Madera is a 1 Michelin Star Restaurant located in the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel, Menlo Park. I came here with a colleague and fellow wildcat after work and zumba class. Great place to have a meal after a zumba workout. :)
Out of the mixologist's laboratory list, I chose Bufala Negra: 1/3 for it's interesting name, 1/3 for the ginger beer and basil (because I like the two), and 1/3 for the balsamic vinegar (what an interesting addition to a mixed drink). The drink turned out well - I couldn't taste any balsamic vinegar, just tasted more of the whiskey than anything else, haha.
A great starter for those that like beets, cheese, and pistachio. The whole plate was really good, the beets were especially good with the vinegar tonic sauce.
I love pastas... and they taste even better with some yummy truffles. It has everything I like - pasta, truffle, peas. Delicious. I would get this again.
The snap peas weren't my favorite. I didn't like that the linings were still intact on both sides of the snap peas. Others might not notice it, but coming from an Asian household, I've always helped aunties de-line snap peas before they go into the wok. So the linings were definitely a turn off since they are rough and forever difficult to chew.
The hazelnut clafourti is a great dessert if you love eating super sweet things. Since I am not particularly a fan of overly sweet desserts, this dessert was too overpowering for my taste. The passionfruit dessert was such a nice gesture from Madera - acongratulatory dessert for getting into school. :) Thank you, Madera! The passionfruit was pretty sour... So I didn't eat much of this dessert or the hazelnut, but I really do appreciate the thought and goodwill from the restaurant. I do know that my boyfriend and close friend would like to eat the passionfruit dessert since they both love sour things. My taste buds are too sensitive to handle super sour things. >.<
The restaurant has gotten super dark by the time we left, as opposed to the brightness outside when I got there. If you plan to come here in the summer, definitely check out the outdoor seating! I wouldn't sit outside if you plan to have a late dinner like us, we sat down at 8 p.m. PST, because it gets pretty chilly the later it gets in the Bay Area. But if you are going to have lunch or an early dinner, it is worth sitting outside to soak up the sun and mother natural that surrounds the restaurant. The restaurant is kind of on a hill, so you get a nice view of the mountains, green trees / grass, Route 101 (lol), etc.
Highlight: The amazing biscuits! I'd come back time and time again just for those delicious biscuits.
Value: For how much you get, the amuse-bouche, chocolates, unlimited good bread, service, and everything else, it is worth to come here and give this restaurant a try for a fine dining experience. The outdoor seating is less stuffy, so if you want to try this restaurant without the whole shazam then consider sitting outside to get a different feel / atmosphere.
2825 Sand Hill Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025