Timber & Salt: A Place to Eat, Drink and Hang Out
An homage to the pioneer industries of Redwood City, Timber & Salt is a family-owned restaurant and bar offering upscale comfort food, artisanal cocktails and a cool vibe.
Owners Stewart and Carolyn Putney are no strangers to seasonal food made from scratch or to mixology, as they have been growing their own food—on their Woodside home’s “Putney Farm”—and devising their own recipes and cocktails for years, and blogging about it.
As their passion grew and their two sons grew into teenagers, they decided to channel their former business experience—Carolyn’s in interior design and Stewart’s in launching new businesses—and turn their research, hobbies and dreams into reality.
“We truly enjoy our sharing our work at home with friends and family, so it became something of a natural move to start a restaurant, and besides, it is something we have always wanted to do,” says Carolyn.
So they partnered up with mixologist and sommelier Brian Matulis, formerly at Station One and John Bentley’s restaurant. They found the perfect location in happening downtown Redwood City—which has recently become host to Box headquarters and other new developments—and began the transformation.
“There is so much going on in Redwood City, from summer concerts to the movie theater to new businesses moving in, so we couldn’t wait to open Timber & Salt in the downtown area,” says Stewart. “Cocktails and good food are all about visiting with friends and family. In Redwood City our guests can meet up at Timber & Salt, have a good meal and a drink and then enjoy a show, or just sit outside and enjoy the weather.”
Located on a quaint section of Middlefield Road, Timber & Salt offers a show of its own. Set against a backdrop of cantilevered shelves with hundreds of hand-picked spirits, a rotating selection of about 20 wines, eight beers on tap (primarily local) and homemade bitters, tinctures, shrubs and garnishes, the bar scene takes you to another place.
The deliberate omission of television and live sports goes unnoticed, as the bartenders not only impress with their cocktail knowledge and skill, but also make their own ice cubes—by chipping away at a huge block of ice—use rinsers and chilled glasses, squeeze fresh juices every day and can answer just about any question regarding spirits or cocktails that you throw their way. This is a bar to hang out at.
“We want to provide an environment that creates discussion and engagement between our customers and what is in their glass. Cocktails, in a friendly bar are a great way for people to connect and enjoy their spare time,” says Brian.
And the restaurant, offering indoor and outdoor seating, is the perfect complement. With hand-painted wall mural renderings of the timber and salt industries from the late 1800s, the dining experience is enriched with local history.
Adding to the local mix, Head Chef Luis Sandoval, a Redwood City local, crafts a menu that fuses California cuisine with a mix of Southern and French flair, all oozing with seasonal flavors.
When I asked which item on the menu could not be missed, the response was a resounding “the burger with our custom Angus blend and bacon jam, our grilled caesar salad and the pork belly tacos with kimchee glaze.” Fried chicken and waffles on Sundays is a favorite too. Of course, anything can come accompanied by a fresh garden salad that is prepared with local, seasonal produce—sometimes even from Putney Farm.
Timber & Salt is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday and for Sunday brunch. Timber & Salt currently does not accept reservations but holds the entire restaurant for walk-ins. Walk-ins are seated on a first come first served basis. There is also ample bar and outdoor space for enjoying a cocktail or small plate while waiting for a table.