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harryd's Profile

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Sestri (Santa Cruz) Closed?

I've heard that Sestri has closed. Does anyone know anything about that?

Sep 24, 2008
harryd in California

New Italian on Seabright in Santa Cruz

Does anyone know the name of the Italian restaurant on Seabright Ave in Santa Cruz located where Al Dente used to be (not La Posta)?

Thanks in advance.

Apr 04, 2008
harryd in California

Shadowbrook in Capitola - Sunday nts 3-course dinner for $19.47

Go have a drink at Shadowbrook and enjoy the wonderful ambiance. Then go somewhere else for dinner.

Feb 14, 2008
harryd in California

Soif Santa Cruz, good for non-drinker?

Soif is as much about wine as it is about food. La Posta is not as much about wine as Soif, but wine is still a big deal there. So, I don't see either as a good choice for you.

Theos on Main St. in Soquel is at least as good as Soif, and some might say better. Although wine is available, it's not the main thing at Theos.

Feb 14, 2008
harryd in California

Oswald's in Santa Cruz

By the way, C. Waters also said that Gabriella is for sale.

Feb 08, 2008
harryd in California

Oswald's in Santa Cruz

Christina Waters said in December that they were targeting February. She also said it will have a full bar. Sounds like a much bigger place and a much bigger deal. It may not be the old Oswalds.

Feb 07, 2008
harryd in California

Bella Napoli (Santa Cruz) is Back - New Name

I think the menu did have mostly pastas, but I'm not sure. My wife had veal marsala, but veal dishes were among the specials for that day. We also shared an antipasto, which featured prosciutto, cheese, olives, etc. and was very good.

Keep in mind that we're talking southern Italian, so don't expect light, Calif. style cooking here.

They do have a wine list, but since I brought my own ($15 corkage), I didn't pay much attention to it. However, my wife did, and said they had a good variety, much of it not too expensive.

Feb 02, 2008
harryd in California

Bella Napoli (Santa Cruz) is Back - New Name

Until five or six years ago, Bella Napoli on Water Street was my favorite Italian restaurant in Santa Cruz. Then the chef left, things went downhill, and the place closed about a year later. Another Italian place replaced it, but it never caught on and closed a few months ago.

Now Bella Napoli is back with a new name: Limoncello. It is in the same location (on Water near Ocean), has the same chef, and even the same waiters.

Limoncello serves very good, mostly southern Italian dishes. It has the feel of a neighborhood place. Entrees range from the mid-teens to the low $20 range. It has only been open three weeks or so, so it's not crowded yet. But it will be soon.

Feb 01, 2008
harryd in California

Oswald's in Santa Cruz

When did the new chef start?

I had a very good meal there about 6 months ago, and then a disappointing meal when we took friends there (isn't that the way it always is?) about 3 months ago.

Oct 28, 2007
harryd in California

Santa Cruz Surprise 75th B-Day

Shadowbrook in Capitola is the place most people go for parties like that. The food is only okay, but everybody raves about the setting.

A second choice would be Cafe Cruz on 41st, also in Capitola. The food is arguably better than Shadowbrook, but Shadowbrook would be a more memoriable experience.

Oct 28, 2007
harryd in California

Oswald's in Santa Cruz

Oswalds is in the process of moving, but won't open until sometime in the first few months of 2008.

Theos on Main St. in Soquel, and winebar Soif in downtown Santa Cruz, are of similar qualify to Oswalds.

Oct 28, 2007
harryd in California

Pebble Beach area - 4 guys, not fancy

There's a reasonably priced, not fancy restaurant right next to Roys in Pebbel Beach. I think it's called the Clubhouse. Good food - great views.

Oct 24, 2007
harryd in California

Peppers, Pacific Grove

In my view, Peppers is a place that people who don't normally eat Mexican food go. If you're in that camp, you'll like it.

On the other hand, if you like "hole in the wall" Mexican joints, you won't like Peppers.

Oct 15, 2007
harryd in California

That Restaurant in Pacific Grove

I have been to Melange a number of times over the past few months. In my view, it's one of the better restaurants around. That's especially true if you like wine.

The Melange staff are wine people and that makes a big difference for me. Wine prices are reasonable, not much above regular retail, and they also offer two different flites each day, one white and one red, following a particular theme.

As far as the food goes, Melange reminds me of Manresa, in terms of style. It's not Manresa yet in terms of sophistication, but it's not nearly as expensive either. Figure about $40 per person, not including wine.

The service is professional, yet friendly. It's the kind of place that they will remember your name the next time you visit.

Melanage's monthly 5-course wine dinners on the 3rd Tuesdays, at $85 including tax, tip, and wine, are a bargain, considering what you get.

Aug 19, 2007
harryd in California

Seafood in Santa Cruz - Trendy Atmosphere

Hula's Island Grill on Cathcart in downtown Santa Cruz is a casual, high energy, rather noisy restaurant that features good seafood, tropical drinks, and friendly waitstaff.

It's not fine dining, but it's certainly trendy.

Aug 05, 2007
harryd in California

best breakfast in palo alto

I also like Il Fornaio. It's not about quantity there. The breads are delicious.

Sometimes I just order a bread basket, which has a variety of breads which they bake on site, and fruit.

Aug 02, 2007
harryd in San Francisco Bay Area

Betty's Burgers - Santa Cruz

I think making a fantastic burger requires someone with a passion for doing that.

BB isn't in that category. It's more of a run a restaurant using a formula kind of place.

Jul 17, 2007
harryd in California

Betty's Burgers - Santa Cruz

I agree with your take on Betty Burgers.

I had a 1/2 lb Mexican style hamburger and fries. The burger was not juicy and didn't have much flavor. The guacamole didn't do much to help. The bun was not heated or toasted. In sum, the burger was nothing special.

The fries were better than the burger, but still nothing special, at least in my view.

I went at lunchtime on Tues and it wasn't particularly crowded. There were no lines out the door. I guess that happens on Sat & Sun.

Jul 17, 2007
harryd in California

Betty's Burgers - Santa Cruz

Thanks for the detailed review. Wow! What a surprise.

What do you think explains the big crowds there?

Jul 12, 2007
harryd in California

Updated Santa Cruz restaurant reviews/opinions, please!

I agree that La Posta is expensive, and I too would rather have Calif wines. However, I think La Posta is a better deal than Soif, where it seems to me that they measure out food portions using an eye-dropper.

Jul 11, 2007
harryd in California

Updated Santa Cruz restaurant reviews/opinions, please!

I haven't been to Betty Burgers myself, but I've head several (say 4 or 5) people raving about the burgers and the fries. I'll have to load up on anti-fat pills and try it.

Jul 11, 2007
harryd in California

Seafood Rest in Santa Cruz

Hula's Island Bar & Grill on Cathcart in downtown Santa Cruz (there used to be a Chinese restaurant in that location) has amazingly good seafood.

It's a noisy, casual place with casual servers, but the service is good. Not too expensive. I think the seafood entrees are around $15-$20. Also has burgers, pupus, salads, all sorts of stuff.

May 27, 2007
harryd in California

Dinner @ Manresa, with wine TNs

I couldn't agree more. Manresa is by far, the best restaurant I've been to.

May 21, 2007
harryd in San Francisco Bay Area

Updated Santa Cruz restaurant reviews/opinions, please!

I've seen a couple of newspaper reviews - not good - it doesn't sound like a real wine bar

May 16, 2007
harryd in California

Capitola / Santa Cruz Restaurants for Graduation

Cafe Cruz on 41st St in Capitola, across the street from the old Kmart, is an all around good restaurant. All the classics; beef, seafood, pastas, you name it. Based on the crowds, it's Santa Cruz County's most popular restaurant.

Prices are in the $12-$24 range for entrees, which is a little cheaper than Shadowbrook. I think they have a kids menu, but I'm not positive.

May 16, 2007
harryd in California

Best Brewpubs in California!

The "Amber" and "Oatmeal Stout" at the Seabright Brewry in Santa Cruz are very good. The food there used to be very good but is now just okay. The only exception is: ask them to put gorgonzola cheese on their Brewery Burger. It may sound awful but it's a marriage made in heaven.

Apr 29, 2007
harryd in California

NEED ROMANTIC BIRTHDAY RESTAURANT IN MONTEREY/CARMEL

Melange is a small, quiet room with top notch service. The food brings to mind Manresa (Los Gatos) and Marinus (Carmel Valley), but it's not quite up to those restaurants in terms of sophistication. But Melange is half the price of those places.

Romantic, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. Melange doesn't overlook the ocean or anything like that. For me it's romantic because it's quiet, and features attentive, professional service. Also, they are wine people, if that matters to you.

Apr 20, 2007
harryd in California

Downtown Santa Cruz after 10 pm

Besides for Pearl Alley and Soif, does anyone have any ideas for fine dining in downtown Santa Cruz after 10 pm on Saturday night?

Apr 18, 2007
harryd in California

AWOL in Monterey: Massaro/Santos, Monterey FH

I've been to Melange on LIghthouse in Pacific Grove three times now, the last being the monthly wine dinner on Tuesday (last night).

Melange is something like Manresa, expect the food is not as sophisticated and it's about half as expensive.

That said, Melange is several steps above the other Pacific Grove restaurants, and worth a try if you want something really special.

Expect to pay around $50 - $75 per person including wine, so it's expensive. The Chef's five course tasting menu costs around $100 per person, including wine pairings. Believe me, I'm not a big spender when it comes to restaurants, but I thought the tasting menu was well worth it.

Last night's monthly wine dinner cost $85 per person, including tax. It was also five courses, and was equally as good as the Chef's tasting menu. So the wine dinners, which happen on the last Tuesday of each month are a bargain.

Mar 28, 2007
harryd in California

Norma's in Salinas? (or Watsonville or Prunedale)

I have been very disappointed with the Norma's in Watsonville. It's similar to Denny's, but not as good.

Jan 31, 2007
harryd in California