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Apr 3, 2011 11:38 AM

Station 1 - Woodside

We finally made it to Station 1 in Woodside for dinner last night. This is a great addition to Peninsula high-end dining, with a culinary and atmospheric personality totally different than other places of similar quality like Manresa, Chez TJ, and the Village Pub just a block away.

Station 1 offers a fixed price 3-course menu for $54. On our night there were 5 appetizer choices, 4 entree choices, and 3 dessert choices, though you could mix and match differently if you prefer. The wine list is one page but well selected, with everything available by the half-glass, glass, and bottle.

We started with a very tasty strawberry - pomelo - watercress - artichoke salad, and a nettle risotto which had just a vibrant green taste it was like eating a meadow (in a good way!). Both of these showcased a cooking style of combining flavors in complex ways, sometimes standing apart and interrelating as in the salad, at other times combining into a singular complex taste as in the risotto.

Our entrees were a waygu beef bavette served with an amazing black garlic / onion / mushroom accompaniment, and a suckling pig (loin, leg, pulled pork, and bacon-like "pork chip") served with excellent quinoa and fennel. Desserts were a lavendar custard and a banana toffee cake with pecan ice cream.

These three courses were complemented by a carrot soup / blood orange / cocoa nib amuse, a meyer-lemon vanilla soda before dessert, and chocolate maple cookie sandwiches after dessert.

The wine selections were the one place with a couple of missteps. The Falanghina I chose to go with the risotto was pretty mediocre, nowhere near as fragrant as others I've had, and served too cold. The Rhone my wife chose for her beef had a bad off-flavor / odor that the waiter confirmed was present across two bottles; the Priorat that substituted was fine. Our other choices - a Chinon and Pleaides - were very good. The waiter recommended a sparkling Brachetto d'Acqui Rosa with the custard and a sherry/Madeira-like Rivesaltes Ambre with the cake. Both matches were absolutely spot-on.

This place is much less formal than other Peninsula places of this caliber. It's a rustic but pretty room with lots of wood. It's a much more seasonal menu than I can recall anywhere else in the area beyond Manresa. I very much like the 3-course fixed price limited choce format.

Overall it was a wonderful experience, and highly recommended. We'll be back!


Station 1
2991 Woodside Rd, Woodside, CA 94062

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  1. Sounds great, next on my list!

    1. I'm glad someone else got there, and enjoyed it. I saw Station 1 on Bauer's new additions to the Top 100. My experience in the first few days they were open wasn't salutary, but we all know enough not to judge based on that. What especially disliked, though, was the format. The entrees were too large. I just rarely eat app/entree/desert any more. I walked out stuffed.

      I look forward to another visit, based on your report, but know I can't drag GF there, based on the previous poor experience. I'll have to wait until I have a (rare) self-dining night.

      Station 1
      2991 Woodside Rd, Woodside, CA 94062

      1 Reply
      1. re: bbulkow

        wow, most of the reviews I've seen say the portions are too small. lol

      2. I went there a few weeks ago, and had the three-course menu as well. I wasn't familiar with the area, so I actually winded up on a side road for several miles before turning around and trying again.

        The place is small, and the open dining room layout and wood interior means sound bounces all over the place. I arrived for a late dinner, when I arrived, the place was full, and a out of the way table and chair became the makeshift "bar area".

        They included an amuse bouche of white carrot soup with just a dash of curry. I thought this dish was fantastic.

        The first course was a strawberry foam/cream dressing on marche, with shaved aspargus greens and pomelo. I'm not very big on greens or foam, so this was not an exciting dish for me.

        Kola Cavatelli with asparagus tips, pureed nettles, and tossed with a bit of shredded roasted garlic. Good dish; I had been hoping that they had gnocchi that night, but the cavatelli was a good substitute.

        Wagyu with black garlic, morels, and potatoes. Excellently done; not overcooked, and the black garlic sauce is probably one of the best sauces I've had wagyu with.

        Intermezzo of celery and meyer lemon soda.

        The Cheese plate arrives with house made rosemary crackers.

        After dessert was a Chocolate shortbread with a bit of habenero to give it a bit of a kick.

        The portions are definitely larger than most other fine dining establishments I've been to -- I'm used to getting just a couple of ounces of wagyu; at Station 1, I'd guess-timate that it's probably closer to 4-6 ounces. The cheese plate was too much for me to finish (and I do love my cheeses).

        I think their 3-course is an absolute bargain at $54; the quality of the food is stellar. I'd go back again.

        Chef at Station 1 worked at Commis, before opening Station 1.

        3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

        Station 1
        2991 Woodside Rd, Woodside, CA 94062