Quick Bites | Achilles by the Sea opens in Santa Cruz


Achilles by the Sea now open

Achilles by the Sea (1404 Soquel Ave., 831-621-2834, Instagram @achillesbythesea) started serving customers Sunday. The Mediterranean restaurant, in the former location of Taco Bell, features items including dolma, hummus, baba ghanouj, and Tzatziki. Specialties include heart-shaped falafel, grilled Achilles chicken breast, chicken Shawarma, and gyros. For dessert, they offer several kinds of Turkish Delight imported from Turkey; the most popular flavors are a strawberry chocolate combination and a variety with rose petals, pomegranate, and roasted pistachios.  “We opened our first restaurant, Achilles, in Santa Clara in 2018,” says chef/co-owner Elias Stanon. “We are excited to bring our delicious food to Santa Cruz.” Diaa Altali, who goes by D, is also co-owner; the two are Syria natives. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday). A website is forthcoming for the Santa Cruz spot, which has some of the same menu items as the Santa Clara location (Santa Clara’s details are achillesrestaurant.com/about-us and IG @achilles.restaurant).


Tickets available for Chaminade Vine to View

Tickets are now on sale for Chaminade Resort & Spa’s Vine to View Farm to Table dinner series. The first event is April 29; the other dates are May 27, June 30, July 29, Aug. 26, Sept. 30, Oct. 27, and Nov. 18. Many of the dinners include wine pairings; some feature tequila or whiskey. The April dinner, held on the Courtyard Terrace, features wines from Beauregard Vineyards. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with wine and appetizers. A multi-course dinner follows. Tickets are $142 per person including tax and gratuity. Call 831-465-3449 or visit chaminade.com/santa_cruz_restaurants/ for details and tickets. Chaminade is at One Chaminade Lane.


Order Easter and Passover food from Gayle’s

Gayle’s Bakery (504 Bay Ave., 831-462-1200, gaylesbakery.com) has both Easter and Passover dinner available by preorder. Customers are encouraged to order early as quantities are limited. A la carte options are also available. Easter dinner, available cold to-go after 8 a.m. April 16, includes Niman Ranch ham with citrus spice glaze, potatoes au gratin, lemon asparagus, and butterflake rolls (priced between $21.95 and $115 depending on number of servings). Passover dinner, available cold to-go after 8 a.m. April 15, includes red wine braised brisket, zucchini-potato latkes, honey glazed carrots, and lemon asparagus. It’s priced between $24.95 and $130. Other holiday items include hot cross buns, which are already available and will be until Easter, and desserts such as Bunny Parade Carrot Cake, Triple Chocolate Egg Cake, Chick Cookies, and Bird’s Nest Cookies with jelly belly eggs. Gayle’s will be closed Easter Sunday, April 17.


Eat at Pizza My Heart to support youth sports

Pizza My Heart (2180 41st Ave., 831-475-6000, pizzamyheart.com) is hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Live Oak Education Foundation (liveoakedfoundation.org) from 4-8 p.m. March 29. Pizza My Heart will donate 30% of sales during that time frame to the Foundation—customers must say they are supporting the Live Oak fundraiser when they order. Proceeds will support the Foundation’s campaign to upgrade Shoreline Middle School’s gym floor in memory of Bytheal Ratliff and his commitment to youth sports in the Santa Cruz community. Dine-in, takeout and delivery orders all count; orders placed online (through the website or delivery services like DoorDash) do not count.


Wine tasting this week at Soif

Soif Wine Bar & Merchants (105 Walnut Ave., 831-423-2020, soifwine.com) is offering a special Raft Wines tasting from 5-7 p.m. Thursday. Winemaker and owner Jennifer Reichardt will be present, and attendees will taste four wines. Reichardt started the winery in 2016. Grapes are sourced from across California, and all the vineyards she works with are “farmed organically at minimum,” say event organizers. Cost is $25 for the public or $10 for Soif wine club members.


Tickets on sale for Homeless Garden Project fundraiser

Homeless Garden Project (HGP, homelessgardenproject.org) is hosting Sustain Auction Reception and Fundraiser at its Natural Bridges Farm (Shaffer Road) from 3:30-6 p.m. April 23, and tickets are on sale for $100 at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-sustain-auction-a-spring-reception-and-auction-fundraiser-tickets-194988133757. Ticket prices include food from La Posta, wine, and live music by Bob Burnett. The auction features prizes such as lunch for eight cooked by renowned chef David Kinch; a birdwatching expedition with bestselling author and avid birder Jonathan Franzen, and a farm lunch and tour with HGP Executive Director Darrie Ganzhorn. Proceeds from the event benefit HGP’s transitional employment program.

Quick Bites, compiled by Tara Fatemi Walker, is your weekly helping of Santa Cruz County restaurant, food, and drink news. Send items to sentinelfood@gmail.com (Sunday 7 p.m. deadline for that week’s column). Want local food & drink news as it happens? Follow the Sentinel’s food crew on Twitter or on Instagram @santacruzfood.