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Pino Alto Restaurant - Cabrillo College

4.6
4.6
201 Reviews
$31 to $50
American
Fall Semester 2019 has begun! We will open for Dinner September 11th and for Lunch September 17th.

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 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. The Terrace, with more casual fare, opens at 5:00. The restaurant is also open for lunch Monday - Wednesday 12:00-1:15.

Permanently Closed

This restaurant is permanently closed.

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    American, Contemporary American

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Mon–Wed 12:00 pm–1:15 pm Terrace Wed–Fri 5:00 pm–8:00 pm Dinner Wed–Fri 5:30 pm–8:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (831) 479-6524

  • Payment options

    MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Catering

    A perfect venue for weddings or special events. Contact our Catering Instructor Jeremy MacVeigh 831-479-5675 for details on menu selections and cost. Contact our Event Planner Chrissy Hankes at 831-479-6229 for information on availability and venue rental.

  • Private party facilities

    Weekend private events are hosted at The Sesnon House. For more information: http://pinoaltorestaurant.org/catering/

  • Neighborhood

    Aptos

  • Cross street

    Cabrillo College Drive

  • Parking details

    Please park in visitors parking only, do not park in staff parking spaces.

  • Additional

    Beer, BYO Wine, Gender Neutral Restroom, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 201 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.5Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseQuiet

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  1. K

    Karen

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 11, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We all were very impressed with everything. We will definitely be back. Wish all restaurants were as attentive to every detail.
  2. AT

    AnneT

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 9, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a wonderful meal at Pino Alto and really enjoyed the wait staff. I've given them 5 stars even though there were a couple of service goofs. They were minor and the staff more than made up for them with their attitude. My halibut was perfectly cooked and my husband had one of the best burgers he's ever had. We will definitely go back and will also recommend it to all our friends.
  3. GK

    GeorgeK

    Exclusive

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 6, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Good food, good service, lots of fun. Thank you.
  4. SS

    SandieS

    Central Coast

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 27, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We have eaten there many times over the years. The food we enjoyed a few days ago was the best yet with the most variety. There was something for everyone at the table. The service was better than usual as well.
  5. T

    Taffygirl

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 26, 2020

    overall3food2service3ambience5
    This venue is not as good as it used to be in years past. They no longer give you a cup of soup and a small salad as part of your lunch. You have to order everything separately. They used to make a variety of great breads, but now, it's the same kind everyday. Also, the food just isn't as good as it used to be, and the cost is higher. I wouldn't mind paying more for really good food, but the fare there lately has been somewhat mediocre.
  6. CM

    CharleneM

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 26, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I had never been to lunch at Pino Alto, only dinner. It was AMAZING! Honestly, the most delicious fish tacos I've ever had (and I've had many!). Portions were huge! We're going back soon!
  7. l

    lyma

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 20, 2020

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    This was my first time there. The menu options are few, but there were good vegetarian and seafood choices, and even the (excellent) cauliflower soup was available in a vegetarian form. The food arrived at a slow pace, making for a very leisurely meal, but the service was otherwise excellent. They served an amuse bouche and palate cleanser sorbet between courses. The food was very good to excellent. The sea bass entree was on the pricy side, but it came plated at reasonable size, with accompanying vegetable, and included soup or salad. Plus we saved a lot bringing our own wine (no corkage fee!). The dining room is elegant and intimate, although perhaps a little too quiet at times. Overall, an elegant night out that felt like a special treat without breaking the bank.
  8. LA

    LeahA

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 13, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great outdoor seating with heaters. The food and service was great!
  9. l

    lovetastyfood

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 26, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Dining at Pino Alto was a delightful experience! The restaurant is located in a lovely historic building with a pretty view of trees and garden. The menu is sophisticated and updated, the prices are reasonable and the service is very good. The food was very tasty, and our extra needs to accommodate diet requirements were met. I love giving these culinary students an opportunity to sharpen their skills and enjoy good cuisine at the same time. I will definitely recommend this place to many!
  10. BM

    BeverlyM

    Central Coast

    112 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    112 reviews

    Dined on November 22, 2019

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    We enjoyed our dinner at Pino Alto and found our server to be competent and engaging to tell us how the Cabrillo College culinary program works. There were hits and misses with food, but portions were generous and the menu was very interesting with a Creole theme. Will definitely return next semester.
  11. SR

    SusanR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 19, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I had the sharp cheddar polenta as an entree and Tiramisu for dessert and both were excellent. My friends both had the beef and banana cake and they loved their food also. What was really special is that our wait person had also made our two entrees earlier in the day!!!! I LOVE Pino Alto.
  12. MM

    MedusaM

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 9, 2019

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Lovely setting. Waitress made us feel welcome and comfortable. Tapas portions were generous and tasty. We so appreciate how Very affordable it was for the elegant & fun experience.
  13. KB

    KathrynB

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 2, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a great experience here. The food was excellent and prices were very reasonable.
  14. CB

    CathyB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 2, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I love coming here and supporting our local culinary program.
  15. D

    Delightful

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 28, 2019

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    A lovely afternoon with good food and a beautiful venue. Students are always so courteous and thoughtful! Thank You
  16. k

    kaboolie

    San Francisco

    89 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    89 reviews

    Dined on October 26, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    What a wonderful setting and on a warm October evening you want to sit on the Terrace. The service is attentive and it's fun to talk to a budding chef or restaurant owner. The food is awesome- so many great choices. We had the Dayboat scallops and a wonderful lasagna! It's all so good! There is a wonderful selection of local wines and you have the opportunity of enjoying part of the process. These are wonderful personable students that are making impressive entrees! Go and try it all.
  17. KO

    KolleenO

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 23, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wow! These students nailed the food, beautiful plating, service, I was greeted with a smile, everything was perfect! 100% professional ~ beyond impressed. I have only good things to say. What a wonderful experience. I'll be back !
  18. AL

    AnnL

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 19, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We would definitely recommend to friends. Food was delicious, waitperson was excellent and gave us a lot of personal service as did the chef/instructor. Ambience is lovely, a wonderful use of the historical Sesnon House with photos of its early days. We had such a great experience there that we have committed to many returns, with friends, to help spread the word and reputation of this jewel in our midst. Cabrillo College is a great institution and this culinary program is just one of many ways that it serves the community. I recommend that the community, in turn, give Pino Alto a try and help support the program and its students. You won't be disappointed.
  19. MT

    MarcelaT

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 19, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love sitting in the terrace, ordering from both menus (Terrace and Dinner), and enjoying a nice, relaxed, delicious dinner - or creating a tasting menu by ordering almost everything in the Terrace menu! The food is expertly executed, the service is flawless. This restaurant offers very good food at very reasonable prices. You won’t be disappointed.
  20. HD

    HeatherD

    San Francisco

    10 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on October 14, 2019

    overall3food2service3ambience3
    I think they were understaffed the day I went. The soup was barely warm although very tasty. Foccacia bread was fabulous. Pork belly very good but the panini sandwich was absolutely cold. When I inquired, they said the heat lamp was not turned on. I appreciate their honesty. Will try again....
  21. WL

    WilliamL

    San Francisco

    7 reviews

    1.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 18, 2019

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    The restaurant what closed for repairs when we got there. Maybe some coordination between Pino Alto and Open Table would be warranted.
  22. a

    antm

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 11, 2019

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    I had a confirmed 8pm reservation but Pino Alto was closed on the Friday they posted as open. Their website says unexpected schedule changes will be promptly posted but it was not. Despite leaving repeated messages, on their phone and online, they did not get back to me to cancel. It takes more than culinary skill to run a restaurant. I can't speak to their California Cuisine but their California flakiness was exemplary. Children pretending to be adults- and no-one in charge that cares about their customers.
  23. r

    robertc

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 11, 2019

    overall3food5service4ambience4
    I was never informed that the restaurant was actually closed on the day of my reservation.....I have been there before and enjoyed it. However, this is not the first time I have had this issue there.
  24. JJ

    JollyJim1

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 3, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Hello, We raved about the delicious food for many days. This is Luxury for Less. Nicole
  25. GJ

    GingerJ

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 27, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was excellent and I would recommend Pino Alto highly!
  26. JH

    JoyH

    San Francisco

    10 reviews

    4.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on March 23, 2019

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    This was our 2nd time having dinner here. The food was delicious and presentation was very appealing. The only issue was really the timing of courses. There were lengthy pauses between courses. The music was also going on and off throughout the evening, not loud or anything but created weird periods of quiet where you could hear all conversations around us. We will definitely be back for the food and hope that the flow of courses improve over the semester
  27. AB

    AnneB

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 22, 2019

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    Our second dinner at Pino Alto, for my birthday. We had to ask for more bread several times, my only complaint. Lovely selection and variety of dishes to choose from. We had the crab cakes, salad and parsnip dumpling soup, and we both had the fish stew. All very good. Yes, would recommend again, and I hope I think ahead to come more often. Most of our dining out is spontaneous. Thank you again for a delicious birthday dinner.
  28. H

    Hillhikerz

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 16, 2019

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Beautiful view of the trees and the sunset, very relaxing meal (they are not trying to turn over tables ), enjoyed the intermezzo surprises between courses, nice menu selection...
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 16, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food with nice ambience and reasonable prices.
  30. k

    kris

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 15, 2019

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    We've been to Pino Alto many times for lunch. This was our first dinner. All of us were very impressed. We skiped appetizers but had salad and/or soup. Both made a tasty start. The rack of lamb was to die for! Crispy chicken was excellent too. Sides were well prepared and paired nicely with the entrees. Wine list was very good. The four of us shared two desserts, the raspberry creme brulee and chocolate mousse. A fine finish to a fine dinner. As I said on the comment card, Pino Alto compares favorably with Shadowbrook. Thank you for a most enjoyable evening!
  31. MA

    MARY

    Central Coast

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 2, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The students did a fabulous job of cooking, serving, and checking back for extra requests. A great place for a date, dinner after a movie, or a celebration. My only complaint was the dining room temperature was very cold. I needed to keep my coat on during dinner.
  32. CL

    CarolinaL

    San Francisco

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on February 23, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was excellent 10/10, the service was impecable, even better than most high end restaurants in town, super recommended, next we will bring our wine, I heard no charge, good job chef your students are doing great, congratulations.
  33. J

    Jarko

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 23, 2019

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    The main dish was cold. I had to take it to the Kitchen to be warmed up.
  34. C

    Cindy

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 21, 2019

    overall4food5service4ambience3
    I always enjoy going to Pino alto for dinner as the wait staff is friendly and Ernest and the food is always exceptional. I would like it if it was a little warmer in the dining room as I always have to remember to bring extra clothing. I prefer soothing Calm dinner type music when I’m eating my meal not more active lively music. When I was there last I feel the music was a little jarring.
  35. VC

    VijayC

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2019

    overall3food3service3ambience4
    pretty setting, the carpets are a bit musty though! Attractive menu, the food was decent but not memorable. Service was prompt for misc items but took their time on the maincourses. Maybe I expected too much ...was overall OK but a bit of a letdown from expectations. Will give it another try tho!
  36. M

    Mysho22

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 8, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Really great! We spent our anniversary dinner here. They were great, food was fantastic.
  37. R

    Robin

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 26, 2018

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    This Cabrillo College gem is a wonderful way ro support the culinary program. The students prepare the menu, do the food prep, service, chat up the customers and attend to any issues or kudos. The pricing is attractive as you are provided a number of courses. My entree was scallops cooked to perfection. My companion had a generous serving of the lamb chops. Decadent desserts topped it all off. You must visit and see for yourself.
  38. PM

    PattiM

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 25, 2018

    overall4food5service3ambience4
    Pino Alto is an excellent neighborhood restaurant with yumny food and opportunity /experience for those studying food service!
  39. SS

    SandieS

    Central Coast

    7 reviews

    3.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on October 11, 2018

    overall3food4service2ambience5
    This is a program well worth supporting as it is a training program Hit or miss service but always friendly with pretty good food
  40. JS

    JulieS

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 4, 2018

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    We loved our experience at Pino Alto, but were shocked at the price. We were not expecting to pay $160 (including tax and tip) on dinner. That was painful. The beer was the highlight. Courses 2-5 were awesome but the first one needed work. Too cold and crunchy and the greens were not seasoned.

FAQs

Pino Alto Restaurant - Cabrillo College is rated 4.6 stars by 201 OpenTable diners.

Permanently Closed

This restaurant is permanently closed.

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Cabrillo College Drive

  • Neighborhood

    Aptos

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Mon–Wed 12:00 pm–1:15 pm Terrace Wed–Fri 5:00 pm–8:00 pm Dinner Wed–Fri 5:30 pm–8:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    American, Contemporary American

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Parking details

    Please park in visitors parking only, do not park in staff parking spaces.

  • Payment options

    MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Beer, BYO Wine, Gender Neutral Restroom, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (831) 479-6524

  • Catering

    A perfect venue for weddings or special events. Contact our Catering Instructor Jeremy MacVeigh 831-479-5675 for details on menu selections and cost. Contact our Event Planner Chrissy Hankes at 831-479-6229 for information on availability and venue rental.

  • Private party facilities

    Weekend private events are hosted at The Sesnon House. For more information: http://pinoaltorestaurant.org/catering/

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