Sent Sovi Transforms Into Relish Gastro Lounge

An adult root beer float at Relish Gastro Lounge.

An adult root beer float at Relish Gastro Lounge.


The hushed atmosphere and the white tablecloths have been jettisoned. And a whole new concept and personality have taken hold.

Sent Sovi in downtown Saratoga was Chef David Kinch’s stepping stone to even greater accolades as he went on to establish the Michelin three-starred Manresa in Los Gatos.

Chef Josiah Slone purchased the restaurant from Kinch, and for nearly 13 years kept the fine-dining ambiance, but with his own spin on it.

Now he and wife Khin Khin Slone have overturned that format, and launched a much more casual restaurant in its place.

Relish Gastro Lounge debuted in February with its reclaimed wood tables, color-changing lights, and soundtrack of rock and jazz. I had a chance to check it out a couple weeks ago when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant.


The tap system.

The tap system.

The wine preservation system.

The wine preservation system.

You’ll find 20 wines by the glass (preserved with the same argon gas system Sent Sovi used), along with 24 beers on tap. The menu, headed up by Chef Timothy Uttaro, former Sent Sovi sous chef, is made for sharing.

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Don’t Just Drink Beer — Eat It, Too

The predominant ingredient in these bars? Spent grain from brewing beer.

The predominant ingredient in these bars? Spent grain from brewing beer.


It’s a good bet that when you’re downing that frosty mug of beer, you’re not thinking about the spent grain that went into brewing it.

But there’s a lot of it. A whole lot.

Indeed, when beer is made, about 85 percent of its ingredients ends up as waste that is usually composted or sold off to feed livestock.

Now, Dan Kurzrock and Jordan Schwartz have come up with a novel — and delicious — way to reuse that discarded grain.

The hobbyist brewers created ReGrained, granola-like bars made from spent grain donated by three Bay Area craft breweries: Magnolia Brewing, 21st Amendment Brewery, and Triple Voodoo.

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Call for Entries for Sunnyvale Library’s “Cooking Up Stories” and So Much More


Participate in “Cooking Up Stories”

The Sunnyvale Public Library invites foodie writers to take part in its “Cooking Up Stories,” an ebook about food and cooking.

The library is seeking your best short story or non-fiction piece to publish in this electronic compilation. If your submission is chosen for inclusion, it will be added to the library’s online collection, making it available to a wide audience. You still retain the copyright to your story, so you can reuse your submission elsewhere in the future, too.

Submissions will be taken starting April 1. For more information about the project, click here.

Smitten Ice Cream Coming to Santana Row

The upside to all that construction going on lately at the Park Valencia area of San Jose’s Santana Row?

A new and improved plaza that will include Smitten Ice Cream.

Mint chocolate ice cream being made at Smitten Ice Cream in Los Altos. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Mint chocolate ice cream being made at Smitten Ice Cream in Los Altos. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

The 600-square-foot shop will open in July, serving Smitten’s patented made-to-order ice cream. You can watch for yourself as liquid nitrogen freezes the mixture in a flash at a super low temperature, resulting in smaller ice crystals and a supremely smooth ice cream.

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An Excuse to Play With Your Food

That's a wrap.

That’s a wrap.


As a kid, I remember sitting hunched on the floor, playing pick-up sticks with my brothers.

I’d hold my breath as I gingerly tried to pull a stick out of the pile without toppling the whole shebang. All the while, my brothers would joke around, trying to make me laugh, so that my already trembling fingers would fumble the task at hand.

I’m not sure who won most of those matches. But I do know it definitely made me learn the art of focus and blocking out distractions.

In this day and age of all electronics all the time, does anyone even possess that old-school game any more?

Maybe not. I know I haven’t played it in eons. Still, this fun dish brought back those childhood memories.

“Asparagus Pastry Straws” is made for picking up with your fingers.

Long spears of spring asparagus lend themselves to that anyway. But add a twisty rope of puff pastry all around each spear and you know resistance is futile.

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