Bluewater's weekend brunch mixes steak house favorites with farm fresh eggs
Certainly one of the most wonderful blessings we have in Santa Cruz is oceanfront dining. The bay changes faces with the seasons; sometimes shrouded in mystery by fog, sometimes tossing sparkling diamonds, or like last weekend, dimpled and grey as we enjoyed brunch at the Bluewater Steakhouse.
Bluewater is a cozy little place with sofas and tall tables on one side, and dining tables around the bar which are lit by a wall of windows facing the water. We took a seat in the corner nook on comfortable bench seats. From this up-some-steps vantage point I could keep my eye on a football game unfolding on the large screen. The bright interior is much improved over its predecessor in the 1980s, where a server named David at Mac's Patio treated my grandmother like a movie star.
In addition to traditional breakfast fare, Bluewater's weekend brunch includes a selection of appetizers ($9 to $15) and salads ($9 to $11) from the dinner menu, as well as sandwiches and a variety of Black Angus and veggie burgers ($10 to $14) that can be enhanced with treats such as avocado and applewood-smoked bacon ($2).
A single server, professional, precise, and quick to smile, handled everything from bartending to bussing without missing a beat. I passed on the bottomless glass of champagne ($6), opting instead for a strong, bottomless pint of iced tea to go with the Bluewater Satay appetizer ($12). Three skewers each of seasoned, grill-marked chicken breast and butterflied shrimp were served atop a slaw of cabbages with red and green bell peppers which was mixed with a lovely ginger dressing. One dark dipping sauce of salty soy was enhanced with sesame oil, the other was a thick and luscious basil vinaigrette.
The Classic Eggs Benedict ($11) included perfectly poached eggs topped with a mild buttercup yellow sauce. A steak knife would have come in handy for cutting through the ultra-thick slices of Canadian bacon and toasted crostini. It was served with a heaping cup of grapes and melon, and hash browns that are in the running for the best in Santa Cruz. The thin sheet of grated potatoes was ultra-crispy on top, hot and tender in the middle and wonderfully flavored.
I couldn't resist the special omelet of the day ($12). Fresh chanterelle, porcini and button mushrooms with properly caramelized sweet onions and cheddar cheese were tucked into a smooth egg envelope. It was topped with little micro-green sprouts of mildly bitter arugula.
Other specials at Bluewater include Wednesday night Spaghetti and Meatballs ($9.95) with 50 percent off all wine, Thursday Prime Rib and a draft beer ($19.95), and Friday Baby Back Ribs ($9.95), the meat of which I am told just falls off the bone. Additionally, Bluewater strives to use organic and sustainable meats, seafood and vegetables with no pesticides or hormones.
Bluewater, 110 Monterey Ave., Capitola, 464-2583. Full bar. Serving dinner Wednesday through Sunday 5-10 p.m. Brunch (Saturday and Sunday) between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., or appetizers and salads between 3-5 p.m. Visit bwsteakhouse.com.
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