News, music, movies & restaurants from the editors of the Silicon Valley's #1 weekly newspaper.
Serving San Jose, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Campbell, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Fremont & nearby cities.

News and Features

home | metro silicon valley index | features | silicon valley | best of silicon vally 2009


THE EYES HAVE IT: The readers came, looked and lingered—and picked La Fondue as the most romantic restaurant.

Love & Romance

Reader's Picks

Best Romantic Restaurant

La Fondue

14550 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; 408.867.3332

There's something sensual about spearing your food on a sharp skewer and dunking it in molten cheese or a savory simmering broth, especially when you do the dunking with someone special. It's a primal, visceral experience that helps set the mood for love. Dim lighting and alcohol help, too.

71 St. Peter

71 N. San Pedro St., San Jose; 408.971.8523


320 Village Lane, Los Gatos; 408.354.4330

Best Boutique Hotel

Hotel Valencia 355 Santana Row, San Jose; 408.551.0010

With faux-mink designer throws, custom-made towels and prominent balconies overlooking the chic European-style promenades of Santana Row, Hotel Valencia appeals to discerning travelers. Ayoma spa features over-the-top treatments; Citrus restaurant offers an open-air courtyard; and both of the nightclubs—V Bar and Cielo—are perfect locales for opulent encounters, business meetings or any luxurious rendezvous.

Hotel Montgomery

211 S. First St., San Jose; 408.282.8801

The Moorpark Hotel

4241 Moorpark Ave., San Jose; 408.864.0300

Palo Alto/Mtn. View

Best Boutique Hotel

Garden Court Hotel

520 Cowper St., Palo Alto; 650.322.9000

Located in the heart of downtown Palo Alto, the Garden Court Hotel is one of Silicon Valley's hidden amenities. For those looking for a romantic getaway, it offers great amenities. Specialty rooms have garden views, fireplaces, private balconies, Jacuzzi tubs and fully stocked bars. The hotel also serves fresh fruit throughout the common areas and provides complimentary pastries in the morning.

Hotel Avante

860 E. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650.940.1000

StanforD Terrace Inn

531 Stanford Ave., Palo Alto; 650.857.0333

Best Luxury Hotel

Fairmont Hotel

170 S. Market St., San Jose; 408.998.1900

Passing through the glass doors means entering a world of luxury. The Fairmont employs more than 400 staff members who do everything they can to ensure that guests are swaddled in comfort. The 20-story, two-tower building has become an iconic part of the San Jose skyline, and inside, the awesome Lobby Lounge and Fountains Restaurant make the place a downtown destination. With more than 800 guest rooms, this luxury hotel has become a popular destination for tourists, but it can mean a sweet weekend for locals too.

Hotel De Anza

233 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose; 408.286.1000

Hotel Valencia

355 Santana Row, San Jose; 408.551.0010

Palo Alto/Mtn. View

Best Luxury Hotel

Four Seasons Hotel

2050 University Ave., East Palo Alto; 650.566.1200

Four Seasons Hotels are world-renowned for their luxury, and the Palo Alto property can be considered among the best of the best. An oasis off highway 101, the Four Seasons has a lovely outdoor space, ideal for weddings and other romantic celebrations. Guests have access to the hotel's rooftop pool and spa services, perfect for a hot date.

Westin Palo Alto

675 El Camino Real, Palo Alto; 650.321.4422

Stanford Terrace Inn

531 Stanford Ave., Palo Alto; 650.857.0333

Best Jewelry Store

Joe Escobar Diamonds

450 E. Hamilton Ave., Campbell; 408.341.0300

When people decide to shell out a few grand on a piece of compressed carbon, it's no surprise that they want a jewelry store with staff that can cut it. Joe Escobar Diamonds, located in Campbell, has built up a reputation for exceptional customer service. The staff of courteous and certified gemologists will help people pick out the ideal cut and carat of stones to customers' tastes—but without the hard sell.

The Jewel Box

164 S. Bascom Ave. #F, Campbell; 408.377.9898

Deja & Company

14567 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; 408.872.1177

Best Flower Shop


14 1/2 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos; 408.395.5451

"Freshness is our trademark." It's a simple slogan, but here's how seriously this Los Gatos flower shop takes the idea: Bunches owns its own flower farm and has fresh-cut flowers trucked in from Watsonville every singe day. Once they get the flowers in the building, the arrangers do their magic—their bouquets of irises, chrysanthemums, tulips and hydrangea are spectacular.

Citti's Florist

3100 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose; 800.255.0855


5945 Almaden Expy., San Jose; 800.377.4595

Best Stationery Store


1002 S. Second St., San Jose; 408.971.2155

For paper needs, there is Papyrus—the tony yet much loved stationery store of the South Bay. Paper, pens, stationery, journals; if you want to write on it, stamp it or send it out, they have it. They have so much of it, it's almost scary. (CW)

Paper Source

334 Santana Row #1010, San Jose; 408.241.9000

MaiDo Fine Stationery and Gifts

378 Santana Row #1125, San Jose; 408.213.1985

Best Limousine Service

Le Grande Affair

2590 Lafayette St., Santa Clara; 800.301.LIMO

Satisfied customers from the business sector, the honeymoon sector, the bachelorette party sector and the sports sector agree that Le Grande Affair provides remarkable service. Just read the roster of some of their vamped-out vehicles: 6-, 8-, 10-, 12- and 14-passenger Lincolns; a pink 16-passenger H3 Hummer; plus Jaguars, Mercedes and other exotics. Headquartered in Santa Clara, Le Grande Affair provides the entire Bay Area with rocking service.

Lone Star Transportation


Cloud 9 Limousine & Transportation


Send a letter to the editor about this story.