VERGE Restaurant + Lounge
By Laura Ness
Verge. Ponder the word. It’s bursting with pent-up energy: possibly poised for greatness. In the case of VERGE Restaurant + Lounge at The Toll House Hotel in Los Gatos, it means culturally diverse California cuisine, beautiful backlit infusions and a generous selection of top shelfers.
The talented and friendly bar crew creates their own infusions, such as tequila with Thai peppers or vodka infused with Earl Grey tea: very forte, on both accounts. Bloody Marys or Marias are seriously spicy, martinis are expertly shaken and served in etched cocktail glasses and your glass of wine comes with a small pitcher and a stemless vessel. Pour at your own pace.
The craft cocktail menu sports seasonal libations, like the Dark Daquiri, with rum, ginger, simple syrup and lime; or the Cucumber Mint, fashioned from blanco tequila, cucumber, mint, yellow chartreuse and lime. Want something good and good for you? Perhaps the Green Tea Matcha Fizz, a frothy concoction of gin, ginger liqueur, Matcha simple syrup, lime and egg white. All the syrups are freshly housemade.
Some of the cocktails are beer-based, such as the Coffee Bomb, which combines a porter called Shallow Grave with coffee liqueur and honey simple syrup. It’s like an adult root beer float without the ice cream.
Pair cocktails with a tantalizing selection of appetizers and share plates, like the housemade potato chips with onion-caviar dip, the divinely glazed pork wings or the crispy shrimp eggrolls. You can’t go wrong with anything on the creative bar or dinner menu, featuring handcrafted fusion cuisine made from fresh, locally sourced and culturally diverse ingredients, all designed and executed by Executive Chef Albert Nguyen-Phuoc.
“With the new dining concept, we’ve created a lively social and culinary destination that showcases fresh, innovative Californian¬-fusion cuisine and authentic craft-cocktails,” said Chef Nguyen-Phuoc.
And if craft brew is your thing, you might settle down for a mouthwatering bounty of bacon paired with beer. For a mere $14, you can sample turkey, duck and two kinds of pork bacon along with four carefully chosen beers.
Some of the locally sourced selections include 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon Wheat, described as “summer in a glass.” At 4.9% alcohol by volume, and packaged in a cool can, it’s a spunky, refreshing beverage that is perfect for being enjoyed on the welcoming, spacious outdoor patio, complete with a waterfall making music in the background.
VERGE is open for cocktails and appetizers beginning at 4pm daily. Dinner service begins at 5pm. Breakfast is served daily, with a brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 6:30am til noon.