June 2, 2020 – Just in time for the arrival of Phase 2.5, or wherever we are on the sliding scale of phases in our havoc-ridden reality, the newly remodeled, refreshed and rebranded Seabright Social will be ready to welcome diners and beer lovers this Friday, June 5, beginning at 3pm. Reservations are being accepted now, so don’t wait too long to claim your table on the patio, which will be able to accommodate 80 people, with social distancing guidelines. Wear your mask, and this being Santa Cruz, make it a good one.
Says owner Keiki McKay, “We are re-branding the brew pub and restaurant, but will be ‘powered by’ Seabright Brewery beer. We are opening with several Seabright Brewery classics and will continue to brew onsite.”
Some of those classics include Pelican Pale, Late Bloomer, Unleash the Juice, Sorry Charlie and Secret Stash, from longtime brewmaster Peter Landsman. The list will vary from week to week.
Seabright’s new owners, Jason and Keiki McKay (who own Cantine in Aptos) and Jon Bates (formerly of Soif), had planned to remodel later in the fall, but the COVID-19 pandemic granted them ample time to complete the remodel, and without the inconvenience of having to shut down mid-stream. Count them lucky in that regard.
You will be welcomed into a completely new interior dining space, with a brand new zinc bar top, long banquettes and lounge seating. With social distancing, the indoor dining room will accommodate about 40 people at 50% capacity. No mannequins will be present.
What’s cooking, you ask? The all-new menu features items like watermelon, arugula and feta salad with picked onions dressed with balsamic and Corto olive oil (Stockton), semolina dusted local calamari with spicy chile lime mignonette, salmon ceviche atop avocado with tomato gelée and purple potato chips, grilled street corn with chile powder, lime, chives, parmesan and garlic aioli, roasted garlic bread (Kelly’s ciabatta with parmesan and garlic butter) and sweet potato fries with jalapeno and ginger aioli.
You can chow down on sticky spareribs, glazed with tamarind and maple, or tingle your tastebuds with the house smoked curry salmon sandwich on milk bread topped with grapes, almonds, onion, tomato and lettuce. Of course, there’s a classic Angus burger gussied up with cheddar, pickles, red onion, housemade mustard and ketchup.
In the mood for street tacos? They come as a trio: chicken mole, pork carnitas, beef asada.
Vegetarians will appreciate the Veggie sandwich, a combo of grilled Portobello mushrooms, zucchini and onion, topped with arugula, pesto and eggplant purée. You’ll also find brick-roasted Mary’s half chicken served with garlic mashed potatoes, pan gravy and seasonal veggies, plus crispy panko encrusted sandabs accompanied by wasabi cocktail sauce and housemade gribiche, a fancy name for an emulsification of hardboiled egg, mustard, white vinegar, capers and olive oil, and generally tarragon and/or parsley. You could also call it tartar sauce.
Other entrées will include seared Monterey Bay salmon, with crispy skin, served with savoy spinach, roasted corn, garlic miso cream and grilled lemon, and Steak-Frites, which is soy/citrus marinated skirt steak served with sweet potato fries. For dessert, there’s a Guinness brownie with Bailey’s ice cream and Jameson caramel.
Don’t forget, they have a full bar, and bartenders, Jessica Shaw and Jessica Dunegan, are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to shake something up for you.
The wine list is still in development, but should evolve into something pretty noteworthy. They plan to have over 30 wines available by the bottle. Currently, the bottle list includes Melville Pinot Noir, Samuel Smith Pinot Noir, Kathryn Kennedy Small Lot Cabernet, Ridge Cabernet and about a dozen imports.
At opening time, the wines on tap will include Windy Oaks Syrah, Sante Arcangeli Rosé, Alfaro Rosella’s Vineyard Chardonnay, Eco Terreno Cabernet Franc, Bottle Jack Viognier, Il Campo Rosso Sangiovese and Lester Pinot Noir.
Let’s wish them a happy reopening!
Laura Ness is a longtime wine journalist, columnist and judge who contributes regularly to Edible Monterey Bay, Spirited, WineOh.Tv, Los Gatos Magazine and Wine Industry Network, and a variety of consumer publications. Her passion is telling stories about the intriguing characters who inhabit the fascinating world of wine and food.