HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Discussion

Best tasting menu lunch in the peninsula?

I'm looking to take my wife out to a very nice lunch in the peninsula. Preferably a tasting menu but frankly anything will do. Any ideas? This would be on a weekday.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. The correct answer is Baume in Palo Alto, which is open for lunch only on friday. 231 Ellsworth in San Mateo is no longer open for lunch

    Second best is probably village pub in woodside, which does not have a tasting menu, but is excellent michelin-star food, and open for lunch every day. Very old school clubby, which may or may not be your cup of tea.

    -----
    231 Ellsworth
    231 South Ellsworth Ave., San Mateo, CA 94401

    4 Replies
    1. re: bbulkow

      I have to disagree. I had the Baume lunch and it was EXTREMELY disappointing (I'll write a review in a day or so). Portions were the size of amuse bouche at other fine dining places, hot dishes served cold (foie gras), etc.. Let me just say that after spending $100 (food only before tax, tip) I was still hungry and actually ate the samples at Costco an later:(
      And I am a small eater (eg a childs meal with diet coke is more than enough to fill me up - not that I enjoy that but just to give an idea of my caloric appetite) or perhaps a better example - usually can't finish the tasting menu at TDR - and then not really hungry for a day after.

      If you give your food preferences perhaps we could recommend places that are good even tho they don't have lunch tasting menus.

      1. re: estnet

        Please do post. I had dinner at Baume several months ago and was less enthusiastic than my dining companions were. I thought I might like it better at lunch time, so I'm interested in what you have to say.

        1. re: estnet

          Sorry if I wasn't clear. I wasn't speaking to the quality of the Baume meal. I believe I'm correct it is the only mid-week lunch tasting menu on the entire peninsula.

          1. re: estnet

            I second that, we also felt hungry after our dinner.

        2. My one and only choice for a good meal on the Peninsula is Evvia in Palo Alto.

          I've also found Madera at the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel in Palo Alto near 280 to be surprisingly good.

          -----
          Madera
          2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025

          3 Replies
          1. re: mikeh

            What dishes have you tried at Madera so far?

            -----
            Madera
            2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              They tend to feature a local fish item on the menu that changes in its preparation/composition depending on what is in season. I recently had a sand dabs dish with a sweet potato puree and some roasted veggies that was absolutely first rate - nice combination of textures and delicate flavor interplays without being bland.

              I've also had success there with their burger and some apps. like a breaded asparagus with aioli. Overall, I just really appreciate the level of execution and that they care to source what is fresh and local despite the fact that they could probably phone it in given the volume of expense account/power lunch traffic they entertain. A good argument can be made that their overall product exceeds Village Pub in Woodside nowadays.

              1. re: mikeh

                I had a cobb salad in the hotel lobby area a few months ago that showed similar attention. I look forward to a full meal there. As to whether they're better than Village Pub - I'll have to try! I was impressed that VP had truffle suppliments across their menu the 3rd day into truffle season.

          2. Another fun place, though not with a tasting menu, is Cascal in Mountain View. Not stellar food, but a fun theme and great energy.

            -----
            Cascal
            400 Castro St., Mountain View, CA 94041

            5 Replies
            1. re: stacyc

              The food there is so average I doubt it would satisfy someone looking for a tasting menu --- which is also a more formal request, thus unlikely Cascal is right. The OP didn't actually ask for fun, they asked for nice.

              I must not be the target market. I don't find their atmosphere that fun, and the food is rather sub-par. There are dozens of places I would go before Cascal, including driving north to PA.

              -----
              Cascal
              400 Castro St., Mountain View, CA 94041

              1. re: bbulkow

                BB - I concede on all points. Given the dearth of good options, I just remember that the last time I was there, we sat along the windows and it was a pleasant experience. Something that OP was likely looking for. Otherwise, you are right.

                1. re: stacyc

                  As an example, I had a nice meal outside at Xahn a few weeks ago. Fun, kind of fancy, outdoor tables, much better food.

                  1. re: bbulkow

                    These days I only go Xanh for their lunch, not because their dinner isn't great, but because it's too hard to resist their amazing $12 buffet lunch.

                    Since you mentioned Baume, one might consider going to Jin Sho on the same street. I once had their lunch tasting menu (not the $16 prix fixe), for about $45 or so. Much more affordable than their tasting menu at dinner time!

                    -----
                    Jin Sho
                    454 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA

                    Xanh Restaurant
                    110 Castro St, Mountain View, CA

                    1. re: vincentlo

                      The lunch buffet at Xanh is quite amazing!

                      -----
                      Xanh Restaurant
                      110 Castro St, Mountain View, CA

            2. I like the one which features the children of rich people in a sashimi form.