Mentone - Aptos

really impressive cooking at david kinch’s mentone, my favorite restaurant in the area. stick with apps, pastas and mains, wasn’t a fan of the the soft, soupy pizzas.

eggplant, calabrian pesto, fromage blanc, preserved lemon, spearmint

burrata & prosciutto, persimmon, pistachio, with house focaccia

sole meunière, brown butter, parsley, parm, fingerling potato

sea urchin, housemade chitarra, citrus, chilis, bread crumb, fennel

tocco, ‘our bolognese’, housemade corzetti, pecorino

margherita, tomato, basil, mozz

scallop sashimi, périgord black truffle, lemon crème fraîche

eggplant, calabrian pesto, preserved lemon, stepladder creamery chevre, mint

burrata & prosciutto, persimmon, pistachio, focaccia

gnocchi, dungeness crab, leeks, calabrian butter, breadcrumbs

porcini, housemade trenette, chives, poultry broth, walnut, parm

beef short ribs, sunchoke puree, brussels sprouts, pickled chanterelle, beef jus

pork belly and scallops, roast red kuri squash, braised fennel, scallop sauce

lemon curd, fior di latte, pistachio

fried sardines, meyter lemon aioli

stracciatella, house focaccia

caesar salad, mixed chicories, crouton, parm, anchovy dressing

crudo - yellowtail, cucumber, fermented pepper, shallot

peston alla genovese, housemade trenette

sea urchin bucatini, citrus, chili flake, breadcrumbs

funghi, chanterelle & cremini, coppa, caciocavallo, red onion, oregano, balsamic

fried sardines, meyer lemon aioli

tomato & watermelon salad, chamomile ricotta, pistachio, marigold

jimmy nardello’s vine peaches, basil honey

spaghetti alla chitarra, housemade psata, crab, chili, garlic, colatura, bonita flake

sea urchin bucatini, citrus, chili flake, breadcrumbs

soppressata, salami, aged mozz, tomato, pickled calabrian chili, fairy dust

chocolate gelato


I assume these were multiple visits or were some dishes so good that you ordered them multiple times

I seem to remember one of the Bourdain shows where he goes to Naples for ‘real’ Pizza Margherita. He’s surprised that 1) the center of the pizza is basically soup and 2) everyone is using knives and forks.

His conclusion: in the US, we’ve fixated on crust. Which is fine. That’s where the skill of the pizzaiolo comes in most obviously. But in Naples, it was all about showing off the sauce and the cheese. Local ingredients, the best of the best, etc.

So, maybe the soupy-centered pizza is intentional? (But even if it is, you still don’t have to like it.)

Looks like a pretty fabulous meal. I really wanna try that sea urchin pasta…

four visits

And how many people?

I was pissed that they weren’t open on our way to and from Monterey the other week.

it’s definitely a me thing, I’m not a fan of neapolitan. soupy center was almost certainly intentional.


Thanks! :+1: Got a res for this weekend.

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if you’re down in santa cruz/aptos, also be sure to check out the Thai pop-up Hanloh (popup inside Bad Animal bookstore). She’s good friends with the Manresa/Mentone squad and the ex-pastry chef of Manresa (Courtney) is helping out with their desserts.


speaking of pop-ups, tori man does some delicious yakitori around santa cruz including at mentone. sergio, kaito-san, used to work at rintaro.


I follow that guy’s Instagram in hopes that one of these days he’ll pop up someplace that’s not a 90-minute drive.

tried ooe


Couldn’t agree more.

Mentone reminds me of the best Napa and Sonoma County bistros in the early 2000’s: low-key, comfortable, short/focused menu, high skill level in the kitchen, gracious service. Stop in for a quick bite at the bar or linger for a while. Mentone manages to pull it off without being ridiculously expensive.

Can’t think of any spots like this in L.A. Hopes were high when Manzke announced Bicyclette but the realities of the pandemic forced that restaurant into a high-end frame.

Here’s the one picture I managed to snap before diving in:

Dry Aged Ribeye Tartare with House Made Chips and Caviar


This looks like one amazingly delicious dish!
Have I lived in the Bay area I would drive to Aptos just for this dish alone!

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It can be over four hours round-trip from my house, and a lot of the drive is pretty unpleasant.

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second location opening in los gatos

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Wish I could have gone to Chef Kinch’s event happening at Soif Wine Bar tonight. A couple of the CdP from Manresa will be cooking tonight!

here’s the menu:

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Zampone? Happy new year!

Sometimes it is surprising what high quality restaurants you find in unassuming little towns. On a recent trip to Santa Cruz we were quite interested at visiting Mentone , run by David Kinch, former owner and chef of Manresa. The restaurant isn’t located in Santa Cruz but several miles out in the small town of Aptos. And even though this is obviously not another approach on high-end dining from Chef Kinch, you still see many philosophies from Manresa utilized at Mentone, e.g. quality of ingredients, flawless cooking, some interesting flavor combinations, plating etc. Mentone can easily compete with many of the more upscale Italian places in SFO and it is great to hear that Mentone will expand to Los Gatos which is much closer to home but for now at least we will also have a good place when visiting Santa Cruz for a weekend trip.

Salumi plate - Coppa, finocciona

Flannery beef tartare, dijon, shallot, chive, parm, potato chips

Eggplant, calabrian pesto, fromage blanc, preserved lemon, mint

Tocco, bolognese, housemade corzetti, pecorino

Pizza funghi, chanterelles, hen of the woods, caramelized onions, taleggio, mozzarella, balsamic

Pork belly & scallops, roast red kuri squash, braised fennel, scallop sauce

Lemon curd, fior di latte, pistachio

Hazelnut gelato

Good cocktail program


Looks great but those aren’t corzetti.