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Shadowbrook (Capitola) Report: specials not so special

Carb Lover | Jan 20, 200502:43 AM

A while back, I posted an announcement that Shadowbrook was offering $12.95 specials on selected nights through Feb. (see link).

Mon.: prime rib
Thurs.: seafood
Sun.: chicken

Very good deal given that their regular prices for these items avg. around $25. Thought this would be the opportune time to finally pay them a visit, keeping my expectations in check. Stopped in for Thurs. night seafood special. This was before Christmas, and the fact that I'm not posting til now is telling...the meal was not awful, but certainly not memorable.

While they smartly lured us in w/ the deal, once there, we felt compelled to order additional items, of course. No pressure from the staff, but the "special occasion" vibe of the place made us feel very cheap just ordering entrees and water.

Shared crab cake app. to start. Good, but honestly, I've made better at home. Hubby ordered seared ahi tuna. I had the scallops special--Nova Scotia scallops dusted in chile pepper powder. Wines by the glass selections were very limited and rather abysmal, but I got a pinot grigio and hubby ordered a pinot noir. They both tasted pretty bad (not corked, just bad) and were not finished by us IIRC. Wines by the bottle may be better.

Seafood was fresh and cooked well, and both dishes had a nice spicy kick to them. Got tiresome after a couple of bites though since they lacked much flair or contrasting flavors to continue stimulating the palate. Japonica rice that came w/ both dishes was a tasty novelty--black grains that were nutty and toothsome. Never had this before, but could see myself eating it alot if I were vegetarian. Boring that it was served on both plates though. The surprise of the evening--what sticks in my mind the most--was the wonderful mound of housemade pickled ginger that accompanied hubby's dish. Wish they channeled that attention into the mains though. When all was said and done, total w/ tax & tip came to about $60+...would rather spend that $ elsewhere since food was lackluster.

Service was very professional and attentive since they have a huge crew of staff there. Atmos. was quaint but too cutesy and contrived for me, catering to the tourist set. Felt like I was in a Thomas Kinkade painting. Since my mom likes Thomas Kinkade though, I would consider taking her here for brunch on a sunny day to sample their artichoke soup. She would get a kick out of that kitschy tram.


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