Local Hotspots – Where to Eat and Drink in the Sun | The Food Party! | Laura Stec | Palo Alto Online |

Local Blogs

The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

View all posts from Laura Stec

Local Hotspots – Where to Eat and Drink in the Sun

Uploaded: Jun 11, 2016

If you prefer a bright breakfast, a shining sandwich, or radiant ratatouille, there is common love between us. Hello sunbeam. We are the solar–powered Food Partiers!

Recently I found myself wine-ing in the warmth of the newly reopened Rosewood Pool Bar & Grill. It’s surprising to learn Rosewood weekends are mostly booked with guests who live 20 miles or so from the resort. No matter, poolside dining is open weekdays to the rest of us, now thru October.

- photo by Rosewood Hotels

If you had enough of that cougar cocktail scene, but still love the place, here’s what to do. Put on your pool party-best, saunter through their fabulous lounge, still taking stock on who’s at the bar, and who’s wearing what, but just keep walking across the terrace and down the stairs with a strut reserved for that lucky someone with a golden wristband to an exclusive party. They’ll all be watching you! Where IS she going?

We started poolside with drinks including Hibiscus Margarita ($17), Rose Basil Sangria ($16)

and Liquored-Up Popsicles ($16).

Specialty cocktails are usually too sweet for me, but these were light, refreshing and unique. “People want to have a few drinks, but not feel weighed down,” explains bar manager Michael Rotella. My personal favorite was the Chamomile Gin Sunrise ($16). Non-alcoholic versions are also available.

This year's pool menu has been updated with a globally-inspired, gluten-low, light fare, because “no one wants to feel bloated around a pool,” informs Executive Chef Peter Rudolph.

Rudolph’s been at the Rosewood helm for years, and continues to shine with his use of local farms such as Massa Organics rice in the Gulf Shrimp Skewers, Herb Puree and Rice Salad ($22), coastal produce in his Pescadero Grown Bib Lettuce with Green Goddess ($14) and Straus Family Creamery milk for their soft serve ice cream.

Other sunny offerings include:

Smoked Salmon Waffle with Mozzarella, Leek Spring Onion, Herb, Tomato & Chardonnay Vinaigrette ($19)

Pescadero Red Romaine with Dashi Shittake, Yuba Tofu, Sesame Rice Crouton, Koji Vinaigrette ($14)

Portion sizes were right and surprisingly, so was the price. The guys that work there are cute too!

-Executive Chef Peter Rudolph, Alexander du Mée, Director or Food & Beverage, Michael Rotella, Pool Bar & Grill Manager

Want to expand your list of options because summer goes by way too fast? Here’s a few more places to Food Party! outside. Please share yours.

Good day sunshine!

The Pool Bar & Grill at Rosewood Sand Hill
2825 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park
M – F: 11 AM – 6 – 7PM (depending on when the sun sets)
No dress code

Quadrus Café
2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park
M - F: 10:30 AM - 2 PM

Cool Cafe @Cantor
328 Lomita Dr, Ste 200, Stanford
W – Sun: 11 AM – 5 PM, Thurs: 11 AM – 8 PM

Alice’s Restaurant
17288 Skyline Boulevard, Woodside
8 AM – 9 PM
Front patio sun all day / back bar sun during happy hour

The Patio
12 Emerson Street, Palo Alto
11 AM – 2 AM

Alpine Inn / Rossotti’s
3915 Alpine Road, Portola Valley
M – F: 11:30 AM – 9 PM
Sat: 11: 30 AM – 9 PM, Sun: 11:30 AM – 6 PM

Trellis Rooftop
1077 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
M – F: 11 AM–2:30 PM & 5–10 PM
Sat: 5–10 PM, Sun: 5–9 PM

Fish Market
1855 S Norfolk St, San Mateo
11 AM – 10 PM
Patio dining in the summer

Johnson's Salt Box
1696 Laurel St., San Carlos
Tues–F: 11:30 AM - 2 PM & 5:30 - 9 PM
Sat–Sun: 10 AM -2 PM
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jun 11, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Love Zott's (Alpine Inn) but I definitely don't go there for the food. It's just greasy pub grub.

I would add Pizzeria Delfina (the downtown Palo Alto store) to the list. This is the ex-Empire Tap Room and they've retained the fabulous patio dining area.

Posted by robin g, a resident of another community,
on Jun 12, 2016 at 8:51 am

🎉 So much Beautiful food! ( excuse me, I'm feeling a little Bloated about now).. & a WAFFLE, hidden in a salad ! Great idea I'll have to try & pull off one day. Thx Chef Laura. ðŸ�'...

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Jun 12, 2016 at 8:58 am

Robin g, you know what was great about that waffle? Chef put veggies in the batter. I forget what, carrots, corn cauliflower? Maybe some one from the restaurant can share that? It was a great idea and really filled in an otherwise starchy thing that for me, has little value. Sorry to all you waffle lovers out there.

Posted by Gale Johnson, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 12, 2016 at 11:32 am

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Poolside Cafe @ Dinah's, El Camino, Mt. View.

Posted by Jean Harman, a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres,
on Jun 13, 2016 at 12:26 pm

Please add Sultana on El Camino Real in Menlo Park, as a place to dine outside. Lovely little patio and interesting, delicious food. No pressure to eat and run. Moderate prices.

Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jun 13, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Oh, we might as well add Cafe Borrone to the list, their outdoor piazza seating area is larger than what they have indoors.

Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jun 13, 2016 at 2:05 pm

A few more...

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
The Dutch Goose (Menlo Park)
The Oasis (Palo Alto)
Cascal (Mountain View)
Bierhaus (Mountain View)

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West,
on Jun 14, 2016 at 11:22 am

Had Lunch for the first time at the Rosewood two Fridays ago to celebrate our daughter's graduation. The wait-staff were scarce and we resorted to refilling our own water. It took close to an hour (ok, maybe only forty minutes) for our food to arrive. My caesar salad consisted of a four pieces of lettuce, a single anchovy, and hint of dressing (or maybe that was just oil from the anchovy). Biggest dining disappointment in recent memory.

Posted by Brielle, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood,
on Jun 14, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Ate at the Pool Bar & Grill last week and absolutely loved it! Tremendous service, delicious food and refreshing drinks. Definitely would recommended!!!

Posted by 3dday, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on Jun 15, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Another vote for Dinah's Poolside. The food could be better but the service is friendly and the poolside seating is relaxing and pleasant, especially with a glass of prosecco in hand. : } Just went to Terun for the first time last week. I think they have a patio out back. Our meals were delicious! My cocktail was just okay but, twist my arm, I might have to go back and sample a few more just to be sure. I also like Bradley's Fine Dining in Menlo Park. Brace yourself for the periodic train horn but very tasty food and friendly staff. Nice wrap around veranda for laid back outside dining with friends or solo. Thanks for the fun review, Laura, and the list of great eats from you and others.

Posted by summer days and the livin is easy, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 15, 2016 at 8:57 pm


Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Jun 18, 2016 at 11:36 am

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. See you in the sun!

Posted by JCL, a resident of another community,
on Jun 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Johnston's Saltbox, which is on the list but misspelled, is fantastic. Highly recommended. Portola Kitchen is also a favorite standby for us for lunch/dinner with great wines by the glass and outdoor dining--although it is not directly in the sun but under a shaded rooftop.

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Pacifica’s first brewery closes its doors
By The Peninsula Foodist | 2 comments | 2,126 views

Holiday Fun in San Francisco- Take the Walking Tour for An Evening of Sparkle!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 1,997 views

Premiere! “I Do I Don’t: How to build a better marriage” – Here, a page/weekday
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,572 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 30 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away almost $10 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.