Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Apr 17th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Scrumptious Send-off

 

altDowntown's Oswald continues to combine flavorful seasonal ingredients with appetizing presentations 
 
This wasn't the first time my son has said goodbye to Santa Cruz. Going away to college, from my perspective, was significant, but landing a job with a promising career path and securing an apartment in San Francisco, I consider monumental. 
It's a different world up there. But before he took wing, we wanted to give him a taste of some of the best his hometown has to offer.
 
It was eight o'clock on a weeknight, and the air at Oswald was perfumed by huge pink lilies, and punctuated by energetic conversation. Our cocktails ($9) included a tart vodka Cosmojito with mint, lime and cranberry, and the Bitter End, which also included fresh mint, plus whiskey and grapefruit juice. alt
 
For appetizers we couldn't resist the two specials. Unmolded from a ramekin, soft, bright avocado was topped with chunks of crab, a wafer of cheese that was melted and cooked until crisp, and a bit of salsa with bell pepper, red onion and lemon rind ($13). It was served with balsamic-dressed greens.
 
Before California bids au revoir to foie gras on July 1, I couldn't resist one more taste. The incredibly tasty grilled liver ($15) spread like butter on toasted bread with savory apricot chutney.
 
Each of our entrées was beautifully presented and delicious, despite the absence of co-owner Chef Damani Thomas. Tangy blue cheese butter melted into slices of tender, rare Skirt Steak ($25). The accompanying onion rings were sliced thinly, lightly battered, salty and crisp. A shared bottle of dry, peppery, Nipozzani Riserva ($44) was the perfect accompaniment.
 
Seared Dayboat Scallops ($25) were served with jasmine rice on a bed of spicy and creamy puréed nettles with mushrooms. The Roasted Chicken Breast ($24), boneless except for the wing drumette, sat atop sautéed escarole and pedestals of sweet potatoes. It was topped with minced anchovy butter.
Such an occasion as this deserves some sweet, 10-year tawny port ($8), and a selection of desserts. Three balls of vivid tangerine sorbet ($8) rested in a puddle of crème Anglaise. 
 
The cheese plate ($10) included my favorite goat cheese brie with truffles, a 

alt

hard Basque sheep's milk cheese, and a softer Gouda-colored Belgian cheese, which was firm yet creamy on the tongue. Slices of green apple and sugared walnuts lent sweet-tart harmony.
 
The flourless Chocolate Soufflé ($10), cooked in a ramekin, was presented on a plate dusted with cocoa and powdered sugar. Made with Valrhone dark chocolate and as light as mousse, it was served with a pitcher of crème anglaise.
 
Lunch is now served only on Fridays, but on Wednesday nights, enjoy prix fixe specials ($29). Choose from trios of appetizers, entrées, and desserts. Recently the menu included sherry-steamed mussels with aioli, lentil fritters with beets, greens and crème fraîche, and a dessert of apricot clafouti (fresh fruit topped with batter and baked) with whipped cream.

Oswald, 121 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-7427. Full bar. Serving lunch Fridays from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., and dinner Tuesday through Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Visit oswaldrestaurant.com.

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

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

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.