At Pasta Q, chefs roll out homemade pastas and gnocchi and douse their doughy exteriors with creamy sauces and redolent spices. Eighteen diverse pasta renditions share table space with classic Italian-style meats buffered by roasted potatoes. An eclectic selection of imported Italian wines pair with bites, and homemade desserts ease the burden of spaghetti strands trying to shape themselves into the form of tiramisu. The menu’s Mediterranean flourishes extend to the décor, with its deep-burgundy and mustard-yellow walls punctuated by mosaic-tiled benches and billowy white fabric suspended from the ceiling.
The Old Pro’s kitchen team has taken on an endeavor that most culinary artists are too afraid to attempt: making tater tots better. The menu dedicates an entire section to the deliciously deep-fried, grated potatoes, introducing mouths to six variants including bacon blue tots, truffle-and-parmesan tots, and Tot-chos—tots with nacho fixings. These crispy bites are just the beginning of Old Pro’s souped-up pub food, which reinvents popular staples by topping brawny burgers with brisket and infusing Red Sangria with blackberries and fresh rosemary. The hand-tossed brick-oven pizzas also earn a place in stomachs' hearts with toppings such as housemade sausage and truffle oil.
The sports bar’s inventive culinary approach has earned it a five-year run as Palo Alto Weekly's Best Sports Bar from 2007 to 2012, and its neighborly atmosphere has made it an ideal setting for palling around with buddies. Inside, lofty ceilings and long tables allow ample space for socializing and dramatic three-point landings off the bar’s mechanical bull. Mounted displays pay homage to a long list of teams and athletes, and 13 high-definition plasma-screen televisions broadcast sporting events in real time. To cut down on waste produced by bottles, labels, and corks, The Old Pro’s bartenders serve both draft beers and California wines straight from the tap.
At Menlo Hub, both food and art find a place on the menu. The modern restaurant's walls are blanketed in original contemporary paintings, and on some nights, the dining space reverberates with music from live bands and solo musicians. But even on nights with performances, the main attraction is always found in the kitchen. Here, chefs design casual American dishes sprinkled with elements of Mediterranean cooking.
The menus focus on simple steaks and seafood, complemented by organic produce sourced from nearby sustainable farms. The artfully plated dishes include California sea bass, New York steaks with gorgonzola demi-glace, and eggplant-wrapped lamb shanks. While most visitors sample the cuisine in the airy main dining space, private groups eat in a secluded room warmed by a corner fireplace.
At the lively bar, flat-screen TVs broadcast sporting events as bartenders mix fruit-infused martinis and pour a range of California wines, which are made from grapes that are just thankful that they never became California raisins.
Having helped shape the rock landscape, Yes, Styx, Kansas, and the Greg Kihn Band continue to flex their honed and toned musical muscles as they infuse the KFOX Kihncert 2011 with memory-stirring classic rock. The virtuosos of Yes flaunt their titanic talents as they crack the spine on a songbook that includes showstoppers such as “Roundabout” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” as well as material from their newest album, Fly From Here. Styx, responsible for tunes such as “Come Sail Away” and named for the most popular water park in ancient Greece, invites listeners to hitch their ears to its litany of hits, many of which have been re-recorded for the band's Regeneration series. Filling out the rock-chocked day, the wayward sons of Kansas carry on with orchestral opuses about philosophical dust, and Greg Kihn serenades cochleae with gems such as “Jeopardy” and “Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)” from his Kihnsolidation: The Best of Greg Khin box set.