.Home’s Kitchen Garden Doubles as a Classroom

A great idea in growing food vocabularies. The creative team at Chef Brad Briske’s Soquel dining room, Home, have cooked up something ambitious—a Bilingual Gardening and Cooking Class for Kids that unfolds during four Monday afternoons starting Oct. 2.  

“We have noticed a need for more Spanish speaking environments,” the Home team announced, with an eye toward young ones learning Spanish as a second language as well as interesting after-school environments for native Spanish speakers. The innovative program involves outdoor gardening as well as interactive Latin American cooking with native Spanish speaker and chef Diego Felix. Targeting 5-9-year-olds, the four-week session runs every Monday, from 3-5 p.m. $85 for complete session. If you’ve got inquiring young ones, this sounds like something special. To reserve your place, email in**@ho********.com, or call Linda at 334-2134.

Aptos Changeover

Coming and going so quickly it gave some diners whiplash, Bella Vista in the high-mileage Aptos landmark Bayview Hotel, has closed its doors. For many of us who fondly remember the substantial comfort food of the long ago Bayview’s family-style Italian dinners, the wonder is why so many “restaurateurs” just don’t quite get it right at this historic location.

Meanwhile, armed with a popular working hypothesis, the entrepreneurs of Parish Public House (holding down the lively corner of the Almar Avenue complex on the Westside), are taking their social skills to the former Kauboi (former Britannia Arms) and hope to get the doors open in the very near future, i.e. by the end of the month. Aptos neighbors are sure to have their mouths watering for some of Parish’s signature burgers, sandwiches and classic pub fare. Fingers crossed!

Holy Mole

You probably already knew this, but according to the judges at last weekend’s Mole and Mariachi Festival, our region’s top mole sauce is from Margaritaville, with Mickey’s Cafe and Catering the runner-up. Congratulations to all—a great mole is a thing of zesty joy. So make plans to sample mole at Margaritaville—along with something in the key of tequila—in the near future.

Bargain of the Week

That would be the surprisingly drinkable 2012 Pinot Noir from Primarius in Oregon. At a light 12 percent alcohol, this Pinot manages to deliver good fruit and a pleasant bouquet of berries and plums. Available along with lots of other affordable wines on the bargain rack at Shopper’s Corner. Thank you Andre and company!

Burger of the Week

The house burger served with insanely delicious thin, crisp fries at West End Tap & Kitchen. Made with grass fed, pasture-raised beef, and served on a Gayle’s challah bun, this baby is juicy sin for $13. We like to add cheddar and caramelized onions for a few dollars more.]

Pastry of the Week

Gayle’s reels me in. Can’t help it. While my buddy Lisa succumbs to the strawberry shortcake scone, I opt for the full-figured cheese Danish with a dollop of blueberry jam in the center. The tender pastry is not too sweet, and the creamy cheese center is the sort of creation that makes a calorie proud to be a calorie. $4-ish. Get coffee, sit down, and take some quality time with that danish. Bliss.

Pinot Paradise Alert!

Make plans to join fellow Pinot lovers from 5-9 p.m. on Sept. 23, Pinot Paradise Harvest Dinner at Lester Family Vineyards in Corralitos. Start with a reception featuring wines from 11 Santa Cruz Mountains wineries, followed by a multi-course dinner by Tanya DeCell from Original Sin. All proceeds from the $150-per-person event will benefit Hospice of Santa Cruz County. Tix at scmwa.com.


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