Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Sep 17th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Coastal Hideaway

dining_CascadeAt Costanoa's Cascade Bar and Grille, KOA melds magnificently with sustainable haute cuisine
I had been looking forward to our anniversary get-away weekend. In addition to the obvious, it held the opportunity to experience a trio of recommended restaurants. Driving north on Highway 1 on a Saturday morning, with bucolic farms on one side and flocks of parasurfers hovering over whitecaps on the other, cares quickly vanished.

Just two miles north of Año Nuevo State Reserve, we turned right onto tree-lined Rossi Road towards our first stop, Costanoa. We checked into our Douglas fir cabin and reviewed the day's extensive activity list. Sandwiched between face painting and burger BBQs was wine tasting at Cascade Bar and Grille.

Cascade boasts numerous accolades, including San Mateo County's gold award for use of fresh, local and sustainable products. They even pour beers from Santa Cruz Aleworks and Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery. Seats at the serpentine bar were filled with people meeting people. The wisecracking bartender mischievously hid labels and bantered comically with patrons. Seasoned squash and sunflower seeds, and bowls of bright green olives were welcome with the unique sequence of pours; from Meridian Chardonnay to an incredibly meaty Martella Petite Syrah. To enhance the experience, we ordered a Cheese Plate ($10) with blue, brie, soft-ripened goat cheese and Gouda.

Returning a few hours later for dinner, the bartender Don, now dressed in black, had morphed into a welcoming and mannerly maître d' who showed us to our table where his wife Barbara would be our server. The large, open dining room was full of families enjoying a spring weekend.

We began with Jalapeño Margaritas ($9); a blend of Hornitos, fresh lime, and chili simple syrup, which hinted at the unique flavor of the popular pepper without the heat. A paddle-shaped bread board held a toasted baguette and herbed butter, which was magically replenished when empty.

Chef Michael Davis steamed Mussels and Clams ($13) in Santa Cruz Ale, adding fresh tomatoes just before serving. The seafood-flavored broth with pesto and crushed red peppers rivaled any I've tasted this side of Charleston.

Locally raised sustainable abalone ($19) was the second appetizer. Panko-encrusted in stylish brown butter, it was served with pea sprouts, julienne of squash and tart grapefruit and red onion salsa.

The charred Skirt Steak ($25), marinated in red wine, was accompanied by roasted corn and red bell peppers, smoky chard, and sweet potato chips.

Filet Mignon ($34) was absolutely tender throughout and cooked to a perfect medium rare. It was served with curly battered and deep fried red onions, thin spears of grilled asparagus, and spicy, finely puréed green cilantro-chili chimichuri.

To end the evening, we shared a snifter of Soquel's Osocalis Brandy, enjoying its caramelized, fruity aroma.

Accommodations at Costanoa include tent camping, RV parking, tent bungalows, lodge hotel rooms and cabins with fireplaces. I had chosen the latter for sentimental reasons, and although it turned out to be a duplex, the parents next door kindly kept their little ones busy outside.


Cascade Bar and Grille at Costanoa, 2001 Rossi Road at Hwy 1, Pescadero, (650) 879-1100. Full bar. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit costanoa.com.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

A Different Revolution

Aries Moon late Wednesday and Thursday. We think new thoughts and initiate new ideas. Sun in Virgo with Saturn in Scorpio help disciples to create orderly structures to anchor and bring forth new ideas. Stabilizing Taurus moon Friday and Saturday. We anchor new ideas into form and matter, like seeds planted in the soil. We tend them, waiting for green shoots to emerge. Like the gestating Virgo Sun Madonna, awaiting the birth of the holy child, the Soul, the new light at winter solstice. Mercury and Chiron converse about what hurts and what heals.Saturday is a complex day with Mercury (communication), Mars (action!) and Uranus (revolution). Mercury in Libra is opposite Uranus in Aries. Oppositions (recognizing something new appearing over there somewhere) eventually synthesize. Mercury in Libra calls for Right Action and Right Relations, especially with money. Uranus in Aries—the revolution this time must be different.  Also on Saturday, Mars enters Sagittarius. Where are we going, what are our goals, where’s justice, where’s the mountain, do we have good shoes? Sunday Venus trines Pluto—in-depth assessment of money, values and resources. Gemini moon Monday; we talk a lot, tending to tasks in gardens and neighborhoods. Cancer Moon Tuesday and Wednesday; we nurture and nourish. The stars and planets remind us.Note: William Meader, esoteric author & international teacher, will be speaking on “The Soul of Humanity Evolving Through Crisis” at Meditation Mount, 7pm, Friday, Sept. 12.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

What's your all-time best Skyview Flea Market score?

Santa Cruz | eBay Business

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Soquel’s Pinot Winner

When you taste Soquel Vineyards’ extraordinary 2012 Partners’ Reserve Pinot Noir, you will know why it won a Double Gold in June at the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition.

 

Wood Fire Woodie

Scotts Valley pizzeria gets fired up the old-school way