Los Gatos Gourmet Food Truck Festival

In order to get folks in this neck of the woods to eat food off a truck the organizers had to step up their game. Unlike Moveable Feast here you will find real tables and chairs to sit at, a rockin’ band with a dance floor and a beer/wine tent (few truck events have alcohol). It’s a real classy affair held at the defunct La Hacienda Inn on Friday evenings. The crowd on our night consisted of thirty something year old parents with a minimum of 3 kids and 65 year old couples that like to shake a tail feather. Mike and I didn’t fit into either category but still had a good time.

The set-up only has room for 6 trucks but I was happy to see a few new options. We started off with a fried chicken sandwich from Pollo Fritto. Very reminiscent of the sando from BakeSale Betty. Nice crispy chicken, fresh slaw with a hint of heat on a toasty roll. Along with a Shocktop brew it was a great start.

Then we grabbed a Greek taco from Arabian Bites. It was basically a gyro but with the meat chopped up. Very flavorful. It came with a side of fries and a small tomato/cucumber salad…big bang for your buck.

For dessert we hit up the ice cream truck – Twisted Chill.

Note: As with all of these new truck events the food averages $8-10 for a sandwich/burger or couple of tacos…the days of cheap truck eats is over! Be sure to hit up the ATM and prepare to spend a couple Jacksons for 2 people.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/LGFoodFest


Plumed Horse Restaurant

plumed horse

For Mike’s birthday we went to the Plumed Horse in Saratoga. It recently re-opened after a lengthy remodel. The lodge like decor has disapeared and has become ultra modern. The dining area is fairly small. There are ~17 tables packed into a single room. It looks like there will be more areas to dine but they are not ready yet. Pretty unbelievable, but Mike and I were probably the youngest couple in the place. Those that were younger where having dinner with family members. The restaurants clientele is probably older because of the hefty price tags on the menu. Come to think of it, I think I even saw a couple coats and ties on some of the men. Who wears a suit to dinner in California anymore?

Let’s move on to the food…the evening started off with a complimentary Amuse-bouche from the head chef. We received a tiny mug that contained an artichoke and prawn soup. A single roll and butter was then served to each of us by one of the many assistant servers. (I’ll go into more detail about that later). Mike ordered our wine from the extensive wine list. You will see the new 1,800 bottle wine cellar as it is a prominent design element. plumed horse wine cellarThen we sat and waited for our first course to arrive. I don’t know if they were really busy or if they don’t like to rush things but there was a slight time lapse between courses. It also could of been that we were REALLY hungry. We had a 8pm reservation, which we never do, but because of things planned during the day this time fit our schedule. For the first course I chose the crab and asparagus bisque and Mike had the butter lettuce with radish and pine nut vinaigrette. My crab and asparagus bisques came in separate pouring vessels and were presented table-side. When poured into my bowl it looked like a yin/yang sign…very artistic display. The soup was good, nothing spectacular.

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Ristorante Da Mario – the best Bolognese around

My favorite cuisine is Italian. All my life I have been searching for the perfect bowl of ragu. I have found it (well at least the best so far). If you stroll the streets of downtown Saratoga you will find a handful of quirky stores and upscale/expensive restaurants. To our surprise last year a quaint little Italian restaurant opened up. We’ve dropped in three times and have never been disappointed. Last week we took a friend to dinner. We started things off with an Antipasto platter that included mozzarella, San Daniele prosciutto and two types of bruschetta (tomato and mushroom). Everything was fresh and flavorful. We also had a new addition to the menu a thinly sliced stuffed eggplant with a marinara sauce. It resembled a cannelloni and was wonderful. For the main course I had my usual — the Spaghetti Bolognese. I just can’t say enough about this little bowl of heaven.

The sauce is light with lots of tiny bits of meat and mushrooms. I could eat it every day. By the way the Spaghetti with meatballs is just as good. Mike had the veal piccata and our guest had the homemade gnocchi with pesto and Gorgonzola cheese sauce. I’ve never been a fan of gnocchi but Mike and our friend both said they were fantastic. To finish things off we ordered the tiramisu and chocolate macaroons. Be sure to leave room for dessert because the tiramisu is some of the best I’ve ever had. During our meal Mike attempted to get the ragu recipe out of the hostess but she wasn’t leaking any family secrets. I guess we’ll just have to continue to visit Da Mario for all my future ragu cravings…

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Website: http://www.ristorantedamario.com/

Ristorante Da Mario Italian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

La Fondue


La Fondue in Saratoga recently re-opened down the street from the old location. The restaurant is much bigger and the dark medieval theme is gone 🙂 . When you walk in you will not recognize the place. I think the only thing they kept from the old spot were the fondue pots. The new decor is modern with a touch of crazy. The owner knows Mike so we got a tour after our meal. There are at least four different rooms all with their own style. Mitch (the owner) had the materials (wallcoverings,lighting..) flown in from all over the world. It was clear that a lot of time and energy had been put forth in coming up with the design choices. The food was as good as usual and filling. You won’t leave this place hungry. We ordered the Fondue Feast. We started off with the Stinking Rose cheese fondue, which is scrumptious. Then moved on to the main course which included the following: chicken, calamari steak, buffalo, scallops, shrimp and filet mignon. We chose to cook our feast on the grill. They no longer give you the garlic butter to saute but opt for a healthier oil. I must say I prefer the old fattening garlic butter! It was tastier. If you’re coming to La Fondue you’re not watching your weight! Keep in mind if you are more adventurous you can choose alligator, crocodile or ostrich for your meat. For dessert (my favorite part of the meal), we chose the milk chocolate fondue with a shot of irish cream. They give you all kinds of goodies to dip including the healthy: strawberries, bananas, apples and the sinful: cinnamon covered cream cheese balls, rice krispie treats and snicker bars. Coming to La Fondue is always a fun and entertaining way to spend an evening. Although your body can really only handle visiting once a year. If you haven’t been in a while, it’s worth going just to see the renovations.

Tip: Remember you can just go for the chocolate Sunday-Thurs at 10pm.
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La Fondue website: http://www.lafondue.com/

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