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Aug 14, 2008 03:51 PM

Looking for shower locale in Palo Alto or Menlo Park

Hello N. Cal hounds,

I could really use your help! I've been scouring your boards (I'm down in the L.A. area), and I've found a lot of useful information, but I'm still not sure if I'm on the right track. My mother, sister and I are throwing a baby shower lunch for my cousin. There will be about 25-30 women attending. We need a restaurant in either Palo Alto or Menlo Park. It should be a nice place, nothing too casual or chain-ish.

The places I've been thinking about are :

Evvia, Tamarine, St. Michael's Abbey, Osteria and Carpaccio.

We'd really like somewhere that has a private room, too.

So, what do you all think?

Thanks so much!

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  1. Lisa's Tea Treasures has a Menlo Park location. I've never been there but I bet it would be a fun place.

    1 Reply
    1. re: katya

      Can't speak for the Menlo Park location as each one is franchised, but last year I attended a bridal shower at Lisa's Tea Treasures at Santana Row. At first I wasn't very excited about it, but ended up being pleasantly surprised. We had the front room reserved for us and it nicely accommodated 28 people. If cutting edge food is not a requirement and you could be happy with a more homey menu of tea sandwiches/scones/sweets, it was a very successful venue to host a woman's rite-of-passage kind of celebration. We brought in cupcakes and a 3 tiered stand and they were kind enough to set up a display table for our use and also to serve them at no charge. The desserts that were included in the set menu were provided to our hostess ahead, so she could box them up and give them out as favors.

    2. Allied Arts might be a fun and picturesque spot.

      Allied Arts Guild
      75 Arbor Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025

      1 Reply
      1. re: Concetta

        Did the cafe reopen? Last time I was there the cafe was shuttered and no longer in business. It's a beautiful spot, I hope it's back.

      2. Lisa's Tea Treasures sounds like a great idea but according to their website, the maximum the Menlo Park location accommodates is 25.

        I haven't been for lunch but perhaps Four Seasons Palo Alto. They also have a Sunday brunch. What's your budget? Tamarine & Evvia are very good but pricey with the latter a bit cramped (not sure if there is a private area/room).

        There's also Zibibo, a "pan-mediterranean" restaurant with a pretty setting, & La Strada in Palo Alto. La Strada has a semi private area but not sure how many people it can hold. Osteria is too small & Carpaccio probably too stuffy (haven't been there in YEARS).

        4 Replies
        1. re: ceekskat

          Thank you all so much for your good ideas! We have a new wrinkle, however. My cousin, who the shower is honoring, also had some suggestions. My mom would like to look at these first. So here's her list:

          Zibibbo Restaurant (Palo Alto) - they have private rooms

          Stanford Park Hotel (Palo Alto) and/or The Duck Club Restaurant (inside the hotel)

          Tamarine Restaurant (Palo Alto) - they have a private room, I believe

          Il Fornaio (Palo Alto) - they have a private room

          Straits (Menlo Park) have a private room

          So, any comments on these specifically? The guest list is now down to 20-25. We are still looking for a private room (and it looks like most or all of these have one based on my cousin's list). We are also hoping for really good food, and a place that is nice and pretty for a baby shower. Thanks again, everyone!

          1. re: chazar

            You can check what reports there are on Chowhound by plugging in the restaurant name in this link to places

            Il Fornaio is a chain with locations in Southern Cal. At least I know of one around Encinitas. That being said, for a chain it isn't horrid.

            I get confused on which Straits is good and which isn't. You might check board reports.

            1. re: chazar

              I haven't been to Stanford Park Hotel, but I would choose Tamarine among the others. Stylish restaurant with good food & service. Straits Palo Alto was great when it first opened, but has steadily gown downhill over the years. I don't think it is part of the rest of the group anymore. If Tamarine doesn't have a private room or doesn't work out for any reason, I'd choose Zibibbo.

              1. re: chazar

                Egads, not Straits. Not this one. Not if you like good food. I think they are working with good recipes, but they use a hackneyed, unbalanced hand in the preparation. On par with Olive Garden and Cheesecake Factory.

            2. I vote for Stanford Park having been to most of the others. It is serene, service is good, food is average but ambience woud be memorable

              1. Of the choices your cousin listed, I think Zibibbo is the best for ambiance and service. They have a nice courtyard area as well, although I think there are people passing through it from the front of the restaurant. With a large group Zibibbo has something for everyone including some small plates and shareable items like flatbreads.