Menlo Tavern, an American restaurant and bar in Menlo Park, California, opened this spring. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Menlo Tavern’s menu features elevated tavern fare prepared with a California cadence and a seasonal approach in a sophisticated, yet relaxed setting. Providing patrons with a sense of place, the décor pays homage to nearby Stanford University, rooted to Stanford Eating Clubs of years past.
“Geared toward locals and travelers alike, Menlo Tavern honors the past and celebrates community and the age-old tradition of coming together over delicious food and drinks,” says Roque Medina, Executive Director of the Menlo Tavern. “The restaurant is designed to be a warm, welcoming gathering place. Guests may stop in for a drink at the bar, enjoy a meal with friends in the dining room, or spend time around a fire pit on the patio.”
As an instrumental asset to the restaurant’s launch, Menlo Tavern brought on Executive Chef Jason Dalling (JD). Chef JD is an experienced food & beverage professional with more than 25 years of renowned restaurant and Fairmont Resorts experience across Canada, the United States and Asia, serving 10+ of those years as an executive chef.
Menu offerings include traditional breakfast entrees, casual sandwiches, healthy salads and a classics section, with a large focus on shareable dishes. Standout appetizers include the Cowgirl Creamery Burrata, featuring lemon, olive oil, cracked pepper and fried basil served with country bread, and the Winter Hummus, featuring pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, olive oil and oregano served with warm flat bread and vegetables. Featured entrees include a Heritage Pork Chop with sweet potato puree and drunken blackberries, and a San Francisco-style Cioppino, featuring Dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, fish, tomatoes, white wine broth and sourdough toasts. For breakfast, delights such as yogurts, homemade granola, organic cage-free eggs are served. Additionally, signature breakfast entrees include the Dungeness Crab Benedict featuring accents of citrus, mustard and hollandaise sauce.
“There’s a familiarity about the cuisine at Menlo Tavern. While developing the menu, we drew inspiration from comforting American classics with European influences, and added subtle interjections of international ingredients,” adds Dalling. “The preparations are simplistic in approach, creating a relaxed feel. This pairs nicely with Menlo Tavern’s genuine sense of hospitality.”
Menlo Tavern’s cocktail program is centered around perfecting classics. Elevated, sophisticated, and hand-crafted, the drink program at Menlo Tavern is a nod to the high-end, personalized service bars of years past, and focuses on quality ingredients. The vintage-inspired beverage menu includes four California wines on tap, in addition to a selection of bottles and wine by the glass, celebrating Menlo Tavern’s Northern California location. Additionally, there are eight beers on tap, including local and seasonally rotating selections. Menlo Tavern’s extensive selection of spirits and traditional cocktails also includes The Classics and Signature preparations. The smoke infuser can be seen in action if you fancy your Old Fashioned or Manhattan with a smoke finish.
From bar tops to small tables for two, banquettes, and semi-private larger tables for groups, Menlo Tavern offers a variety of indoor and outdoor seating options for people to gather. There will be 50-55 seats in the bar and 55 seats in main dining area. The semi-private dining rooms offer an exclusive yet approachable atmosphere, perfect for social gatherings and smaller, corporate gatherings. The Toyon Room seats ten, and The Wine Room seats eight. Additionally, The Patio is open year-round and will include seating for smaller parties and events. The space features fire pits, fountains, umbrellas, trellis shade structures and a semi-private Pergola, ideal for private parties of up to 10 people. Throughout the peak season – June through October – the patio will feature live music.