The Other Critics

Bauer Bestows Three Stars on Terrapin Crossroads; Says Shadowbrook In Capitola Is ‘Flawed’

Phil Lesh, rockin'.
Phil Lesh, rockin’. Photo: Facebook

Yesterday brought us not one but two (!) reviews from Mr. Bauer, one of Terrapin Crossroads up in Marin, and the other, from a special section on Santa Cruz, of Shadowbrook, way down south in Capitola. First off, Terrapin Crossroads (not to be confused with charming little Terrapin Creek in Bodega Bay) is the new San Rafael restaurant/music venue from the Grateful Dead’s own Phil Lesh. Lesh brought in veteran chef Chris Fernandez, a Chron Rising Star from 1997, to do some fanci-fied comfort food, and Bauer is sold. He loves the chopped salad, which he says is more like a Cobb salad but wholly delicious. And he gushes about the fried squash blossoms, the Hangtown fry, the steak, and the salt-crusted half roast chicken. The desserts, he says, are also great, and he’s glad the music venue portion is well separated from the restaurant, which used to be The Seafood Peddler. He gives them a big three stars. [Chron]

Shadowbrook, however, isn’t so lucky. Bauer is charmed by the hillside locale, south of Santa Cruz, and the novel little cable car that delivers diners up to and down from the restaurant. It’s a tourist trap, same it has been since it opened in 1947, though he finds them trying to keep up with the times by listing farms and purveyors on the menu, and serving a barrel-aged Negroni. Service is brusque and unprofessional, and he’s annoyed by a waiter’s tip-talk at the end of the night. “I’m psychic,” he said to Bauer and his partner. “I think you’re both lawyers.” Heh. Anyway, the fried artichokes are pretty good and the prime rib is “excellent,” but otherwise he’s pretty displeased. It ends up being a star-free review, however, probably because he didn’t make the proper three visits and the place is a little outside his usual jurisdiction. [Chron]

Bauer Bestows Three Stars on Terrapin Crossroads; Says Shadowbrook In Capitola