It is nice when things can work smoothly even in the worst of times. Avanti owners Tatiana and Jonathan Glass are working smart, providing take-home for their employees during the current phase of social distancing.
Last week we sampled a few dishes from Avanti’s inviting menu of curbside pickup dishes, including three delicious items starting with some irresistible spiced roast cauliflower with arugula and pickled onions. I inhaled a comfort creation of wide pappardelle with an excellent red sauce and delicious Llano Seco Ranch pork meatballs($23). But it was the kale salad with hanger steak ($23) that really knocked us out. Even in a carry-out container this dish had visual appeal, with slices of rare beef fanned out next to a huge salad of tender shredded kale tossed with ricotta salata, dice of mandarins, almonds and bread crumbs.
We were in need of some pampering and this dinner did the job. The whole process was so easy—make a phone call, provide a card number, drive up to the front door, pop the trunk, and have the shopping bag of dishes placed inside. We have already planned our next Avanti dinner: Fresh halibut with risotto sounds incredible!
Avanti, 1917 Mission St., Santa Cruz. Order daily from 4-7:30pm. 831-427-0135, pizzeriaavanti.net.
Three Star Voyeurism
Running out of movies and videos to binge watch? Here’s a tip: Watch A Chef’s Voyage, a documentary that follows Manresa and Mentone chef David Kinch and his three star Michelin culinary team on a 10-day pop-up cooking tour in three top French restaurants. Viewers can purchase the rental for $4.99 on Somm TV until midnight on May 3 and have 72 hours following the rental to watch it. The 30-day online release will donate 100% of the rental donations to laid-off restaurant workers around the country. Made three years ago on Manresa’s 15th anniversary, A Chef’s Voyage is a mesmerizing documentary about Kinch’s style, his work ethic, and the backstory of achieving those Michelin stars.
High quality, enjoyable, with beautiful production values—complete with subtitles when needed and a hot soundtrack—the film offers an intense view of Kinch taking his entire culinary team to France. Partnering with his host chefs, Kinch cooks his way through the kitchen of le Taillevent in Paris, then the fabled l’Oustau de Baumaniere in Provence (both of which I’ve sampled), and finally to le Petit Nice on the Mediterranean.
“Cooking’s easy; leadership’s more difficult,” Kinch confesses as the film shows him managing the intricate dance of turning custom-designed ingredients into visual artworks. It is performance art, inside the kitchen and out, in staggeringly tasteful dining rooms. It offers fascinating evidence that the top chefs are driven, fanatical artists. The food’s so beautiful you will salivate. View the trailer at instagram.com/p/B-floZ7HW21.
Thank you to Shopper’s Corner and New Leaf Community Markets for doing such a great job with safe shopping protocols! There are navigation markers in aisles, lots of space at check-out, and a limited number of customers at any one time. Masks on everyone!
Shopper’s Corner. Open 8-10am for seniors and high-risk shoppers; 10am-7pm for the general public. shopperscorner.com.
New Leaf Community Markets. Open 8-9am for seniors and high-risk shoppers. newleaf.com.
Takeout of the Week
Steamer Lane Supply’s take-home “heat and eat” Carnitas Kit (for two people) gives you natural pork carnitas with two housemade salsas, escabeche, and nopales, plus of course shredded cabbage and lime wedges ($24). Come by in person or call ahead at 831-316-5240. Smart hygiene is practiced here, with one person in the shop at a time, touchless transactions, etc.
Steamer Lane Supply. 644-670 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. 9am-6:30pm daily.
Check out our continually updating list of local takeout and delivery options.