.Top Chefs on the Move Around Santa Cruz County

Avery Ruzicka’s and David Kinch’s Bread Prophecy, Venus Pie Trap, Ocean2Table and Thai food is coming to Bad Animal

Thanks to the intrepid fisherguys of Ocean2Table, you can whip up some dreamy mahi-mahi tacos at home. The rich and delicious fish is now going for $25/lb, and all you need to do is pop on over to the getocean2table.com page and begin shopping. California halibut, starry flounder, dorado (aka mahi-mahi), are among the fresh catches now available. But of course, there’s much more on this appetizing site. Check it out.

Bread Prophecy

The outstanding bakery devised by wünder-baker Avery Ruzicka and chef David Kinch is planning to open a new location in Santa Cruz this autumn on the Westside. That’s all we know for now, but if you’ve ever stopped by the mothership in Los Gatos, or swooned over the beautiful pastries from Manresa that regularly stock the displays at Verve coffee shops, you know to stay poised and ready!

More New News

Turns out that Katherine Stern, longtime chef at La Posta, and current chef at Bad Animal, will be leaving in mid-September to take her expertise to her own dining room (something many of us have fantasized about her doing for several years) next door to the Rio Theater. Where once there was Oyunaa’s Mongolian Cuisine, there will now be a new dinner house featuring Stern’s vibrant stylings. Meanwhile, going into Bad Animal will be a new Thai cookery called Hanloh. Could this be the restaurant revitalization we’ve all been waiting for? Hope so.

Venus Pie Trap

Yes, it is a clever play on the name of that carnivorous plant we all used to tinker with in junior high botany classes. But it’s about to become much much more. I’m convinced that distiller and hospitality entrepreneur Sean Venus stays up nights dreaming up new extensions to his delicious empire, because now there’s one more reason to thank Venus, and that’s the new pie, coffee and pizza place right next door to the still brand-new Venus Beachside, the posh saloon and dining place facing the beach at Rio del Mar. Venus Pie Trap is deeply interested in pies, pies as in the sort with sweet and savory fillings; pies as in pizza pies, especially the New Haven-style pizza Sean Venus recalls from his Connecticut childhood days. So that means we’ll be able to sample such New Haven pies (I still need to check out the exact definition of “New Haven” pie) as the clam and garlic variety, and many others. The new beachfront Pie Trap will source pies from Oakland’s Edith’s Pie (so we don’t have to make the oft-challenging drive up to Oakland), pastries from the awesome Manresa Bread and bagels from Holey Roller. Coffees will come from Santa Cruz fave 11th Hour. So essentially you can make a single all-day stop at Rio del Mar. Arrive in the morning for coffee and pastries, lunch on a New Haven pizza slice and then slide on over to the Venus cocktail outlet right next door for drinks and some aquatic theme dining. Thank you Sean.

Venus Pie Trap, Tuesday-Sunday, 7am-3pm; 113 Esplanade, Aptos. venuspietrap.com.

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Big Basin Grenache

I love Grenache. Love the grape, love the color, love the gorgeous flavor. And Big Basin Vineyards founding winemaker Bradley Brown makes as good a Grenache as you’ll find. So you’ve got plenty of reasons to stop by the glamorous downtown tasting room, at the foot of Pacific & Cooper for a vertical flight of these lovely wines. $45 flight. Club members receive 50% off flight. 

Thursday, Sept. 15, 4-9pm. 525 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. bigbasinvineyards.com.

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