Sneak Peek: Mayfield Bakery & Cafe

Flaky, buttery croissants at the new Mayfield Bakery & Cafe.

When restaurateur Tim Stannard was just a kid and his father a professor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, he remembers riding his bike through the campus and across El Camino Real to buy candy bars at the drugstore that once stood on this spot.

Now, Stannard and his Bacchus Management Group have transformed that icon of his childhood into his newest restaurant venture, Mayfield Bakery & Cafe.

It opens for dinner on Monday, Feb. 9, and will add lunch, breakfast, and brunch service in the weeks to come. I got a sneak peek on Saturday night of the newest restaurant to open in the Palo Alto Town & Country Village, which will serve up wood-fired American cuisine.

Mini versions of the restaurant's Niman Ranch chuck burgers with fried onions and remoulade were served at Saturday's invitation-only, opening party.

On the opening menu, find burrata bruschetta ($12); griddled artic char with cracked wheat, herbs, olive oil and dates ($22.50); braised lamb cheeks with gremolata and parsley paparadelle ($19.75); and spit-roasted Fulton Ranch chicken with rosemary polenta and green olive-melted tomato sauce ($19).

Diners also will get a choice of sparkling or still filtered water served in carafes gratis — a nice, and environmentally-sound touch. All the coffee served will be organic, fair-trade, and roasted by Bacchus’ ROAST coffee company in Oakland. The beans will be ground and brewed to order.

The bakery.

The bakery, overseen by Pastry Chef Nancy Pitta, formerly of San Francisco’s Boulevard restaurant, will supply fresh-baked bread twice a day to all Bacchus Management restaurants, including the Village Pub in Woodside, and Spruce in San Francisco.

And of course, there will be a roster of irresistible pastries and sweets, including cinnamon rolls, croissants, tarts, and S’mores squares.

The restaurant, with its rustic yet elegant look, features white marble countertops, reclaimed French oak floors, and antique schoolhouse pendant lamps. There’s a wood-fired oven, and a massive rotisserie. Even more fun, the baking kitchen features a glass-wall so you can see the bakers at work, forming all the dough.

Pastry buns.

Mayfield, is the original one for the township that used to exist here before it was annexed into Palo Alto in 1925.

This will be quite the year for Bacchus, which is set to open four more restaurants in 2009: a Pizza Antica in Sunnyvale in the Town Centre that’s being revamped; another Pizza Antica in Santa Monica; the long-awaited Cafe des Amis on Union Street in San Francisco; and the company’s first out-of-state venture, a Spruce restaurant in Park City, Utah, a partnership with the Waldorf Astoria there.

The restaurant.

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  • Wow, all that bread… they’re calling out to me! =X

  • That bakery counter is gorgeous…I bet it smells even better than it looks! Yum.

  • wow, I can’t wait to try it. did you get to try any of the baked items or restaurant food for this post?

  • Ann, alas the baked goods couldn’t be disturbed for tasting yet because photographers had to get their photos in first. But I did get to try the ciabatta bread. Quite nice! And the burgers you see in the photo are soooo juicy and flavorful (The mini ones were just for the party; the ones on the regular menu are normal size). The pizzas also are quite good, with crusts that are crisp and full of character. But since it’s the same team that brought you Pizza Antica, that’s no surprise.

  • I can’t wait – their other properties have the best french fries!

  • “I must go to there!”

  • So I went back on Sat night for dinner – the service was a little spotty, the bread was wonderful and the burger and fries were to die for!

  • Brunch last Sunday was great, the pastries/breads fantastic. Great coffee. Manager Chris told me that they get their beans from the same place as Blue Bottle Coffee. Had their Niman chuck burger, which was one of the yummiest burgers I’ve had. Comes with butter lettuce, pickles, onion rings and a remoulade. My daughter ordered the hamburger from the kid’s menu listed as a “Kid’s burger on a cute little bun”. Was surprised to see the same sized burger on the children’s menu at half the price. Maybe the waiter made a mistake. Others ordered Spit Roasted Chicken Salad, which is more like a roasted chicken with vegetables in a vinegarette w/savory morsels of fatty bacon, and baked eggs w/guacamole & black beans & corn tortillas. Service was friendly and pleasing. It made us wanting more, so we went again for dinner last night. What a disappointment it was the 2nd time around.

    Service was again friendly, but the waiter was not detailed. Requested the Branzinni without fennel and came with fennel (though quite delicious and well cooked, fennel taste came through). Pork Shoulder dish had been sitting under the lamp for a while and was a bit warm at best and bit dry. Pork was overly salted and not even the brussel sprouts could balance the saltiness of the pork. Dorado dish was quite nice, and how can you miss with that burger. Told the waiter that we were celebrating my wife’s birthday but they failed to put a candle on the desserts. Next table with different waiter had the candle, happy birthday singing, etc. which put a sour taste in our mouths. Desserts: Carrot cake was nice…a lighter carrot cake with creme fraich instead of the traditional heavy sweet creme cheese frosting. S’mores was a rich, overpowering chocolate ganache w/one roasted marshmallow on top w/a dallop of chocolate ice cream. Great for the chocoholic, overpowering for others! The milk shake w/just baked chocolate chip cookies…nice shake, but cookies were not just baked…were not warm which was disappointing.

  • Very nice information…the World needs more Bacon info! Thanks for this 🙂

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  • Mayfield is one of my favorites in Palo Alto… a total power lunch place 🙂

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