After Sandro Costanza left his home in Calabria, Italy, in 1988, he devoted decades to waiting tables and cooking his way through Paris, London, and Rome before finally landing in Saratoga. There, he opened Ristorante Da Mario to re-create the bursting flavors and vibrant colors of the southern Italian dishes he remembered from his childhood. Today his chefs forge these staples by layering lasagna, stuffing ravioli, and fluffing gnocchi in-house, and by using a number of lighter cream sauces instead of exclusively glazing entrees with marinara. Although Sandro's wine list features numerous California varietals, it also includes bottles from major wine-producing regions across Italy to complement the authentic dishes.
Faux tuscan walls mimic the cuisine's rustic, down-home approach, but crisp, white tablecloths and framed artwork also lend their touches of refinement to the dining room. Outside, patio seating pairs rich Italian meals with light gulps of fresh air and lets diners keep eyes out for invading Byzantines.
Regardless of which one of the eight James Craig's cheerful stylists clients choose, they can rest assured that the stylist has undergone extensive training in the art of haircare, cutting, and coloring. Each of the seasoned stylists have completed the comprehensive one-year The James Craig Advanced Education Program and routinely study up on the latest trends under the Redken Exchange educators the salon has flown in from New York. The staff prides itself on using only the most-advanced salon products, including Kérastase, Redken, Oribe, and the James Craig signature line.
Sunlight floods the hardwood floors of the elegant salon, where the stylists administer cuts, colors, and hair-extension services as customers sip on complimentary coffee and tea. Each procedure begins with an in-depth consultation to discuss desired looks and ends with an informative discussion on re-creating professional styles, such as how to blow dry curls to create flattering waves or fashion an elegant scalp-top topiary garden.
The Land Down Under is a continent set beneath a scorching sun—Australian Tan knows, just like Australians, how to harness the light to achieve glowing, bronzy skin. The salon’s faux sun comes from six different tanning booths. The most basic bed imparts a base tan in 20 minutes, while the Instant 770 imparts a rich, long-lasting hue in as few as 10. Meanwhile, the sunless spray-tanning booth houses an automatic system that sprays on UV-free color. Regardless of the chosen bed, the staff can complement sessions with bronzing lotions that enhance acquired tans or help an old trophy get through a midlife crisis with a refreshed façade. Each member of the staff goes through 35 hours of training prior to working in the salon, so they can easily tailor tanning plans to each customer.
San Francisco mayor and US senator James Duval Phelan built the Villa Montalvo in 1912 as a bastion of art, hosting such writers as Jack London and Edwin Markham in conversation-filled luncheons and creativity-fueling vacations. After his death, Phelan bequeathed the house and grounds to the public, asking that they continue its role as an incubator of inspiration. Today, the center hosts artist residencies, gallery exhibitions, and educational opportunities for visitors. Surrounding the wealth of culture, the 175-acre grounds include miles of hiking trails through woodlands densely populated with muses, a meticulously manicured Italianate garden, and a picnic-ready Great Lawn.
"Rejuv? was inspired because we wanted to offer patients the latest advances in skin rejuvenation and body enhancement," says medical director Dr. John Tang. Dr. Tang and his wife, Alexandra Tang, a registered nurse, opened Rejuv? in 2004 to provide these cosmetic services though nonsurgical and minimally invasive means, such as laser treatments, beauty injectables, and traditional spa appointments. They zap fat, clear complexions, and fade unwanted tattoos of Spiro Agnew, but before they do any of that, they make sure their patients stay healthy with nutrition consultations, hormone-replacement therapy, and exercise regimens.
When topological surveys uncovered a richly flowing chocolate vein under Saratoga, a sure-footed band of chocolatiers set to work building a premium confectionarium on site. Wielding the united powers of local dairy and additive-free ingredients, these visionaries spawned a full line of noteworthy artistic chocolates that will remind your eyes what it's like to have taste buds and your mouth to have eyes. Stroll through an indulgent selection of truffles, bonbons, bars, and more, from sea-salted caramels ($8 for a box of four) to 12-piece assorted gift boxes ($23.50), and a mish-mash of exquisite apricot caramels, mint mojito bites, chili-spiced truffles, pumpkin-pie truffles, and more.