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Lure + Till in The Epiphany Hotel (Palo Alto)

The Epiphany Hotel opened its doors to welcome the first overnight guest yesterday. Naturally, I was curious about the status of the hotel’s restaurant, Lure + Till, after reading that Patrick Kelly would be the chef. http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...
I was very impressed by Kelly’s food at Gitane last year.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/914545

According to the hotel’s front desk, the target opening date for Lure + Till is Monday, March 17. It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as 24-hour room service for hotel guests. Restaurant staff will be manning the phones starting this Saturday to make reservations for next week. The direct line to the restaurant is 650-666-3320.

No restaurant website yet, but I've found what looks to be one in progress. Here’s the link to the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, http://gerard-fane.squarespace.com/menu/
While some media coverage has described the spot as “swank”, the description of the dishes and especially the prices point to a more casual style of cuisine. The tag line is “Simple, honest food celebrating the Bay Area”.

Palo Alto could use some good cooking, hopefully this will be a step. Please report in when you try it.

Lure + Till
The Epiphany Hotel
180 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA
Restaurant direct line: 650-666-3320
https://twitter.com/lureandtill

http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/calif...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

**BREAKFAST**
Breakfast Starters
Basket of Breakfast Pastries • $12
Smoked Salmon • $14
Rye Bread, Celery Root Remoulade, traditional accompaniments
Domestic Charcuterie Spanish Style Breakfast • $15
Preserves, Focaccia, Farmer’s Cheese
Organic Cottage Cheese, Seasonal Fruit, Local Honey • $8
Granola • $9
Organic Yogurt, Seasonal Fruit
Selection of Cereals • $5
Steel Cut Oats • $8
Piloncillo, Roasted Banana

Sides
Home Fries • $7
Bacon, Sausage, Chicken Sausage • $7
Seasonal Fruit • $5
Sourdough Scallion Biscuits • $5
Toast and House Made Preserves • $4
Seasonal Smoothie • $5
Bigger Plates
Sourdough Huckleberry Pancakes • $12
Cinnamon Creme Fraiche, Maple Syrup
Omelette • $14
3 egg omelette, Choice of mushrooms and spinach or Roast Chicken, peppers, and onions
Eggs any style • $12
2 eggs, bacon/sausage/chicken sausage, Sourdough Scallion Biscuits
Roast Chicken Hash • $14
Slow Cooked Egg, Hen Jus Hollandaise, Horseradish
Eggs Benedict • $16
Benton’s Country Ham, Bloomsdale Spinach, Poached Eggs, Hollandaise, Bisquit
Toad in the Hole • $14
Brioche, Wild Mushroom Fricasse Custard French Toast • $12
Brioche, Huckleberry Syrup, Cultured Butter
Lobster Club Sandwich • $22
Nueske’s Bacon, Avocado, Tomato, Romaine
Beverages
Equator Coffee • $4
OJ • $7
Evolution Juices • $7
Tea • $4
**LUNCH**
Soups and Salads
Kale Salad • $14
Ricotta Salata, Currants, Toasted Almonds, Sprouting Legumes, Sherry Vinaigrette
Green Garlic Soup • $12
Benton’s Ham Panini
Cesare Salad • $17
Roasted Chicken Thigh, Boquerones, Romaine, Parmigiano Reggiano
Chopped Salad • $14
Housemade Pickles, Hard Boiled Egg, Asparagus and Carrots, Wheat Berries, Sherry Vinaigrette
Baby Greens Salad • $12
Pear, Walnuts, Shallot Confit, Radish

Sides
Herb roasted beets, Smoked Yogurt, Wheat Berries • $7
Baked Heirloom grits, slow cooked egg, House Made Siracha • $7
Lacinato Kale, Marcona Almonds, Preserved Meyer Lemon • $7
Fries, aioli • $7
Dry Farmed Potatoes, Boquerones, Rosemary • $7
Sandwiches and Mains
Tajarin • $18
Braised Hen, Jus, Rosemary and Thyme Blossom, Jidori Egg, Turnips
Bucatini • $18
Pancetta Bolognese
House Burger • $14
House Pickles, Aioli, Brioche Bun, Fries Add
Fish and Chips • $20
Flounder and Fries, Parsnip Remoulade
Roasted Chicken Breast • $18
Pumpkin Seed Panzanella, Garlic Thyme Jus
Shortrib Tartine • $20
Braised Shortribs, House Pickles, Fries/Salad

**DINNER**
APPETIZER + SALADS
Seared Diver Scallops, Cotechino, Sweet Potato, Cara Cara Orange, Pimenton Oil • $16
Chickories and Kale Salad, Pumpkin Seeds Pesto, Radish, Blood Orange and Lemon • $13
Asparagus Salad, Artichoke, Heiloom Grains, Sprouting Legumes, Buttermilk Fennel Cream, Spicy Cress • $14
Wild Greens Salad, Strachino Cheese, Applewood Smoked Olive Oil, Foccacia, Savory Blossoms • $16
Green Garlic Soup, Benton'sHam Panini • $13
Dry Farmed Potatos, Sf Bay Her ring, Roe, Pufffed Grains • $12
NOSH
Deviled Eggs • $5
Fried Potato Flatread, Roasted Eggplant, Hummus, Romesco • $8 ea
Domestic and Imported Charcuterie, Pickles and Mustard • $15
Liver Mousse, Pommegranite and Hibiscus Gelee, house pickles, fried potato flatbread • $8
RAW
Beau Soleil Oysters • $3 ea
Hamachi, Finger Lime, Chile, Smoked Olive Oil • $8
Hirame, Buddha's Hand, Beets, Puffed Rice • $8
Uni, Espelette Pepper, Vaudouvan Vinaigrette Scallop, Radishesandn Root Vegetables, Blood Orange Crab • $MP
Caviar, Brioche, Creme fraiche, Parsnip, Chive • $100/.25 oz
PASTAS
Black Chitarra, Lobster, Calabrian Chilis,Tomato Raisins, Bottarga, Lobster Sauce • $18
Tajarin, Hen Jus, Slow Cooked Egg, Savory, Turnip • $15
Buccatini, Charred Romaine and Fennel, Green Garlic, Cippolinis, pecorino • $15
Raviore, Lemon Verbena and Kale, Sunchoke Cream, Petit Herbs • $15
ENTREE
Organic Poulet Rouge for Two, Roasted Apples, Sourdough Scallion Biscuits, Madeira Jus • $42
Panamanian Cobia, meyer lemon, raddichio, Spring
onion • $26
Dry Aged New York, Braised Shortribs, Celery Root, Bone Marrow, Bordelaise • $29
Black Cod, Fennel Cream, Bloomsdale Spinach, Lobster Grits, XO • $26
Duck Breast, Cara Cara Orange, Sprouting Grains, Black Olive, Kale • $28
Grano Arso porridge, Kohlrabi, Crispy Kale, Pumpkin, Sage, Egg Yolk • $22
SIDES
Herb Roasted Beets, Smoked Yogurt, Wheat Berries • $6
Baked Heirloom Grits, Slow Cooked Egg, Houses Made Sriracha • $6
Sauteed Kale, Marcona Almonds, Meyer Lemon • $6
Dry Farmed Potatoes, Boquerones, horseradish, Rosemary • $6

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  1. I passed by the hotel over the weekend on the way to Tacolicious and was intrigued by it. On paper, it looks like a promising addition to Palo Alto.

    The fresh pastas in particular look interesting.

    (As a related aside, there's another restaurant of this sort opening up soon in San Mateo called Block 34. Ex-TFL chef according to the construction signage.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jon914

      Thanks for the heads up on this. I hope they post a menu soon. It'll be great to have more fine dining in DT SM and away from restaurant row (B Street).

      Glad PP is closed, it has truly terrible food.

    2. Lure + Till will soft-open to the public for dinner service on Saturday and Sunday. Breakfast, lunch and dinner service on Monday. Reservations are recommended.

        1. Usually we wait a bit longer to try new places, but Lure + Till looked so promising we tried it tonight. My first impression is that this is a very strong and welcome addition to the Palo Alto restaurant scene.

          For appetizers we had the hamachi with cars cara orange and sliced chills together with the wild green salad with applewood smoked olive oil, strachino cheese, ground olives, and blossoms. This salad was one of the best I've had; the smoked olive oil was a great touch, and the play between the smoked olive oil dressed greens and the olive-garnished cheese worked really well.

          For entrees we had chicken roulade with cornbread, mushrooms, and peas along with the squid ink pasta with chili, lobster, bottarga, and arugula. I really enjoyed my fresh pasta - I forget the name of the shape, but it was something I hadn't seen before, sort of a horn shape that made them look like some interesting black fungi.

          For dessert we split the house-made sorbet trio of blood orange, Meyer lemon, and creme fraiche; a delightful seasonal choice. I'm looking forward to coming back in summer and seeing what they do with the seasonal choices then!

          My one complaint was the very high markups on the wine, both by the bottle and glass, about 20% higher than what is typical in this neighborhood. However, they were well-selected, including nice examples of Crozes-Hermitage and California Zin. I also tried a Palo Alto Hoppy Ending draft beer which was very good. We're not big cocktail folks, but that's clearly a focus here so we might branch out on a return visit.

          I can't really think of any restaurant quite like this in my part of Silicon Valley. It's more adventurous than places like Mayfield or Scratch at a similar price point. It's the type of place where San Francisco has excelled compared to Silicon Valley; it's so nice to see this start to change by Silicon Valley upping its game.

          Again, just one visit, and they've only been open two weeks, but it's a very promising start.

          Michael

          1 Reply
          1. re: mdg

            uh oh. need to hurry and go now before they 'silicon valley'ize the menu and the food.

          2. We stopped by to try a few of the fresh pastas that caught my eye in Melanie's original post.

            - First, we tried the Mafalde, curled ribbons of pasta that nicely clung to a rich bolognese made of pancetta. The pasta was perfectly cooked, and the hearty, chunky bolognese was flavorful without being overly salty. Straightforward but well-executed. We'd definitely order this again.

            - We also tried the Tagliarini, described as being accompanied by "braised hen jus, rosemary and thyme blossoms and turnip". The tagliarini reminded me of ramen (and tajarin) but was too soft for my liking. The sauce was an emulsion of pureed turnip and hen jus, topped with the blossoms, breadcrumbs and egg. This made for an interesting flavor profile - creamy, mildly savory, and surprisingly citrusy with accents of herbs. Not quite my cup of tea, but I'm glad to have tried it.

            Though this was just one visit, I think Lure + Till's off to a promising start. Once the restaurant settles in and gets "discovered", I hope it inspires more restaurants like it to open up shop in Silicon Valley.

             
             
            3 Replies
            1. re: Jon914

              Really great to read these positive early reports! So, looks like some of the items on the preview menu did make the cut. Do the prices match up with what you saw? There's no menu yet on the website.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                At lunch, all the entrees were a few bucks cheaper and matched up pretty closely to the preview menu.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  At dinner my salad was a few dollars cheaper; the pasta and hamachi were the same price as the similar dishes on the preview menu.

                  Michael

              2. We went to Lure + Till for dinner the other night. The food prices are very reasonable for the portion size - you could actually fairly easily eat here for $35 pp.

                This type of restaurant everywhere in SF, but we have very few down in the penninsula. If I would place it in a hierarchy on taste alone it would be from top to bottom:

                Village Pub/Flea Street Cafe (though higher food price point!)
                Lure + Till
                Scratch
                Joya/Rosewood

                With Lure + Till one clear step better than Scratch. The flavor combos for the squid pasta dish were satisfying a good mix of sharp, spicy and savory with a good chew (though the proportions between ingredients was off). The steak dish had solid flavors, but the steak itself was dry. Deviled eggs and beets were strongly flavored. Nothing very out of the box.

                Liquor prices (as others have noted) though are patently ridiculous. Drink sizes are small, somewhat weak, with lots of ice, and cost $12+. Your alcohol costs could easily exceed your food costs very quickly.

                Verdict: Happy it came - hope it stays. We need places like this. If it was in SF, it wouldn't survive the competition.

                1. Went for lunch today and three of us split two salads for apps - beet/yogurt/wheatberries/arugula and cesare/chicken thighs. We don't usually order cesar, however none of the app options were that compelling, at least to us. Cesar dressing was better than most, with a good garlic and parmesan flavor and the accompanying chicken was moist and flavorful. Although beet salad was unique, the yogurt accompaniment made it too bland for my liking, and the arugula was nothing more than a mere sprinkle, so not much peppery flavor to add to the mix.

                  Fish and chips, the main that we all chose, really shined - 4 pieces of flounder in a delicate, greaseless batter. Instead of the usual tartar sauce, it was served with a celery remoulade, a creamy sauce with a hint of celery flavor that was an unusually welcomed touch. Underneath the fish was a healthy portion of chips running the length of the plate - crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. May have been double fried, not sure, but unusually good. Although it seemed boring at first, I think we were all happy that we ordered the same thing. It would have been difficult to share any of the fish, it was that good.

                  Dessert was a sable fruit tart filled with passion fruit creme and topped with blueberries, raspberries and blackberries coated in a light sprinkling of sugar, with a lavender simple syrup dribbled on the plate. The filling was a nice change from a vanilla pasty cream and not too sweet, and the crust was a crispy tart shell, almost like a shortbread. All in all, refreshingly good, although a bit difficult to cut through with a fork or knife.

                  We had planned to eat outdoors due to the high noise level that I had read about. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate. Lacking any soft surfaces and a low ceiling, noise is certainly a drawback. Hoping they will address this in the future, because even with the restaurant only being half full, we found ourselves speaking louder than we would have liked.

                  Half full on a Friday? Hopefully not an indication of anything other than the word not yet out. With Palo Alto, we're always scratching our heads wondering how it could be packed with so many restaurants, yet so few go to places of interest. Although I wouldn't put this at the level of great excitement in other cities, it it certainly a welcomed addition to the Palo Alto scene.