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Pino Alto Restaurant - Cabrillo College
Pino Alto Restaurant - Cabrillo College

Pino Alto Restaurant - Cabrillo College Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.pinoaltorestaurant.org
  • Email: ercarter@cabrillo.edu
  • Phone: (831) 479-6524
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Wednesday - Friday: 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

    Lunch: Monday - Thursday, 12:00 - 1:30 No Reservations

    Terrace, Wednesday - Friday 5:00 - 8:30

    Catering for up to 250 on Saturdays at the historic Sesnon House
  • Payment Options: MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Contemporary American
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, BYO Liquor, Fireplace, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: A perfect venue for weddings. Let the Cabrillo Culinary Arts department cater your wedding or event. Groups up to 250. Contact instructor Sue Slater at 831-479-5205 for food details. Contact Margitta Dietrick - Welsh at 831-479-6229 for information on availability and pricing.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Cabrillo Colleg Drive
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Pino Alto Restaurant - Cabrillo College
Spring Semester ends: The last week for Spring 2013 is May 28th - 31.
Lunch will be Tuesday - Thursday
Wine Maker Dinner ONLY AVAILABLE ON MAY 31 (all other days are full for dinner)

Pino Alto Restaurant is located in the historic Sesnon House on the Cabrillo College campus in Aptos. The student run restaurant is open for dinner Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 5:50 - 8:30. The Terrace, with more casual fare, opens at 5:00. The restaurant is also open for lunch Monday - Thursday. We only accept lunch reservations for groups of 6 or more. Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "Had a great meal on a Friday night. Food very well done by students at the culinary academy. Spent over two hours dining in a turn of the century mansion on Cabrillo College campus. Very good value and the wine list was extensive and also great value. Highly recommend taking advantage of the talented students here at Cabrillo College. The grounds are also lovely."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "The Pino Alto Restaurant is a neighborhood gem serving lunch, dinner and special events. What makes it extraordinary is that it is run by Cabrillo College students enrolled in the Culinary Program and is professional in every sense. The themed lunches are more casual than dinners and a real bargain for all the delicious, homemade items. The dinners are also outstanding! Very upscale, creative and delicious, all designed and prepared by the students. Wine list is local and reasonably priced; bring your own bottle with no corkage fee. Menu items are local, seasonal, and sustainable. Each course is artistically presented. Service is outstanding. Classical guitar Thursday nights. A great place to unwind and enjoy a delicious, relaxing meal!"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Excellent food and service. I can't think of a better experience I've had in Santa Cruz resturants. It was like eating in a good french resturant."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "The venue was great, it was our first time and I am going back. The food was very good, the service first class and so much fun."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Our daughter went through the program about 5 years ago and loved it. We know that all of the students need to work both the front of the house and the back of the house. The front of the house seems to need a bit more training. Most of the students aren't that interested in the front of the house but they should know that people will not come back for the food no matter how good it is if the front of the house isn't a good experience. Our waiter was OK but we could see and hear another waiter that was really good, we wish that we had him as a waiter. This restaurant is a learning experience for both sides of the house and we'll be back."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "I booked the table as a treat for Valentines day, but we had such a terrific time we will be returning to see what the ever changing staff has in store. The food was delicious and very well presented. If you want to enjoy the entire meal, just make sure you go hungry, because there will be a lot of good food to eat! Have a little fun and quiz your server about the menu and wine choices, you'd be surprised what little gems they produce, besides being very attentive and efficient. Don't miss this unique experience!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Cabrillo is always a great deal! Fabulous food and wonderful ambiance at a great price! Always remember that eating at a schools restaurant is not like a regular one even though it feels like a high end place, it is a laboratory where the students learn how to serve, cook and run a restaurant. There are bound to be mistakes and it is best to give constructive feedback rather than getting irritated and frustrated if things don't go perfectly. My experience is that the students are committed to working hard and getting it right. Sometimes it takes a long time to eat there and I would not make plans for after dinner when going to the Pino Alto Room but otherwise it is a great experience! Very yummy food and alway a great menu!!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "This was our first time at Pino Alto and this was the first week of the term for this student run restaurant at Cabrillio College. Our server was verbally reminding himself of his class lessons in serving and correcting his position in placing and removing plates but service was definitely attentive and amicable. Each entree comes with an amuse-bouche, soup, salad and entree. We also ordered a duck egg roll as an appetizer. Every dish was delightfully plated with flavors running from good to very-good. Sauces were well balanced and the Arctic Char and Short Ribs were perfectly cooked. We hope to return towards the end of the term to see how experience benefits the front and back of the house performance."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The wait staff and the chefs are students in the Culinary College advanced courses. So, the food is interesting and sometimes experimental. And some of the students seemed unfamiliar and uncomfortable with their new roles. The historic home was a nice setting. But, I appreciate having the opportunity to try new things as well as offer our future chefs an opportunity to learn. I'd go back again."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "enjoyed great service, food and ambience (fire going)."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Unique experience dining @ student-run restaurant. My companion described it as one of the best meals she's ever had and loved every course (5 included, if including the sorbet, which she loved) & ridiculously reasonable prices. Wait-staff is comprised of students, not professional waiters."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The Pino Alto room at the Sesnon House at Cabrillo College is wonderful. The food is very good to fabulous. The student staff are eager to please and enthusiastic and there is no corkage fee. So byob and have a leisurely, affordable and delicious meal!"
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "First visit , didn't know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised. The new staff consistently tried to please. Caesar salad with olives worked. Meats cooked to perfection. Special flavors not always on the mark but love the experimentation."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "The Spanish Tapas are a treat for a different dining experience. Sample a variety of different foods. Expect a high bill if you want to walk out full! (meager portions)"
    Dined on 12/4/2013
  • "This community college culinary staff is very creative and the service was excellent. Support these students and enjoy their changing menu in a lovely historic home that has a lot of charm."
    Dined on 11/15/2013
  • "My husband has always wanted to take me to Spain to enjoy Tapas. However, the trip has not materialized. So when I saw the description that you were offering tapas for dinner, I checked the menu. My husband read the selections, and said that this looked authentic. We walked into the restaurant and were serenaded by the Spanish Flamenco guitar. The small dishes were tasty and prepared with care. My husband enjoyed them as much as when he was in Spain! We had an attentive and interesting waiter who helped create a special evening for us. Thank you!"
    Dined on 11/13/2013
    Dined on 11/7/2013
  • "Bundle up so you can watch the sunset from the back porch of the Sesnon House, or eat outside at lunch. This is a great restaurant! Melisma4U"
    Dined on 10/25/2013
  • "Four of us enjoyed Friday night dining on the Terrace. Four courses, four beers, artfully paired. The soup, served in its own pumpkin bowl was beautiful and delicious. As always, the bread is house made and this time the butter was beer infused - crazy good! The salad, entree and dessert, each so creative."
    Dined on 10/11/2013