Category Archives: Restaurants

Downtown Los Gatos Welcomes the Catamount

Soft serve with a chocolate magic shell and caramel sauce at The Catamount.

Soft serve with a chocolate magic shell and caramel sauce at The Catamount.

 

Following in the footsteps of Pizzeria Delfina, Gott’s and Tacolicious — all San Francisco restaurants that have ventured southward — now comes The Catamount in downtown Los Gatos.

It’s the newest establishment by restaurateur Ray Tang of the Presidio Social Club in San Francisco.

The handsome, 10,000-square-foot restaurant opened earlier this summer in the old California Cafe building. The interior was completely redone. The once open kitchen was closed off with trendy barn doors. The bar and dining room have been given the air of a modern plantation with breezy ceiling fans, plenty of rattan, and loads of windows to let streams of natural light in.

The old California Cafe redone completely.

The old California Cafe redone completely.

The inviting bar.

The inviting bar.

Its name pays tribute to the town’s name (Spanish for “the cats”), as well as its surrounding mountainous landscape.

Read more

Aebleskiver with Lemon Curd, Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Danish doughnuts to dunk into thick, tangy lemon curd.

Danish doughnuts to dunk into thick, tangy lemon curd.

 

Keep Portland weird?

I say: “Keep Portland delish, too!”

This Pacific Northwest city is famous for embracing and celebrating the quirky, the off-beat, and the unconventional in everything.

Of course, the most fun way get to know any city is through its food. Whether you’re planning your first trip to Portland or wanting a keepsake that pays tribute to the city’s vast culinary treasures, “Portland Cooks: Recipes From the City’s Best Restaurants & Bars” (Figure 1), of which I received a review copy, is sure to rev the appetite.

The book is by James Beard Award-winning food writer Danielle Centoni, a former colleague of mine who was once the food editor of the Oakland Tribune, and now lives in Portland.

Portland-Cooks-website-jpg-2

Forty restaurants, bakeries and bars are spotlighted, with each showcasing their distinctiveness in two recipes apiece. Indulge in everything from Ataula’s “Salt Cod Croquetas” to DOC Yakuza’s ” Okonomiyaki with Wild Mushrooms” to Olympia Provisions’ “Pan-Roasted Halibut with Shrimp, Clam, and Andouille Stew” to Salt & Straw Wiz Bang Bar’s “Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Marionberry-Habanero Ribbons.”

“Aebleskiver with Lemon Curd” from Broder restaurant sounded so good that I had to dig out my aebleskiver pan just to make them. The restaurant is famous for its Scandinavian-inspired breakfasts and lunches. And these puffy, doughnut-hole-shaped pancakes are super popular.

Read more

Sneak Peek of New Food Offerings at Levi’s Stadium

The Organic Coop, the country's first USDA-certified fast food, joins the list of vendors this year at Levi's Stadium.

The Organic Coop, the country’s first USDA-certified fast food, joins the list of vendors this year at Levi’s Stadium.

 

Are you ready for the first preseason home game for the San Francisco 49ers this Saturday (against the Denver Broncos no less)?

Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara sure is. This year, it’s added more food options. At a special media event yesterday, I had a chance to sample some of the new eats.

I also had the opportunity to tour the rooftop farm, the first of its kind in the NFL. Danielle York, wife of 49ers CEO Jed York, came up with the idea. It was such a success from the start that its original 4,000 square feet has swelled to 7,000 square feet. In the past year, the garden has provided nearly 2 tons of produce that was featured in dishes for private events crafted by stadium concessionaire Centerplate.

The greats on the wall at the BNY Melon Club West at Levi's Stadium.

The greats on the wall at the BNY Melon Club West at Levi’s Stadium.

What will fans have a chance to nosh on this season?

Read more

Sweets and Savories Galore — Plus A Whole Lot More At The Village Bakery & Cafe

Mango sorbet profiteroles for dessert at the new Village Bakery & Cafe.

Mango sorbet profiteroles for dessert at the new Village Bakery & Cafe.

 

As a Woodside resident, Tim Stannard knew full well the small town could use another restaurant.

But the founder of the Bacchus Management Group of restaurants admits he also had a selfish reason for opening his newest establishment, the Village Bakery & Cafe, on the main drag there a couple of weeks ago.

“I had gone to the old bakery there almost daily. It was where I grabbed my pre-coffee after dropping my son off at school, before heading to Mayfield Bakery & Cafe in Palo Alto (another Bacchus establishment) to have more coffee. It’s embarrassing,” he says with a laugh. “That may still be my routine. It will just be better coffee now.

That’s because Bacchus’ own Oakland-based RoastCo beans are featured at the new Village Bakery & Cafe, which occupies the space previously held by the Woodside Bakery and a neighboring art gallery.

I had a chance to check out the new place last week, just days after it opened, when I was invited in as a guest.

It’s right next door to folksy, quirky favorite, Buck’s. It’s also just yards away from Bacchus’ Michelin-starred Village Pub. If you’ve been to its sister property Mayfield Bakery & Cafe, the concept will be familiar. There is a full-fledged bakery, as well as a bar and restaurant.

The bakery portion.

The bakery portion.

The fresh bread selection.

The fresh bread selection.

Temptations behind glass.

Temptations behind glass.

If you come for dinner, it pays to come a little early when the bakery is still open, so you can snag baguettes, coffee cake, fruit tarts, and big-fisted cookies to enjoy as a midnight snack or the next day for breakfast at home. You also might want to arrive a little early because the parking lot can fill up fast.

Read more

Wine — And A Whole Lot More — At Wente Vineyards

Blue Jade corn growing in the Wente Vineyards produce garden.

Blue Jade corn growing in the Wente Vineyards produce garden.

 

That Livermore’s Wente Vineyards makes first-class wines is a given.

But the oldest, continuously operating family-owned winery in the United States makes so much more on its 2,000 acres in Livermore, as I found out when I was I was invited for a tour recently.

Extra virgin olive oil. Herbs, fruits and veggies galore grown in its own garden. And even beef.

Yes, The Restaurant at Wente gets 12 steer a year from its own herd that graze on the hillsides. Like Japan’s famed Wagyu, these Black Angus cows get some special treatment, too: two glasses of its Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon daily for the last 90 days of their life.

Chef Mike Ward.

Chef Mike Ward.

Master Gardener Diane Dovholuk.

Master Gardener Diane Dovholuk.

“We don’t get them drunk,” Wente Chef Mike Ward says with a chuckle. “It helps them metabolize food better so they can eat more.”

Read more

« Older Entries Recent Entries »