Location: Menlo Park
Favorite Restaurant: Flea Street Cafe
Reviewed Flea Street Cafe: Friday, February 12, 2010
How lucky am I to have one of the best restaurants in California within a block of my home? Jesse Ziff Cool has changed the way that I approach eating and buying food. Using local ingredients from suppliers that use sustainable practices, Flea Street Café delivers a mouthful of delectable delights. Although considered "high end," it is really comfort food. I like to order several things from the appetizer menu with a glass of wine from the extensive list. It is the combination of flavors and textures that delivers an unforgettable experience. The staff and service give this bistro a very homey atmosphere. The fact that the charming Jesse Cool can most often be found in the restaurant on any given night is a bonus.
The last time I visited the restaurant, I had the perfect dinner companion in my seven-year-old daughter. I allowed her to choose what we would eat. She discussed her choices carefully with the waiter, and the verdict was filet mignon. Although my lips were prepared to kiss those halibut cheeks in Meyer lemon butter, I was game to try something new. The waiter was aware that we would be sharing the dish. The chef chose a piece of meat that allowed him to cook the outsides medium well, and the inside a juicy medium that satisfied us both. I owe a debt of gratitude to my carnivorous, chocoholic 2nd grader, who led me to a heavenly prepared piece of meat and two decadent desserts.
Flea Street is comfortable and feels more like a home than a restaurant. The staff is friendly and very knowledgeable about the food and wines. Given that the restaurant is in the heart of Silicon Valley, near Stanford University, and close to the venture capital center of the country, it is not unusual to eavesdrop on the latest new thing in medicine or technology. With that said, it is a place to loosen your tie and feel relaxed. It is also perfect for special occasions, whether with a group or for a bit of romance. The area has many activities to offer and dinner can easily be combined with a sightseeing trip. All this does come at a price. At about $50.00 per person for a full meal with wine, it may not be an "everyday" eatery. If you love innovative food (aka foodie), care about where your food comes from, and would like a complete dining experience, then Flea Street Café is for you.
Occupation: Deputy Sheriff
Favorite Restaurant: Souls Restaurant
Reviewed Flea Street Cafe: Tuesday, February 16, 2010
We had a reservation for Tuesday night at 7:30 pm. We had a little trouble finding the restaurant. GPS information told us to look for Alpine Road off of Sand Hill Road, when actually Santa Cruz Avenue worked better. The restaurant is tucked in at the edge of a residential community between homes and apartments, and you wouldn’t really notice it if you weren’t looking for it. I liked the idea of the outside seating and could see eating there on a nice day or night. It looked like it was a smoker’s area, which would not work for me. The bartender greeted and seated us. The interior reminded me of home with lots of windows, mirrors, and open space. The noise level was a little loud. There were approximately 10-12 tables with patrons. The tables were candlelit and were far enough apart to give us privacy. It would probably feel crowded and be noisy on a busy night.
Our server introduced and welcomed us to the restaurant. Water was brought immediately to the table. We placed our orders for cocktails. Vivian ordered a Bloody Mary, and I ordered an apple martini. The server came back to us and informed me they did not have the apple Pucker mix to make the martini. He asked if I would like to try the bartender's version of an apple martini, I agreed to try one. The martini was great! It was nice and light with a slice of apple.