Ventura Restaurant Week 2017: Our Visit to Paradise Pantry and Cork


January is Restaurant month in California promoting “culinary travel”. As Jan 20-29 is Restaurant Week for the cities of Ventura and Oxnard in Ventura County, California, on Tuesday Jan. 24, Que Syrah Sue and I decided to hit up two of them: tried and true Paradise Pantry in downtown Ventura by the San Buenaventura Mission and the brand new Cork located on Main and Santa Cruz in midtown Ventura, both offering $20 dine and wine deals. Find other Restaurant Weeks in California here.

Paradise Pantry

We arrived at Paradise Pantry before 5pm on a Tuesday, but they had a decent crowd already there because Paradise Pantry’s small bites, wines by the glass, and wine flights lends itself to every thing from a very late lunch to happy hour to an early dinner to a light dinner to a snack and a chat with a friend.

The small, narrow venue is warm and inviting with a small bar in the back, a seating area by the window with informal, comfy seating, and two tables by the other windows so you can see out to Main Street and the Mission. Small tables can be combined to accommodate larger groups. Bright artwork decorates the original brick walls. Through a wide doorway, you can access the retail shop with two large cold cases for cheese and pate, plus tightly packed rows of bottles with an emphasis on local but also including carefully curated representatives from around the world.


For Restaurant Week’s $20 deal, Paradise Pantry is offering Continue reading

Twisted Oak’s “Take Your Rubber Chicken to Work Week” ends today! Here’s my entry!

Twisted Oak’s “Take Your Rubber Chicken To Work Week” photo contest ends today! Here are the rules:

1. Get a rubber chicken if you don’t have one.

We got ours at Twisted Oak; it’s an original. You can tell by its Twisted Oak choker. You can also tell our chicken likes raves by the collection of friendship bracelets.

2. Take it to work.

And to lunch!

3. Take a funny picture.

We tried. Beverly said writing poetry is serious business.

4. Email it to tastingroomATtwistedoakDOTcom BY March 30th. That’s today!

For Take Your Rubber Chicken to Work Week, Danika and I decided to take my son’s rubber chicken to our “Message in a Bottle: Ocean to Ojai” writing workshops.

Our rubber chicken learned a lot about poetry, wine, and local natural history. We thought our rubber chicken was named Murgatroyd but we discovered that was a favorite saying (and Twisted Oak wine) not a name: Beverly is actually the name of our rubber chicken.

Among many adventures, we took photos of Beverly learning how to do writing practice, write a pantoum, and taste wine with Vino V and Old Creek Ranch Winery winemaker Michael Meagher (pictured with Beverly). Beverly also enjoyed chai at Farmer in the Cook in Meiner’s Oaks and performed in an open mic at Big Buddha Lounge. Here’s a picture of Beverly with Big Buddha Lounge’s Davis Far.

Beverly also starred in a few youtube videos; I’ll post links when they go up sometime tonight.

You still have time! Break out your rubber chicken at work today! Complete rules and stuff:

So by my accounting, there’s quite a few of us who took a rubber chicken to work: Danika and Joan, the gals at Paradise Pantry, Michael Meagher, and Davis Far. I can only hope you will split your Master Cluck Bucks for Twisted Oak wine with me, your photographer and friendly neighborhood blogger.