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“Absolutely delightful!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cafe Sparrow

Cafe Sparrow
Ranked #1 of 69 Restaurants in Aptos
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Child-friendly, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Absolutely delightful!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014 via mobile

Walking in (a party of 4) without reservations, we thought we might experience a wait. However, a "reservation" had not shown so we were immediately seated in this little jewel of a restaurant. (NOTE: DO make reservations unless you don't mind sitting for a while on the outside bench!)
Although I have enjoyed lunch at "Sparrow" many times, I had not had dinner there in several years. Wow! What I have been missing!
My choice of fresh Monterey Bay salmon was cooked to perfection & presented as though it was an artist's painting on a plate! After my initial joy at the "masterpiece" in front of me, my first bite was no less exciting! Everything on the plate was perfect--from presentation to flavor to freshness. Beautiful!
Everyone in our party of four ordered something different & each person raved about their choice.
The restaurant is small & every table occupied, but it was easy to converse & never were we aware of restaurant noise or the chatter of others. An exception
to so many of today's eateries.
Our waitress was exceptional--
attentive, but not intrusive. The chef & kitchen staff know their craft well.
Aptos is a jewel of a coastal village. Cafe Sparrow is the diamond in the setting!

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank nswvg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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185 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    121
    49
    11
    2
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
San Leandro CA
Level Contributor
136 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
“Great local cafe with friendly service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2014

The menu is limited but everything is cooked to perfection. We especially like the nightly specials....

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank byoung3rd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aptos, California
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Owner rude, overrated, overpriced.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

This is a true story and a study in human behavior, a real slice of life:

The Review

Overpriced, overrated, slow service, good food..... Arrogant and incredibly rude owners.

Made 5:30 reservation. Arrived promptly. Appetizers and drinks arrived in a timely manner. Appetizer was roasted garlic which was good. My Petite Caesar salad was drenched in dressing, but still tasty. When they say Petite Caesar they mean it.

50 minutes into the meal, I became concerned about the entrees arrival. Expressed my concern to waitress, and I was told " oh, you should have told me you needed to leave so soon".

**Evidently, I incorrectly assumed that 1 hr and 15 minutes was enough time for a complete meal with a very early reservation and only 3 other tables seated ! Luckily Bob M. the owner later schooled me that this is not the case....read on:

My immediate thought after this was "she forgot to put in our ticket, or the kitchen is backed up"

Now:

*1 hr and 5 minutes after prompt arrival, still no entree, so, we had to leave because I was taking my 10 year daughter to a movie on our special night out. No way to enjoy food at this late juncture. *

Interestingly, and surprising to me, I was told by wait person later "we usually allow 1 hr 45 minutes per couple." If this was Le Cirque or the French Laundry, I guess that would be the norm, but this is a casual venue. Really!

Here is the interesting human behavior part:

I did share with owner Bob Montague over the phone that I was displeased with the service, I was edgy, but not rude or vicious, - his response, literally: "we are not a fast food restaurant, for that go to Jack in the Box." I was almost speechless, but pressed on.

Bob M's parting shots to me were: "you are wrong" and "enjoy your meal tonight at Jack in the Box" All this witnessed by my 10 year old daughter!

Thanks for the lesson in customer service, Bob. We appreciate it ! Now my daughter has a new data point on how nasty people can be.

The good news: we made it to the movie on time and ate popcorn for our entree and enjoyed the flick. Never made it to Jack in the Box, but, I can guarantee you; we would rather have a taco there than eat again here.

PS: I have since shared my experience with a friend or two: interestingly, they had a similar experience due to a slow kitchen - but this time, during lunch. The problem was that they had to go back to work after waiting for over an hour with no food, despite early lunch date.....This time, Julie Montague, the wife, told them to go to Taco Bell, and "this not is a fast food restaurant".

I can now rest assured knowing that I am not the only one who has been subjected to this from these bizarre restaurant owners......whew!

  • Visited July 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
8 Thank Josh G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Rude Hostess”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

I came here with my friend for nice lunch. We had to wait for over an hour for our food. The restaurant was empty. When we complained, the hostess yelled at us that they were not a fast food place. We could barely eat our food after that and our drinks were not re-filled and we were not given a choice about dessert. There are many other good restaurants in Aptos where the staff are friendly and the food is good. If you go on Yelp, you will only see the 5 star ratings because they have purchased advertising from yelp. All of the five pages of 1 star "not recommended reviews" also discuss the rude behavior of the staff and owners, but you don't notice them because they at at the bottom.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank R. A. R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Livermore, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“lovely place and foods”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2014

this long time personal local restaurant owned by a local family just makes you feel special....low key no rush personal attention .....besides enjoying meals I had my nieces wedding shower there and what a LOVELY time with their attention totally set up by them weeks ahead of the special occassion ....can NOT go wrong......

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank patty r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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