Nick’s on Main in Los Gatos, CA

Every now and then someone recommends a restaurant to me that just doesn’t quite sound like it will be my cup of tea, but I trust the referral source enough to give it a shot anyways. And every now and then, I am really glad I did. Such was the case with “Nick’s on Main” in Los Gatos, CA – a delightful, tiny, delicious little foodie haven.

I started off with the Duck Confit over parmesan polenta with a brussel sprout tempura. At this point I could barely wait for my entree, as the opening course assured me that I struck dining gold. Joleen went with the “Trust the Chef” opening course, where you literally are given no guidance whatsoever as to what it will be (and can not provide any guidance as to what you want it to be). The abalone came, and I am pleased to say that more of it came my way than her’s. Phenomenal.

I went with a Veal Chop over Dungeness Crab risotto and haricot verte for my main course. In the interest of full disclosure, I did have to send it back the first time (something I never, ever do), as my medium rare veal chop simply was not cooked. However, I can not lay this out as a criticism of the restaurant, because they were horrified at their mistake, brought me a fantastic Wild Mushroom Soup to hold me over, apologized profusely, and bought us dessert … Most importantly, when the medium rare version of the veal chop came, each bite was simply scrumptious, loaded with flavor, and well worth the wait.

And finally, the banana bread pudding was a “savor every bite” experience, even if my vanilla creme brulee was boring.

Bottom line: Nick’s on Main was a treat, and I heartily recommend it if you are in the Santa Cruz area. One caveat: Do not count on getting a cab back to your hotel in any reasonable period of time. Rent a car or something, because getting a cab in Los Gatos is about as easy as getting good Chinese food in Nashville.