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Cafe Sparrow celebrates anniversary

garden room with iconic painting
garden room with iconic painting
Susanna Gaertner

In honor of its 25th anniversary, Cafe Sparrow is offering a special wine list Sundays through Thursdays of 25 wines for $25 a bottle throughout the month of June. The Aptos restaurant, known for serving fresh food in gracious surroundings, is only one of a handful of Santa Cruz restaurants open on Mondays (when wine is always half price). Both rooms are lovely but if you crave quiet with your meal, choose the entry room with its draped ceiling: the cloth mutes sound.

cloth drapery baffles sound
Susanna Gaertner

On a recent visit, chef/owner Bob Montague was kind enough to share his butternut squash recipe, which is as easy to make as it is delicious and healthy. The signature dish is "one of the most requested by our regular customers," says Bob. For each squash you will need;

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1-2 Tbsp brown sugar

salt & pepper to taste

Cut the peeled and seeded squash into evenly sized 1-2 inch pieces and boil until tender in salted water that tastes like the sea. Reserve some of the cooking water before you drain the squash. Puree in a food processor, gradually adding all the ingredients and as much of the reserved cooking liquid as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

So why the name? Cafe Sparrow's previous owners were great fans of Edith Piaf, whose nickname was--you guessed it--the little voila!