Tablecloths, fine china, and finger sandwiches speak of refinement during high tea or tea parties at Lisa’s Tea Treasures Menlo Park. During afternoon tea services, guests sip a selection of 23 loose-leaf teas—such as strawberry darjeeling, lemon mint, and Winter Solstice—and nibble on scones and sandwiches inspired by the food of Europe’s culinary capitals. The menu lists bites from Greece, Italy, and France, including Chicken Parisian croissants, salmon mousse, and cucumber-mint cream cheese. A fresh scone with devonshire cream completes any tea party, and evoke thoughts of England other than your recurring dream of building a cricket pitch in your backyard. In addition to the fine fare, the tearoom itself oozes class with delicate trinkets on display, floral wallpaper, and small chandeliers gently lighting the space.
Singaporean cuisine claims a diverse culinary genealogy. With influences from China, Malay, and India, it's no wonder Shiok! Singapore Kitchen's menu boasts dishes ranging from beef samosas and chicken satay to Singapore pepper crab and vermicelli noodles tossed with curry. This history and tradition is embodied by the restaurant’s name: exclamations of the Singaporean term “shiok!” can often be heard ringing around the table at the conclusion of an enjoyable meal.
Marqs' modest menu of globally influenced plates offers small plates such as oyster shooters with tropical salsa ($7), filet wellington rolls in a truffle mushroom sauce ($15), and seared scallops with crispy pancetta and saffron risotto ($10). Entrees include pasta surf and turf with filet mignon, sautéed mushrooms, and lobster macaroni ($33). Marqs' chicken potpies, which are made in-house, are pillowy bites of steamy comfort ($14). In addition to getting you a complimentary glass of house wine or a draft beer, this Groupon can be used toward drinks at Marqs' full-service bar (though you must purchase at least one food item).
Bona Restaurant enriches the Bay Area’s culinary landscape with a varied menu packed with authentic Eastern European cuisine, ranging from a spread of distinctive soups to traditional Polish entrees. Each savory recipe emphasizes the fusion of mixed meats and winter vegetables energized with a variety of spices. In the lunch menu, noontime noshers can refuel for a busy day transcribing bird conversations with a plate of Bona’s pierogi ($6.95) or pork-and-beef-stuffed cabbage ladled with a piquant tomato or mushroom sauce ($7.95).
From-Scratch Caribbean Cuisine | Southern Barbecue | Addictive Jerk Chicken | Corn Festivals
Who's in the Kitchen? Chef-owner Robert Simpson’s techniques and recipes are the foundations for both Back a Yard locations: the one in downtown San Jose, and the original in Menlo Park. He began cooking at age 6 alongside his grandmother in Jamaica, and he went on to receive his formal training at the Culinary Institute of America.
Plantain: very popular in Caribbean dishes, these starchy fruits are a slightly larger cousin of the banana and must be cooked before serving.
Corn festivals: sweet, fritter-like treats made of cornmeal. They're deep-fried and often served with something more savory, especially fish.
Culture Lesson: "Back a Yard" isn't a typo. It's a term that means, quite simply, "back home." It refers to the spirit and welcoming nature of life in Jamaica.