108 South Bay Accent
elegant table settings provide a sumptuous dining
atmosphere. The restaurant also boasts a large bar,
private dining rooms and an outdoor patio. $$$
LB Steak, 334 Santana Row, San Jose. 408/244-
1180. Sister restaurant of Left Bank Brasserie puts
a modern French twist on American steakhouse
cuisine. Save room for luscious pastry desserts. $$$
Manresa, 320 Village Lane, Los Gatos. 408/354-
4330. Chef David Kinch amazes diners with his
creative, award-winning cuisine. $$$
Mosaic Restaurant and Lounge (Four Points
Hotel), 211 S. First St., San Jose. 408/282-8888.
This stylish bar and restaurant offers an American/
Asian twist on Continental cuisine. $$$
Viognier, 222 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo. 650/
685-3727. This Cal-French restaurant blends California’s
bounty of fresh food with Southern sensibilities.
Features a world-class wine selection and
seasonal dishes. $$$
Zeni Ethiopian, 1320 Saratoga Ave., San Jose.
408/615-8282. Inviting spot serves up a tantalizing
variety of flavorful dishes, many vegetarian,
with your choice of spice level. $
Baumé, 201 S. California Ave., Palo Alto. 650/328-
8899. New venture from the Michelin-starred chef
Bruno Chemel. $$$
Black Sheep Brasserie, 1202 Lincoln Ave., San
Jose. 408/816-7251. Stylish Willow Glen Parisianstyle
brasserie melds contemporary and classic
French and Californian tastes. Full bar offers creative
craft beers and a changing wine selection. $$–$$$
Chez TJ, 938 Villa Street, Mountain View.
650/964-7466. This Michelin-starred restaurant is
known for its high-end, contemporary French cuisine
and use of fresh ingredients. $$$
Le Papillon, 410 Saratoga Ave., San Jose. 408/296-
3730. Acclaimed for its award-winning French
cuisine, this Bay Area institution blends fresh
ingredients with impeccable preparation.
Left Bank, Menlo Park. 650/473-
6543; San Jose. 408/984-3500.
Popular eatery features contemporary
French cuisine and a variety
of seafood prepared with fresh,
seasonal ingredients. $$$
Melting Pot, 1 Transit Center
Way, San Mateo. 650/342-6358.
Fondue spot features four flavorful
cooking styles and a variety of entrees
with dipping sauces. Be sure to save space
for the chocolate fondue. $$
Navio (Ritz-Carlton Hotel), 1 Miramontes Point
Road, Half Moon Bay. 650/712-7000. This luxurious
seaside restaurant overlooks the panoramic golf
The Plumed Horse, 14555 Big Basin Way, Saratoga.
408/867-4711. This 2011 Michelin-starred
restaurant delivers contemporary, seasonal California
cuisine based on solid French techniques. $$$
White Shallot, 3143 Stevens Creek Blvd., San
Jose. 408/246-5251. Serving traditional French
and Vietnamese menu items including ratatouille
and lemongrass tofu. $$
Zola, 565 Bryant St., Palo Alto. 650/521-0651.
Seasonal French cuisine features regionally sourced
Perfect for a daytrip or an overnight getaway, the Monterey
Peninsula offers amazing views and great eats. Here are a few places to try on
your next road trip south.
One of Carmel’s most beloved restaurants is Anton & Michel (Mission Street
between Ocean and Seventh). This elegant French restaurant featuring impeccable
service—including tableside preparation for some dishes and
desserts—serves delectable food at lunch and dinner in lovely
surroundings. Lunch offerings include a classic French
onion soup, hearty salads, sandwiches and several
main dishes like a Black Angus Flat Iron Steak and
Panko-Crusted Sand Dabs, a local specialty. The
dinner menu features sumptuous dishes including
pork tenderloin, duck breast, Kobe beef short ribs
and rack of lamb. Save room for dessert—Anton &
Michel serves amazing French desserts, including
cherries jubilee for two—along with amazing dessert
wines and spirits.
Cultura Comida y Bebida (Dolores between Fifth and
Sixth) came on the Carmel restaurant scene two years
ago and instantly became a popular spot for cocktails and
sharable small plates. The interior is a wow, with a copper bar and
cherry red booths, but the Oaxacan Mexican food is the star, along with the
wine list and impressive selection of mezcal. If you’re feeling adventurous, try
Cultura’s signature bar snack chapulines, that is, roasted and seasoned grasshoppers.
A taster portion is offered for just $2. Mix and match small plates of
street tacos, tamarind yams, or mushroom quesadilla, or try one of the main
dishes like the kabocha squash chile relleno, or chicken enchiladas.
Cultura also has a tempting brunch on weekends.
One of the peninsula’s best restaurants is the Sardine Factory
(701 Wave St., Monterey), set to celebrate its 50th anniversary
in October. It was one of the first restaurants in the U.S. to develop
a large wine list, which continues to impress and delight.
Also impressive is the menu, with an excellent selection of seafood
and steaks, along with pasta and specialties like the cast iron
half chicken, rack of lamb, and Veal Cardinal, one of the restaurant’s
original dishes. Those “in the know” come between 5 and 6 p.m. for the
early menu with select main dishes served with rolls, Sicilian olives and the
signature bean dip.
For a breathtaking view of Monterey Bay with dinner, it’s hard to beat Beach
House Restaurant & Bar at Lovers Point (620 Ocean View Blvd., Pacific
Grove). Comfort food dishes like beef stroganoff, bacon-wrapped meatloaf,
roast half chicken, and scallops pot pie are stars on the menu. Seafood dishes
include the sand dabs, grilled King Salmon and the seafood pasta with salmon,
scallops, clams and grilled prawns. The best deals on the peninsula come between
the hours of 4 to 5:30 p.m., with low prices on select entrees. —P. M.