A neon-pink sign beckons diners into the Sweet Spot shop, where a counter stocked with colorful treats and toppings awaits. The staffers behind the counter adorn ice cream and frozen yogurt with fruit and candy as they keep an eye on the sweet and savory crepes that sizzle on grills. They also top off cups with boba tea and smoothies. Tabletops are scattered across the shop?s interior, where cheerful, checkered decor and an absence of wild boars squealing and knocking over chairs create a warm, comfortable atmosphere.
Le Papillon specializes in three- or four-course prix fixe dinners—and the price is the only fixed thing about them. The beautifully-plated dishes rotate regularly, highlighting seasonal, sustainably-sourced ingredients at their best. Some past favorites include truffled hamachi tartar with pea shoot emulsion and noisettes of red deer with huckleberries.
This eatery focuses on French-Vietnamese fusion and serves everything from five-spice Vietnamese beef stew, to meat loaf in mushroom sauce, to herb-crusted salmon. It’s all affordable, too. The most expensive dish, an Australian rack of lamb, is only $32. (The cheapest, meanwhile, are kids’ plates like chicken nuggets and cheese ravioli.)
The aptly named La Forêt is a historic house that overlooks New Almaden’s tree-lined hillsides. This wedding venue serves upscale French cuisine and wines with up to four-digit price tags. The building has apparently come a long way, as it was once a boarding house for miners.
The first things you’ll notice upon entering Banana Crepe are the stuffed monkeys. They’re everywhere: hanging from beams, draped from the ceiling, and climbing up the walls, which are covered with jungle murals. But the food—sweet and savory crepes, Hawaiian shaved ice—will steal your attention once it arrives.
The expert crêpe-rollers at K's Crêpes & Café ladle organic batter onto the griddle, sizzle until golden brown, and adorn the ensuing concoction with savory toppings or house-made whipped cream. Delight a savory-toothed uncle with naturally gluten-free buckwheat crêpes such as the Chelsea, a delectable mound of chewy swiss cheese, sautéed zucchini, and crisp spinach ($6.95). Morning-time diners can wash down a whole-wheat sweet crêpe with a cup of Mr. Espresso and a dash of powdered sugar, or bite into the New England Revolution, which arrives laden with peaches, vanilla gelato, and chocolate sauce like a camel being ridden by Santa Claus ($6.75). Omelets ($4.50+), lunch-friendly sandwiches ($5.25+), and house-made soups ($3.50+) are also available throughout the day.