Eat, Drink & Play
February, 2012 - Issue #88
For those who Resolved to be Healthy...
There's fresh, and then there's "We just picked it ourselves a few minutes ago"-fresh. The latter is what's on the menu at the Odyssey, where they farm their own tomatoes, greens and more. Pair their bounty with new gluten-free vegetarian and omnivore options that will accompany a brand new menu; 818-366-6444

We kicked off the New Year with a margarita at Margarita's Mexican Grill (Our resolution: Drink more.). To balance out the tequila we noshed on the Chicken Avocado Salad (Mmmm... tortilla-shell goodness...) with a bowl of the Veggie Tortilla Soup to start. Yum!; 255-1136

For those who Resolved to Try New Things...
Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Company is toying with our emotions - in a good way. Remember the Ale Macaroni & Cheese, which was available on very limited release to Facebook fans? Oh yeah. It's now on the menu - forever. (We're beside ourselves with relief.) Joining the to-die-for mac are Wolf Creek Style Chicken Wings served with either Smoky-hot Chipotle Sauce or Sweet & Spicy Asian Sauce. Even the Onion Rings got a 2012 makeover - they'll now be served along with WC's famous "cactus thorns" (friend jalapeno and onion strings); 263-9653

For those who Resolved to Celebrate Valentine's Day in Style...
There's a very good chance that, if you order your sweet a treat from Lady Di's Cookies & Sweets, that they'll be better dressed than you are. Di's fantastic chocolate-dipped strawberries will be looking posh in their tuxedo best, which means you can get away with wearing jeans. (Throw a Valentine's Day-themed white-chocolate-covered caramel apple in the mix if you also want to avoid buttons on your shirt, gentlemen.). Di has the best prices in town, too. Long-stemmed berries are only $2.50 each and stemless are only $1.50; 222-9102

Toffalicious Gourmet Foods made us believers last year when they treated us to a nibble of their S'mores Toffee Crunch. Now we can think of nothing else. (Join us in our delicious yearning by imagining buttery crunch all-natural toffee surrounded with gooey sweet marshmallows, dark, rich chocolate and good old-fashioned graham crackers.) We're thinking that the height of our V-day romance will be sharing this fun-to-eat pull-apart treat; 702-0600

Maybe your sweet's sweet tooth has been banished like a bad dream. That's Ok. We can get through this together (And, by "together" we mean you and Limoneira). Have you taken an agri-tour of this Santa Paula treasure yet? No? (Put it on your "must-do" list. Seriously.) To tide you over pre-tour, hop online and order one of their gorgeous Orchard Fresh Gifts (a to-die-for Chocolate Lemon Biscotti can be added as a Valentine's Day option. Heaven!). While you're there, treat your wholesome honey to the finest in bath and body care (natural avocado and lemon do wonders for the body, mind and soul); 805-525-5541

If you never read another sentence again in your entire life, we strongly advise that your last rendezvous with words be this:
New Moon has created a very special Valentine's Day take-out dinner for two for only $40, including sales tax. This is big, people. Call ahead to order by choosing soup or salad; an appetizer; two entrees (served with steamed rice) and - cute! - a petite Heart Cake for Two. Whether you want to enjoy a romantic dinner at home or a gourmet picnic under the stars, don't forget to call ahead. This very special special was quite popular (major understatement!) last year; 257-4321

If your treasured companion would love nothing more than a relaxing lunch or dinner at Marston's Restaurant, call now - they just opened reservations for Valentine's Day; 253-9910

Is this the year you resolved to make a better impression at work? What you need to do is follow a simple three-step process. First, buy a lot of Cupcake Tree's Red Velvet Cupcakes. Next, bring them to the office. Then wait for the compliments to roll in; 251-YUMM (9866)

Some people prefer a love that burns like an inferno. Ah, but those embers die out so quickly. We prefer a gentle smolder - which is why, after all these years, we're still hot and heavy with Salt Creek Grille. (They just, you know, get us.) Their V-day menu, which will be offered alongside traditional selections and live music, displays our mutual affection for great food. Starter choices include Ahi Tartar Marinated in Pacific Rim Flavors, Lightly-battered Cajun Popcorn Shrimp, Butternut Squash Soup and Pear Salad with Goat Cheese, Glazed Walnuts & Raspberries. Entrees include the Coffee-rubbed New York Strip and Sweet Potato Ravioli topped with Lobster & Shaved Asparagus; 222-9999

The Oaks Grille at TPC has made us an offer we can't refuse: a chance to enjoy a gourmet five-course dinner the weekend prior to Valentine's Day. Reservations are available on Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Make your reservation before February 7.). The first course requires a choice between Roasted Tomato & Basil Bisque or Roasted Corn Chowder; the second course is a Warm Goat Cheese Salad; course three is a Taste of American Farmhouse & European Cheese; your fourth course selections are Flame-grilled Filet Mignon, Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast, Chicken Forestiere Roulade, Togarashi Seared Day Boat Scallops, Niman Ranch Pork Loin, Zucchini-wrapped Salmon Filet or Creamy Risotto; and the final course is a Chefs' Duo of Sweets. The price is $95 per person, plus tax and service;
288-1995, extension 109

Put the sparkle back in your relationship by giving them an effervescent treat: soda. Before doth protest too much, let us explain what kind of soda. We're talking the rare and wonderful original-recipe cane-sugar Dr. Pepper (in stock for only a limited time). We're talking Root Beer Samplers that will knock a connoisseur's socks off. We're talking a selection of over 350 different sodas, nostalgic candies and gifts - all available right now at Rocket Fizz on Town Center Drive. (Mention Inside SCV and take $2 off your purchase of $10 or more.); 253-FIZZ (3499)

Pulchella Winery is offering a four-week wine education series (two classes, each offered twice). "Tasting Basics" will be held on both Friday, January 20 and Friday, February 3. Everything from proper wine-tasting methods to how a vineyard location can change the flavor of the wine will be addressed. All wine is included in the $25 price. On Friday, January 27 and Friday, February 10, the "Food & Wine Pairing" class will take place. This class will discuss general rules and methods for pairing wines while tasting Pulchella's selections with food specifically catered to match. Come prepared to taste good food with great wine and learn in a fun, intimate environment. All food and wine is provided for the $35 price; 799-WINE (9463)

What's better than wine with chocolate? Perhaps wine and chocolate infused together for the perfect match. Chocolate Shop (Walla Walla, Washington), a combination of wine and Creme de Cocoa, is definitely a chocolate lover's wine. With its aromas and flavors of dark chocolate surrounded by hints of cocoa powder, it delights with its silky smoothness making for a delicious and decadent experience! Trentadue's Chocolate Amore (Alexander Valley) is an award-winning Merlot-based, port-styled chocolate flavored dessert wine that is great poured over vanilla ice cream or as a stand-alone dessert. If you're tastes are more suited to roses than chocolate, Abbazia's Enchanted Rose (Italy), a sparkling Malvasia rose, features a delicate feel of roses and ripe fruit, with just a touch of sweetness that is clearly "romance in a glass." These romantic bottles are all available at Vino 100; 294-6886

Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Co. has a new beer on tap: Anderson Valley's Hop Ottin' IPA. According to the maker, "Hop Ottin' IPA is, just like Anderson Valley itself, easy for anyone to appreciate while offering depth and complexity for those who take the time to savor. Brilliant copper color with a lingering, lacy white head. The nose sings of grapefruit, pine needles, citron, roses, and bergamot. The flavor is rich in the citrusy, resiny flavors typical of the Pacific-Northwest hops packed into this beer, balanced artfully with a solid malt character and crisp bitterness leading to a beautifully dry, light herbal finish." We're sold; 252-7883

For a romantic dinner for two to a party of 50 or more, Sake's fully-enclosed, heated patio is knock-out beautiful and the newest hot spot in town. Book your birthday party here and get your entree and dessert for free! Combine that with their great soundtracks and live music and you have the recipe for a perfect night out. Every week, Sake hosts live music on Friday nights at 10 p.m. (Get on the dance floor while the best bands in town play hits from the '80s and up.). For those who are looking for the classics and romance, try the Sunday Supper Club from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. featuring The Jimmy Carnelli Jazz Duo singing Frank Sinatra and All the Greats.The Supper Club also features dinner and sushi specials and a 15-percent discount for all of us that are 60 years young and older. Finally, for fun every day of the week, try their awesome 5-4-3-2 Happy Hour held Tuesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. With finger-licking great food starting at only $2, $3 beers, $4 premium wines and $5 signature cocktails you are sure to leave full and happy with money to spare; 255-SAKE (7253)

Trying to find more time for golf? Scratch Golf... Accelerated has a plan for you, man. Practice at lunch, then play at night in a golf league with your friends. The leagues run 10 to 12 weeks and you can count on playing golf, rain or shine. Each team will need at least four players as each week's competition requires four. With world-class simulators, there are over 20 great courses to play - including Pebble Beach! You'll also compete in skill challenges in the putting and short game areas. League competitions run about 75 minutes each week; 775-0578
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