RSS

Category Archives: seafood

Fresh seafood, beautiful waterfront and downtown nightlife highlight first visit to Seattle

SeattleSkyLine3

View of the Seattle skyline from Kerry Park.

Somewhere between a huge, thick pancake and a fluffy biscuit is the savory Dutch Baby. Bacon and broccoli are cooked throughout the warm and moist baked dough, the top is covered in sharp white cheddar, and the croissant-like outer crust puffs out along the edges of the small skillet. This brunch dish at Tilikum Place Cafe is one of the best I have ever had on the West Coast and a great kickoff to my first visit to Seattle.

Dutchbaby

The savory Dutch Baby at Tilikum Place Cafe in Seattle.

The fresh seafood, the waterfront, the parks and the downtown nightlife are enough to convince me to move to Seattle in the next five years. Seattle has that big city atmosphere without feeling overcrowded with people and traffic. Being the awestruck tourist, I loved the sight of the Space Needle outside my friends’ apartment window and the snow-capped Mt. Rainier from afar at Myrtle Edwards Park.

PikePlaceseafood

Fresh seafood on display at the Pike Place Market in Seattle.

There’s no shame in doing all the touristy stuff: shopping at the Pike Place Market, visiting the famous Market Theater Gum Wall, walking along the waterfront near Pier 70, and viewing the beautifully lit skyline from Kerry Park. The send-off was sampling from the extensive list of ciders at Capitol Cider and performing Japanese-style karaoke at Rock Box, where patrons get to reserve private rooms to drink and sing silly songs with their friends.

These places make for a great Seattle to-do list, but there’s so much more to explore. Check out the photo gallery of my trip to this great city.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 24, 2016 in brunch, comfort food, seafood, travel

 

Tags: , , ,

Sunday Brunch: Rich Canadian rock crab and Swiss quiche with fresh fruit

Country Gourmet1

The Canadian rock crab quiche at Country Gourmet American Bistro in Sunnyvale.

Whenever I go to a restaurant for Sunday brunch, the first item I look for on the menu is quiche. This rich egg pie is just one of those dishes that I strictly associate with brunch. If a restaurant wins me over with its quiche, I’m likely to become a regular.

The Canadian rock crab quiche at Sunnyvale’s Country Gourmet American Bistro convinced me to put the restaurant in my Sunday brunch rotation. The egg filling was packed with rich flavor and a generous amount of crab, Swiss cheese and onions baked through. The dish had a nice toasting on the top, and you could tell the crust was made from scratch.

Country Gourmet2

Close-up of the Canadian rock crab quiche at Country Gourmet American Bistro in Sunnyvale.

It was great comfort food. I even enjoyed the juicy fresh fruit, and I’m not really a big fruit fan. It was a great meal for only $10 (not including the $7 mimosa I had to accompany the meal).

Country Gourmet American Bistro is a family-owned business that seems to take pride in the quality and healthiness of its food. The food is never made from mixes, and the restaurant buys local, organic and free-range products when they are available, according to its website. It also offers a gluten-free menu that includes a housemade gluten-free cornbread.

Country Gourmet American Bistro is located at 1314 S. Mary Ave. For more information, call (408) 733-9446 or visit www.country-gourmet.com.

 

Tags: , , , ,

San Francisco Bay creates beautiful backdrop for Treasure Island day trip

A view of the San Francisco Bay from Treasure Island.

A view of the San Francisco Bay from Treasure Island.

When an acquaintance of mine invited me to spend the day on San Francisco’s Treasure Island for her birthday, I was very apprehensive about making the one-hour drive.

The last time I drove into the city, I was almost side-swiped and rear-ended, and I almost hit a skateboarder who jumped out in front of my car. Plus, the traffic and drivers on Highway 101 tend to be insane.

Despite my anxiety, I wanted to explore Treasure Island, which is surrounded by the San Francisco Bay and is connected to both San Francisco and Oakland by the Bay Bridge. It ended up being a beautiful 80-degree day along the water with some great people.

The Crabcake Sandwich at the Treasure Island Bar and Grill.

The Crabcake Sandwich at the Treasure Island Bar and Grill.

Treasure Island Bar and Grill, 60 Clipper Cove Way

A couple ladies and I first stopped at a deli, which ended up being a very small convenience store that looked like it should be connected to a gas station. We decided to leave and look for another location that offered a place to sit.

Our second stop brought us to Treasure Island Bar and Grill, a casual-dining restaurant with a great view of the bay from its patio area. Customers order at the counter, and the waitstaff brings your order to the table.

I ordered the Crabcake Sandwich, served on a brioche bun and dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion, tartar sauce and chipotle pepper sauce. All sandwiches are served with a side of potato chips, potato salad and a pickle. Guests can take off the chips and add a side salad for $1 more. My order came out to about $10, including tax.

The crabcake was thick and filled with fresh crab meat and spiciness throughout the patty. Even with the tartar and chipotle pepper sauce, the sandwich wasn’t soggy or overloaded. The brioche was soft and had a nice toasting on the edges. The potato salad was chunky and had a rich, creamy flavor and texture. I wish the crabcake was a bit bigger, but overall it was an enjoyable lunch.

In addition to its lunch and dinner menu, Treasure Island Bar & Grill offers several happy hour specials from 4 to 6 p.m. throughout the week, including $1.50 tacos, $2 domestic beers and $3 well drinks, according to its website.

The restaurant also serves bottomless mimosas and $5 Bloody Marys on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call (415) 627-9060 or visit treasureislandbar.com.

The inside of Vie Winery upon opening for the day.

The inside of Vie Winery upon opening for the day.

Vie Winery, 400 California Avenue

Vie Winery’s tasting room has a rustic and quaint setting. It’s located inside a large shed-like structure, with sheet metal walls, wooden pillars string lights draped along the rafters. Our hostess was very nice, accommodating and made sure we had great service.

The wine tasting flight cost $15 per person and featured five wines: a Rose, Zinfandel, two Syrahs and a GSM blend (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre).

My favorites were the 2009 Beatty Ranch Zinfandel and the 2009 Les Amours Syrah. Infused with blackberry and black cherry, as well as a hint of flowers, the Zinfandel had a beautiful aroma, full flavor and a medium heaviness on the tongue. I also enjoyed the fruity aroma of the Syrah, which I thought had a slightly heavier feel than the Zinfandel, according to the menu.

A view of the bocce ball courts upon guests' arrival.

A view of the bocce ball courts upon guests’ arrival.

Vie prides itself on producing high-quality wines from Zinfandel and Rhone varietals from many fine vineyards in California, including Napa Valley, Sonoma County and Santa Barbara County.

Vie Winery offers daily wine tasting from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and by appointment Monday through Friday, according to its website. The bocce ball courts are open from 12 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and for private events Monday through Friday. For more information, call (415) 756-1791 or visit www.viewinery.com.

Sol Rouge Vineyard & Winery, 400 California Avenue

Right next door to Vie Winery is the Sol Rouge Winery’s tasting room, also located in a shed-like structure with red clay-colored walls, decorated with various artwork. Our host was a funny guy, and we had a great time exploring new wines with him.

A few of Sol Rouge's wines at its Treasure Island tasting room.

A few of Sol Rouge’s wines at its Treasure Island tasting room.

Sol Rouge offers a wine tasting flight for $15, but we used a complimentary wine-tasting pass to try the six wines. The 2010 Gypsy Rouge and 2010 Syrah. The Gypsy Rouge had a great fruity aroma (I obviously gravitate to that), floral notes and was light on the tongue. The Syrah was smooth and rich in flavor and lighter than what I expected. I’d like to have it with a dish of steak and potatoes.

The Sol Rouge vineyard is a family estate located in Kelseyville, north of Napa Valley in the Red Hills Appellation. The 70-acre estate is planted with Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and several other grape varieties, according to its website.

The Sol Rouge tasting room on Treasure Island offers wine tasting from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The winery share bocce ball courts with neighbor Vie Winery during wine tasting hours. For more information, call (415) 756-2254 or visit www.solrouge.com.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 10, 2015 in San Francisco, seafood, wine, winery

 

Tags: , , ,

Dining in Silicon Valley: My top five Bay Area restaurants (so far!)

The Cioppino at Tarragon in Sunnyvale.

The Cioppino at Tarragon in Sunnyvale.

I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I took that cross-country trek from Michigan to my new home of California.

Over the year, I have discovered some delicious entrees from many restaurants in the Silicon Valley/Bay Area – from Indian-style tacos to apple pie crepes to prime rib Shepherd’s Pie. My focus has been mostly on the San Jose area, and I plan to expand more northbound (San Francisco and beyond) this upcoming year.

Here are my top favorite restaurants that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing in Silicon Valley in my first year. These eateries are in no particular order because they are all great in their own way:

Tarragon, 140 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale

I have never been disappointed in the food and service at Tarragon. The cioppino is to die for – jam-packed with fresh mussels, clams and shrimp in a rich tomato sauce, perfect for dipping with the garlic bread.

The Collard Greens at Lillie Mae's House of Soul Food in Santa Clara.

The Collard Greens at Lillie Mae’s House of Soul Food in Santa Clara.

Seafood-lovers – or just lovers of top-quality food at a reasonable price – should visit Tarragon on downtown Sunnyvale’s Historic Murphy Avenue.

Check out: Delicious seafood stew can be found at Sunnyvale’s Tarragon, which touts “farm-to-table” cuisine

Lillie Mae’s House of Soul Food, 1290 Coleman Ave., Santa Clara

I had some of the best Southern cooking that I’ve ever tried at Lillie Mae’s House of Soul Food, about two miles away from the Mineta San Jose International Airport.

You can smell the smoked meats and other soul food favorites piping from the restaurant as you drive down Coleman Ave. The fried chicken is tender with perfectly crispy skin, moist and thick cornbread, and collard greens that you can tell have been stewing for hours.

The building is not fancy, resembling an large wooden shack, but it delivers on succulent Southern cooking.

Check out: Fried chicken, collard greens satisfy at Lillie Mae’s House of Soul Food

The World-Famous Blueberry Coffeecake at Hobee's in Sunnyvale.

The World-Famous Blueberry Coffeecake at Hobee’s in Sunnyvale.

Hobee’s, 800 W. Ahwanee Ave., Sunnyvale

Hobee’s in Sunnyvale is clearly a popular weekend-brunch spot: Most customers have to park at the nearby Motel 6 or on the street, and that place fills up fast, so expect a wait.

However, the wait is worth it just to try the restaurant’s World-Famous Blueberry Coffeecake. This cake is moist, thick and big enough for two people, in my opinion. And that pat of butter on top makes the coffee cake that much more scrumptious.

For those who are watching what they eat, the local restaurant chain is also known for its more health-conscious menu that includes vegetarian options such as the Hobee’s Tofu Scramble.

Check out: “World-Famous” blueberry coffee cake a popular go-to at Hobee’s in Sunnyvale

B Street & Vine, 320 S. B Street, San Mateo

Bruschetta is more than just toasted bread with tomatoes on top. I expanded my bruschetta horizons at San Mateo’s B Street & Vine, a popular wine cafe in the Bay Area.

On a recent visit, my friends and I enjoyed many delicious combinations of ingredients, including the salami with feta and pesto, and the mango, tomato, cilantro and avocado. Bruschetta lovers need to make a trip here.

The bruschetta appetizer at B Street and Vine in San Mateo.

The bruschetta appetizer at B Street and Vine in San Mateo.

B Street & Vine also has good half-off wine specials during the week, patio dining and live music.

Check out: Vibrant combinations of bruschetta please the eyes and palate at San Mateo wine cafe

Jonathan’s Fish & Chips, 840 Willow Road, Menlo Park

When my dad says he is picking up Jonathan’s Fish & Chips on the way home from work, I can’t help but develop a big smile.

Not counting my dad’s recipe, the best fried catfish in the Silicon Valley area can be found at this Menlo Park restaurant.

The Large Fish & Chips entree at Jonathan's Fish & Chips in Menlo Park.

The Large Fish & Chips entree at Jonathan’s Fish & Chips in Menlo Park.

This modest, mom-and-pop restaurant delivers on Cajun-style, cornmeal-battered fish that comes fresh and hot out of the fryer. The fish is always flaky and lightly seasoned, and the fried okra is cooked in the same delicious way.

I also like the owner, who is always friendly and takes the time to talk to all of her guests. It’s a very welcoming place to eat.

Check out: Cajun-style fish and chips, and best fried okra around, at Jonathan’s in Menlo Park

I’m also looking for some food barbecue, Thai and Korean restaurants in the Bay Area, so please leave your suggestions below 🙂

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 26, 2015 in brunch, food, seafood, soul food, wine bar

 

Tags: , , , ,

Sausage-beef burger, meaty crab cake highlight fun happy-hour at Niles’ The Vine

Close-up of the Vine Burger at The Vine in Fremont's Niles Historic District.

Close-up of the Vine Burger at The Vine in Fremont’s Niles Historic District.

If you’re in the Fremont area one afternoon and looking for a laid-back happy-hour spot after work, give The Vine a try.

The contemporary American eatery and bar in Fremont’s Niles Historic District has a great patio area that features a long, wooden bar, plenty of umbrella-covered tables and a fire pit to sit around and enjoy a drink with friends.With Motown and funk classics playing in the background, I felt like I was at a friend’s outdoor party on a recent night – very relaxing and inviting (check out The Vine’s patio area here).

The Vine prides itself on offering “fine food – not fine dining” and using local produce and sustainable meats. I was impressed by the reasonably-priced small plates (several under $10), like the Tempura Fried Green Beans and Clam Frites, and its extensive cocktail menu that incorporates a sweet potato spirit called soju.

Dish of Choice

Since I only had a bag of Fritos for lunch, I had a big appetite this past Wednesday night. So I ordered the Vine Burger, a patty made with Niman Ranch sausage and beef, dressed with aioli, arugula, grilled tomato and pepper jack on top of a ciabatta bun with a side salad. I added a side of garlic fries.

The Guava Momma at The Vine in Fremont's Niles Historic District.

The Guava Momma at The Vine in Fremont’s Niles Historic District.

I also chose the Crab Cake, which came with a spread of roasted almond and red pepper aioli. For refreshments, I ordered the Mo-Beer-Jito, which was made with pilsner beer, soju, lemon and lime juice, crushed mint and agave nectar. The Guava Momma was mixed with sparkling wine, pomegranate molasses and an orange wedge on the rocks.
Altogether with tax, my bill came out to about $38.

The Taste

The Vine Burger tasted like a burger you would get at a cookout. It had a good charring on the patty and bun; the patty was tender and had a smoky flavor, and the ciabatta bun was grilled on the bottom but still soft on top and in the middle.

The fries were at a nice halfway point between soft and crispy and lightly seasoned with garlic, and the salad had a light, zesty vinaigrette that didn’t weigh it down.

The crab cake was packed with fresh meat, and I liked the small slices of onions and peppers throughout the cake. I also enjoyed the thin, crisp breading (I hate when a crab cake is mostly breading with a smidge of crab).

The Crab Cake at The Vine in Fremont's Niles Historic District.

The Crab Cake at The Vine in Fremont’s Niles Historic District.

The Mo-Beer-Jito was tart, citrusy and had a great helping of mint to make it that much more refreshing. The Guava Momma was effervescent and had a nice sprinkling of citrus fruit and strawberry slices. It was a refreshing girly drink without overdoing it on the sweetness.

Other Details

Happy Hour at The Vine is from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, according to the restaurant’s website. Along with lunch and dinner, The Vine also offers Sunday brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I love brunch, and I am intrigued by the Smoked Salmon Bruschetta, made with salmon, scrambled eggs, creme fraiche, caper and red onion salsa and grilled garlic bread. I’ll make my way over one Sunday morning.

The Vine is located at 37533 Niles Boulevard in Fremont. For more information, call (510) 792-0112 or visit www.thevineinniles.com.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 7, 2015 in burgers, cocktail, food, happy hour, seafood

 

Tags: , , , ,

Day trip to Napa’s Wine Country offers peek into rich Northern California treasure

Me, standing in front of the famous Napa Valley sign.

Me, standing in front of the famous Napa Valley sign.

One dream of mine is to return to Italy and enjoy the rich landscape and culture of Tuscany.

I had the opportunity to travel there in the summer of 2001 with my high school choir to participate in an international choral festival. During our five-day trip, we toured the beautiful architecture and artwork of Pisa and Florence, tasted the bold flavors of authentic Italian cuisine and met some courteous, kind people along the way.

I cried on our last day because I didn’t want to leave. The only thing we didn’t get to do was sample the wine (our strict choir director was not having any of that!).

Until I can bring that Tuscan dream to fruition, the closest I can get is Napa Valley, about 100 miles northeast of the San Jose area.

Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga.

Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga.

This is not a knock on Napa Valley, which is beautiful in its own right. Despite the drought, the rows of vines were plush with green leaves and plump grapes when my friends and I visited the area this past Fourth of July weekend. After my trip, I discovered that I have so much more to learn about the area and wine in general.

Since there are hundreds of wineries in the Napa Valley area, we got a small taste of what the area has to offer. Below are highlights from some of the wineries we visited.

Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga

It’s hard to not be in awe of the large, brick castle surrounded by floral and grassy landscaping at Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga. The structure was built to look like an authentic,13th-century medieval Tuscan-style castle, according to the winery’s literature. Inside this castle are 107 rooms with 95 of them dedicated to winemaking, eight levels (four of them underground), and all ironwork, doors and windows made by Italian artisans.

The grounds also include a drawbridge and moat, three courtyards, prison and torture chamber and five towers. Visitors can be guided on a tour by an expert or guide themselves through the grounds.

Just as stunning are Castello di Amorosa’s wine offerings. The winery prides itself on producing wines in the Italian style, such as Pinot Bianco and Sangiovese, and growing red grapes in mostly hillside vineyards in the Napa Valley and around the castle.

I enjoy my wines on the sweeter side, so my favorites during the tasting were the Dolcino Gewurztraminer ($25 per bottle) and the Simpatica ($29 per bottle), a blend of Riesling and Moscato.

Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga.

Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga.

The Dolcino was fruity, crisp, light on the tongue and had floral notes (again, I’m a rookie at describing wine and excited to learn). The winery describes it as a “spicy, delicate white wine” that is on the slightly sweet side.

The Simpatica had a fruity aroma and was sweet and light, a nice summer wine to drink while relaxing on your patio or by the pool. This dessert wine has a citrus essense as well as aromas of gardenia, honeysuckle and hibiscus, according to the winery.

If you have to choose one winery to go to while in Napa Valley, I would highly recommend Castello di Amorosa for its beautiful architecture as well as its great variety of delicious wines.

Castello di Amorosa is located at 4045 N. St. Helena Highway. For more information, call (707) 967-6272 or visit www.castellodiamorosa.com.

V. Sattui Winery, St. Helena

I heard that V. Sattui in St. Helena is very popular not only for its wine but for its extensive food menu as well. The winery was jam-packed with cars and visitors, and the lines for the barbecue and the deli store were long.

Close-up of the Salmon Filet Sandwich at V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena.

Close-up of the Salmon Filet Sandwich at V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena.

What appealed to me about V. Sattui was its large lawn area filled with picnic tables and large, shady trees for people to enjoy some al fresco dining to pair with their wine.

In the barbecue area, the staff were grilling slabs of beef, pork, chicken and seafood, as well as offering an intriguing mozzarella bar and wood-fired pizzas. I decided to go with the salmon filet sandwich, grilled and served on ciabatta bread with cucumber, tomato and mixed greens. I also ordered a mixed greens salad with blue cheese, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette. My bill came out to about $20.

The salmon was fresh and flaky, with a good amount of smokiness from the grill. The only thing that was missing was that crispy skin that gives the fish extra brininess. The bread was nicely grilled and soft on the inside. However, it was dusted with a bit more flour than I would have liked, and I proceeded to get it all over my mouth and hands (I am kind of a messy eater, though).

The greens in the salad were crisp and fresh, but the vinaigrette had a little too much vinegar in it for my taste. I wish the walnuts were candied to offset the strong, bold taste of the blue cheese. Overall, there was a generous amount of food for what I paid for.

V. Sattui is located at 1111 White Lane in St. Helena. For more information about V. Sattui Winery, call (707) 963-7774 or visit www.vsattui.com.

Peju Province Winery in Rutherford.

Part of Peju Province Winery in Rutherford.

Peju Province Winery, Rutherford

What I liked most about Peju Province Winery was that it offered a great deal on wine tastings: if you buy two bottles of wine, your $25 tasting fee is waived. I had no problem choosing two wines to bring home with me.

Of the four wines we tasted that day, the Sauvignon Blanc ($22 per bottle) and Provence ($23 per bottle) were my favorites.

The Sauvignon Blanc was crisp, tart and light on the tongue. It was described by Peju as a bright, lively and fresh wine. This is another great wine for the summer. It was more on the drier side to me, but it was very enjoyable.

The Provence had a fruity aroma, oakiness, a medium heaviness in the mouth, and was a nice mix of red and white. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and French Colombard. It was also aged in 100-percent neutral French oak barrels for six months, according to the winery.

Peju Provence Winery is a family-owned estate that was purchased by the owners more than 30 years ago.

Peju is located at 8466 St. Helena Highway in Rutherford. For more information, call (800) 446-7358 or visit www.peju.com.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 7, 2015 in Napa Valley, seafood, travel, wine

 

Tags: , , ,

Rich, cheesy garlic bread, mesquite grilled snapper round out well-deserved Father’s Day dinner

The Garlic Cheezy Bread at The Fish Market in Santa Clara.

The Garlic Cheezy Bread at The Fish Market in Santa Clara.

By choice, I recently uprooted my life as a newspaper reporter in Michigan to pursue a longtime dream of living on the West Coast. With that move has come a 10-month rollercoaster ride of emotions, both good and bad.

One of those poor, unsuspecting riders of this rollercoaster has been my dad, who has been a rock and strong support when I feel I’m at my most crazy.

I’m living with him and my stepmom until I land a better-paying gig that will allow me to live on my own (or at least get an apartment with five other roommates).

I know living with someone as mega-sensitive and emotional as me is not easy as I go through the highs and lows of figuring out my life’s direction. Keeping up with the highly competitive job market in the Silicon Valley, establishing new friendships and avoiding the dread of online dating are just a few of my concerns.

My Dad and I, hanging out at a local watering hole in the Silicon Valley area.

My Dad and I, hanging out at a local watering hole in the Silicon Valley area.

Despite my ongoing anxieties, my dad always reassures me that I’m not going insane but just experiencing the growing pains of starting over.

So the very least I could do for this man was go in with my stepmom to treat him to a well-deserved, thank-you Father’s Day dinner at one of his favorite restaurants, The Fish Market in Santa Clara.

One of the reasons why we enjoy this restaurant is because the food is consistently delicious. As frugal as I can be, I don’t mind spending more if the food leaves my palate and my belly satisfied after each visit. The Santa Clara restaurant, which has been around since 1979, prides itself on offering the freshest of seafood options and updates its menu daily to reflect changes in season, availability and fishing luck, according to its website.

Dish of Choice

For starters, we ordered the Garlic Cheezy Bread, which takes the restaurant’s signature Romano cheese sauce and bakes it on top of a split sourdough loaf. We also ordered the Salt & Pepper Calamari, cooked in tempura breading and served with a side of sweet chili sauce.

For my entree, I ordered the Mesquite Grilled skewered combination plate with pacific red snapper (or rockfish), white tiger shrimp and sea scallops. The dish came with two sides, so I chose the Au Gratin potatoes and roasted vegetables.

The Salt & Pepper Calamari at The Fish Market in Santa Clara.

The Salt & Pepper Calamari at The Fish Market in Santa Clara.

My father chose the Seafood Salad & Avocado, which was dressed with cucumbers, green beans, hard-boiled egg and king crab salad with basil vinaigrette. My stepmom ordered the Washington Myagi Oysters, coated with Panko breading with Au Gratin potatoes and coleslaw. Along with three iced teas, our bill totaled about $84.

The Taste

The Garlic Cheezy Bread was the highlight of our meal. The bread had a delightful crunch, toasted just right on the edges but still soft on the inside. If you love garlic, you’ll love this appetizer because the garlic flavor is strong. The cheese sauce had a bold, hearty taste, and it created a delicious, bubbly layer on top of the bread.

I liked that the calamari breading was light in texture, but I wish there was a smidge more seasoning. I also enjoyed that the chef incorporated bell peppers and jalapenos, which brought subtle heat to the dish. The sweet and sour tang of the chili dipping sauce was an interesting switch from the aioli and marinara that is typically paired with calamari.

I liked the mild tastes of the snapper – which had the right amount of flakiness – as well as the shrimp and sea scallops. I didn’t get a strong “fishy” taste, which I appreciate. The restaurant takes the seafood in this dish and charbroils it over hot mesquite coals. This brought a smokiness to the edges of the meat without burning it to a crisp.

A closeup of the Mesquite Grilled skewered combination at The Fish Market in Santa Clara.

A closeup of the Mesquite Grilled skewered combination at The Fish Market in Santa Clara.

The seafood paired well with the creamy richness of the Au Gratin potatoes and the roasted vegetables, that were cooked just enough to leave a subtle crunch (there’s nothing worse than mushy vegetable medley).

Other Details

Every time we go to The Fish Market, we have received consistently good customer service along with a delicious meal. Our waitress Charming was very courteous and attentive, talking to us as if we were old friends. She made us feel at home.

The Santa Clara location is just one of six in the state and has become a popular staple among local residents and the business crowd, according to its website. The restaurant also has a retail seafood market that displays fresh fish everyday and an oyster bar that fills up pretty fast with hungry customers.

The Santa Clara location is at 3775 El Camino Real. For more information, including happy hour specials, visit www.thefishmarket.com or www.facebook.com/thefishmarketsantaclara.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 23, 2015 in comfort food, seafood

 

Tags: ,