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05.13.09

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Phaedra

Photograph by Jenn Ireland
The Sum of its parts: Chef Beverlie Terra and food and beverage manager Sean Woodruff dig into a Deconstructed Cobb Salad on Linwood's terrace.

Technicolor Treat

Well-executed standards and a terrific view at Chaminade's casual terrace eatery, Linwood's

By Christina Waters


WITHOUT a doubt Linwood's supplies one of the dreamiest, most soothing, positively Ligurian views available in Santa Cruz. The sapphire bay, dotted with white sails, all unfolds beyond the rolling green lawn and stands of eucalyptus adorning Chaminade.

The view is best accessed from the Italianate terrace of Linwood's, Chaminade's cocktail command center and, as we found out last week, an accomplished dining spot. From 11am until at least 10pm, this sprawling lounge and dining area serves up sophisticated cocktails, local wines and a short list of nonthreatening menu items, available to guests from the community as well as participants in Chaminade's many workshops, retreats and corporate training sessions.

Why isn't this place more prominent on everybody's favorite after-work list? Angie and I wondered I sipped a terrific example of 2007 pinot noir from Trout Gulch Vineyards ($12). Probably because lots of Santa Cruzans have become a bit fuzzy about the Chaminade identity, what with various ownership changes over the years. Also, Angie noted, enjoying a pour of delicious Gloria Ferrer bubbly from a very small champagne flute ($9), people aren't sure that Chaminade is open to the public for drinks and food every day.

Well, that's about to change, I winked, and grabbed a slice of pizzetta that had just arrived at our spacious alfresco table.

The flat-bread pizzetta-crisp, thin crust under an addictive topping of fontina, mozzarella and sundried tomato pesto ($12)-was a great opening act to a casual dinner spent soaking up Linwood's wraparound scenery. With the pizzetta came my entree-size salad of grilled salmon niçoise, a deep bowl filled with organic greens, fingerling potatoes, al dente green beans and sliced egg all drizzled with a feisty citrus vinaigrette ($16). On top of the salad sat a grilled fillet of salmon-moist and tasty-sided with Kalamata olives, Bermuda onions and plenty of feta cheese. It was a lavish and delicious creation-easily a perfect light dinner.

Our main course-which we wisely chose to split-was an evening special of broiled halibut ($26) accompanied by technicolor baby carrots, purple cauliflower, long slender asparagus and a nonboring version of citrusy rice pilaf. The fish had been nicely executed to preserve maximum moisture, not easy to do with halibut. Evening shadows lengthened cinematically as we finished off with cognac-laced coffee, yes, topped with freshly made whipped cream ($6). Only a dessert of apple crumble ($7) proved disappointingly lukewarm and uncrisp. All the rest was as enjoyable at that View.

We will not require a handwritten invitation to make another early evening visit to this lovely terrace at Linwood's. Sitting up above the fog, the bay, the cares of the day, it's hard to believe we're just a few minutes from downtown. And that's the whole point.



LINWOOD'S at CHAMINADE

Address: 1 Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Phone: 831.475.5600

Hours: Lunch and dinner 11am-10pm daily

Ambience: Full bar; killer view


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