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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Menlo Grill closes for revamp

Uploaded: Oct 29, 2018
After about eight years of operating at the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park, Menlo Grill has closed temporarily for a refresh.

General Manager Patrick Lane said he decided to transform from what has been more of an afterthought inside a hotel into a restaurant that can stand on its own. He plans to run the 100 El Camino Real restaurant, which will be renamed Menlo Tavern, as its own business, separate from the hotel.

"For many years people would say, 'Menlo Grill — that's at the Stanford Park.' I want people to think in the future, 'Menlo Tavern — that's where the Stanford Park is, right?'" Lane said.

Menlo Tavern will be led by a new chef and bar program manager. Lane wouldn't disclose the new chef, but he hired Keith Fox, a Santa Cruz native most recently working at Huckelberry Bar in Brooklyn, to oversee the cocktail menu.

Menlo Tavern will serve what Lane described as "American classic food … with a California cadence to it," with a focus on local and seasonal products. The food will be "straightforward" and "approachable," like fried chicken, Lane said.

The space will be redesigned so that "the bar will have its own feeling, the dining room will have its own feeling and the patio will be completely different both in service style as well as the food," he said.

Like Menlo Grill, the restaurant is meant to serve the local community rather than hotel guests, Lane said. Menlo Tavern will also provide family-style catering (no more heavy buffet dinners) for events.

Hotel dining is becoming its own scene on the Midpeninsula as more hotels open with quality restaurants, including Nobu at The Nobu Epiphany hotel in downtown Palo Alto, Porta Blu at the Hotel Nia in Menlo Park and the new Oak and Violet at the Park James Hotel in Menlo Park, all joining the Michelin-starred Madera at The Rosewood Hotel in Menlo Park. Local competition was "one of the influencing factors" for the revamp, Lane said.

He plans to reopen the restaurant in January. Menlo Tavern will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The restaurant will be open until midnight daily.

Comments

 +   2 people like this
Posted by tgw, a resident of another community,
on Oct 29, 2018 at 4:17 pm

I really hope they keep some of the menu the same. I loved their prime rib special on the weekends and would often head here as I know the food was going to be solid. I don't want super trendy, I want easy casual comfort food that isn't overpriced.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by MP30, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Oct 29, 2018 at 5:18 pm

Yes. Sorry to see this closure. I enjoyed having a somewhat quiet place (Menlo Camper is way too loud) to get a casual dinner without too much fuss. Food was fine, not great, and prices didn't break the bank. Really enjoyed no corkage fee, which meant we went there more often. Hope the new place works, and hope they don't try to do too much with the place. We'll see, but fried chicken will not attract the salmon crowd. Thanks for the update.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Gene, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Oct 30, 2018 at 2:07 pm

I've lived in Menlo for over 20 years and I don't like change. This is another regular that I can't count on,


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter., a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Nov 3, 2018 at 7:05 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Gene:

I've lived in MP for over twenty years as well. I welcome change. This town is too sleepy. My age may be old, but that doesn't mean I act or feel that way.



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