Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 24th
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 


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


Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.


Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.


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.


Film, Times & Events: Week of April 24

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.


Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.


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