Steve Storrs (with wife and co-winemaker Pamela) will deconstruct the famous chardonnays from Storrs Winery April 14.

Steve Storrs (with wife and co-winemaker Pamela) will deconstruct the famous chardonnays from Storrs Winery April 14.

Oswald OMG: A seasonal appetizer of Dungeness crab and avocado knocked me out last week with its balance of buttery rich avocado and sparkling fresh, sweet crab. The dish arrived as a double stack of pale green and citrus-inflected white crab meat. A disk of cheese cracker topped the lovely creation and a rosette of diced, candied kumquat proved the magic ingredient. Feisty enough to eat all by itself, this savvy “garnish” brought all the flavors to full throttle. Lamb's ear lettuce— tender in its infancy—joined the crab, and a calligraphic spiral of balsamic reduction added yet another flavor top note. Ridiculously wonderful!

Where? At Oswald, packed on Easter weekend and full of a lively crowd—major cocktail scene from 7pm on—everybody oblivious to outside traffic.  If you think of Oswald as an urban setting, you can quickly get right into the hum of things. And the kitchen continued to score big with our entrees, one of a freshly-constructed seafood stew long on mussels, crab, scallops and sumptuous Arctic char—all liberally laced with fennel— and another of sliced, pink pork tenderloin on a bed of fingerling potatoes and topped with a toasted cheese cauliflower and wild nettle blintz.  Powerful chemistry of flavors in this dish, and the perfectly cooked pork was utterly, well, what pork should be but rarely is. A warm almond custard torte, strewn with toasted almonds, topped with housemade ice cream and surrounded by a pool of cappuccino sauce finished us off.

If you haven't stopped by Oswald lately, get over there and remind yourself why this modest landmark has continued to thrive. 121 Soquel Avenue @ Front Street – 831 423-7427.

Also at Oswald: When thirsty, do not miss the hot cocktail called Amorous. It's called that because the ingredients of this sophisticated tipple include gin, fresh mint and Amaro, the Italian liqueur that offers a slightly sweet variation on the theme of bitters. Oswald's “Amorous” might just live up to its name if you sip one with a special sweetie.

Surf City University: The current series of educational wine classes comes to a finish on April 14, with Steve Storrs deconstructing some of his Storrs Winery Chardonnays.  The class will be held from noon to 2pm at Storrs Tasting Room.  Classes are $30 and full details can be found at the Surf City Vintners website. . . . Don't forget that April 20 is Passport Day in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and you can find out all about this splendid opportunity to sample the finest our appellation has to offer by contacting the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers.

Art Meets Food: Don't miss the vibrant new collaboration between local agriculture and contemporary artists, entitled The Dinner Parties: Art & Agriculture, an exciting new exhibition of artists' installations and documentation opening tonight at the Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery at UCSC.

Exploring the link between art, the land, and agriculture will be Jim Denevan, a Santa Cruz native who founded Outstanding in the Field, as well as Chez Panisse chef-artist Jerome Waag, and San Francisco-based artist and teacher Chris Sollars. Opening reception at 5pm, and the gallery will be open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through May 11.  Call 831-459-3606 or visit the Sesnon website for details.

Cafe Closure: Lisa and I tried to visit the Live Oak Cafe only to find that its Chanticleer location had closed. Okay, so we went over to Capitola Book Cafe, where we enjoyed a freshly baked blueberry muffin amidst what now appears to be an antique and collectible bazaar. Sic transit gloria mundi.