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Not for tourists: 10 Silicon Valley hotel restaurants locals love

Uploaded: Oct 27, 2021
By Sara Hayden

Looking for a staycation? Whether you're staying overnight or popping in for a drink or a meal, there are plenty of delicious hotel restaurant getaways throughout the Peninsula. Check out a mix of brand new establishments, recent renovations of old favorites and a lineup of new chefs.

The Wild Onion Bistro & Bar at Hotel Citrine, on the AC Hotel Palo Alto campus, has a farm-to-table inspired menu and a full bar. Photo courtesy of Michael Kleinberg.

AC Hotel Palo Alto and Hotel Citrine
In the summer, Hotel Citrine opened at the AC Hotel Palo Alto campus near San Antonio Road and Middlefield Road, joining rewards program Marriott Bonvoy's roster of boutique Tribute Property hotels.

Hotel Citrine's Wild Onion Bistro & Bar rounds out the campus's dining options with a farm-to-table inspired menu and full bar. Stop by for breakfast or dinner, and enjoy plant-based options, comfort food, local wines, craft beer and handmade cocktails.

This month, executive chef Ray Garrow joins the team. Garrow's 30-year career in the hospitality industry includes culinary leadership roles across the country, including with Davidson Hotels and Resorts, Marriott, Sheraton Hotels, Wyndham Hotels and Radisson Hotels. In a prepared statement, Garrow said he aims to create a "wow factor in the presentation that brings surprise and delight."

At lunch, crunch on crispy oysters or Buffalo cauliflower, or try a Niçoise salad with seared ahi and dijon mustard and tarragon vinaigrette, steak frites with herb garlic butter or mushroom eggplant bolognese with fresh ricotta, mint and black walnuts.

Hotel Citrine // 750 San Antonio Road; 650-424-8991

Ameswell Hotel
Roger that. The Ameswell Hotel opened in the summer and takes flight and innovation inspiration from its proximity to Moffett Airfield and NASA Ames Research Center, its full-service Roger restaurant included. Roger offers an airplane wing-shaped bar, and the hotel is the first to test out the self-driving, R2-D2-like Servi robot for delivery purposes.

The Ameswell Hotel in Mountain View takes inspiration from its proximity to Moffett Airfield and NASA Ames Research Center, with an airplane wing-shaped bar and an “A” logo in the shape of Hangar One. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

For all its emphasis on tech and innovation, Roger's menu offerings are decidedly earthly, featuring regional partnerships with farms, ranches and dairies including The Midwife and The Baker, Mary's Chicken and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. With his team, executive chef Christian McCallion, previously of Larkspur Restaurant & Events, offers dishes like roasted salmon with saffron, sweet pepper and dill yogurt, as well as sandwiches, salads and flatbreads.

Ready for takeoff? Try the Pineapple Booster cocktail, made with NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice's G.O.A.T. Fuel energy drink. James Beard winner Shelley Lindgren and her husband Greg curate the beverage program that includes unique cocktails, as well as wines from small producers, local craft beers and in-house kegged cocktails.

Stop by The Flyby Cafe for quick and casual coffee, tea, sandwiches and bowl dishes, or head to the outdoor Airstream Bar for snacks.

The Ameswell Hotel // 800 Moffett Blvd., Mountain View; 650-880-1000

The Clement Palo Alto
Enjoy seasonal "California fresh" cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner at this all-inclusive Palo Alto destination, with offerings like fresh smoothies, frittatas, poke nachos, diver scallops, roasted cauliflower "steak," beef tenderloin and pan-seared gnocchi.

For dessert, there are housemade treats, as well as local favorites like It's-It Ice Cream sandwiches and Tin Pot Creamery ice cream.

Head to the dining room to see culinary artists at their craft in front of an open kitchen. If you're feeling cozy, dine by the warmth of the outdoor fire pit, or stay cozied up in your suite.

The Clement // 711 El Camino Real, Palo Alto; 650-322-7111

Dinah’s Garden Hotel
With lush gardens and water features and cozy details like trains chugging around themed suites, this boutique hotel feels a world away from boxier lodging options. For a great escape, Dinah's Poolside Restaurant offers locally inspired fare.

Dinah's Garden Hotel features poolside dining, lush gardens and water features and cozy details like trains chugging around themed suites. Photo by Natalia Nazarova.

There are shareable starters like chicken wings with chile, lime and sesame and baby back ribs with barbecue sauce, mango relish and benne seeds. There are also sandwiches, salads and fish and chips, as well as a breakfast menu of hearty dishes like omelettes, benedicts, pancakes, French toast and more.

Dinah's Garden Hotel // 4261 El Camino Real, Palo Alto; 650-493-2844

Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto
In 2018, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stayed at this Four Seasons outpost in East Palo Alto while meeting with tech leaders and investors. Make a reservation at Quattro for rustic Italian fare. From chef Martín Morelli's team, enjoy housemade pastas, pizza and flatbread doughs, charcuterie and cured meats and more, or get a drink and small plates to share at the bar. There's a children's menu too, with rigatoni, pizza, burger and chicken tender options.

Another option is [esc. Yes, this eatery's name reads like the "escape" key on a computer keyboard. It might offer just that with its all-day menu after a long day of travel. The Four Seasons website touts that [esc is the place to go for curated quick bites, and it has those: hot coffee, fresh-pressed juices, granola parfaits, fruit plates, salads and sandwiches. But there's more to the menu than that — there's also braised short ribs, spaghetti bolognese, marinated tofu, cioppino and wines by the glass.

Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley // 2050 University Ave., East Palo Alto; 650-566-1200

Nobu Palo Alto
Once under the management of Joie de Vivre as The Epiphany Hotel, Nobu Hospitality recently refurbished Nobu Palo Alto's shared spaces, as well as introduced exclusive rooms and suites at the hotel destination off Hamilton Avenue and Emerson Street. Book the Riyokan experience for 24-hour butler service, as well as priority reservations at Nobu Restaurant.

The restaurant offers expansive menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At breakfast, find dishes like buttermilk pancakes with miso butter and wasabi-infused maple syrup; avocado toast; or a bento box with black cod, truffle-scrambled eggs, rice with nori, pickles and miso soup. For lunch and dinner, indulge in nigiri and sashimi, sushi maki, donburi, A5 wagyu and more. At dinner, experience a multicourse omakase menu.

Nobu Palo Alto // 180 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto; 650-798-8396

Rosewood Sand Hill
At the Rosewood Sand Hill, Madera takes inspiration from Northern California fare and a focus on bold flavor with menus for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, as well as an extensive wine list.

Executive chef Robert Sulatycky joined Madera last spring, following leadership roles at Wedgwood Hotel & Spa, Relais & Châteaux, Four Seasons hotels in Toronto and Chicago, the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel Air, as well as recognition in the Bocuse d'Or world chef competition. This fall, Madera was included in the 2021 Michelin Guide, maintaining one star. Inspectors noted dishes such as the caviar gougère, kampachi and Flannery 14-day-aged New York strip.

While private dining rooms are temporarily closed to comply with county COVID-19 regulations, outdoor spaces are available for small gatherings in gardens and patios and at the Madera Terrace. In-room dining is also available with Madera Away.

Or slip out for a seasonal cocktail at Madera Bar & Lounge, where there's a partnership with Hendrick's Gin. In The Library & Bar, imbibe a glass of wine or beer, or have a fried chicken sandwich or burger and light bites.

Rosewood Sand Hill // 2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park; 650-561-1500

Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Peering out over the Pacific Ocean from Miramontes Point, it's fitting that this Ritz-Carlton property has both sea views and seafood. At Navio, executive chef Jakob Esko and his team bring local coastal flavors to life. Head to the Ocean Terrace to warm up by a fire pit, partake in the raw bar and grilled bites, or sip a cocktail, beer or wine by the glass. For Mediterranean-inspired fare in a beach-house inspired ambience, check out The Conservatory.

Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay // 1 Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay; 650-712-7000

Bartender Michael White makes the “Everything’s Peachy” cocktail at the Emerald Hour in the Shashi Hotel. The bar offers cocktails made with housemade syrups, tinctures and bitters. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Shashi Hotel
The Emerald Bar is the first of three eateries to open at this new urban resort in Mountain View, near the Googleplex and Bayshore Freeway. It offers a taste of what's to come with Iberian-inspired fare like Spanish charcuterie and crema catalana, as well as exceptional cocktails made with housemade syrups, tinctures and bitters from a team that includes chef Jarad Gallagher and food and beverages director Justin Rodriguez, who hail from Michelin-starred restaurants. Casual eatery Broma, cafe Carte Blanche and fine dining restaurant Belle Terre are slated to follow.

Shashi Hotel // 1625 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; 650-420-2600

The Stanford Park Hotel
The team at this Woodside Hotel Group property completed a $15 million renovation last spring, and in September, Managing Director Avi Haksar joined the Stanford Park Hotel team, following leadership roles with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts (including at Menlo Park's Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel), as well as Four Seasons hotels in Bangkok and Los Angeles, The MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and Westin St. Francisco in San Francisco.

The Stanford Park Hotel's outdoor courtyards, fire pits and private spaces have been updated with al fresco dining in mind. Tune in for live music on the patio, or tuck into American fare at The Menlo Tavern for dinner, dessert and drinks in an atmosphere inspired by collegiate eating clubs.

The dinner menu includes a variety of starters, salads and mains. On the menu, roasted Brussels sprouts and candied yams accompany a slow-braised pork tenderloin. The Tavern Burger is served with a brioche bun, white cheddar and shoestring fries. Bar bites, seasonal and classic cocktails, beers, wines, cordials and more round out the tavern's offerings. A Thanksgiving menu is also available.

The Stanford Park Hotel // 100 El Camino Real, Menlo Park; 650-322-1234

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What is it worth to you?


Posted by Kimberly Sweidy, a resident of South of Midtown,
on Oct 29, 2021 at 10:21 am

Kimberly Sweidy is a registered user.

"Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stayed at this Four Seasons"


Posted by Fritzie Blue, a resident of Stanford,
on Oct 30, 2021 at 1:52 am

Fritzie Blue is a registered user.

Yes, he booked the entire hotel a few years ago and stayed there with his entourage. My husband and I by chance were staying there the night before he arrived, and guests were encouraged to check out in a timely manner that next morning. On our way out of the hotel complex we saw a lot of security, men with those earpieces, etc. I found it all quite fascinating!

Posted by Ahmad Hussein, a resident of another community,
on Nov 2, 2021 at 1:05 pm

Ahmad Hussein is a registered user.

If the Four Seasons is good enough for a Saudi prince, it is good enough for most Americans!

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