Category Archives: Restaurants

Join The Food Gal and Chef R.J. Subaba of Viognier For A Cooking Demo

MacysViognierJoin yours truly and Executive Chef R.J. Subaba of Viognier restaurant for a delicious cooking demo, 2 p.m. June 9 at Macy’s Valley Fair Santa Clara.

Subaba has cooked at such illustrious establishments as the Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, Murray Circle at Cavallo Point in Sausalito, Madera at the Rose Wood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and the Village Pub in Woodside.

At Viognier, located on top of Draeger’s market in downtown San Mateo, he’s bringing an approachable elegance to the fare.

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Psst — There’s A New Secret Burger at Bird Dog

Presenting the new burger at Bird Dog (conveniently cut in half for the two of us to share).

Presenting the new burger at Bird Dog (conveniently cut in half for the two of us to share).

 

It might very well be the best burger you’ve ever had.

But it’s not listed on the menu. At least not yet.

The only way you can try the sublime double-patty creation at Bird Dog in downtown Palo Alto is to know about it and ask for it.

So for those of you reading this, go for it. You won’t regret whispering this order to your server.

What makes this burger so special?

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Parcel 104 Celebrates Its 17th Year

Not to big, not to small, but just right citrus tart by Pastry Chef Carlos Sanchez.

Not to big, not to small, but just right citrus tart by Pastry Chef Carlos Sanchez.

 

To help celebrate Parcel 104’s 17th anniversary this year, the restaurant in the Santa Clara Marriott near Levi’s Stadium last week reunited founder Chef Bradley Ogden with the team there for a special Cakebread Cellars wine dinner last week, which I was invited to as a guest.

The festivities will continue, as the restaurant is offering a $35 three-course lunch through July 31 with appetizers by Ogden, entrees by Executive Chef Sergio Morales, and desserts by Pastry Chef Carlos Sanchez.

Ogden, who practiced farm-to-table long before it became part and parcel of the Bay Area lexicon, is now working and living in Lodi’s wine country, as culinary director at the Wine & Roses resort.

Chefs Bradley Ogden (left) and Sergio Morales, (right).

Chefs Bradley Ogden (left) and Sergio Morales, (right).

Sanchez has been with Parcel 104 since day one. Born in Columbia, he has staged and worked with Juan-Mari and daughter Elena Arzak at Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain, as well as Pastry Chef Jordi Roca of El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, two of the greatest restaurants in the world. Over the years, Sanchez has become known for his dainty-sized desserts, often served in trios, that are perfection personified.

Cakebread Cellars' wines matched to each course.

Cakebread Cellars’ wines matched to each course.

Morales was supposed to be a lawyer like his father. In fact, he attended Santa Clara University’s law school for a year and a half before leaving to follow his passion of cooking. He graduated from the Professional Culinary Institute in Campbell, now known as the International Culinary Center. His Dad first feared that he’d end up being a short-order cook, flipping burgers for the rest of his life. But now, his father couldn’t be prouder of his son working his way up from a cook to head chef here.

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A Taste of the Seasons at Danville Harvest

Lamb with carrot puree at Danville Harvest.

Lamb with carrot puree at Danville Harvest.

 

For those who have never been to downtown Danville — and I count myself in that group until a couple weeks ago — it’s high-time to explore this sunny town in the San Ramon Valley. Picture a larger downtown Los Gatos, and you get the idea of how cute and inviting this area is.

Danville Harvest is a perfect place to stop in for a bite to eat, too. With its interior barn doors, library ladders, pewter light fixtures, walls of white subway tiles, displays of old farm tools and antique bottles, and gray tufted leather booths set off by billowy, printed drapes, it’s a Chip-and-Joanna-Gaines rustic-chic interior come to life. Yes, I watch too much “Fixer Upper” on HGTV. But this space is definitely done up in that comfortable-chic style we all can’t get enough of.

Chef Tim Humphrey.

Chef Tim Humphrey.

The servers dress in cute gingham shirts. Old glass pane windows front the kitchen to give a glimpse into all the action. And there’s plenty of outdoor seating with a fire pit and strings of lights overhead.

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Carbo Loading at Pasta Armellino

Pasta heaven at Pasta Armellino.

Pasta heaven at Pasta Armellino.

 

How much do I love carbs?

Let’s just say that when my husband and I went to Pasta Armellino in Saratoga for dinner recently, we ordered all six pastas on the menu, plus the garlic bread. We didn’t mess around with any soups or salads. We meant business — carb business.

But when the pasta is this dreamy, who can blame us?

After attending the media preview of the casual pasta restaurant that opened in February right across the street from its big sister, flagship Michelin-starred Plumed Horse, we were eager to go back to try more. A couple weeks ago, we were invited in as guests of Pasta Armellino to do exactly that.

The counter.

The counter.

Orecchiette with asparagus and roasted tomatoes.

Orecchiette with asparagus and roasted tomatoes.

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