Downtown Mountain View now has an exciting new watering hole: Le Plonc, a wine bar from a veteran of the San Francisco bar scene. Kristian Cosentino, owner of Dirty Water and The Rusted Mule in San Francisco, opened Le Plonc at 331 Castro St. to serve high-quality, unusual wines at affordable prices. All glasses of wine are $7 and $30 per bottle. Le Plonc also serves lunch and dinner.
Annachikadai opened at 80 W. El Camino in late February, inspired by a restaurant co-owner John Annachi's parents ran in his native Tamil Nadu, a southern Indian state. The menu includes appetizers like pakora, or vegetable fritters; deep-fried cauliflower; masala fries; lamb chops and other dishes. For entrees, there's biryani (a rice dish), dosa and curries, with plenty of vegetarian options.
Morsey's Farmhouse Kitchen, which serves milk, cheese, gelato and other products made from the milk from a herd of water buffalo that lives south of Sacramento, opened in February at 134 Main St. Husband-and-wife owners Kal and Yulia Morsey, who also own the herd, said they hope to educate American diners on the merits of buffalo-milk products.
After more than a year of construction, The Post is set to have a soft opening this week at 397 Main St. The restaurant's slogan is "comfort food you can feel good about," with dishes such as meatballs, roasted Brussels sprouts salad and skillet lemon chicken. Armed with a full bar, The Post will also serve cocktails, wine and beer.
Pizza, craft beer and arcade games are on tap at State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria, which opened at 101 Plaza North in early January. The restaurant, inspired by the Golden State (hence the name), pays homage to California beer and ingredients. There are 14 pizzas on the menu, from plain cheese to a $24 award-winning duck pizza with foie gras and other toppings.
San Carlos seafood restaurant Rustic House Oyster Bar and Grill expanded to 295 Main St. in January, replacing Turn Bar & Grill. Ocean-dwelling animals are the main event at Rustic House, with dishes from raw and grilled oysters to fish tacos, a lobster roll, cioppino and more.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated openings of 2018, Protege Restaurant quietly opened its doors at 250 California Ave. last week — albeit with limited seating and hours. For now, Protege is open only for dinner and with limited, first-come, first-served seating from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 5:30-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, per the Protege website. Co-owners Dennis Kelly and Anthony Secviar — a former sommelier and chef, respectively, from the three-Michelin-star The French Laundry in Yountville — have described Protege as an "approachable" neighborhood restaurant. It has a walk-in lounge and full bar as well as a more formal, reservations-only dining room and a large, carefully curated wine cellar.
Fans of the longtime, now-closed Homma's Brown Rice Sushi can again enjoy owner Masakazu Homma's recipes at a new Japanese restaurant that opened in the same tiny space earlier this year. Like its predecessor, Hidden Garden Sushi uses only brown rice in its sushi. The restaurant is located at 2363 Birch St., Suite B, behind Bistro Elan.
Downtown Palo Alto is now home to a Georgian restaurant. Bevri opened at 530 Bryant St. in February with traditional Georgian dishes such as eggplant rolls, pkhali (a mixture made from spinach, beets, walnuts and other ingredients), khinkali (dumplings filled with meat and/or vegetables) and khachapuri (a large boat-shaped piece bread filled with cheese and an egg). For drinks, there's Georgian wine and beer.
People have been getting caffeinated in droves at Menlo Park's new Coffeebar. The cafe opened with limited hours at 1149 Chestnut St. in January, serving coffee, pastries and a limited food menu, including avocado toast made with bread from local bakery The Midwife and The Baker. Until the cafe can hire more staff, longer hours and full offerings including breakfast, lunch, wine and beer, are on hold.
Cafe Wisteria has replaced Blue Garden Cafe at the quaint Allied Arts Guild at 75 Arbor Road. A menu posted on Yelp shows dishes from French onion soup and avocado caprese salad to a burger, chicken pot pie and baked macaroni and cheese.
Redwood City residents were lucky to get their own outpost of Orenchi Ramen in 2018. The popular ramen shop now has three locations: at 2432 Broadway St. in Redwood City, the original in Santa Clara and another in San Francisco. Orenchi, which is owned by Los Altos resident Kuniko Ozawa, is known for its tonkatsu ramen and long lines.
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