Tag Archives: San Jose restaurants

A little more time to catch Pacific Catch’s Endless Summer menu

Endless Summer menu highlights, photo courtesy of Pacific Catch

Fabulous restaurant Pacific Catch, known for its sustainably sourced seafood and other delicious dishes, has a great ‘bonus menu’ going on through the end of October. “Endless Summer” features dishes like Ahi Poke Bombs, Pupu Platter, Korean Poke Bibimbap, and Passionfruit Pot De Crème. Suggested cocktails to accompany the limited-time food menu include Shark’s Tooth and Lilikoi Mai Tai.

The restaurant invited me to sample the Endless Summer menu, and I am so glad that I took them up on this opportunity. Here are some highlights from my recent lunch at the Campbell location, where I dined on the outdoor patio: I tried an Ahi Poke Bomb (Inari tofu pocket filled with sushi rice and choice of original, Korean, or serrano yellowfin tuna pokes; 1 for $5 or 3 for $13). I chose original – it was extremely fresh fish and the seasonings and textures worked beautifully together.

Next, I enjoyed a Ceviche Taco (fresh jicama shells filled with shredded lettuce and choice of three ceviches: Baja shrimp, sea bass, or spicy yellowtail; 1 for $5 or 3 for $13). I picked sea bass. The flavor was mild and satisfying, the fish very tender. This was a perfect snack-sized treat that got my mouth primed for my entree.

I almost chose the Endless Summer Rainbow Sushi Bowl ($25) for my entrée; with a variety of sashimi plus crab salad and more, it was very tempting. In the end I decided on Korean Poke Bibimbap ($19). What an exquisite combination of ingredients! The large platter came with Korean ahi poke, spicy cucumber banchan, kimchi, pickled carrot, shiitake, edamame, and sushi rice, plus a gochujang soy-chili sauce that adds savory heat. You can also add on a sunny-side egg ($2) or Korean-style steak ($6); I was in the mood for steak and was very happy I ordered this ‘extra.’ If you’re unfamiliar with banchan, like the cucumber in this entrée, these are usually cold “side dishes of vegetables” served alongside rice in Korean cuisine.

My dining companion selected a dish off the regular menu: the restaurant’s immensely popular Lobster Roll ($27). Picture this: a butter-toasted King’s® Hawaiian roll overflowing with tarragon-and-dill-seasoned lobster salad, avocado, radish, romaine, and chives. Pacific Catch is generous with both the lobster and the fabulously fresh avocado. Not only did my lunch partner devour the sandwich down to the wonderful roll’s last crumb, but he also savored every bite of the addictive sesame slaw that comes on the side.

A couple more notes about our visit: during the meal, we received attentive service. The diners at the patio’s other tables all looked well-fed and well-cared-for. In addition, I have to mention the high-quality, nice-looking dinnerware that our food was served on. It was impressive enough that I turned over one of my plates to look up the brand in case I wanted to buy some for myself at a future date. It’s England-based Dudson and through online research I discovered the company only makes tableware for the hospitality market. Ah well, I will just enjoy it when dining at Pacific Catch.   

Speaking of visiting PC, I recommend doing that as soon as possible—or at least by the end of October! That way, you can try some of these limited-time goodies, and sprinkle in a few selections from the regular menu as well.

If you’re a Pacific Catch rookie, I have a tip: peruse the menu ahead of time at pacificcatch.com/menus or you might be overwhelmed. It’s giant and has something for everyone, including influences from a range of cuisines. Over the three times I’ve been there I have not been disappointed with anything I’ve tasted. The diverse menu includes appetizers like shiitake miso soup, and dishes like sushi rolls, shrimp tacos, a Wagyu beef cheeseburger, and fish and chips (with the aforementioned sesame slaw). There are sides like Thai brussels sprouts, turmeric tahini cauliflower, Mexican-style corn on the cob, and Kimchi fried rice. There are also kids’ dishes for your little ones.

A Bowls & Greens section has tantalizing pre-designed combinations but if these aren’t to your liking, you can substitute a different base or protein (the latter includes salmon, grilled tofu, skirt steak, chicken breast, and more). Last, but by no means least, check out the Fresh Catch section. First you pick a fish from three choices including Hawaiian yellowtail. Then you select a style from four choices including Golden Turmeric or Asian Herb Chimichurri. Finish by picking a side and you’ll be served a filling, tasty large meal. 

Learn more about Pacific Catch—with 11 Bay Area locations such as Santa Clara and San Francisco—at pacificcatch.com.

Pacific Catch Campbell location & hours:

1875 S Bascom Ave. 550, Campbell,  (408) 879-9091

Open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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A few Bay Area Father’s Day meals

Father’s Day Box from Teleferic

Need last-minute Father’s Day plans and want to venture outside Santa Cruz County? Here are a few choices, including ones in San Jose, with menu highlights. Happy Father’s Day weekend!

Winner Winner Chicken (San Mateo)  Located in San Mateo’s Hillsdale Mall, Winner Winner Chicken is known for their hot chicken, gourmet salads and nostalgic desserts.  Just in time for Father’s Day, it’s launching ‘Champange Wishes & Hot Chicken Dreams’ brunch service this weekend. This menu is available until 3pm:

  • COASTAL BERRIES & GREEK YOGURT $6.95 house granola & maple syrup
  • CHARRED AVOCADO TOAST $9.95 artisan achiote sourdough, old school egg salad, Haas avocado, wild arugula, lemon oil, everything bagel seasoning
  • CHICKEN & WAFFLE $14.95
    Belgian cheddar waffle, Maldon sea salt butter, maple syrup
  • THE VARSITY SANDWICH $13.95 applewood bacon, maple ham, fried cage free eggs, American cheese,
    artisan sourdough, comeback sauce, served w/ side or fries or tots
  • GRIDDLED CUSTARD FRENCH TOAST $9.95 coastal berries, maple syrup, balsamic sugar
  • WINNER WINNER BRUNCH BURRITO $12.95 crispy chicken, scrambled cage free eggs, applewood bacon, tater tots, house pico, queso, salsa rojo

Pacific Catch (Over 11 locations throughout the Bay Area, including San Jose)   Enjoy laid back aloha vibes with a fun food menu and a full bar. Pacific Catch, best known for their sustainable seafood, has many offerings for dads and families to choose from. From their Livin’ Aloha menu featuring musubis, poke tostadas and the moco loco burger, to fish burgers, tacos, ceviches and poke bowls, Pacific Catch is a perfect spot for seafood-loving dads.  

Teleferic Barcelona (Palo Alto and Walnut Creek)   For dads looking to celebrate with a Spanish twist, head to Teleferic Barcelona which is known for its menu featuring Spanish tapas and paellas (seven choices such as Mediterranean Crab, Paella Truffle or Negro). Several sangrias include signature Sangria Teleferic with red wine, gin and brandy.  A special Father’s Day Dinner box comes with an assortment of tapas, paella and dessert for two; order here.

1) Choice of: Sangria (32 Oz – Serves 3 glasses) Wine (Red/White/Rose)

2) Gazpacho: Traditional cold tomato soup made of raw, blended vegetables,8oz (gf, v)

3) Tuna Tacos: Marinated ahi tuna with mashed avocado & wonton shells

4) Jamón Ibérico (38 months cured): Iberian pata negra ham 38 months cured (gf)

5) Aged Mahón Cheese: Hard white cheese made from cows’ milk, named after the town and natural port of Maó, on the island of Menorca off the Mediterranean coast of Spain. 

6) Choice of Paella (serves 2):

Mixta: Pork, mushrooms chicken, gulf shrimp, calamari, & octopus (gf) (serves 2)

Carne:Wild mushrooms, chicken & pork (gf) (serves 2)

Vegetarian: Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green beans & mushrooms (gf, v) (serves 2)

7) Torrija: French toast with Catalan cream & vanilla dressing (v)

King’s Fish House (San Jose)  Dads can have a meal “fit for a king.” Selections include Prime Steaks, Surf & Turf as well as items from the raw bar, shellfish platters and fish house favorites. Drinks include beer and 10 specialty cocktails.  

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Fogo de Chao on Santana Row: great for family brunch, date night, or weekday lunch

Brazilian brunch service started a couple months ago at Fogo. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Brazilian brunch service started in May at Fogo de Chao. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

A couple weeks ago, I decided to try out Fogo de Chão on Santana Row with my family. From the moment we walked in, the service was impeccable. To me, having attentive staff greet you upon arrival is the signal of a good experience to come – and Fogo did not disappoint. Even the assistant manager, Yuri Teixeira, stopped by twice to make sure we had everything we needed.

After one staff member greeted us and immediately showed us to our table, another Fogo team member asked if it was our first time dining there (it was), in which case he would provide us with a little guidance. We were eager to try the new Brazilian Brunch which launched at all Fogo locations nationwide in May. Many locations only offer this brunch on Sundays, but Santana Row is one of nine restaurants that offer it on Saturdays too.

As our waiter explained, the Brazilian Brunch includes both the “full Churrasco experience” and the Market Table. Churrasco basically means you better come hungry! Anytime you want to eat some of Fogo’s fire-roasted meats, you flip a card on your table to the green side (green means go) and a chef will arrive and carve meat for you tableside. When you want to take a break, either to enjoy some of the other selections or to just pause from eating, you flip the card to show red. Each diner has their own card, and the chefs and other staff are continuously and carefully scanning the room—during our brunch, we never had to wait more than a minute after flipping a card before a chef was asking if we wanted what he was serving, whether that was a house specialty like picanha (signature sirloin sliced very thin), filet mignon, ribeye, cordeiro (lamb) or something else like Parmesan pork, chicken drumstick or breast, linguica sausage. The restaurant has 16 meats total.


Very soon after we sat down, waitstaff also brought over the Brazilian side dishes that are included with brunch. These included pão de queijo (warm cheese bread, which is gluten-free), mashed potatoes and fried polenta and caramelized bananas. It was hard to stop eating the scrumptious polenta, but I knew I wanted to save room for lots of other offerings.


The Market Table & Feijoada Bar is a self-serve area with salads, vegetables, feijoada (black bean stew with sausage and other toppings) and an egg bake with asparagus, broccoli, peppadew peppers, Swiss cheese, and the aforementioned gluten-free cheese bread. Other selections included a parfait with Greek yogurt, granola and berries. Some of my favorites were hearts of palm, asparagus, fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, marinated artichoke bottoms and an edamame/corn salad. My five-year-old daughter loved the olives and the giant Parmesan wheel that held an abundance of bite-sized cheese pieces.


When we commented to one of the waitstaff how great all the meats were, he explained that that the sea salt they use really brings out the flavors. I did some more research in the last few days and discovered that many of the meats they serve are seasoned only with sea salt; the fact that they taste so good is a testament to the meat’s top quality.


Our host asked which selections were our favorites and it was hard to choose (later, I counted how many we tried: my husband tasted nine, I tried eight and my daughter sampled small portions of five varieties). Mine was probably the garlic steak. The pork chop with Cajun seasoning was pretty darn good too. My husband’s was the Parmesan pork. My daughter enjoyed all the ones she tasted; she wouldn’t pick a favorite when I asked. I know she thoroughly enjoyed the linguica sausage, among others.


Believe it or not, after all this we couldn’t resist trying dessert. My daughter and I shared—and devoured—molten chocolate cake that was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious!


For weekend brunch in San Jose, adults cost $45.95 for the “full experience” or $26.95 for market table only. Drinks and dessert are extra. Kids 6 and under are free, and ages 7-12 are half price.


The restaurant’s atmosphere and the Santana Row location (a nearby movie theater and shopping) make Fogo a great pick for date night. Obviously I recommend it for weekend brunch with the family, and I also noticed that they offer a weekday lunch that starts at only $15. That gets you the Market Table & Feijoada Bar, but you can add a grilled meat selection for between $6-$9; other options include sea bass a la carte ($27.95) or the full experience ($36.95).


For more prices or specific information on Fogo’s San Jose location, see the Santana Row Fogo web site. To learn more about Fogo in general or other locations including San Francisco, visit the main site.


Want to learn more about Brazil and its cuisine? Fogo just launched an online guide that includes drink recipes (such as a passion fruit caipirinha, a twist on the national cocktail), food recipes, and etiquette and language tips.


Fogo de Chão on Santana Row location & hours:

377 Santana Row #1090 (corner of Olsen) (408) 244-7001

Saturday/Sunday brunch 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Sat dinner 3-10:30 p.m. Sun dinner 4-9 p.m.

Mon–Fri lunch 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Mon-Thurs dinner 5-10 p.m.

Fri dinner 5-10:30 p.m.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 12: Win Roots & Rye gift certificate

Candy bar waffles at Roots & Rye weekend brunch

Candy bar waffles at Roots & Rye weekend brunch

It’s Day 12, the last day of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Today’s prize: the chance to win 1 of 2 gift certificates valid at Roots & Rye on Santana Row in San Jose. See end of article for how to enter.

Roots & Rye opened in July. The gastropub is located at 3055 Olin Ave., Ste. 1005. Chef Chris Yeo, chef and owner at restaurants Straits and Sino on Santana Row, is also behind Roots & Rye.

For dinner on New Year’s Eve, Roots & Rye will be serving a four-course prix fixe $80 menu as well as the regular menu. They are doing a time capsule theme that night; it’s the 1930s. Sino Restaurant’s theme will be the 1960s and Straits will be doing the 80’s (these two restaurants won’t have prix fixe options; regular dinner items and specials will be available).

For all three restaurants, if you’d like to make reservations for the lounge, you can do this if you’re requesting bottle service—this is spirits delivered to the table—it’s a minimum $500 purchase. For Roots & Rye dinner or lounge reservations call 408-429-2909 or email info@rootsandrye.com. For Straits, call 408-246-6320 & for Sino call 408-247-8880.

Roots & Rye serves lunch and dinner daily and weekend brunch—when dishes include candy bar waffles and duck confit hash—on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Current dinner dishes include Parmesan fries with truffle aioli, housemade pasta, day boat scallops with kohlrabi puree and buttered kohlrabi, and burrata salad (the latter two are also available at lunch). Current lunch-only items include grilled cheese sandwich with spicy tomato bisque.  The happy hour menu includes deviled eggs and oysters.

Roots & Rye prides itself on a wide whiskey selection. Approximately 20 choices include Angels Envy, Eagle rare 10-yr, and E.H. Taylor Bonded Rye. They have a large wine and beer selection including a dozen draft beers such as Ten Barrel Apocalypse Double IPA and St. Bernardus. Signature cocktails include Churchill Downs with bourbon, strawberry aquavit, lemon, green cardamom and fever tree ginger beer. The gastropub features live jazz every Wednesday and Thursday night from 8-11 p.m. and DJs every Friday and Saturday from 9pm-midnight.

There will be two winners: first place will win a gift certificate for one visit (up to $125 value) and second place will receive a certificate for brunch for two with a value of up to $50.

To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com by 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 26 and include the name “Roots & Rye.” The drawing will take place later that day and the winner will be notified via email.

Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for the promotion.

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Bay Area restaurants for Mother’s Day: Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, San Jose

A dish from earlier this year at Hollins House, as posted on their Facebook page February 24, 2015

A dish from earlier this year at Hollins House, as posted on their Facebook page February 24, 2015

Dining out on Mother’s Day is a popular plan, so if you haven’t made reservations yet, better hurry: here are a few restaurant highlights for Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, and San Jose.

Also see:
Mother’s Day menus for Monterey, Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove

Santa Cruz Area
Hollins House

Hollins House at Pasatiempo has a brunch buffet from 10 am to 2:30 pm; the price is $75 for adults (includes champagne or mimosa) and $25 for kids 6-12 and under, inclusive of tax and gratuity. The menu will include made-to-order omelets featuring Glaum Ranch eggs and egg whites; duck fat hash browns; Applewood smoked bacon and Corralitos sausage; a carving station with items such as spice-rubbed NY Strip Steak with horseradish cream, veal demiglace, and cilantro pesto; seared Morro Bay swordfish with herb crust and lemon-ginger emulsion; asparagus with lemon and pancetta; and several gourmet salads (including red quinoa/padron/feta and roasted gold & red beets with goat cheese mousse). Other highlights include chocolate dipped strawberries, cupcakes and bourbon bread pudding.
Call (831) 459-9177 or visit opentable.com for reservations.
20 Clubhouse Road, Santa Cruz

The Chaminade offers its annual Mother’s Day brunch buffet at Linwood’s Bar & Grill from 9am-3pm; the price is $55.95 (adults), $18.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. Mother’s Day is the restaurant’s busiest day of the year; it always sells out. Selections include bourbon glazed honey ham with Jack Daniels glaze; prime rib; a seafood bar with whole poached salmon, Dungeness crab legs, and smoked salmon; omelets made to order; and Belgian waffles with apple compote and fresh berries. Additional highlights: miniature sundried tomato/olive quiches, cheese ravioli (with porcini crème, fried leek, sauteed mushrooms), chocolate fondue, and a sundae bar. The kids’ buffet features chicken strips and fries, mini pancakes, and mac and cheese. Call (831) 475-5600 or visit chaminade.com or opentable.com for reservations.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Sanderlings at Seascape Resort has a brunch buffet from 10 am to 2:30 pm; the price is $47.95 for adults and $21.95 for kids 12 and under. I dined there last year with my family and it was quite good, plus we sat outside and had a beautiful view. This year’s selections include a prime rib carving station; a fresh seafood bar; a salad assortment (last year’s included roasted beet-feta-arugula, spinach with avocado-walnuts, and Indian-spiced chickpea with cucumber and red onion); fresh fruit; and baked breads. Other highlights include desserts and a special kids’ menu. Call (831) 662-7120 or visit opentable.com for reservations.
One Seascape Resort Drive (at Seascape Beach Resort), Aptos

Los Gatos
Campo di Bocce

Campo di Bocce will offer a brunch buffet from 10 am to 2 pm; due to the popularity of the restaurant’s brunches, table reservations are limited to one hour. Food selections will include made-to-order omelets, a meat carving station, waffles and biscuits, sausage and bacon, fruit, pasta, salads, and homemade pastries. Campo di Bocce will also be serving $10 bottomless mimosas. There are two prices: one for brunch only, and one for brunch and an hour of bocce. Adults are $34.95 without bocce and $42.95 with bocce; kids 5-15 are $14.95 without bocce and $25.95 with bocce. Kids under 5 eat free. Visit campodibocce.com for details. Call (408) 395-7650 for reservations.
565 University Ave., Los Gatos

Dio Deka
The popular Mediterranean/Greek restaurant will offer a special a la carte brunch menu. Selections will include Eggs Benedict (traditional, or with smoked salmon or crab cakes), Strapatsada (eggs with tomato, feta, and Greek oregano), Paithakia (mesquite-grilled lamb chops), sirloin burger, and cinnamon “Greek” toast. Visit diodeka.com for details. Call (408) 354-7700 or visit opentable.com for reservations.
210 E. Main St., Los Gatos

Hult’s Restaurant
Hult’s is serving a prix fixe brunch for $39. Customers can select from two to three selections for each course. Three first course options include Swedish pancakes and Caprese salad; three main courses include North 38 Farm’s duck confit hash and Eggs Benedict. The two dessert choices are rum raisin bread pudding and fruit with sorbet. Visit hultsrestaurant.com for details. Call (408) 354-3434 or visit opentable.com for reservations.
165 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd., Los Gatos

San Jose
Fairmont San Jose

The Fairmont is serving a special Mother’s Day Buffet in its Fountain Restaurant from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The cost is $62 per adult and $31 per child 5-12. Kids under 5 are free. The buffet will include entrees such as Petaluma chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto and topped with mushrooms and saltimbocca sauce, and grilled Pacific salmon with strawberry-red onion salsa. Other highlights include starters such as sushi and a grilled baby octopus/cannellini bean/pancetta dish, an omelet station with organic eggs, a carving station, and Caesar salad with a 2-year-aged Parmesan wheel. See fairmont.com/san-jose for full menu or call (408) 998-3960 for reservations. There is also a more expensive brunch buffet at the hotel’s Imperial Ballroom.
170 South Market St, San Jose

Il Fornaio
Il Fornaio, located at The Saint Claire Hotel, is serving a Mother’s Day brunch buffet with complimentary champagne. The cost is $50 for adults and $20 for kids 5-12. Kids under 5 are free. Call (408) 271-3366 for reservations.
302 South Market St, San Jose
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New Year’s Eve at Lark Creek restaurants, plus giveaway

Seafood at Lark Creek Blue on Santana Row in San Jose (photo credit: Lark Creek Blue Facebook page)

Seafood at Lark Creek Blue on Santana Row in San Jose (photo credit: Lark Creek Blue Facebook page)

A few restaurants operated by Lark Creek Restaurant Group are open on New Year’s Eve; highlights are below. Also, two more bits of news:

1) If you haven’t heard, a couple LCRG restaurants recently closed – Yankee Pier Larkspur and The Tavern at Lark Creek closed permanently effective Dec. 1, 2014, and Fish Story in Napa has closed but the restaurant will reopen in early spring with a ‘remodeled space and new concept’ (and possibly a new name)
2) One of my readers will win a gift card good at Lark Creek restaurants — see end of article for contest details. Happy Holidays!

• Pan-Seared Day Boat Scallops with celery root, boiled peanuts, black trumpet mushrooms, and port wine is one of the New Year’s Eve entrée choices from Chef Mark Dommen at One Market Restaurant (www.onemarket.com). The special New Year’s Eve prix fixe menu is $80/person from 6-7:30 p.m. and $130/person from 8:30-10 p.m. The menu features three courses and an amuse bouche. First course choices include hand-picked Dungeness crab (mango, avocado, citrus water) and Marin Sun Farm beef tartare (black truffle, quail egg, mitsuba). Dessert selections include Valrhona chocolate cake and California artisinal cheese plate with Redwood Hill Farm truffle tremor, Bohemian Creamery, Cowabunga, and more. Make reservations at 415.777.5577. One Market is in downtown SF at 1 Market St.

Lark Creek Blue (www.larkcreekblue.com)  is open on New Year’s Eve. Guests can enjoy the regular, full a la carte menu created by Chef de Cuisine Chad Ferry. Entrees include Maine lobster spaghetti “Arrabiata” with a roasted half lobster, tomato, calabrese, chiles, and basil; grilled 12-ounce Angus ribeye with ratatouille, parsley potatoes, and warm caper vinaigrette; and grilled Hawaiian swordfish with fava beans, Israeli couscous, nectarine relish, and sauteed spinach. Make reservations at 408.244.1244. Lark Creek Blue is on Santana Row in San Jose.

Cupola Pizzeria (www.cupolasf.com) is also open on New Year’s Eve. Guests can order from the regular, full a la carte menu. Small plates include warm, pulled-to-order mozzarella with lemon, brussels sprouts leaves, and olive oil; and lamb meatballs with spicy San Marzano tomato sauce, basil leaves, and pecorino. Soups include butternut squash with sage and brown butter. Pastas include lamb pappardelle, and pizzas include rapini (garlic, broccoli rabe, chili flakes, preserved lemon, Parmesan cream) and carne (housemade sausage, spicy calabrese salumi, soppresata, sweet onion). Call 415.896.5600 for reservations. Cupola is located on the 4th floor of the Westfield San Francisco Centre (845 Market St.).

Prize: A $75 gift card to Lark Creek Restaurants
To enter, email your name to tfatemi@gmail.com & include the words “Lark Creek giveaway.” Deadline to enter is Friday, Jan. 2, 2015 at 9 p.m.
This contest is open to readers of Tara Fatemi Walker’s Examiner.com and Santacruzfoodie.com sites. Employees of Examiner.com, and people who have won contests in the last 3 months, are not eligible for this promotion.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

More Bay Area restaurants for Thanksgiving: Monterey, San Jose, Santa Cruz

Restaurant 1833 in Monterey

Restaurant 1833 in Monterey

Here are a few more choices for dining out in the Bay Area on Thanksgiving.

If you missed my earlier Thanksgiving articles, see below:
Santa Cruz and Monterey area restaurants
San Francisco

Monterey & Carmel

Restaurant 1833

On Thanksgiving, Restaurant 1833 will host a feast from 1:30 – 7pm with a special three-course menu for $65 per person. Located in the historic California landmark, the Stokes Adobe house, guests can enjoy selections such as Roasted Apple Soup with sage, Brandy syrup and candied walnuts; Herb-Roasted Free Range Turkey with sage and chestnut dressing, potato puree, haricot verts, cranberry-orange relish, and classic gravy; Acorn Squash Ravioli with roasted mushrooms, port-braised shallots, and Parmesan; and choice of Pumpkin Mousse Pie or Spiced Chocolate Cremeux for a sweet ending. Reservations can be made through Open Table or by calling (831) 643-1833.
500 Hartnell St., Monterey

Cannery Row Brewing Company
The restaurant will offer its regular full menu on Thanksgiving, plus a three-course Turkey Dinner.  The dinner will be $29.95 for adults and $12 for kids 12 and under. Make reservations via Open Table or at (831) 643-2722.
95 Prescott Ave, Monterey

Il Fornaio
Il Fornaio in Carmel, located at the Pine Inn, will offer its full menu on Thanksgiving plus a special Thanksgiving dinner with traditional favorites. They invite you to celebrate “Thanksgiving with an Italian twist.” Make reservations via Open Table or at (831) 622-5100.
Ocean Avenue & Monte Verde St., Carmel

San Jose
Lark Creek Blue

The restaurant is offering a three-course prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner for $49 (adults). Children 10 and under get a half portion for half-price. First course options include roast butternut squash soup with maple glazed bacon lardons; jumbo shrimp cocktail; and steamed clams with housemade chorizo, scallions, garlic, cilantro, white wine, and butter. Entrée choices include lobster (stuffed with bay shrimp and served with green beans and drawn butter), and turkey accompanied by traditional items like cornbread stuffing and mashed potatoes. One dessert option is a fun decorate-your-own gingerbread cookie that benefits charity (click here for more info on the month-long promotion).
378 Santana Row, San Jose, (408) 244-1244

The Fairmont San Jose
The Fairmont San Jose is serving two special meals: the Fountain Restaurant is the site of their Family Orchard Buffet; reservations are available from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The cost is $54 per adult and $27 per child 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free. Appetizers include fruit, chilled jumbo prawns, Caesar salad, and sushi. Entree highlights include an organic egg and omelet bar; parsley, rosemary, and thyme rubbed roast turkey; honey baked ham with bourbon mustard and brown sugar glaze; and garlicky Spanish saffron and seafood stew. There will also be festive holiday desserts. The Imperial Ballroom is hosting a Fairmont Harvest Brunch; reservations are available from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The cost is $69 per adult (includes one glass of sparkling wine, mimosa, or house wine) and $34 per child 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free. Appetizers include pulled duck confit; honey-glazed salmon; King crab legs; kale-and feta-faro-pomegranate seed salad. Entrees include an organic egg and omelet bar; parsley, rosemary, and thyme rubbed roast turkey; and sustainably fished Arctic char with pickled onion-cabbage slaw.
For full menus, visit fsjholidays.com/thanksgiving2014.html.
170 South Market St, San Jose, (408) 998-3960

Santa Cruz
Lago Di Como

Lago Di Como is serving Thanksgiving brunch, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with brunch and dinner menus plus specials including an Italian roasted turkey meal. Make reservations via Open Table or at (831) 454-8257.
21490 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

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Silicon Valley Restaurant Week Oct. 15-22: discount prix fixe 3-course dinners


Heirloom tomato salad from Village California Bistro & Wine Bar this summer; a similar salad is available during Silicon Valley Restaurant Week 2014. Photo from the restaurant's Facebook page.

Heirloom tomato salad from Village California Bistro & Wine Bar this summer; a similar salad is available during Silicon Valley Restaurant Week 2014. Photo from the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Silicon Valley Restaurant Week is Oct. 15-22, 2014. During this time more than 45 local restaurants – from Los Gatos, Downtown San Jose and San Jose’s Santana Row to Mountain View, Saratoga, and Palo Alto – are serving three-course gourmet dinners for $35-68 per person.

Special menus typically include three options for each course: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Customers choose one selection for each course. Some way wonder why the prix fixe menu prices vary so greatly; event organizers explain this is because selected restaurants choose to serve larger portions, use more expensive ingredients, and/or want to showcase signature dishes.

Silicon Valley Restaurant Week began in 2009 as an annual event. It’s now held twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. Restaurant reservations are recommended but not required.

For more information, and to see menus and prices for selected restaurants, visit the event web site at www.siliconvalleyrestaurantweek.com. The site is also searchable by cuisine and city, if you’re craving a particular kind of food or only want to travel a certain distance.

A few highlights:
At Saratoga’s Sent Sovi, Executive Chef/Owner Josiah Slone has designed a $35 menu with three choices each for the first two courses, and two choices for dessert. First-course choices include Lonely Mountain Farms fall squash soup. Entrée choices include Parisian-style gnocchi with fall vegetables and savory heirloom apples, and roasted trout stuffed with “herbs, alliums and lemons from Josiah’s backyard.” Dessert choices include red wine poached pears with Icelandic stout ganache.

LB Steak is offering different menus at its Santana Row and Menlo Park locations. Menlo Park costs $45, and Santana Row costs $65. The Santana Row menu has ahi tuna tartare (with fuyu persimmon, harissa, tahini lavash) and Wagyu beef carpaccio (olive, caper, and rosemary relish, plus Parmigiano Reggiano) included in the appetizer choices. Entrée selections such as porcini-crusted filet mignon or honey chipotle glazed beef shortribs or lemon/herb-crusted local swordfish, and desserts such as pumpkin parfait and apple tart round out the special menu.

More tidbits to whet your appetite:

• The Restaurant Week menu is $35 at Scott’s Seafood in San Jose. Dessert choices are pumpkin cheesecake and molten chocolate cake; entrée choices include pumpkin and prawn risotto.
Hult’s in Los Gatos has an intriguing $65 menu that’s divided into water, land, air, and earth. Selected dishes include oxtail wonton, 36-hour chicken breast (creamy potato puree, black truffle puree, pinenut-apricot-cranberry chutney), and octopus carpaccio.
Morton’s The Steakhouse in San Jose is serving a $45 menu. Entrée choices include filet mignon and honey-chili glazed salmon filet. Desserts include double chocolate mousse.
Village California Bistro & Wine Bar on Santana Row offers a $40 menu for Restaurant Week. Its four entrée choices are 38 North ‘Two-Way’ duck (seared breast and confit leg), wild Coho salmon (accompaniments include butternut squash risotto and bacon gastrique), braised all-natural lamb shank, and Creekstone Beef Wellington. Appetizer selections include late harvest heirloom tomato salad featuring shaved cucumber, green beans, and burrata (see photo above).

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Bay Area restaurants for Father’s Day Part 1 — includes San Jose, SF & Monterey

Buffalo wings and beer at Cannery Row Brewing Company

Buffalo wings and beer at Cannery Row Brewing Company

Father’s Day 2014 is less than a week away, on Sunday, June 15. If you have a foodie in your life that needs some celebrating, you’d better make plans! Here are details on a few Bay Area restaurants; I’ll publish more in the next couple days including restaurants in Santa Cruz and a few more Monterey highlights.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins 

Top of the Mark and Executive Chef Nenad Stefanovic present a delicious brunch buffet. Guests will enjoy a carving station with Roasted Bone in Prime Rib of Beef and Baby Back Ribs with whiskey BBQ sauce and entrees like Grilled  NY Steak with cipollini onion, cherry tomato, demi glace and Pan Seared Corvina with fennel beurre blanc. Breakfast favorites for dad include Pork Belly Benedict with coleslaw and chipotle hollandaise sauce and a Forest Ham and California Monterey Jack Strata. An omelet and buttermilk waffle station are also available. The price is $79 for adults and $45 for ages four through 12. Children three and under are complimentary. Brunch is served from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. For reservations, call 415-616-6916.
Off the Grid: Picnic at the Presidio for Father’s Day
Sit back and treat Dad to a Father’s Day indulgent experience complete with a reserved blanket to take home as a souvenir. There is a $100 package for two or a $150 package for four that includes:
• A signature Picnic at the Presidio blanket ($35 retail value), for you to keep
• One or two beer kits (depending on package) for the group to share
• Tri-tip lunch for two or four

Pick a spot upon your arrival and they will lay out a picnic blanket for you and your party.After seating, enjoy a choice of one of the Presidio Bar’s beer kits (5 bottles of Scrimshaw or Pacifico) as The Whole Beast prepares your tri-tip lunch. They will serve up your tri-tip lunch with sides (baked beans, potato salad and green salad with bleu cheese dressing) right to your blanket.
Book here

Presidio Social Club
PSC will host its annual Father’s Day Pig Roast on Sunday, June 15. Following in the spirit of a backyard luau, the Pig Roast is a vintage-Hawaiian themed event taking place throughout the restaurant with two pigs rotating through the spit on the sunny back patio. Available from 1 p.m. through dinner service, the Pig Roast meal is a composed plate including meat right off the spit, two sides and a scrumptious Pineapple Upside-down Cake with coconut sorbet for dessert. For reservations, call 415-885-1888.

Fogo de Chão

On Father’s Day, Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse invites the man of the hour to relax and enjoy his special day, while Brazilian-trained gaucho chefs do all the grilling. As a special thank-you, Dads who dine on Father’s Day will receive a Father’s Day card good for a complimentary lunch or dinner towards their next visit. The Father’s Day menu will feature the restaurant’s extensive variety of fire-roasted meats that are specially carved to each guest’s preference. Make reservations online or call 408-244-7001.

Cannery Row Brewing Company

Located in downtown Monterey right off historic Cannery Row, the building was once a cannery (as the name suggests) but is now redefining Northern California brewhouses and casual dining. With 73 beers on tap, a dining room, and outdoor fire pits, Cannery Row Brewing Company is a family-friendly spot to enjoy Father’s Day. This year dads can enjoy a Prime Rib special paired with English Ales Big Sur Golden, a local Monterey brewery, for $25. Other regular selections include burgers and buffalo wings. The venue is open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight. Call 831-643-2722 (note: the web site is supposed to be canneryrowbrewingcompany.com but at press time the link wasn’t working).

Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa
The hotel’s “TusCA Ristorante, The Fireplace Lounge” is having a special BBQ-themed dinner. A $25 special features oregano BBQ lamb ribs, rosemary red potatoes, and grilled sweet corn with thyme butter. Dads get free strawberry shortcake with the purchase of an entrée. Call 831-657-6675 for reservations.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Mother’s Day Bay Area restaurants Part 2 — Santa Cruz, San Jose & Monterey

Pastry elements for Cupcake Garden of Sweet Finale course at Restaurant 1833 for Mother's Day, courtesy of restaurant's Facebook page

Pastry elements for Cupcake Garden of Sweet Finale course at Restaurant 1833 for Mother’s Day, courtesy of restaurant’s Facebook page

Here are some more Bay Area Mother’s Day restaurant highlights — if you missed the roundup for San Francisco, Oakland, Palo Alto, and Napa, click here.

Santa Cruz & Soquel Restaurants

Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria
Santa Cruz restaurant Lago di Como is serving brunch and dinner on Mother’s Day. Brunch starts at 10 a.m. Call (831) 454-8257 for reservations.
2-1490 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz

Johnny’s Harborside
Santa Cruz restaurant Johnny’s Harborside is offering special dishes for both brunch (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and dinner (4-8:30 p.m.) in addition to its regular menu. Mother’s Day brunch specials include rock shrimp, asparagus, and prosciutto omelet with choice of potato hash, fruit, or polenta ($14), quiche lorraine ($13), and crab cake benedict ($16). Call (831) 479-3430 for reservations.
493 Lake Avenue, Santa Cruz

Tortilla Flats
Soquel restaurant Tortilla Flats is serving a few specials during Mother’s Day weekend. On Mother’s Day the restaurant opens at 11:30 a.m. Call 476-1754. Selections include Relleno Poblano (Roasted poblano chile filled with chorizo, goat cheese and green onions), Wild Caught Halibut served with Santa Fe Green Sauce, and Crepas Del Mar (Aji Limo crepes filled with lobster and prawns).
4616 Soquel Drive, Soquel

The Chaminade
The Chaminade offers its annual Mother’s Day brunch buffet from 9 a.m.-3 p.m; the price is $50.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. The menu includes a savory seafood bar, roast prime rib of beef, honey glazed ham and roast turkey breast, omelet bar, an array of traditional brunch favorites, fresh fruit and vegetable medleys, and a delectable selection of pastries and desserts.  Children’s favorites include chicken strips and fries, miniature pancakes and macaroni and cheese. There will also be face painting and balloon figures for kids. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations. Also related to Mother’s Day, there’s a special May promotion: Book overnight accommodations for two in the month of May and receive a $50 resort credit to be used toward the spa, breakfast, brunch or dinner, in addition to a scented spa candle and signature body lotion just for Mom!  Call 800-283-6569 for reservations or visit www.chaminade.com for further information.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Hollins House
The Pasatiempo Golf Club’s Hollins House is serving a brunch buffet from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The price is $55 (adults) and $20 for kids. Selections include Beet and goat cheese salad with fresh strawberries, Omlette bar with Bacon, Ham, Pasilla Chiles, Tomatoes, Cheese, Scallion, Italian Sausage, Spinach, Egg Whites and Mushrooms, Glazed Pit Ham with Orange Anise Sauce, Carved NY Steak, Horseradish Cream, Au Jus, and Mushroom Ravioli with Basil Pesto and Feta. Call (831) 459-9177 for reservations.
20 Clubhouse Rd, Santa Cruz

San Jose
Fogo de Chao

On May 11, Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse in San Jose will offer lively dining that will satisfy the whole family. Plus, moms who dine on Mother’s Day (May 11), will receive a special card — while supplies last — good for a complimentary lunch or dinner on their next visit. The Mother’s Day menu will feature the restaurant’s extensive variety of fire-roasted meats that are specially carved to each guest’s preference. Diners can enjoy selections such as the house specialty picanha sirloin, filet mignon, ribeye, lamb chops, chicken wrapped in bacon, and pork ribs, to name a few, or try the newly-introduced lighter seafood selection. Additionally, Fogo offers a colorful gourmet salad and sides bar with an abundance of fresh and seasonal choices, and Southern Brazilian side dishes such as pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, and caramelized bananas are served family style. A tempting dessert menu, creative and classic cocktails, and an award-winning wine list complement the dining experience. Pricing is $51.50 per person and Mother’s Day is being celebrated from 11:30am – 9:00pm. Special pricing is available for children 12 and under. Call 408-244-7001.
The Fairmont San Jose

The Fairmont is serving a special Mother’s Day Buffet from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The cost is $59 per adult and $29 per child 5-12, plus tax and  gratuity. Kids under 5 are free. Buffet highlights: a selection of salads such as shaved fennel, artichoke, arugula, citrus with saffron vinaigrette; hot options such as honey baked ham, herb-roasted leg of lamb, and dill-roasted salmon with tomato-olive fondue, and an omelet station with farm fresh eggs.
170 South Market St, San Jose, (408) 998-3960
Restaurant 1833

On Sunday, May 11, Restaurant 1833 will open early and host a special Mother’s Day Brunch with a three-course menu for $55. Located in the historic California landmark, the Stokes Adobe house, guests can enjoy dishes from New Executive Chef Abby Burk with selections such as Asparagus and Leek Quiche with gruyere, goat cheese and chives; Booker’s Bourbon and Vanilla French Toast topped with marinated white peaches, whipped crème fraiche, and toasted almonds; The Fried Chicken served with cornbread and rosemary waffles, chicories and roasted grape jus, and a Stroll Through the Cupcake Garden for a sweet ending with an assortment of cupcake flavors including carrot cake, vanilla bean, strawberry & chocolate cream, and lemon meringue . As always, available for a $6 add on are sides such as 1833’s signature Bacon Biscuits served with a sausage gravy. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 831-643-1833.
TusCA Ristorante at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa (1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, 657-6675) is serving a buffet: $56 adults, $25 kids 6-12, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entrees include lavender-glazed pork loin with Point Reyes studded blue cheese.

Tarpy’s Roadhouse (2999 Salinas Highway, Monterey, 647-1444) is serving a la carte brunch dishes ranging from $4.95-$48 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entrees include Maine lobster and avocado benedict on griddled brioche with citrus-chive hollandaise, herb salad, and potatoes.

Jack’s Restaurant at the Portola Hotel & Spa (2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, 649-2698) has a buffet: $39.95 adults, $34.95 seniors, $19.95 kids 6-12. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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