Y and I first visited the famous special occasion place in Capitola, Shadowbrook, during the holidays and I posted about it in January for those who want to search for that report. We went for dinner and thought it was ok since we had discounted entrees, but that overall, the place and food were "tired" and too boring for our tastes. As time went by, I had nothing good to think or say about Shadowbrook...until now.
My parents and brother were visiting last weekend, and for once, my mom was in the mood to eat out. I couldn't believe my ears since she hates to eat out (too much fat, who knows the sanitary conditions, the list goes on and on). I remember thinking that my mom might like the cuteness of Shadowbrook, and since her desire to eat out was indeed a special occasion, we headed there for Sunday brunch.
I was a little worried we'd have to wait since we didn't have reservations, but we got there on the late side (around 1:15pm) so just had to wait about 15 min. This gave us a chance to walk around the grounds, peer into their herb garden, take a few photos. Yes, I had my camera along so linked some photos below.
We were seated in the Redwood Room, same place where Y and I dined last time. Even though they have some lovely outdoor areas, they only seem to have full service indoors. Room looked familiar but had a glow and airiness that made it more appealing to me during daytime, when the windows are thrust open and the sunlight streams in from above.
Our waiter greeted us promptly and explained that every brunch (no matter what one orders) comes w/ a complimentary glass of bubbly...choice of champagne, mimosa, or sparkling cider. I don't know any details about the champagne, but I actually liked it. Bread server then appeared w/ their housemade orange rolls. Cross btwn. a muffin and sticky bun w/ candied orange and coconut rippling through the gooey topping. Scrumptious buggers but we turned down more since they're pretty heavy. We ordered the below dishes. For full description of each dish, see their web menu at: http://www.shadowbrook-capitola.com/
Creamy artichoke soup ($4 for cup): Clearly housemade. Pleasant appearance, flavor, and texture, but not interesting enough to make me want to down a whole cup.
Seafood Benedict ($14.95): The best traditional brunch dish of our group. Perfectly poached eggs, crab and shrimp cakes were fresh, even crispy english muffin had distinction. Hollandaise was well-done. Potatoes weren't exciting though.
Barbeque Beef Sandwich ($10.95): Surprisingly very tasty. Better than I've had at BBQ places. Angus rib-eye beef was good quality and extremely tender. Sauce was well-balanced and distinctive. Fries were basic.
Chicken Breast Oscar ($19.95): My mom seems to always order chicken when we go out which is the opposite of me. It was boring to me, but the Dungeness crab and avocado were very nice, and the pasta was lightly sauced yet flavorful.
Belgian Waffle w/ sauteed apples ($9.95): Even though I tend towards savory and salty rather than sweet for breakfast, I don't make waffles at home so they are a treat for me. Unfortunately, the waffle wasn't golden and crispy like I like it (maybe I should specify "well-done" in the future). Flavor was good though, if not more like a dessert. Good quality maple syrup.
Portions were extremely generous, so we had some boxes packed to go. Good value, which was confirmed by my parents not complaining about the price. My mom really liked the orange roll, so we asked for one to go and our bread server surprised us by stuffing two fat rolls into one box. Service was professional and solid. I still won't go to Shadowbrook for dinner since there are better local options IMHO, but Sunday brunch seems to be where they shine in atmosphere and food for me.