Soif Wine Bar

Soif Wine Bar
105 Walnut St.
Santa Cruz, CA

Downtown Santa Cruz has been taken by storm. A small little wine joint, low profile, on Walnut Ave just off of Pacific (in the back of the old Walgreens building)…it looks like a nice place to stop for a glass of wine while you’re killing time before a movie or dinner. It’s the hippest place in town. The decor is very San Francisco chic. The walls and floor are burgundy (good for a wine bar!) and there are ooooold grape vines on the wall (the size of small trees).

The wine selection is great! There are around forty wines to choose from on a given day. They rotate their selection often so even if you decide to go 40 nights in a row, you won’t get bored! The tasting flight seems to change weekly and they have a great variety in each flight. It seems that there is always the one I adore, the one that completely goes against my palate and everything in between. We had a Beaujolais tasting that was all over the map. I really enjoyed the Brunet Fleurie though, quite tasty.

For food that night, we had a feast of appetizers. Hearts of romaine that was so lovely, and being that I don’t like cheese, was great for me because it was in a caesar-like dressing but without an overpowering cheese flavor. Heirloom tomatoes that I order every chance I get over the whole summer since I know they’ll be going away for 9 months of the year! Red beets and two-bean salad with orange segments and candied walnuts—apparently this was fantastic according to my husband—I don’t like beets but he devoured the dish! Crab spring rolls with Ponzu sauce, also very yummy and not greasy or oily, just a fresh light dish. Ah, the Yellow fin….mmm…we had it server ultra-rare and it was prepared with harusame noodle salad, black bean vinaigrette and a coconut reduction—tooooo die for! But the crème de la crème of the meal was dessert….Banana crepes. It didn’t sound like much but it was heavenly. Simple crepes, filled with caramelized bananas and smothered in chocolate….we inhaled the dessert and had to order a second!!! It was a moan-groan-I’ll-have-what-they’re-having dessert moment!

Soif tends to be crowded but it’s worth the wait, just grab the first table you see. I always feel the need to change into something groovy, hip and “in” before I go there, but that’s just me! It’s a very casual atmosphere, warm, inviting, busy-busy but fun.