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Restaurants & Bars 3

Bravissimo to SESTRI (Santa Cruz)!

Carb Lover | May 15, 200508:31 PM

Quick report to say that our second outing to Sestri this past Fri. was sensational, even better than the last! Sestri was just voted best new restaurant and best overall restaurant by readers of the Good Times, a local A&E publication. See link to their website which has a link to the GT article. Was worried that their quality/service may have slipped w/ increased popularity, but that was hardly the case. They seem to be shining more brightly than ever and in a confident stride that's clearly translating to the food.

We pushed ourselves to eat earlier than usual at 6pm so that we could partake in their 3-course prix fixe deal from 5-6:30pm. For $19.95, one can can choose btwn. soup or salad, two mains, and two desserts. Very good deal, as these dishes a la carte would add up to at least $10 more. As a couple, we decided to sample one of everything. I'm not going to give impressions for each, but here's what we had (quoted from the menu) w/ a * next to the favored dish:

*Potato leek soup w/ pancetta and goat cheddar
Sestri Misticanza-Happy Boy Farms baby greens and herbs, sherry shallot vinaigrette

*Potato gnocchi al forno w/ pork and lamb ragu, spring onions, and caciocavallo cheese
Halibut Napoletano baked in the wood oven w/ artichokes, fennel, tomatoes, and Yukon golds in a spicy lemon brodetto

Roasted banana budino di pane, rum raisin gelato, and banana rum caramel
*Warm strawberry and rhubarb crisp w/ sweet cream gelato

I had an "Italian Madras" cocktail for $6. Vodka, cranberry juice, orange juice, amaretto, and limoncello. Came out the color of guava juice. Smooth, not too sweet, made very well. Y had a glass of chianti for around $6 which was serviceable.

Food is def. rustic as opposed to fine dining, but the seasonal ingredients were impeccable, preparations were grounded, execution and presentation were superb...such that every morsel and angle of food looked and tasted stellar. Every bite was a sheer delight and never got tiresome. Prix fixe is great if you enjoy dessert and have a healthy appetite. Their desserts and coffee were just as delicious as the meal, making this a good candidate for a post-dinner retreat.

Service was sensitive, relaxed but professional. Lovely patio but too loud as its very close to a busy intersection. Would sit inside next time. Stick w/ the daily specials and prix fixe for the freshest and most seasonal of dishes.


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