98 South Bay Accent
Hero Ranch Kitchen, 14583 Big Basin Way,
Saratoga. 669/267-3183. Restaurateur Angelo
Heropoulos expands his epicurean empire with this
farm to table focused eatery featuring craft cocktails
and local wine. $$
Hobee’s, 4224 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. 650/
856-6124. (Other locations in Mountain View,
San Jose and Cupertino.) Popular mainstay serves
up farm-fresh ingredients. $
The Lexington House, 40 N. Santa
Cruz Ave., Los Gatos. 408/354-1600.
Unique Northern California dishes
made with local, organic and sustainable
The Mountain House, 13808
Skyline Blvd., Woodside. 650/851-
8541. Highlights are excellent cuisine
featuring chicken, lamb, beef,
seafood & pastas in a cozy cabin setting.
Oak + Violet (Park James Hotel), 1400
El Camino Real, Menlo Park. 650/304-3880.
With cuisine inspired by the region’s agricultural
abundance, this chic eatery showcases fresh local
ingredients in an airy indoor-outdoor setting. $$
Park Place, 10030 S. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino.
408/873-1000. Seasonal menu and large wine list
in airy, modern setting. $$$
Parkside Grille, 884 Portola Road, Portola Valley.
650/529-9007. Tucked among the redwoods, rustic
but elegant setting serves up California comfort
food with fresh local ingredients. $$
Piacere Restaurant, 727 Laurel St., San Carlos.
650/592-3536. Piacere serves fresh, locally sourced
fare along with a wide selection of Italian and California
Quattro (Four Seasons Hotel), 2050 University
Ave., East Palo Alto, 650/470-2889. Well-prepared
California cuisine with an Italian twist. $$$
Scroll Bar Waterside Kitchen (Pullman San
Francisco Bay), 223 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood
City. 650/598-9000. Globally inspired
Californian cuisine and full bar put this waterfront
restaurant on the map. $$$
The Shadowbrook, 1750 Wharf Rd., Capitolaby
the-sea. 831/475-1511. Visitors to one of the
nation’s 100 most romantic restaurants (as voted by
OpenTable diners) take the iconic “cable car” tram
or walk alongside waterfalls and lush gardens to
reach this ivy-covered dining destination. Equally
enticing are the seven different dining rooms within
the Swiss chalet-style building, the impeccable
service and award-winning cuisine. Menu favorites
include slow-roasted prime rib, local salmon and
creative nightly specials. Shadowbrook’s beautiful
Rock Room Bar (with live music on weekends)
continues to be a favorite with locals and visitors
alike and offers more casual fare and portions.
Since 1947, Shadowbrook has delighted diners
who come for special occasions or just to enjoy a
fine meal in an atmosphere of Old World charm
and grace. $$-$$$
Sun of Wolf, 406 California Ave, Palo Alto.
650/325-8888. Serving a variety of dishes with
Californian-Mexican influences, this eclectic eatery’s
vibrant atmosphere is as lively as the flavors
on the menu. $$
31st Union, 5 S. Ellsworth Avenue, San Mateo.
650/458-0049. A popular locavore eatery featuring
artisanal California food and drink with seasonally
changing plates. $–$$
After some heavy holiday meals, light and healthy eating hits
the spot. A road trip to Marin County yields some of the healthiest and tastiest
For a light, organic lunch while out and about, stop off at a Rustic
Bakery Café (locations in Larkspur, Tiburon and Novato).
There’s a bevy of satisfying salads served with house-made
dressings. The quinoa and veggie salad is packed with ingredients
such as edamame, cabbage, red pepper, cherry tomatoes,
herbs and toasted almonds topped with a tangy miso
dressing. Other salads include Asian chicken, Mediterranean
and a rustic Caesar that can be ordered with chicken. Sandwiches
come on the bakery’s own breads. Check the daily specials
for soup, salad and sandwich combos, as well as the quiche of the day.
Cafe del Soul (247 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, and 1408 4th St., San Rafael)
is a favorite vegetarian eatery, but meat eaters are taken care of here, too. All
dishes start off vegetarian and for just a few dollars more they’ll add hormonefree,
free-range chicken. There’s also organic tofu for more veggie protein.
The menu includes wraps, rice dishes, quinoa bowls, hearty salads, quesadillas
and “Unbelievable Nachos” piled high with toppings—even quinoa or kale, for a
healthier version of a guilty pleasure. Top off the meal with one of the café’s
signature smoothies or a made-to-order fresh juice. Try the Wonder juice made
with carrot, apple and ginger.
There might not be a better place than Miracle Mile Café (2130 4th St., San Rafael)
for mealtime diversity when it comes to groups where everyone has a different
dietary need, including picky kids. The menu of American and Peruvian
dishes is filled with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, alongside meatcentric
dishes—all organic. It’s been a favorite breakfast and lunch
spot for locals and now opens for dinners on Fridays and
Saturdays. Owner and chef Ginger Sandoval created
her own proprietary blend of GF flour that keeps
everyone happy. Prime example: Customers rave
about the cinnamon-roll pancakes topped with
a classic glaze.
Another draw for diners avoiding gluten is the
family-owned Servino Ristorante (9 Main St.,
Tiburon), which serves up classic Southern
Italian dishes. Regular pasta is on the menu,
but it can be swapped out for house-made GF tagliatelle
pasta on request. GF pizza crusts are also
available. Go light with the roasted organic chicken
served with spinach and roasted potato, or at lunch try
the sautéed Brussels sprouts with an addition of grilled chicken
or prawns. There’s a decadent side to Servino’s, too, like the Agnolotti pasta
dish filled with lobster and served with a cream sauce. Several enticing seafood
dishes and hearty beef and veal dishes round out the menu. —P.M.