Happy Hour all day on Mondays, Tuesday - Thursday 4pm - 6pm
$4 Beers & House Wine $5 straight wells, $6 mixed wells (such as Bloody Marys) $7 Higher end drinks
$4 Tempura Green Beans with Garbanzo Batter, Shaved Pecorino Cheese, Habanero Aioli
$4.50 Fire Roasted Pezzini Farms Artichoke with Tarragon Aioli & Italian Vinaigrette Dipping Sauces
$6 Crispy Coconut Prawns or Flat Bread Pizzetta with Lemon Basil Ricotta, Caramelized Onions
$6.50 - Crispy Monterey Bay Calamari with Sriracha Aioli, Cocktail Sauce, Green Beans, Meyer Lemon
& Organic Tomatoes
Chaminade Web Site
Jo and I have been remiss in our happy hour reviewing, or perhaps we are still recovering from our July Dive Bar Crawl. We have been trying to get a happy hour scheduled for quite a while, but with our busy schedules, it just didn’t happen. Chaminade has been on our list for quite some time and the fact that they have happy hour all day long on Mondays sealed the deal.
It turns out I had a dental cleaning right down the street and since I take valium any time I walk into a dentist’s office it made sense for Jo to pick me up and drive me up the hill. I was quite relaxed and had a nice clean smile. I had just gotten a message that our friend and happy hour consort Fred was in town from Oregon, so we met him at Linwood’s.
Chaminade is a resort and spa right up the hill from the graveyard behind Dominican hospital. It has lovely grounds with flowers and a beautiful ocean view. You think of it as a rather fancy, stuffy place, but it really isn’t. They had a nice Halloween display with hay bales and pumpkins carved with the name Chaminade.
When we got to the bar, Fred was already there drinking a beer and eating the Tempura Green Beans. No one else was in the place, which is always a plus for me. We had our choice of seats. Having happy hour all night long on Monday is great because it’s hard to get to this side of town with rush hour traffic and so many restaurants are closed on Monday.
Our first bartender was named Jr. and he was lively and friendly. He was glad to explain about the food and drinks and told us the restaurant is committed to using locally grown meat and vegetables.
We munched on Fred’s green beans, which were really tasty. For happy hour, selected appetizers are half off. We decided to splurge and get three: the Crispy Coconut Prawns, the Calamari and the Fire Roasted Artichoke.
The happy hour drink specials are $4 beer and wine, $5 for straight wells and $6 for mixed wells. I decided to order a $6 bloody mary. I was impressed with their well selection. The bloody mary was spicy and delicious. Josephine had a glass of wine.
We caught up with all of Fred’s news while waiting for the food to arrive. It was great to have him back in Santa Cruz. We stepped out to the deck to enjoy the view. They have a nice seating area on the deck with heaters and umbrellas, but since it was an overcast day we wanted to be inside.
I decided to try a margarita next as I was the only one sampling cocktails. The margarita came in a nice tall glass. Fred carried on with his beer and Josephine her wine.
When we came back the food had arrived. My favorite was the coconut prawns which were delicious with a light sauce. The calamari was quite tasty and came with two dipping sauces. My favorite was the Sriracha Aioli. The Fire Roasted Artichoke had good flavor and was served with lemons and two kinds of dipping sauce. The artichoke was a bit lemony for my taste, and I realized I am a mayonnaise and artichoke kinda gal. Overall, the food was very good.
The service was great. Jr. had to leave, so he turned us over to Elimar who was extremely friendly and helpful. Linwood’s staff is quite international and if they are from another country it is listed below their name on their name tags. Elimar is from the Philippines and shared what it was like to go between the two countries. We talked about our five shot glass rating system and he was quick to guess the first four - service, price, ambience and food and drinks, but didn’t get hours.
We ordered one last drink and this time I decided to try a rum and coke. Their well was Myers and that was a quite tasty well drink. That combined with the good company made the evening fly.
I would definitely recommend coming to check out the Chaminade – particularly on Monday. Nothing makes me happier than an all-night happy hour in an empty bar. The service is excellent, the food tasty, the view beautiful and the price reasonable. I realized the valium combined with the cocktails may make some of the details a bit fuzzy, but I know it was a lovely evening in a great locale. Linwood’s happy hour is a hidden gem.
Julie’s Rating: 4.5 shots!
The Chaminade Resort & Spa which is located on (of course) one Chaminade lane is an award winning resort that sits up on the hill overlooking the beautiful Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz. The resort has been around for a while and if you’ve never ventured up the road to this establishment it is well worth the trip.
There’s of course guest room and all the regular spa resources at hand, lovely grounds, and with a pool, hot tub, tennis courts, and hiking trails there’s plenty to see and do here. But we are interested in happy hour so to the Linwood Bar & Grill where happy hour is served all day on Mondays, and Tuesday – Thursday 4-6pm. They have ½ off select appetizers, $4 beers and house wines, and $5-7 well drinks.
The place has always been well decorated, you walk into the lobby with nicely decorated open seating and some special touches set up for fall. The bar is located downstairs with a nice size bar and plenty of seating.
There’s a fireplace inside and windows all around so you can look onto the grounds and the bay in the distance. One of our dear friends Fred is in town and joining us for happy hour. He’s already there when we arrive. The place isn’t very crowded so we pretty much have the bar to ourselves and we know how to work it. Julie gets right to it with the PR telling our bartender Junior who we are and what we are doing there.
We find out all the info and get the party started with wine for me, Julie starts with her usual bloody mary and Fred is already working on a beer. The bartender is very nice and friendly and we seem to be livening up the place already but then again we have a habit of getting the party stared wherever we are. We get our drinks start toasting it up with Fred and the camera starts flashing.
Fred started with the Tempura green beans so we look over the menu and decide on Crispy fried calamari, crispy coconut prawns and fire roasted Pezzini farms artichokes. All of the dishes come with dipping sauces and all of the sauces were delicious. The calamari had sriracha aioli and cocktail sauce, the artichokes had Tarragon aioli and Italian vinaigrette, and the green beans had shaved pecorino cheese and habanero aioli. I tell you once the food arrived we were dipping fools.
Everything was very tasty and the dipping sauces really added to all the dishes. I especially liked the fried calamari, nice and light on the batter and flavored to boot. The prawns were crispy and full of flavor and they served 6 of them which were nice since most places usually serve 4 prawns. I only had one Tempura bean and it was cold by the time I got to it but it still had good flavor. The artichoke looked great, roasted to perfection with grilled Meyers lemons to squeeze over it. I am not a big fan of artichokes so I wasn’t as impressed as Julie but she loved it. We were laughing it up and eating away and moving on to a second drink so the happy was going on.
We venture out to the patio to get some fresh air and enjoy the view. They have some seating outside with little fire pits in the middle of the table and heaters for a cozy outside gathering. I love the way Santa Cruz like to heat the outdoors for our enjoyment.
It was great getting together with Fred again. We only get to see him once a year and hopefully we will make it up to Oregon soon to visit with him there. I always enjoy having our friends join us for our happy hours. The more the merrier they say and that’s true, but let’s face it, our friends love a good happy hour as much as we do.
So all and all Chaminade is a great place to go for happy hour. The food was great, the staff very friendly and courteous and a view definitely worth seeing.
Jo’s rating: 4 shots!