Menlo Grill & Bar - Menlo Park, CA
The owners of the Stanford Park Hotel are a client of a law firm I worked for seven years and now my Cugino works there as a server. This was my second time visiting and it's mainly because I wanted to see my Cousin. It's been quite a bit of time.
It's a beautiful hotel and part of a chain with locations in Lafayette, Bodega Bay, Monterey, Carmel, San Francisco, and Napa. I went to a Yelp Elite event at the one in Lafayette and my aunt got married at the one in Bodega Bay. Check out my other post of a recent weekend getaway in Bodega Bay. It was wonderful.
My cousin has been the lounge the two times I came to visit. I did bring my other two cousins the first time and we sat by the fireplace. I had a custom fruit bowl and a whiskey cocktail I had to pass onto my cousin. It was making me sleepy as work has been draining me. They had the kale salad and a beer. This is wear my cousin Leslie told me that she was pregnant! I felt honored to be told before it was officially announced. She's now due in the next few weeks.
This time I sat at the bar as Leslie and Scott were busy. I kind of invited them to join me late as I wasn't exactly sure when I would be there. I also invited my former Executive Chef and sweet friend. Sweet and Chef in the same sentence? Yes, to me, he is. I'm lucky. I miss working with him. But he had a late table arrive at his Michelin-star restaurant and had to stay. Another time.
So it was just Randy, the Bartender, Raphael, the Manager and my cousin. I was starving and ordered the Asparagus and Prosciutto starter with arugula and balsamic vinaigrette. It was delish.
And then my Sea Bass arrived in a tower atop a bed of broccolini, a fried square of rice, the fish and a taro chip. A mushroom broth was poured on top of it in front of me. It was absolutely perfect. For a Pinay, I don't need to have rice with every meal. The rice was a wonderful surprise and I saved a quarter of it to the end to let my tastebuds have that as the last thing it would enjoy.
I wasn't planning on drinking but I enjoy restaurants specialty cocktails. The Angela is on the menu. A drink my cousin had me try at his last job and is named after his wonderful girlfriend that was currently enjoying Miami like other girlfriends of mine partying it up for Layla's bachelorette party. I went with Randy's Purple Rain cocktail with bourbon and muddled blueberries and lemon. It was tasty. My lightweight ass of not really drinking felt the effects of the liquor half way thru the drink.
They all were told that I am one of the owners of DW and I was chatting with Raphael about their event space. They're patio area is beautiful with string lights and fire pits. A room equipped for presentations for about 50 people is on the same floor near the door. Thru an outside entrance, a back room with windows that let in natural light is also available. Raphael took me up to the third floor and showed me a conference room where Jerry Rice typically has his press conferences. "Did you say Jerry? I love Jerry."
It's a nice spot and is quite popular for business guests. Regulars would stay there to avoid the traffic if they lived in Marin. By all means, if you have the resources to avoid the commute, more power to you! I met a funny, British gent and his family from Toronto. We got to talking about Ottawa and Buffalo. Or ex-guys I used to date. We also talked about ice wine, inappropriate jokes and men from Mars. Another patron was in town for vacation, went to a beach south of Half Moon Bay, left the car for 20 minutes and his belongings were stolen out of his car. So sad. We also saw two newlyweds towards the end of the evening. Congratulations! It was a fun, relaxing, easy evening out with seeing my loved one and fun bar talk with strangers.
Check out the Stanford Park Hotel for events, dining and be nice to my Cugino Ron. Also, don't forget to tip your bartender!