Restaurant Doings & Foodie Happenings
* A century-old Redwood City Alhambra building, once housing a saloon that apparently Wyatt Earp frequented, has been tranformed into Martins West Pub.
How’s that for apropos?
Executive Chef Michael Dotson, formerly of PlumpJack Cafe in Squaw Valley, turns out honest-to-goodness British gastropub eats, including herb-crusted marrow bones with kumquat and celery salad ($8), fish & chips with peat-smoked fries ($12), and brioche-crusted black cod ($22).
Pastry Chef Kelly Fields, formerly of Restaurant August in New Orleans, offers playful desserts such as Devonshire cream tartlet with strawberries, elderflower and long pepper; and chocolate “rillettes” with Scottish heather ice cream, peanuts, and sugared brioche.
* If you haven’t noticed already, Tanglewood in San Jose’s Santana Row has closed its doors. Left Bank Brasseries, which operated Tanglewood, is expected to open LB Steak in its place in June. It will be Santana Row’s first steakhouse.
Blame the economy, as well as construction on a new mixed-use building right next door, which made crowds stay away, says company CEO Richard Miyashiro.
“Tanglewood started out as a high-end restaurant and could not survive without a transformation,” he says.
When LB Steak opens, look for signature dishes such as braised pork belly with five spices and Coca Cola glaze; and a 20-ounce Porterhouse.
* For 11 days beginning June 3, enjoy the “City Bites” promotion in downtown San Jose. Twenty-six downtown restaurants will feature three-course dinners for $20, $30, or $40.
The event kicks off June 3 when participating restaurants will offer sample bites for free or for a charge of $3.
* Similarly, San Francisco kicks off its eighth annual “Dine About Town” promotion, June 1-15.
* May 30 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., sip fine varietals at the fifth annual “Ultimate Blind Date” wine tasting event at Flora Springs Winery in St. Helena.
More than 60 of St. Helena’s best wineries will be pouring their finest. For those who want to put their palates on the line, there will be a fun blind-tasting challenge in which you can win a cellar-full of St. Helena wines (valued at more than $2,000). All the participating wineries will pour one wine blind. If you venture any kind of guess at all about the wine, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win the prize.
She’ll also sign copies of her new cookbook, “Cindy Pawlcyn’s Appetizers” (Ten Speed Press), which will be available for a 50 percent discount at the event.
Tickets are $60. For more information, call (707) 963-6045. A portion of proceeds will be donated to St. Helena’s Work Connection, a non-profit providing assistance and work placement to vineyard and migrant workers.
* It’s cherry time and there’s no better time to celebrate the joys of everyone’s favorite pitted fruit than 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 30-31 at C.J. Olson’s fruit stand in Sunnyvale.
The stand, which has been around since 1899, will host a ”Cherry Festival.” Enjoy orchard tours, a cherry pit spitting contest, a blind cherry tasting, and live music. Family owner Deborah Olson celebrates her birthday on May 31 with free birthday cake while it lasts.
* You’ll want to watch the stock market even more closely before dining at Zitune in downtown Los Altos.
That’s because the modern Moroccan-Mediterranean restaurant is offering a “DOW Lunch Special” that’s tied to the previous day’s actual index. The daily lunch special’s price is based on how well or how badly the DOW does. For instance, if the DOW is 7,883, then the lunch special is $7.88.
The special changes daily. Choices have included zaatar-crusted tilapia with spinach, roasted pepper, and chickpea salad ($7.95 when the DOW hit 7,957); and farro risotto with duck confit and mushroom ragout ($8.12 when the DOW hit 8,125).
For more savings, Sundays are corkage free.
* Indulge in sustainable fare, June 5-6, when Marche in Menlo Park serves up “Within 100 Miles” dinners.
Yes, dinners with all the ingredients sourced from within 100 miles of the restaurant. That means halibut from Half Moon Bay, spring lamb from Rio Vista, and even Meyer lemons from a regular diner’s backyard.
Price is $75 per person. This is the first of a series of dinners the restaurant will host each month that highlight local ingredients.
* After a winter hiatus, Cetrella as reopened for business in Half Moon Bay.
The new executive chef is Sylvain Montassier, a veteran of Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, who is showcasing Mediterranean fare.
* June 13, head to Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheater for the first “Great American Food and Music Fest.”
Host Bobby Flay of the Food Network will be joined on stage by other Food Network chef alumnus, Guy Fieri and Anne Burrell. Music will be provided by Marshall Crenshaw, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and more acts.
Ticket prices for the event start at $35.