Madera, Menlo Park

March 25, 2014

Linda and I stayed the nights of February 9, 10 and 11, 2014, at the Rosewood Sandhill Hotel. It is at the upper end of Sand Hill Road, the world’s most important concentration of private equity and venture capital. The first evening Linda and I dined at its restaurant, Madera. The following two evenings we dined at The Village Pub in Woodside and All Spice in San Mateo. Both were very enjoyable, but I have not prepared blogposts on them.
Madera’s kitchen is open to the large dining room and its entryway. Madera means “wood” in Spanish. There is a wood burning oven and the dining room features wooden tables etc.
madera 020 (480x221)
We were seated at the far end with a good view.

After the long drive from Santa Barbara, glasses of sparkling wine seemed appropriate. Linda ordered 2004 Roederer Estate, L’Ermitage, Anderson Valley. It had an elegant flavor. I had Segura Viudas Brut Cava, Reserva, Penedes NV. It was a substantial and good sparkling wine.

There are about ten choices for starters and for main courses on the menu. We made our selections and ordered a bottle of 2009 Brewer Clifton, Cargasacchi, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir. It was full and very good.
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The amuse-gueule was a carrot/ginger mousse.
madera 008 (320x207)

Linda’s first course was
Seared Scallop
Sunchoke, Smoked Egg Yolk, Bacon Marmalade.
madera 010 (480x241)
The bacon marmalade and the smoked egg yolk nestled in a sun choke purée to make a faux fried egg combined very well with the seared scallop.

My starter was
Grilled Abalone
Dungeness Crab, Pork Belly, Farro Porridge, Root Vegetables.
madera 011 (480x292)
The abalone was very good and was enhanced by the other ingredients, but I was disappointed that there were only two small pieces. I also enjoyed the crab leg. The faro porridge added some bulk.

Linda’s main course was
Oak Grilled Beef Striploin
King Trumpet Mushrooms, Cippolini Onion, Baby Braising Greens, Crushed Potato.
madera 012 (480x254)
This was a very substantial course for a rainy night. It was headed by two slices of tender and moist beef. The greens underneath the beef and mushrooms were very salty, but the combination was otherwise just fine.

Mine was
Rosen Farms Lamb Saddle
Vadouvan-Spiced Garbanzo Beans, Date Purée, Candied Almonds.
madera 013 (480x225)
The generous serving of lamb had a good, meaty flavor. It was nicely enhanced by the chick peas, which were flavored with a mild curry-like spice mix. Very good.

madera 018 (268x480)

My dessert, served in a tall glass, was
Toasted Banana Cake

Okinawa Brown Sugar Gelato

Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Whipped Banana.

The mix of banana flavors and textures was luscious and good. The dessert was not too sweet. A nice ending.

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We were given two butterscotch candies which we took back to our room for our morning coffee.
madera 019 (380x130)
The meal was up to Madera‘s one Michelin star rating. The service and pace were always good. The noise level was low, but the room was not even half full on this Sunday evening.

http://www.maderasandhill.com/about/restaurant

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