Dining Al Fresco
’Tis the season for outdoor dining, and there’s no place like Los Gatos for options in this department.
Along the bustling sidewalks of Los Gatos, our own unique homage to the streets of Paris include Palacio with its palatial outdoor seating and vibrant happy hour.
From the street-facing patio of this former mansion, you can take in the ever-entertaining flow of traffic along North Santa Cruz Avenue. Try the tables on the backyard side of the property for a bit more privacy.
Verge offers comfy couches and cushions for dining in its newly remodeled courtyard, with the added bonus of a soothing water feature and beautiful wall of feathery greenery that give you the illusion of an island escape.
Bustling with energy and fervor, Oak & Rye tucks you behind a small partition on the North Santa Cruz Avenue sidewalk, where you can share a meal with new friends at one of the long picnic tables.
The table on the upper deck under the canopy is the cat’s meow.
Across from Oak &Rye, Chicago Steak & Fish offers outdoor seating at high top tables, allowing you to take in the constant street symphony.
By the time you read this, Hult’s may have unveiled its brand new patio seating which will add some sunshine to your luncheon repast and late afternoon or evening cocktail enjoyment.
At Old Town, it’s hard to beat the stunning views of the mountains from the ample deck at California Café, and the charming outdoor tables of The Wine Cellar provide the perfect mix of California esprit and Euro-influenced cuisine. Across the street, Steamer’s has long offered a space for dining outside.
Nick’s Next Door has expanded its gaily lit outdoor seating, and the view of a stunning nearby redwood is hard to beat. I Gatti offers a few sidewalk tables under an awning, where you can count the vehicles that violate the three-way Stop sign at Main and College. Purple Onion’s red umbrella-covered tables, sweetly tucked behind the ivy wall on College, are a great place for dog-friendly dining.
Testarossa’s Wine Bar 107 is one of the most charming al fresco options for enjoying wine, music and charcuterie, and over on North Santa Cruz, Rootstock Wine Bar has its own special ambiance, complete with firepit and knockout share plates.
Outdoor Dining Destinations
• California Cafe In Old Town Shopping Center, 50 University Ave, (408) 354-8118
• Chicago Steak & Fish 330 N Santa Cruz Ave, (408) 354-8858
• I Gatti 25 E Main St, (408) 399-5180
• Hult’s Restaurant 165 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd, (408) 354-3434
• Nick’s Next Door 11 College Ave, (408) 402-5053
• Oak & Rye 303 N Santa Cruz Ave, (408) 395-4441
• Palacio 115 N Santa Cruz Ave, (408) 402-3811
• Purple Onion Cafe 26 E Main St, (408) 354-4125
• Verge In the Toll House Hotel, 140 S Santa Cruz Ave, (408) 884-1054
• Wine Bar 107 At Testarossa Vineyards, 300 College Ave, (408) 354-6150
• The Wine Cellar In Old Town Shopping Center, 50 University Ave, (408) 354-4808
Bay Dining Guide
Arcade Café: Epicurean Dining In Santa Clara
On Scott Boulevard, in the midst of the high tech Santa Clara neighborhood that continues to burgeon like the bass line of a disco tune, you’ll find an epicurean oasis of a totally unique kind: Arcade Café. This is the only one of the Epicurean Group’s in-house restaurants to be open to the public. Open Monday through Friday for breakfast (8-10:30am) and lunch (11:30am-2pm), this fine eatery also offers catering for special events, both corporate and personal.
Epicurean Group is a restaurant management company that specializes in providing dining for many of America’s premier corporations. In addition, its services have been extended to fine arts and distinctive community dining, along with academic campuses.
The array put out daily at Arcade Café by Chef Anthony Kresge usually includes a homemade soup, a grill special and a Global Adventure hot entrée, also available in a vegetarian version. There’s always a make-your-own salad and sandwich bar, where everything is fresh, flavorful, organic and sustainably sourced.
Kresge recently prepared a menu at a catered luncheon for a group of friends who took advantage of the private dining/meeting room (which is handily set up for AV presentations). It was National Meatball Day, so he presented a sub sandwich made of grass-fed Niman Ranch ground chuck with caramelized onions and melted provolone, along with a three-bean medley salad. It looked like a lot of food, but it all seemed to disappear.
From the ovens came Sabih-Jerusalem flatbread with eggplant, mango, tomato, cucumber, green onion and tahini sauce topped with Glaum eggs. As part of his Global Adventures series, Kresge turned out a roasted open-range chicken with clementines, Ratto Ranch fennel and Marsala served with herb-glazed red creamers and topped with sundried tomato and watercress. Phenomenal combination. The vegetarian version of this dish included grilled tofu and eggplant.
People who work in nearby buildings, even those with in-house cafeterias, are reportedly taking the time to walk over to Arcade.
Chef Anthony says he finds it especially gratifying to nail some of the ethnic dishes the café is known for, including Indian, Middle Eastern and Vietnamese.
“I’ve had people tell me my dishes are better than the ones their mother used to make,” Kresge says. “And we constantly mix it up, so there’s always a new reason to come visit us.”
Chef Anthony, whose extensive resume includes a recent stint as executive chef at the renowned Shadowbrook in Capitola, plans to open a Friday Farmer’s Market in July. Local farms will be tapped to provide fresh ingredients for the restaurant’s meals as well as for patrons to take home.
Contact Anthony at (408) 753-2955 or email@example.com.