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Review of Oswald

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Ranked #30 of 372 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Front
Perth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2012

We went here because of the trip advisor reviews and were not disappointed. I had the special cocktail a strawberry and cucumber martini - refreshing! The service was first class. Extra bread provided without even asking and an excellent meal. Husband had the duck with blueberries and I had the scallops and as for the desserts....almond and custard cake for me and chocolate mousse for husband - they were both perfect. Would definitely come back to Santa Cruz just to eat here!

Thank poppeta69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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107 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, CA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Stellar cocktails with expertly prepared food”
Reviewed September 13, 2012

Our visit took place on a Thursday evening and the restaurant didn't seem too busy when we arrived. We opted to eat at the bar and enjoy the full view of the traffic outside (because there's a huge wall of windows allowing a view of cross street traffic).
Our service was prompt, friendly and knowledgeable. Since we sat at the bar it was handled by the bartender / server and he seemed to know when to refill my water glass at the correct time and bring out the entrees well after we finished our salad...such a small but often overlooked detail (it's all in the timing of the kitchen).
Well, the food is expertly prepared using fresh, quality ingredients and served in adequate portions. And, the food is very rich...very rich tasting. So, the portions really do satisfy your appetite. We shared a crab with avocado and greens for our salad and that was fantastic. I had the eggplant gratin and it came with some mesclun salad on the side (more greens!) and my spouse had fried chicken with more mesclun salad on the side (more greens!). The food is tasty but we could have done without all of those extra greens on the side. Maybe another side dish? Maybe another kind of plate presentation without the mesclun salad? Anyway, their drinks are where they really shine. They make spectacular cocktails with ordinary ingredients in unusual combinations. My spouse ordered a watermelon-vodka-cilantro cocktail that was absolutely delicious.
Atmosphere is clean, classic and sublime. It's a nice place to sip a cocktail or two. Have dinner or a snack to people watch, watch traffic or enjoy each others company.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank blkcats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
388 reviews
334 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 266 helpful votes
“Nice Place”
Reviewed July 28, 2012

Oswald's is a very classy upscale restaurant with good food. It reminds me a lot of restaurants that I have visited in San Francisco. They have a great selection of mixed drinks.

Visited July 2012
Thank davidsantacruz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Altos, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Paradise for your palette”
Reviewed July 22, 2012

Unpretentous setting in downtown Santa Cruz, Oswald, has a genius chef with an outstanding wait staff. Patrons dressed in suit and tie, to beach casual pack the place on a Wednesday night to enjoy the delightful menu. Though crowded, sitting at our table for two, we didn't feel intruded upon by our fellow diners.
The menu is select, but imaginative. Only the very freshest ingredients used to send foodies into a swoon of delight.

My appetizer was a beautifully battered an pan seared abalone on a bed on greens. The abalone was tender an sweet, the batter a light breadcrumb that was golden and crisp and not the least bit oily. The greens had a light EVO and lemon dressing that complimented the abalone without overwhelming it's delicate flavor. My dinner companion had a crab dish that was everything crab should be. Sweet, buttery, light - heaven on the tongue. The chef surprised us with a special dish that was unique and beautiful. Calamari head caramelized to a deep brown stuffed with rattatoullie and wild rice. Each slice a wonder of texture and flavor.
My main course was pork medallion served with spetzle, and prunes stewed in tea. The sweetness of the prunes mixed with the slightly smoky flavor of the tea beautifully complimented the perfectly prepared pork. With the petite spetzle, finely diced veggies, the prunes so juicy no sauce was needed and a bite of pork on my fork, the implosion of flavors in my mouth had my eyes rolling in my head with joy. Our server was kind enough to pour a few reds for me until I found THE one that best suited my meal.

Our water glasses never went empty. The server was never far away but did not constantly interupt with, "how is everything?", allowing us to have a pleasant conversation during our amazing meal. Empty plates were removed quietly and efficiently. Even though the kitchen is open, there was still a calm industiousness about it. No slamming or shouting, just professionals doing their job with pride and efficacy.

Chef Demont not only knows his way around a kitchen, but how to create an atmosphere to keep his wonderfully inventive, delicious dishes the center of attention. As it should be.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Ready2Go935
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
83 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Great Variety”
Reviewed July 11, 2012

Great menu, lots of choices, good wine list, did not need a reservation, good service, try the gnocchi!!!

Visited July 2012
Thank sunscreen5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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