[MetroActive Dining]

[ Dining Index | Santa Cruz | MetroActive Central | Archives ]

[whitespace] David Jackman All the Muse That Fits: So Say We's David Jackman and Clarabelle, his icon of inspiration.

Photograph by George Sakkestad

Saying It's So

David Jackman of So Say We adds to culinary empire with new We So Bistro

By Janet Blaser

PERHAPS IT WAS those seven years spent in the Italian countryside, growing and harvesting and preserving all the foods--and parts thereof--served in the elegant government-sponsored restaurant where David Jackman was chef almost a decade ago. Or maybe it was the effect of the 1920s art deco villa that housed this whole project, nestled in a terraced Bologna hillside, soaking up the Mediterranean flavors long before a villa in Tuscany became a romantic vacation dream for Northern California yuppies.

Whatever the case, Jackman has been slowly and surely making a name for himself and his delectable foodstuffs since he set up his So Say We shop on Front Street some three and a half years ago. And lucky for us, he's about to expand his empire over to Pacific Avenue, intent on adding not only lunch and dinner to the mix but a special garden touch as well.

As Jackman himself so eloquently explains, "One of the things that changed a lot since the earthquake is that the garden part of the Mall seems to be missing. I think that was really important to the people, and I know when I think of where to go for lunch I frequently think, 'Where can I go that's outside?' " And so when Jackman and his We So Bistro entourage move into the cafe now known as Georgiana's (the one piggybacked on Bookshop Santa Cruz), one of the first things he's going to do is ring the outdoor seating with a circle of big terra-cotta planters filled with perennial herbs and flowers. There'll be a fountain, too, and a beautiful statue of a young lady by the name of Clarabelle, who Jackman says is the "icon of inspiration" for the project. Inside, a "rainbow of fabrics" will brighten up the dining room, and that long oak counter will hold bar seating, just as at So Say We.

Indeed, Georgiana's regulars may find their world a little shook up--no more gelato, pastries or cookies (unless Jackman makes them himself) and a vastly different menu that includes dinner entrees of fresh seafood and pasta rosettes, full-meal salads and luscious, hearty house-made soups. These and Jackman's signature hot grilled gourmet sandwiches will be available from 11am to 11pm daily, with coffee, teas and espresso drinks served beginning at about 9am. Just in case you're a So Say virgin, Jackman uses all organic ingredients, down to the cream in the house-made half-and-half, and his expert hand, discriminating palate and focused dedication are gifts the rest of us can only hope to develop in this lifetime.

At So Say We, menu items are named after local bands and performers; here at We So Bistro (confused yet?), the theme will be a bit more intellectual: everything will be named after well-known, often alternative, meeting places for artists, writers and other creative-minded folks. So that means you can order a Lapin Agile (that was Picasso's and Cezanne's favorite hangout in France); the Algonquin (the infamous New York hotel where Dorothy Parker's "Vicious Circle" evolved) or The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). Everybody I know who's in the know will be at We So Bistro, at 1522 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, for the 5pm opening on Nov. 3. Morning types may want to wait till 9am the next day. See ya there.

[ Santa Cruz | MetroActive Central | Archives ]

From the October 27-November 3, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.