Category Archives: Enticing Events

“Grill Takeover” Time At Eataly’s Terra

Lamb tongue with horseradish potato foam at Terra's first "Grill Takeover'' dinner collaboration.
Lamb tongue with horseradish potato foam at Terra’s first “Grill Takeover” dinner collaboration.

Terra restaurant at Silicon Valley’s Eataly is getting taken over — in a fun and delicious way.

The rooftop restaurant inside Eataly at Westfield Valley Fair shopping Center in San Jose just launched a “Grill Takeover” series in which it partners with a local restaurant for a one-night collaborative dinner.

I was fortunate to be invited as a guest to the inaugural one last week with San Mateo’s Pausa restaurant.

The event featured Eataly Silicon Valley’s Chef Antonio Giordano and Pausa’s Chef Andrea Giuliani teamed on a four-course meal that was $125 per person.

Eataly Silicon Valley's Chef Antonio Giordano and Pausa's Chef Andrea Giuliani with Terra's general manager.
Eataly Silicon Valley’s Chef Antonio Giordano and Pausa’s Chef Andrea Giuliani with Terra’s general manager.

The dining room was full for this sold-out event. For those still cautious about dining indoors, you’ll be glad to know that Terra’s dining room is practically outdoors. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading to the outside dining terrace are left open. Moreover, the ceiling itself is slatted to allow for plenty of air flow.

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The Last Harrah at Landmark Manresa

Porcini and dry-aged beef served arrestingly at Manresa.
Porcini and dry-aged beef served arrestingly at Manresa.

It’s said that all good things must come to an end.

So apparently, must all great things, too.

When Chef-Owner David Kinch announced that he would be closing his Michelin three-starred Manresa in Los Gatos at the end of this year, it was a seismic jolt felt ’round the culinary world.

But after a glittering 20-year run, including the last three rocked by the turmoil of a global pandemic, he felt the time had come.

Although he will continue with his more casual concepts of Manresa Bread, the Bywater, and Mentone, come 2023 the South Bay will no longer boast a Michelin three-starred establishment. The property is up for sale. While Kinch says he has a few projects in mind to consider next, it’s a good bet that it will be a long time — if ever — that a restaurant exists in these parts that will draw discerning diners from all over the world in numbers like this one has.

I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy several superlative meals at Manresa over the past two decades. While I’ve mostly dined outdoors since the pandemic hit in 2020, I couldn’t pass up the chance to dine indoors there one final time.

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Dining Outside at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley’s Après Village Pop-Up

How fun is this? Making your own 
S'mores at your table in the Après Village at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley.
How fun is this? Making your own S’mores at your table in the Après Village at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley.

With festive string lights overhead, holiday trees everywhere, a sleek fire pit blazing away, and even a seemingly light dusting of snow falling, one of my best friends and I recently spent a relaxing winter getaway — without actually really trekking anywhere beyond Silicon Valley.

That’s because the second annual winter pop-up at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley in East Palo Alto is so incredibly transportive that you will feel like you’re on holiday, fresh off the slopes at Whistler or Banff in British Columbia.

The Après Village is set up on the terrace of Quattro, the hotel’s signature restaurant. It’s open from now through Feb. 26, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Mondays through Thursdays, it’s available for private bookings.

The spot is truly a sight to behold, as I found when I was invited in as a guest last week.

The very cozy pop-up on the Quattro terrace.
The very cozy pop-up on the Quattro terrace.

The Après Village is fashioned into its own separate space, complete with a Sweet Shoppe at one end that’s modeled after a European Christmas market stall, where you can purchase Pastry Chef Guillermo Soto’s truffles, macarons, signature chocolate bars, and freshly made doughnuts.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late: Santana Row Farmers Market

Behold the Roli Roti chicken and potatoes.
Behold the Roli Roti chicken and potatoes.

It’s not big, but it’s mighty — as in good.

That’s what the farmers market at San Jose’s Santana Row is — all one block of it on the main drag between Olin Avenue and Olsen Drive), with vendors on both sides plying fresh produce, flowers, and gourmet prepared foods.

The market, Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., is seasonal. So, if you want to check it out, you have until the end of this month before it’s gone until next year.

Because it’s an evening market, it’s an ideal place to pick up dinner or the fixings for it. Just follow your nose to find the Roli Roti truck parked in the center of the Row with spinning rotisseries packed with whole chickens and sides of ribs.

Just be warned that on a hot day before sunset, this truck is parked in full sun with heat radiating off the rotisseries, so bring a hat and a cool drink as you wait in line, as there almost always is one.

The Roli Roti rotisserie.
The Roli Roti rotisserie.
The farmers market on the Row.
The farmers market on the Row.

Who can blame people for flocking here when the rosemary-flecked chicken is so juicy, bronzed, and succulent that you barely need a knife. A whole chicken ($15.50) gets wrapped up hot off the rotisserie, ensuring it will still be warm by the time you dive into it at home.

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A Taste of the Second Annual Taste Tri-Valley

Five-spice duck breast with puffed farro served at the kick-off at Sabio on Main for Taste Tri-Valley.
Five-spice duck breast with puffed farro served at the kick-off at Sabio on Main for Taste Tri-Valley.

When the inaugural Taste Tri-Valley Restaurant Week debuted in February last year, the pandemic was still raging in full force and vaccinations had only begun to roll out, making for a subdued event intended to showcase the restaurants in Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton.

This year, however, with vaccination rates high and Omicron petering off, the second annual Taste Tri-Valley has kicked off with a bang, not to mention spring-has-sprung weather, as I found out last week when I was invited as a guest to the kick-off dinner at Sabio on Main in Pleasanton.

With supply chain issues and labor shortages coming on the heels of a roller-coaster list of restrictions over the past two years, local restaurants and wineries still very much need your support and business. So, there’s no better time than now through Feb. 27 to check out the special indoor dining, outdoor dining, and takeout promotions at dozens of these Alameda County establishments.

Among the highlights are a $35 three-course dinner menu at Danville Harvest, dinner for two for $35 at Burma! Burma!, a $50 three-course dinner at Bridges, a $50 three-course dinner at Sabio on Main, and a $15 small stuffed pizza at lunch at Zachary’s Pizza. For the full list of participating restaurants, click here.

Gotta love a chef who wears an apron like this one. Executive Chef-Owner Francis X. Hogan of Sabio on Main.
Gotta love a chef who wears an apron like this one. Executive Chef-Owner Francis X. Hogan of Sabio on Main.

A benefit for Open Heart Kitchen, the largest hot-meal program serving those in need in the Tri-Valley, Thursday’s festive kick-off dinner at Sabio on Main sold out in no time flat, and even had a 60-person wait list, an encouraging sign as any that folks are definitely excited about dining out again. Tables were filled inside and out, the latter being where my husband and I dined on the cozy patio at the side of the restaurant.

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