.com for info and reservations.