New bistro takes Filling Station spot
Westside Bistro opened New Year's Day in Santa Cruz, filling the Mission Street gap left by the Filling Station with a new place to grab coffee and small bites.
Co-owners Nicole Hicks and Ashlyn Adams have created a locavore menu of salads, sandwiches (including panini), and pastries. Espresso drinks run $1.75 for a single shot to $3.75 for a 20-ounce mocha.
Westside Bistro is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at 1500 Mission St. Visit www.westside-bistro.com.
The Filling Station closed in August after one year.
Beach Street Cafe back in business
Watsonville's Beach Street Cafe, which closed abruptly a little more than a year ago, has risen from the ashes. The new incarnation opened Dec. 30 under new ownership.
Aptos resident Flavia Ordonez, a retired Pajaro Valley teacher's aide, spent six months giving the longtime local institution a facelift. Customers who donated baseball caps to the restaurant through the years -- the hats served as quirky decor -- will notice the logos have been stripped off, washed and given a new home under clear acrylic sheets covering the tables.
Beach Street Cafe is at 435 W. Beach St. Hours are 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily.
New Zameen truck rolls over to UCSC
UC Santa Cruz has a new food truck starting Monday:
"I've been watching the growth of gourmet food trucks over the past few years and really wanted to get involved," Watson said. "I love the idea of a food truck, loading it up in the morning and heading out to try and sell everything before returning back to base."
The menu offers grab-and-go versions of Zameen's standard fare -- think Greek burgers and salads, sweet potato fries, and lamb and beef gyro wraps rolled with Middle Eastern flatbread made at the restaurant in the morning. Prices run $3-$9.
The truck is available for private hire and could soon be making its way to the county's festival circuit, Watson hinted. He's also brainstorming a Santa Cruz food truck fair.
Zameen's truck operates 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays at UC Santa Cruz. Find it just down from Shakespeare Santa Cruz in the parking lot by the Digital Arts Research Center and the Music Center. Call 688-4465 or visit www.zameencuisine.com.
Mama Mia's adds lunch hours
Mama Mia's, the Italian eatery in Felton, is now serving lunch. Options include salads, sandwiches, panini and pasta, available 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.
The restaurant at 6231 Graham Hill Road changed hands in September, when Frank Leamy sold the Felton branch to locals Mike Goss and Nick Church.
Call 335-4414 or visit www.mamamias.com.
Soft opening set for Quail & Thistle
Quail & Thistle is moving to the city. The Ben Lomond tea room, housed since 2011 in a cabin off Alba Road, will open Saturday in the former spot of Capitola's Bloomsbury Tea Room.
The new shop's English-style menu is similar to Bloomsbury's. Housemade jams and jellies, from apricot to elderberry, will also be on the table.
Quail & Thistle co-owners Dan and Cindy Fairhurst-Thorpe got a call last year from Bloomsbury founder Jennifer Coffey, who "wanted to retire out of the tea room but ... didn't want to leave her customers or the legacy," Dan said.
The carriage house on Capitola Avenue has been a tea room since the 1980s, when the Country Court Tea Room moved in. Coffey opened Bloomsbury in January 2009.
The new Capitola location of Quail & Thistle opens Saturday. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. Call 272-2522 or visit www.quailandthistle.com.
Au Midi in Aptos tweaks hours
Au Midi, the French restaurant and bistro in Aptos, is now open Tuesday through Saturday. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner service runs 5:30-9 p.m. Previously the restaurant was closed Tuesdays.
Call 685-2600 or visit www.aumidi.com.
Malone's brings back wine night
Wine-down Wednesdays, featuring unlimited tastings for $10 per person, resume in a week at Malone's Grille in Scotts Valley. The first featured winemaker will be Ferrari Carano out of Healdsburg, a vineyard that specializes in fume blanc, chardonnay, siena and cabernet sauvignon.
The event runs 5-7 p.m. Jan. 16 at Malone's, 4402 Scotts Valley Drive. Call 438-2244 or visit www.malonesgrille.com.
Sones hosts next wine-ed session
Surf City University, a production of the local collective Surf City Vintners, continues its wine-appreciation series Sunday with Michael Sones. The owner of Santa Cruz-based Sones Cellars will be teaching Wine Tasting 101, which covers the basics of wine tasting and evaluation, out of his tasting room at 334-B Ingalls St.
Cost is $30 per person, $25 for wine club members of any of the Surf City wineries. Call 408-234-2079 or visit www.surfcityvintners.com.
The next class in the series, Feb. 10, will highlight Iberian varieties with Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and its sister brand Quinta Cruz.
New Leaf covers herbs, gluten-free
Nutritionist and author Rebecca Rovay-Hazelton will be at New Leaf in a week with a free lecture on precautions to take when eating a gluten-free diet. The talk, set for 6-7:30 p.m. Jan. 16, will also cover testing methods and meal planning,.
Chef Zachary Mazi will lead a cooking class at the store 6-8 p.m. Jan. 17 focused on cooking with herbs and spices in the winter months. Cost is $25 per person.
Both events will be at New Leaf Community Markets, 1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz. Registration is required. Visit www.newleaf.com or call 426-1306, ext. 0.
Crab, cioppino on menu at Michael's
Tuesday nights at Michael's on Main this month will bring a range of themed meals, guest chefs, live music, and wine and beer pairings:
Michael's is at 2591 Main St. in Soquel. Tuesday night pairing dinners run 6:30-8:30 p.m. Cost is $25 per person. Call 479-9777 or visit www.michaelsonmain.net.
Quick Bites, your weekly helping of Santa Cruz County restaurant and food news, is compiled by local food writer Laura Copeland. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the Sentinel's food crew on Twitter, @santacruzfood.