The other side of the bay

In case you missed it, here is my review of dinner on the other side of the bay, at Santa Cruz’s The Cellar Door, that appeared in Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald. I’ll be reposting my reviews and stories from my weekly column for the Herald here on my blog along with extra photos that didn’t appear in print.

Last week, my friends and I piled into the car for the next meeting of our occasional supper club, this time up at the Cellar Door in Santa Cruz.

The Cellar Door offers gourmet dinners at Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz.

The Cellar Door just brought in a new chef, Ryan Shelton, previously the chef du cuisine and pastry chef at Baumé, a Michelin two-star restaurant in Palo Alto.

We nibbled on a number of small bites to start. The kale chips — served with Parmesan churros ($9) — were gobbled up lickety-split. The kale was crispy and perfectly seasoned.

We got two orders of kale chips for the table, and gobbled them up so quickly we were tempted to order more!

The accompanying savory churros — rolled in Parmesan cheese instead of sugar and cinnamon — were unexpected.

This savory egg starter was delicious, with sweet squash and brown butter sauce.

The Glaum Ranch circulated egg — served over a purée of butternut squash with sage and brown butter ($10) — was probably my favorite dish of the entire evening, and further validated my belief that eggs aren’t just for breakfast anymore!

My entrée — the lacquered duck, served over slices of Cara Cara oranges and radicchio ($20) — was elegantly presented on the plate. The sweet oranges and bitter radicchio accented the savory duck.

The desserts were elegant, and a nice finish to our dinner.

The desserts were rich, but not heavy. I was most surprised by the citrus curd ($8). I had been skeptical of pairing acidic citrus with espresso ice cream, but the two played quite nicely together. And I loved the candied chocolate nibs on top.

Clearly the kitchen is in able hands — everything we tasted was fantastic, and I’m already plotting a trip back!

The Cellar Door is located at Bonny Doon Vineyard at 328 Ingalls St. in Santa Cruz. 425-6771. www.bonnydoonvineyard.com/cellar_door_cafe.

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