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RestaurantsSanta Cruz
06.11.08

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Naughty and Nice: Original Sin in Capitola is open.

Dish

Glory Hallelujah! Original Sin Desserts finally opens its doors in Pleasure Point.

By Amber Turpin


Grape Expectations
In the last couple of months, as local wine producers have unveiled their 2007 creations, I've come across some that are worth mentioning. Martin Ranch Winery, based in Gilroy, has a lovely cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc rose called Rosa Seca under its J.D. Hurly label. Sones Cellars, with its first and only tasting room coming any day now on Ingalls Street (congratulations also to Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard's grand opening on May 31 in the same facility), has a new La Sirena release, mixing viognier from Lodi, pinot gris from Santa Cruz and sauvignon blanc from Monterey. (Speaking of Monterey, I tasted an amazing new chardonnay by Jeff Pisoni under his own Luli label, 85 percent Santa Lucia Highlands and 15 percent Mendocino fruit.) Sourcing from eight acres of Pinotage grapes in Lodi, the largest such parcel in California, Pelican Ranch Winery has just released a new vintage of this interesting varietal that is most commonly found in South Africa. These, of course, are only a sampling of what is available out there right now.

Let Us Eat Cake
Original Sin Desserts in Capitola is officially open and turning out some noteworthy goods. I stopped by on its second day of business, and although the bakery case had been "completely decimated" during the grand opening, a nice balance of breakfast items, savory fare and classic desserts was evident. A core philosophy of green practice and seasonality is apparent in the menu items, as well as in the physical space. Every new appliance is Energy Star qualified, and the bakery has plans to implement a food scrap program. Using natural light from large windows cuts down on energy consumption and supports a commitment to transparency. "We have nothing to hide," jokes owner Tanya DeCell of her showcase kitchen. DeCell says she buys organic when possible and also local because it makes a smaller carbon footprint. I sampled the zippy, feta-filled version of tabouli with sun-dried tomatoes (until fresh are in season), a rich lemon cheesecake (Original Sin's signature item) and a perfect little strawberry nut muffin packed with walnuts, pecans, fresh local strawberries and salty-sweet streusel. Top-notch. Near Portola Drive and 41st Avenue. (831.477.7776)

SPICE IT UP
An affinity for super spicy chai has made me nearly allergic to sickly sweet mixes and concentrates. I am that annoying customer asking the barista what brand of chai the house uses. The local company Sun Chai is definitely acceptable, as are a few places around town that actually have their own recipes and brew on-site. One such place is Pacific Coffee Roasting in Aptos (happy 20th birthday to them!). Their house-made chai is fragrant and bold, almost tongue-numbingly spicy, and just the way I like it. My "extra spicy" request (meaning a higher tea-to-milk ratio) was met with strong approval from behind the counter. And, to literally top off this exciting discovery, a complete selection of mini spice mills are available for the customer to hand-grind whole nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon bark. (831.685.2520)


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