5 Of Our Favorite Bay Area Restaurants Serving Seasonal Menus
The concept of preparing dishes from the best available local ingredients is ingrained in modern California cuisine, and here in the Bay Area we are brimming with fresh options. The following are some Silicon Valley favorites, each offering seasonal fare and a great place to enjoy a celebratory meal with family and friends.
Guests of Chez TJ are treated to multiple courses of artfully plated dishes prepared from the best seasonal ingredients to be found within 100 miles. The Michelin one-starred restaurant serves contemporary French cuisine in a charming Victorian house. Chez TJ has graduated executive chefs who have gone on to grand culinary accomplishments, such as Christopher Kostow (Restaurant at Meadowood), Bruno Chemel (Baumé) and Joshua Skenes (Saison). The current executive chef, Jarad Gallagher, has worked in multiple Michelin-starred restaurants as well as staging at Bras under the whimsical mind of Michele Bras. Dishes on the tasting menu include Monterey Bay abalone with shiitake mushroom broth, cherry tomatoes and caviar.
Jesse Cool was among the first to pioneer the California cuisine philosophy of seasonal ingredient-driven menus. For more than 35 years Flea Street Café in Menlo Park has served menus made from organic and locally sourced ingredients that not only improve the dining experience but also support the local economy and respect the environment. The seasonal menu continues with new chef Charlie Parker and features dishes such as grass-fed short ribs from Marin Sun Farms, served with potato and leek cake, pole beans, zucchini, radishes and horseradish crème fraîche.
The Lexington House serves seasonal California cuisine with an exciting menu of modern and classic cocktail creations—made with organic and sustainable ingredients, sourced locally. An evening at The Lexington House can be enjoyed as a full meal or simply a few plates with cocktails at the photogenic bar. Dishes such as the sherry roasted beets with Humboldt Fog chevre and fresh strawberries are as beautiful as they are delicious.
Michelin-starred, The Village Pub showcases the zenith of seasonal menus. Sourcing organic and custom-grown produce from the local SMIP Ranch, each recipe is prepared with fresh and colorful ingredients, emphasizing Contemporary American flavors with French and Mediterranean traditions. A top tier wine list, elegant atmosphere and gracious hospitality also make this restaurant an ideal choice for any celebration.
Zola showcases chef and owner Guillaume Bienaimé’s efforts to remove the pretension associated with classical French cuisine by melding it with modern cooking techniques and serving it in a casual yet romantic setting. The restaurant’s name fits Bienaimé’s aim to avoid pretense with difficult pronunciations, and pays homage to the author of one of the great epicurean novels, The Belly of Paris. The menu features sharable small plates, sides of fresh vegetables and main plates—all French inspired, but with Californian interpretations. Following the same theme, the wine list at Zola pairs classic French varietals alongside their Californian counterparts.