Fox Theatre lures crowds and musical acts alike with an auditorium drenched in the glimmer and charm of theater’s history. Surrounding a proscenium stage draped in red is enough gold to please a group of kings or outfit one rapper with his requisite bling. Bas-reliefs and intricate patterns line the walls while below, rows of seats on the floor and balcony beckon with simple comfort.
Sensual and curvy. Bold and powerful. Light and fun. The folks at TasteVin Wine Bar & Bistro aren't describing an ideal mate or the "Who I'd Like to Read the Newspaper With" section of your dating profile?they're describing wine. These descriptions lend a sense of approachability and playfulness, an attitude that pervades the restaurant and bar where the wine is flowing and drinkers of all stripes are welcome. The importance of pairing food and wine is something the servers and bartenders stress. With guidance, diners can select the ideal matches in a host of cheeses, charcuterie, small plates of lamb meatballs or crab cakes, and crispy little tartines topped with warm goat cheese and pears, smoked salmon, or wild mushrooms.
Each pasta entree at Caprino's Restaurant begins as a mound of fresh dough. From there, chefs turn it into linguine and spaghetti and tuck butternut squash into ravioli pockets. The stuff that goes on top is also house-made, naturally: meatballs, garlic-basil cream, olive-oil/chardonnay sauce.
Pasta may reign supreme, but the menu also holds other hearty entrees, including grilled-to-order rib eye, prosciutto pizza, and chicken marsala. Sunday brunch even departs from this Italian template a bit, adding southwest-inspired dishes and catfish and grits to red-white-and-green-flecked sandwiches and scrambles.
Caprino's handsome, wood-accented dining room is equally welcoming to adults and adults-in-training. There's a full bar and, naturally, a deep wine list, split about evenly between Italy and California. But there's also a kids' menu with fun options such as mini burgers and a "dirty mashed potato" topped with bacon, cheese, and, eventually, tiny fingerprints.
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.
Named as a favorite golf range in 2009 by Golf Digest, Mariners Point offers 64 well-manicured practice stalls, including natural grass and a challenging 9-hole, par 3 course. The double-decker driving range features on-site professionals, high-quality range balls, and power tees that automatically tee up the ball. Use the range card to purchase driving ammunition in small ($7 for 60 balls), medium ($11 for 105 balls), or large ($13 for 165 balls) baskets. Golfers receive 10 additional balls for visiting the range before 11 a.m. on weekdays. Clearly defined target greens and easy-to-read yardage markers make for far easier practice than aiming for the blowholes of passing belugas. When it’s game time, players can hit the course for a round of golf. Drivers, putters, and severely confused baseball players are treated to breathtaking San Francisco Bay views from each of the nine greens.
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.