The ambiance is perfect for an intimate dinner or casual gathering with family & friends. Enjoy a local beer on tap in the lounge while watching one of your favorite sports or relax by the Koi pond with a handcrafted cocktail & bar bites. Enjoy the fireplace on our heated patio. We welcome you to dine with us and enjoy the warm knowledgeable friendly service accompanied by delicious food.
-Vinolus Family & Bittersweet
sautéed filet tips with exotic mushrooms, caramelized onion, garlic, spinach, white wine, brandy, fresh herb & sour cream served over fettuccini pasta
Fire Roasted Pear Salad
pear, hazelnut, mesclun greens, orange, point reyes blue cheese; balsamic glaze & hazelnut vinaigrette
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
caramel sauce & crème anglaise
During the novel corona virus pandemic, we could only order take out for our 33rd anniversary. We ordered all starters: the asparagus speared with dipping sauce, a roasted pear salad, and a shrimp in aioli. The asparagus spears are cornmeal and sesame crusted with just a hint of sweetness, always one of our favorites. The salad, besides a roasted pear, had hazelnuts and blue cheese, good. The shrimp dish was much too sweet for my tastes, but the shrimp was succulent. They threw in a custard and a chocolate pudding that were both delicious and much appreciated!
I can see returning in warmer weather to enjoy the large, pet friendly patio or possibly a sports event in the equally large bar area but as other posts pointed out the dining room experience was mixed. Food and wait service was excellent but bus staff was overly anxious to clear plates overall creating a rushed vibe. Ambiance was unsettled. We were seated in extremely close proximity to another party of 2 in an otherwise empty large dining room making us feel like Intruders on their evening and vice versa. The price for all menu items felt higher than the norm and there was a 4% surcharge on top of that for labor and operations. There are just better options for an evening out in Santa Cruz.
Great food, great ambience, comfortable. Only issue was feeling rushed by waitstaff — dinner arrived before we were done with the shared appetizer.
We love the food at Bittersweet. Our server was also very nice and did the best she could, but was challenged by the kitchen and hostess stand. The young lady seating us was not welcoming or polite and seemed to view us as an inconvenience, anxious to get back to prancing around the restaurant and having people notice her. The restaurant was extremely loud, which I know it is the new trend to simulate excitement and energy, but some noise-canceling panels would help a lot at Bittersweet. I recommend the deserts and beef stroganoff. In short, great food but the price point doesn't seem to line up with the experience.
This was my first time at Bittersweet. The Food, Service and Drinks were outstanding. Can't wait to go back. They even serve CBD Water...woo hoo
The calamari was tender and flavorful with an old style tartar sauce that was terrific. The seafood puttanesca was the best I ever had. Service, atmosphere, excellent!
Great service with a smile, and they put out little decorations since they knew it was our anniversary.
Food was great; service was great; a bit pricey for Santa Cruz; noisy.
Nice dinner at Bittersweet. Service was great. Food good. Ahi was ok, not the best cut.
Excellent service, delicious food. We’ll be back soon—
Good food, nice place, we come by often (cafe and bistro)!
We come here to celebrate any special occasion as often as possible! The food is always fantastic! We really love the tempura long bean appetizer with spicy teriyaki dipping sauce. We shared the grilled fig salad with hazelnuts and a delicious balsamic dressing, and the ribeye steak with mashed potatoes and perfectly cooked veggies. We had creme brûlée for dessert. Our waitperson was very savvy, always with a great attitude, and she can handle anything! She didn’t hover and smother, but was always there just when we needed her!
They always do a good job at Bittersweet. Outside dinner this time of year is great
The Bittersweet Bistro is a regular stop for us when we come to Aptos. Food is always great, Wine list is very good as well. Desserts are simply amazing. Come once and you will come back many more times as well.
Food was absolutely delicious. Service great. Total positive with parent visiting. Loved it! Can't wait to go back on a date.
I've been patronizing Bittersweet for a few years now. Initially their menu was uniformly good. Now it's very mediocre and the prices have gone up. Ambience is fine--like their dog friendly patio. Service was very fine. Food--not a good value. Will try some other places.
My husband and I recently ate at Bittersweet Bistro with a friend. We ate on the patio and it was beautiful. Our service was very good too. The food was good, not great, and the price was VERY expensive for what you get. We realize that the Aptos area is expensive but $10.00 for a side of mashed potatoes was over the top. We felt that all the pricing was inflated.
Too much garlic - and very few options to have the garlic removed from dishes...Like the restaurant and the ambience and the servers and food preparation was very good...a little overpriced for what was served however (my wife remarked 'overpriced Olive Garden') :)
My wife and I made reservations and planned our first trip to Bittersweet Bistro hoping for a great dining experience. The space and ambiance is very nice, it has a country club feel to it.
The restaurant was mostly empty at 8pm on a Saturday night. We were seated at a very nice table by the window.
We ordered drinks from our server and I enjoyed a very well made Manhattan. Sadly, after our cocktails the evening starts to take a turn for the worse.
My wife ordered the hangar steak ($27) and it was decent but a bit tough. I ordered the salmon ($47) and it was not very good at all. It was not cooked, the middle was cold and the fish had no flavor. At first, I was like 'no prob, I like sashimi' - but the taste and texture of the fish made it inedible. I left 3/4 of the salmon on my plate. The server did not come by to check on us until 20 minutes after the meal was served. She certainly noticed that I did not eat the fish but did not say anything. Guess I should have spoken up, but I'm not a complainer, we just won't be back.
We dine here fairly often and were very surprised that three of the menu items were not available. We understand that such a popular place can get very busy but three out of four seafood specials were 86'd by 6:15PM. The food we did receive was excellent and the service pretty good considering how busy it was. We'll come back when it's not so mobbed.
Neighborhood bistro that we had yet to try, so we made a reservation. Nice ambiance but heavy furniture caused a bit of crowding between tables inside. The patio area is open and bright, nicely laid out and decorated. A bit stuffy inside on a warm day. Food portions are ENORMOUS, so it is a great place to share. Seasonal option of roasted nectarine salad was delicious. The chicken gnocchi, while decadent, left me full and bloated after 4 bites. The have a good wine list.
We came in for a nice evening out, and through no fault of the restaurant, was seated outside next to a very noisy table!! We finally did move and enjoyed our meal. The cocktails were spot on, the calamari crisp and delicious, and the pizzetta yummy!
Our first visit based on Open Table and friend recommendation. It was anniversary dinner, and the staff made it special - extremely friendly and personal. Food was very good, ambiance romantic and traditional inside, and there is fun outside casual area that would be fun in summer.
We celebrated joint wedding anniversary with dear friends. The food and drink were nothing short of terrific. I asked the waiter if there were additional vegetarian choices not on the menu. As a result the chef made me a roasted vegetable medley with wild rice cooked in a papayote. It was remarkable , spiced and cooked perfectly. It added to an amazing dining experience. The desserts also super delicious. Will return again and again. Bittersweet will not disappoint you.
One of our favorite restaurants! Consistently good food with great presentation, options for small plates for smaller appetites, and great service. They also have a good variety of menu options - high end to basic and options including fish, chicken, beef, and vegetable options. Highly recommend!
The dolce de leche cheesecake was our favorite thing of the whole meal. The Caesar salad was delicious, as was the pasta special, the chicken piccata and the salmon. I had the small portion of the salmon which was just perfect for me. The men in our group had the full portions of their main courses and were also happy with the amount of food.
There was a mixup placing our order, but the waitress was very apologetic and solved the problem as quickly as possible. Very nice dining experience.
This neighborhood gem is consistently good. The wait staff is friendly and the cocktails and menu items varied, interesting and delicious. I love that you can order small portions for many of the entrees.
Beautiful evening, I love the server, we weren’t rushed even though we came in right before closing and we had our dog with us who they also treated like royalty great food ordered the mushroom pizza and Crayfish artichoke dip... great!
It was my husband’s birthday and Bittersweet Bistro made it special, from the card and decorations to the free dessert, it was a great place to celebrate!
What a great place!! The food is great and the service was amazing!!!
Beautiful courtyard and nice ambience inside. Great recommendations for food from staff and a decent wine list by the glass
About the best place in Santa Cruz County... very good food, great ambiance, excellent service.
We out in their beautiful patio, they allowed us to split appetizers, had champagne and wine. Great service, perfect meal but too full for dessert.
We always enjoy our visit especially the desserts!
Loved the beef stroganoff. We do enjoyed it meals. The service was exceptional.
Bittersweet Bistro is by far one of the best restaurants in Santa Cruz county. Wait staff was attentive and friendly without hovering. The food was excellent, everything fresh and cooked to perfection. They must have run out of gluten free bread as when we asked for it we were served a gluten free hamburger bun. We wished the server would have just told us they ran out or could not accommodate our request. It did not damper our dining experience, we just thought it was silly.
Very loud, couldn’t have a conversation without leaning way across the table, hi prices and small portions, dessert was $14.50, it’s Aptos not San Francisco, it doesn’t warrant that kind of a price.
We like the patio and the service but the food is dated and needs editing. Whenever we try something it seems like there is something that should have been left off- there are often competing flavors. It has nice ambiance and it's a convenient location for us but not someplace we often seek out because the food is just not great- just fine rather than great.
This service can be a little uneven but this place rarely disappoints! The food is consistently excellent and they have an excellent wine list and wines by the glass selections.
Bittersweet Bistro offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 662-9799.
Bittersweet Bistro is rated 4.6 stars by 49 OpenTable diners.
Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.