[Metroactive Dining]

[ Dining Index | San Jose | Metroactive Central | Archives ]

[whitespace] Honor Thy Mother

May 14 marks the day to do something special for the very first love of your life

By Christina Waters

THAT'S RIGHT, ALL YOU WAYWARD CHILDREN OUT THERE. Mother's Day is this coming Sunday, May 14, and that means you should already have made your plans to take Mom out for brunch. Breakfast in bed wouldn't be a bad idea either, but far less labor-intensive (which means you have more quality time to spend with your mama) is something involving a fancy buffet, a luxurious dessert and perhaps just a touch of the bubbly. If you haven't yet made plans, you'd do well to consider the upcoming champagne brunches happening at Saratoga's impossibly atmospheric Villa Montalvo. The Montalvo Service Group, which organizes these lovely events, is holding elegant brunches on May 14, Mother's Day, as well as June 18, Father's Day. You must have reservations for these brunches--call fast, because these are sell-out deals offering a chance to enjoy buffets catered by Pat Smith's Extravaganza of Saratoga. Ticket prices are $42 for adults, $22 for children 10 and under, with infants under 2 years old free. Two seatings are available, at 11am and 1pm. For reservations, leave a message at 408.961.5823. If you're too late for Mother's Day, by all means make plans for Father's Day--Villa Montalvo is one of the most gorgeous settings in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

And here are a few other brunch ideas: Head over the hill to historic Bargetto Winery for a festive alfresco brunch in the winery's flower-filled creekside courtyard. Brunch begins at 10:30am, and you can stop by the Tasting Room to pick up a few bottles of premium wine to take home. Bargetto Winery is located at 3535 N. Main St., Soquel. Call 831.475.2258 for details. ... If shopping is your mother's lifeblood, the California Cafe at Valley Fair (408.296.2233) would be a good choice. After dining on lobster and asparagus quiche or Florentine crêpe pie, mother-daughter teams can scour the mall for bargains. Or, if the shops of downtown Los Gatos hold more allure, there's a two-course prix fixe brunch ($21.95 for adults, $7.95 for preteens) at the California Cafe at 50 University Ave., in the Old Town. For reservations, call 408.354.8118.

Dining With the Stars

At last it can be told--the details of what Paolo's chef Mark Hopper cooked up for his Italian Easter Celebration Dinner, served April 25 at the prestigious James Beard House in the Big Apple. Here's the fantasy feast, with wines selected by Paolo's sommelier Jalil Samavarchian: Deviled quail eggs, bresaola and foie gras with pickled cherries took the opening bow, accompanied by glasses of Contadi Castaldi Brut Franciacorta NV. Following in rapid succession came baked ricotta torte, asparagus risotto, braised spring lamb breast, and marsolino cheese with raw fava beans and balsamic powder, each paired with suitable wines. The final stroke was pasticceria napolitana, with a glass of Furlan Castelcosa Picolit 1995. To experience Hopper's work in person, make reservations by calling 408.294.2558, and see what's fresh and seasonal this week.

To Market, to Market

Even before the press release arrived, our office had already heard: gastronome Bill Pokras called to enthuse about the new farmer's market, opening May 19 in San Pedro Square. The market replaces those formerly held at the Pavilion parking lot and the Town & Country Village (the latter now in the throes of reconstruction). The Friday market will run from 10am to 2pm through November 17, and will feature more than 35 growers. For more info, call 408.279.1775, ext. 40.

LOOKING FORWARD: Make plans now to cruise the countryside the first two weekends in June for the bilateral Santa Cruz Mountains Vintners' Festival 2000 (June 3-4 for valley-side vintners, June 10-11 for wineries on the western slope). For details, call 831.479.WINE. ... The new Spring Evenings menu at L'Amie Donia just came into my hands. On it, I spied braised rabbit in red wine, with a spring cassoulet of fava beans, garlic sausage and smoked ham, served with watercress. Mon dieu! If I weren't in France myself as you read this, I would be making tracks for this charming bistro at 530 Bryant St. in Palo Alto (650.323.7614).

To send tips to Christina, email her at [email protected]

[ San Jose | Metroactive Central | Archives ]

From the May 11-17, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.