Oak + Violet
A welcome addition to Menlo Park’s restaurant offerings, Oak + Violet touts “farm-to-fork” cuisine and every item on the menu is locally sourced. The premier restaurant of the recently opened Park James Hotel, the eatery is anchored by an open kitchen and the O + V Courtyard, an outdoor lounge serving casual, tapas-style dishes, with Irish throw blankets to keep diners toasty warm. Courtyard menu highlights range from mini lobster tacos and butcher steak tartare to chorizo stuffed dates wrapped in Benton country bacon with a piquillo pepper purée. The Oak + Violet dinner menu features a selection of sharable items and entrées including toasted farro risotto and stuffed whole branzino romesco with roasted fennel, artichokes, olives and peppers.
Chef Mike Gadd relies on the freshest, hand-picked ingredients, and if you’re lucky enough to snag a seat at the Experience Dining Bar, you can enjoy his daily culinary off-the-menu creations.
1400 El Camino Real, open daily from 7AM;
O + V Bar & Courtyard menu served until 11PM
The space on Main Street that most recently was home to the frozen yogurt shop Miyo is currently undergoing a transformation. This month, the address will host the opening of Tre Monti, an Italian restaurant and wine bar. The restaurant is the collaborative effort of three men, all of whom hail from the southern Italian region of Calabria: restaurateur Mattia Galiano, manager and sommelier Giovanni Messina and contractor Mario Nucci. Expect classic dishes like lasagna to make an appearance on the menu, as well as pizza made with a custom blend of Italian flours. While the team plans to import some ingredients, like buffalo mozzarella made near Naples, they’ll be incorporating local flavors too. The Larson Family Winery in Sonoma is producing Tre Monti’s house wine and will even be growing a special grape for the blend. 270 Main Street, hours TBD
Slick ice cream purveyor Gelatio has expanded from their original location in Palo Alto. Now, north Peninsula residents can get their fix of gelato on Laurel Street in San Carlos. Gelatio distinguishes their ice cream from what you can buy in the freezer section of your grocery store by using ingredients that are as fresh and local as possible, even going so far as to pasteurize their own milk. Pistachio gelato gets its subtle flavor and tan color from house-made pistachio paste, and the revolving selection of sorbettos highlight the best in seasonal fruit. Enjoy your gelato in a homemade cone and topped with chocolate from one of the shop’s continually running fountains. Slightly less messy, although just as delicious, are Gelatio’s bars, dipped in either milk or dark chocolate and then frozen solid for an easier eating experience. 644 Laurel Street, open weekdays noon to 9:30PM, weekends until 10PM