The Santa Cruz region boasts one serious upscale eatery. The Shadowbrook (1750 Wharf Rd., Capitola, 800/975-1511, www.shadowbrook-capitola.com, Mon.–Fri. 5–8:45 p.m., Sat. 4:30–9:30 p.m., Sun. 4:30–8:45 p.m., $25) has long been worth driving over the hill for. The cliffside location, complete with the namesake brook flowing through the dining room, has perhaps the most impressive views and atmosphere of any restaurant in the area.
The Shadowbrook makes for a perfect spot to stage the ultimate romantic date, complete with roses, candlelight, and fine chocolate desserts.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition