Nestled into the l, the Menlo Grill & Bistro is a delightful restaurant with many redeeming qualities, namely the food.
The restaurant's new chef Chuck Courtney revamped the menu with a plethora of dishes designed to refresh your tastebuds on a warm summer day.
Here are some photos from the cocktail party that commemorated the restaurant's first anniversary. (It replaced the old Duck Club.)
The event, which was attended by longtime guests, hotel vendors and members of the travel media, was also a lavish introduction to the hotel's newest executive chef, Chuck Courtney, late of the Viceroy Palm Springs.
Courtney was showing off his take on "approachable, classic American" fare, with showy items such as grilled oysters with applejack sauce and a California-ized lobster roll with creamy avocado and tomato on grilled bread. Those items, no doubt were influenced by his start in Portland, where he learned to appreciate the Pacific Northwest's bounty of seafood and fresh produce.
Waiters also passed around Courtney's special cheddar chive biscuits with jalapeño honey butter, small, juicy chunks of Angus beef New York steak and Berkshire pork chop, and his peaches and cream bread pudding, among other selections from his new menu.
As executive chef at the four-star boutique hotel, The Viceroy Palm Springs, then at The Bistro at the Park in the Lafayette, he received press attention from Bon Appétit, Wine Spectator and The New York Times, Diablo Magazine and The Contra Costa Times, according to the hotel.
Courtney's menu appears to suit the Stanford Park Hotel, a luxury boutique property that is one of the favorites of dignitaries visiting Silicon Valley and Stanford University, which is a theme of the restaurant. The focus on traditional comfort foods with the emphasis on healthy and fresh West Coast ingredients complement the hotel's traditional look and relaxed style.
Patch ran into Glen Putnam, Travel Editor for Gentry Magazine and his wife, Kathy, a member of the Los Altos Neighborhood Network. Menlo Park Council member Kelly Fergusson was also spotted among the estimated 300 people in attendance.
Editor's Note: Los Altos Patch Editor L.A. Chung gets out and about and will share observations about places readers may find themselves on weekend evening.