After extensive renovations to the restaurant space in downtown Santa Cruz previously home to Eric’s Deli, Alderwood finally tore the butcher paper off the windows in December to reveal an elegantly re-envisioned space. Two months later, the flood of excited customers eager to experience the raw bar of fresh seafood and exquisite cuts of beef at the forefront of Alderwood’s menu has yet to abate.
In a world of “more is more,” Alderwood’s burger zigs where others have zagged, focusing on high-quality ingredients and thoughtful construction instead of being weighed down by a leaning tower of gimmicky toppings.
This upscale newcomer represents a sign of Santa Cruz’s recent changes, replacing a former lunch deli space with sleek interiors, expert cocktails, and a menu of New American dishes and steaks. Chef/owner Jeffrey Wall made a name for himself at Atlanta’s lauded Kimball House, and woos Santa Cruz with an extensive raw bar, modern takes on steakhouse classics, and composed plates such as an Insta-worthy smoked beet tartare. The space fills up early thanks to a happy hour offering $1.25 oysters and discounted drinks and bar snacks. Tough to believe in Santa Cruz, but there’s usually a line out the door, and reservations are (gasp) a must.
Yes, it’s finally open, and from what I’ve seen and tasted, Alderwood and chef Jeffrey Wall will be winning quite a few hearts, minds and taste buds in the coming months.
The high-profile transformation of the old Erik’s Deli in downtown Santa Cruz is astonishing. A wall of glittering bottles lines the long bar, and the exhibition kitchen offers counter seating and a glimpse of the wood-fired soul of Wall’s coastal steakhouse menu.
Some exciting food and drink developments are happening in this laid-back beach community. The most recent opening is Alderwood in downtown Santa Cruz, which has been packed ever since it opened at the end of December. Here’s what it’s like inside.
THE VIBE: The luxe and inviting circular space offers wood tones, soft lighting, dramatic sconces and elegant pops of blue, with a bar on one side, an open kitchen with chef’s counter seating at the front, and booths, banquettes and tables in the center.
SANTA CRUZ — Last Saturday, Dec. 29, executive chef/owner Jeffrey Wall opened new restaurant Alderwood at the former site of Erik’s Deli (155 Walnut). Wall, who moved to the area in February, was most recently at Denver’s Hearth & Dram. . .
The Season’s Best Santa Cruz Alderwood may be making a name for itself with a buzzy oyster bar and must try steaks, but it’s an altogether different dish that is emerging as the establishment’s flagship plate.
A new burst of cocktail creativity is about to emerge on the Santa Cruz dining scene. The highly-anticipated Alderwood steakhouse and oyster bar has hired Miles Macquarrie to curate a cocktail program that complements the cusine of exec chef Jeffrey Wall . . .
Infrastructure design at Alderwood—an upcoming outpost of “oysters, cocktails, and steaks”—is already well underway at 155 Walnut St. (former location of Erik’s Deli) in downtown Santa Cruz. At the helm as partner and chef is Jeffrey Wall who brings a resumé with him that includes Atlanta’s Kimball House and Denver’s Hearth & Dram. Three seating areas, including a bar and chef’s counter will showcase Wall’s fresh food stylings built upon a French culinary background spun forward into a fresh California setting . . .
Jeffrey Wall is opening steakhouse Alderwood in downtown Santa Cruz this fall. The menu will feature French influences, and Wall says the venue will be a “coastal steakhouse and oyster bar.” Wall, who will also serve as executive chef, was most recently at Denver’s Hearth & Dram where he acted as executive (and opening) chef. His other experience includes Atlanta-based Kimball House, Empire State South, La Fourchette and Tartufo Pizzeria. He moved to the Santa Cruz area in February, and aims to open the restaurant in October . . .