There are plenty of reasons to visit Santa Cruz any time of year, but there’s something about the beachside city during the summer that makes it extra special. Now you have a new excuse to head to SC: Alderwood, downtown’s seasonally-driven restaurant from chef Jeffrey Wall.
Designed by Atlanta-based multidisciplinary architecture, planning and design firm, Square Feet Studio, Alderwood pays homage to Wall’s background as a photographer and forager, with an aesthetic inspired by his photographs of wild mushrooms. To capture the feel of his foraging adventures, Square Feet Studio integrated a balance of colors and textures to complement the restaurant’s menu.
Thirty years ago, the Loma Prieta earthquake decimated Santa Cruz’s downtown. Today it stands reborn, with contemporary architecture and a buzzing commercial district that’s transformed the city from hippie hamlet to hipster hangout. […]
Santa Cruz’s food scene is blowing up, too. The latest hot spot is Alderwood, a high-end eatery that puts a California spin on new American recipes.
1. James Beard finalist Miles Macquarrie curated the cocktail program to complement Chef Jeffrey Wall’s cuisine.
2. Dry-aging beef—like the 60-day-aged steak offered at Alderwood—transforms the enzymes into smaller, more flavorful fragments, and the collagen dissolves into gelatin during cooking, making it more succulent.
3. Now you don’t have to head over the hill for a steakhouse that delivers on flavor with a unique coastal vibe.
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.