Category Archives: Restaurants

LV Mar — A Latin Party in Downtown Redwood City

A party on the plate -- and in the dining room -- at LV Mar.

A party on the plate — and in the dining room — at LV Mar.

 

Most nights, LV Mar in downtown Redwood City, offers up a taste of modern pan-Latin cuisine in small and large plates.

But once a month, Chef Manuel Martinez throws a veritable party — offering a prix fixe dinner themed to a different Latin cuisine, complete with a band, dancers and singers.

A couple weeks ago, I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant to experience October’s showcase on the Caribbean.

Martinez, who has cooked at Left Bank and One Market restaurants, also owns the more casual La Viga in Redwood City. LV Mar is his newer restaurant, which opened in November 2013. He’s been throwing these themed-dinners almost from the get-go.

Chef Manuel Martinez adorned for the occasion.

Chef Manuel Martinez adorned for the occasion.

When you check in at the hostess stand, you’re welcomed with Mardi Gras-like beaded necklaces to wear. All the tables are strewn with colorful star confetti to put you even more in the mood.

Read more

Cauliflower Salad — The French Way

Plenty of creamy, chopped hard-cooked eggs makes this cauliflower salad creamy and substantial.

Plenty of creamy, chopped hard-cooked eggs makes this cauliflower salad creamy and substantial.

 

I adore hearty salads like this.

The type that can be a meal in and of itself.

Or a side dish.

And can keep well for days in the fridge so you can enjoy it for lunch, dinner or a midnight snack, again and again.

“Cauliflower Salad with Eggs and Anchovies” is from the new cookbook, “French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries & The Beautiful Food Along the Way” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. The book is by Jean-Pierre Moulle and his wife, Denise Lurton Moulle. He was the executive chef of Chez Panisse for more than three decades. She founded Domaine de Bordeaux, a company that distributes Bordeaux wines in the United States and Canada.

The very personal cookbook takes you from their first meeting on a street corner in Berkeley in 1980 to their being married six months later. The book is not full of fancy chef-y recipes. Instead, these are dishes that they cook at home, full of old-world French flavors and sensibilities.

FrenchRoots

Of course as an alumni of Chez Panisse, Jean-Pierre knows his way around vegetables. But this recipe actually comes from his wife. Growing up in Bordeaux with its long winters, her family relied on sturdy vegetables to take them through the harsh season. This salad was a staple her mother served often.

Read more

Tailgating at Levi’s Stadium with Michael Mina and Thomas Keller

Liquid nitrogen butter pecan ice cream floats at Michael Mina's tailgate at Levi's Stadium.

Liquid nitrogen butter pecan ice cream floats (with an edible chocolate straw) at Michael Mina’s tailgate at Levi’s Stadium.

 

When there’s the likes of lobster pot pie, freshly shucked Kusshi oysters, and made-to-order, liquid-nitrogen butter pecan ice cream being served, you know you’re not at your average tailgate.

When it’s chefs Michael Mina and Thomas Keller in charge of the food, you know you’re truly at no ordinary sports feast.

Such was the case yesterday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, when the San Francisco 49ers socked it to the Kansas City Chiefs.

TailgateSign

Chef Michael Mina presiding over his exclusive tailgate at his Bourbon Steak & Pub.

Chef Michael Mina presiding over his exclusive tailgate at his Bourbon Steak & Pub.

Oh, he's a fan alright.

Oh, he’s a fan alright.

Some young fans enjoying the food.

Some young fans enjoying the food.

At every home game, Mina’s Bourbon Steak & Pub, located right at the stadium, is transformed into the ultimate upscale tailgating party imaginable. For added fun, Mina invites a different guest chef to headline with him. Typically, the guest chef has a connection to the opposing team’s city, such as when Chicago-native Christopher Kostow of the Restaurant at Meadowood was on hand for the Niners-Bears game. Or how when the Niners take on the Washington Redskins on Nov. 23, it’ll be Chef Jose Andres, who has several restaurants in the nation’s capitol.

Read more

Happenings on the Peninsula: New Bakeries and More

The "chocolate burger'' at Alexander's Patisserie. (Photo courtesy of the bakery)

The “chocolate burger” at Alexander’s Patisserie. (Photo courtesy of the bakery)

Alexander’s Patisserie to Open In Mountain View on Oct. 16

The folks behind Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino and San Francisco, as well as The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse in Palo Alto, are expanding their mini empire by opening a patisserie in downtown Mountain View on Oct. 16.

Led by Executive Pastry Chef Dries Delanghe, the new Alexander’s Patisserie will offer breads, sandwiches, cakes, tarts, cookies, macarons, chocolates and other confections, as well as Equator Coffees.

Read more

Hult’s — A Fine Additition to Downtown Los Gatos

A gorgeous tuna tartare at Hult's in Los Gatos.

A gorgeous tuna tartare at Hult’s in Los Gatos.

 

Coffee cake and home fries have given way to octopus carpaccio and “A7 Wagyu beef” ribeye.

The venerable Hobee’s spot in downtown Los Gatos was transformed late last year into the fine-dining Hult’s restaurant.

It’s a family affair owned by Alexander Hult, a former pro hockey player who was drafted by the San Jose Sharks, but spent most of his career playing in Europe. During the hockey off-seasons, this native of Sweden would help his mother in the restaurants she managed there. His wife and co-owner of the restaurant, Sarah, a San Jose native, was crowned Miss Nevada 2011 and now works as a vice principal at a local private school.

The kitchen is overseen by Chef Jose Esparza, a veteran of Viognier in San Mateo, Madera in Menlo Park, LB Steak in San Jose’s Santana Row, and The Grill on the Alley in San Jose.

Read more

« Older Entries Recent Entries »