Q: Do I need to get dressed up to come to the restaurant? What is your dress attire?
A: Anything from shorts to tux. We would like you to feel comfortable when coming into our restaurant. If dressing up is the mood please do so; if casualness is your mood or you do not want to get out of those snugly sweats that’s great too. We want you to enjoy our restaurant.

Q: Do you need or take reservations?
A: We book approximately 50% of the restaurant for confirmed reservations and leave 50% open for walk-ins. We like to keep the restaurant open for those of our guests who make spontaneous decisions to have dinner. Yes – we will seat you as quickly as possible if you come in on a walk-in-basis – but sometimes there is a small wait and sometimes not.

lady-dog-pondQ: Can you bring young children or dogs?
A: We are extremely kid friendly. Well behaved dogs are always welcome to accompany guests on our outdoor patio. We even have a special Doggie Menu!

Q: Can you come in for dessert only?
A: Of course you can, however we do not take reservations for desserts.

Q: Are you open for breakfast or lunch?
A: Café Bittersweet serves breakfast 8:00 am-1:00 pm and lunch 10:00 am-2:00 pm Wednesday through Sunday (closed Monday) in the Café and on the outdoor patio. The Tavern Bar opens at 3:00 pm for late lunch serving items from our Dinner Menu.

Q: Are you open on holidays?
A: The only days we are closed are Easter (Café Bittersweet will be open), Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Q: Do you have a private room? Or do banquets? Or weddings?
A: Yes, Yes, and Yes, our private patio, event room and banquet facilities are perfect for parties. Enjoy exquisite food and professional service. For more information or a guided tour please ask for Elizabeth and call (831) 662-9799.

Q: How long has the restaurant been open?
A: Bittersweet Bistro opened June 13, 1996; formerly we were a small restaurant, Café Bittersweet, located on the west side of Santa Cruz from June 27, 1992 until June 2, 1996.

Q: Can we order food to go?
A: Yes, we do take out for all items on the menu. The chef prefers to cook certain entrées when you arrive to ensure the quality. Relax and enjoy a glass of wine or just sit down and put your feet up while we prepare your dinner.

Q: What are the old pictures in the bar?
A: The old Deer Park Tavern, being moved in 1946 when the State of California claimed the right of eminent domain so they could build a freeway.

thomas-elizabeth-vinolusQ: Is the Chef the owner?
A: Yes, Thomas Vinolus is a working owner. It has always been a dream for him to own a restaurant were family and friends would congregate.

Q: Is the Chef married or single?
A: Married, to his wife Elizabeth the beautiful brunette who runs the front of the house and is our wine buyer. They met and fell in love at Casanova’s restaurant.

Q: What does the name of the restaurant mean?
A: When Chef Thomas came up with this name for his restaurant, he felt it described his life and relationship to the hospitality industry. The “bitter” and the “sweet” of life and of life in the restaurant business. No it is not named after bittersweet chocolate.