There's meticulous attention to detail in every flakey layer of Capitola Coffee Roasters and Patisserie's baked goods. The team creates their pastries by hand each morning, but the process starts even earlier. They first source real butter, unbleached flour, and other organic ingredients when possible. Then they mix the dough, which in some cases chills for 20 hours. Each passing minute infuses the future treat with more texture and flavor. Only then is it ready to turn into a breakfast bun, croissant, or danish. As the day goes on, the oven welcomes other desserts: bread pudding, apple pies made with organic fruit, or perhaps a flour-less chocolate cake. Oftentimes, the deservedly proud bakers post photos of their current creation on Facebook.
Outside this kitchen, aromas of tea and fresh-roasted coffee dance their way through the air. Baristas mix and pour all sorts of caffeinated drinks, including cappuccino, lattes, and chai tea. They often add house made whipped cream or flavored syrups for extra flavor. While Capitola Coffee Roasters and Patisserie still emphasizes breakfast, the shop serves sandwiches and soup, also known as liquid sandwiches.
Sailboats skim across Monterey Bay under a sky dotted with gulls. This is the typical scene diners see at Wharf House Restaurant, whether they’re gazing out the dining-room windows or lounging on the rooftop deck. The coastal panorama perfectly complements the plates of prawns, crab, snapper, cod, and other freshly caught fish that ground the Wharf House's menu. Even breakfast is inspired by the sea: salmon scrambles, bay-shrimp omelets, and crab florentine help guests muster the energy to endure an afternoon of lounging on the beach. In addition to seafood dishes, the kitchen crafts filet mignon and grills chicken breast for hearty evening meals.
The dining room reflects the establishment’s penchant for the oceanic with life preservers, glass fishing floats wreathed in netting, and even an antique scuba-diving suit from the days before humans evolved their very own gills. In the summer, classic rock and blues artists entertain diners on the upstairs patio.
The Palm Deli invites empty bellies into its casual environs to refuel on American-style breakfast and lunch vittles made from local and sustainable ingredients. With breakfast served all day, picky early eaters and midday egg lovers can choose from five types of breakfast burritos, including the Palm Burrito, whose delectable tortilla is used to smuggle cage-free eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, black beans, onions, peppers, and cheese past oral breakfast detectors ($6.45). Hearty appetites can partake of a hot Island Reuben on grilled rye bread ($8.50) or keep out the carbs with a Greek Isle salad, a conglomeration of leafy Mediterranean favorites with balsamic vinaigrette ($5.95). On Sundays, clamp down upon the wheel of fate with a build-your-own-omelette bar, which shatters the yolk of bondage into a delicious egg patty of infinite possibility.
Caruso's serves up a flavorful kick straight from the boot of Italy with its accolade-winning take on authentic Tuscan fare. Pasta pros make everything from scratch, with 80% of the ingredients coming from organic sources. Thin-crust wood-fired pizzas propagate the delicious aromas throughout the bistro and come in flavorful varieties such as biancaneve, an 11-inch dough disk loaded with white sauce, prosciutto, arugula, fresh tomatoes, shaved parmesan, mozzarella, and white truffle oil ($18).
Even though Severino’s Bar & Grill is located thousands of miles away from Beantown, the menu still boasts a cup of chowder that won the Santa Cruz 2011 Clam Chowder Cook-Off. This lauded chowder shares the menu with a wide range of shareable bar bites, burgers, and grilled entrees prepared by Chef Antonio and his team. Guests relax and nosh in the restaurant's spacious dining room or out on the patio, which overlooks a pond swimming with unchowdered koi.