Carb Lover requested I post about my experience at Gabriella Cafe in SC, which I mentioned in another post below.
I'd been to GC a few times over the years for both lunch and dinner and have always enjoyed it. This time I had heard from a friend that a new chef is working there who trained at Chez Panisse and Foreign Cinema. We were in the area and decided to check it out.
We walked in at about 7:30 on Saturday night and the only tables available were in the covered outdoor area that has heat lamps. Since it was rainy and cool that night we decided to wait for a table indoors. They took our cell phone number and we spent about ten minutes browsing at Urban Outfitters down the street and then got the call that our table was ready. Very convenient as there's really no place to stand and wait at the restaurant.
Gabriella is quaint and cozy with a rather romantic ambiance that I've always liked. Lots of candles and there's always original art on the walls. Service is good.
My husband and I both had the butternut squash soup. Very tangy and good, but could have been a little hotter. He had the petrale sole with mashed potatoes and I had a dungeness crab risotto that was very good. We passed on dessert.
I certainly haven't been to every restaurant in the SC area but I feel there just aren't many options. Oswald is very good but high-priced, and Soif is the same (with small plates), while most of GC's entrees are $20 and under, I believe, another reason that makes it one of the better places in the area in my opinion.
910 Cedar Street
Santa Cruz (downtown area; one block down from Pacific Ave)