Tag Archives: where to eat in Santa Clara

The Newest Il Fornaio Opens in Santa Clara Square

A bountiful Mare Chiaro at Il Fornaio in Santa Clara.

A bountiful Mare Chiaro at Il Fornaio in Santa Clara.

 

So conditioned are we these days to thinking negatively about chains that we often dismiss them without a second thought.

But bigger doesn’t always mean mediocre or less personalized.

Case in point: Il Fornaio.

The Italian restaurant chain started in the Bay Area, but now has 23 establishments not only throughout California, but also in Colorado, Virginia, Washington and Nevada.

I admit I hadn’t dined at one in quite awhile, even if I’d always had fine experiences at them, including when I held my wedding rehearsal dinner at the San Francisco locale years ago.

So, when I was invited in to dine as a guest at the newest Il Fornaio, which opened last month in the new Santa Clara Square retail-residential complex, I knew it would be satisfying, but I honestly had forgotten just how good the food really can be.

After all, it may be a chain, but it takes the time and effort to make its own breads and pastas, which is no easy feat. And it does so exceptionally well.

Fetching a bottle of wine.

Fetching a bottle of wine.

The Santa Clara restaurant is a huge 150-seat affair housed in a 6,200-square-foot building that has the air of a modern-day Tuscan farmhouse with soaring ceilings, weighty wood posts, a wide-open dining room, an open kitchen, and stylish glass-enclosed wine storage cases that reach to the ceiling and are accessible by a library ladder.

Read more

Join the Food Gal and Pastry Chef Carlos Sanchez of Parcel 104 for A Macy’s Cooking Demo

MacysCarlosSanchez

You’re in for the ultimate sweet time when I host Chef Carlos Sanchez of Santa Clara’s Parcel 104 for a cooking demo at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara at 6 p.m. Nov. 6.

Born in Columbia, Sanchez crafts delightful, dainty sweets served in trios that are always worth the calories. His smooth, eggy flan is the stuff of legends.

Trained in both the savory and dessert sides of the kitchen, Sanchez has incorporated such unusual ingredients as bell peppers and candy cap mushrooms into his memorable desserts.

Read more