Man, oh Manresa

Press-Banner - October, 2006 

Some people spend their discretionary income on vacations, some on gadgets and recreational toys and others on entertainment. Few people I know spend a healthy chunk of their hard-earned income on a single dining experience. But in June, we joined the ranks of these folks — as well as those who are fortunate enough to eat in such fashion regularly — to partake in an affair of food that can only be described as extraordinary.

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Scoppazzi's Serves up Old-World Charm

Press-Banner - May, 2007

Scopazzi’s, built in 1912, has been around longer than most of the people who frequent it. Designed first as a boarding house for local loggers and then converted to a restaurant in 1955, it has an atmosphere of timeworn grace that makes no apologies. Nor does it need to.

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Pastafarian's Delight

Press-Banner- February 2008

What would parents do at mealtime if pasta had never been invented? I know in our household, if noodles are part of the answer to “What's for Dinner?”, I'm a hero for the night. If not, I'm a callous ogre living in a delusional world of vitriolic vegetables and suspicious proteins.

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Tri-Tip Round-Up

Press-Banner – October 2008

Tri-tip steak holds a special place in my alimentary memory. The first time I tried it was in college in San Luis Obispo, where vendors could be found grilling behemoth slabs of meat on open barbecues lining Higuera Street during the famous Thursday night Farmer's Market. As it turns out (and I didn't know it then) tri-tip steak has its early origins in the nearby town of Santa Maria. According to Wikipedia, it was there, in the 1950s, that the cut moved up in status from being ground to being rotisseried and grilled. Cut from the bottom sirloin, tri-tip has grown in popularity due to lower fat content, robust flavor and comparatively lower cost.

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Freshness Reigns at In Vino Veritas

Press-Banner - May, 2006

Where can you go in Scotts Valley for an exquisite dinner complete with white tablecloths, fresh Peruvian lilies on every table, homemade pastas, wholesome meats and organic produce?

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Rumblefish Offers a Rainbow of Choice

Press-Banner - February, 2007

My first trip to Japan was in 1996, and one of the things I found most curious was the presence of laminated photos of food pasted to the windows of nearly every restaurant we passed. It made perfect sense for nonlocals like me, who couldn’t even fake an understanding of the kanji characters on the menu and who weren’t brave enough to simply point to an item and pray it was edible.

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Luring in the Seafood Crowd at Sandabs


If you're looking for fresh, innovative seafood without driving down to the coast, look no further than Sandabs Seafood and Wine Bar. A small pearl in the heart of Scotts Valley, Sandabs offers friendly, professional service and creative delicacies from the sea in a casual, unpretentious environment.

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Redwood Pizzeria – Targeting the Gourmet Family Set

Press Banner – October 2007

During a conversation about what else – food - I asked a Ben Lomond friend where her family likes to go locally for pizza. She said Redwood Pizzeria in Felton was a favorite and then in a lowered voice added “they have Marianne's ice cream there”. That was all the incentive I needed to pile the family into the car and check out the digs.

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Comfort Food, Bavarian Style

Press Banner – April 2006

With the weather forecast calling for rain for the foreseeable future and the signs of Spring being nothing more than an inkling, there's not much out there to soothe the soul as well as a crackling fire and a plate of hearty (albeit calorie-rich) comfort food.

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Courting Kids at the New Scotts Valley Diner...(Parents Welcome Too)

Press Banner – March 2006

Take your pick - a green salad with goldfish crackers on top, a bowl of applesauce with Teddy Graham crackers, or a plate of sliced cucumbers with a vat of ranch dip. This may not sound like much to woo the discerning adult palate, but such a menu selection is kid heaven. The new Scotts Valley Diner (formerly Denny's) on Scotts Valley Drive is keenly aware of its target market – families with kids - and has built a vast menu offering to serve its audience.

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A Taste of Cambodia

For the Press Banner

Grilled salmon with shredded green mango. Catfish steamed with coconut milk and collard greens, wrapped in a banana leaf. These used to be items you'd need to schlep over Highway 17 to get. No longer. Making a bold entree to the Scotts Valley dining scene this summer is Jia Tella's, specializing in cuisine from Cambodia.

A Taste For Simplicity at Rocky's Café

For the Press Banner
Thus we kicked off one of our June weekends with a morning trip to Rocky's Cafe, nestled in the redwoods near the main intersection in downtown Felton. Passing by in my car, I've often been intrigued by the white wooden building that only serves breakfast and lunch and decided it was time to try it out.