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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Menlo Park Week: Cafe Borrone

Hands down one of my favorite places in Menlo Park is Cafe Borrone. Every time I eat there I love it even more. I love the food. I love the atmosphere. I love the umbrellas. I love the chalkboard menus. I love the pretty dishes.

Last week Cafe Borrone treated us to dinner so I could write up this post. Our dinner was HEAVEN. Every last bite was scrumptious. Marina Borrone kept telling us we should call friends to come share the food with us because they were planning on bringing so much out…and, uh, yeah…Nate and I ate it all (with only a little help from the girls). So much for sharing!

Cafe Borrone has been around since 1971, first in Redwood City and now Menlo Park. The restaurant is family-owned and run by Marina, Josh (her husband who is also the chef) and Marina’s parents, who originally started the business. In fact, Josh started working here when he got out of high school, serving tables and whatnot, and is now chef!

Cafe Borrone uses almost all local ingredients (with the exception of around 5 items, such as bananas) and as much organic food as possible. Their menu changes day to day, based on what is fresh and in season. It’s a natural for lunchtime, but their breakfast food is wonderful. And dinner? Oh, dinner is too good.

Let’s take a gander at the food, shall we?

Corn fritters. I can’t begin to describe how good these are.

Beet Salad. The beets were soooooo yummy. Sweet, perfect texture. And the goat cheese on top of the greens? I didn’t know goat cheese could be so darn creamy.

Burrata. Have you ever had burrata? It’s basically fresh mozzarella stuffed with cream and curd. And it rocks. Especially topped on crostini with roasted peaches and tomatoes. Marina said they ate burrata in Italy and had to bring it to their restaurant…and now she’s seeing it in other places. That’s right, you saw it at Borrone’s first!

That was just the appetizers. How about some dinner?

Grouper BLT. Fresh line caught grouper with all kinds of bacony-tomatoey goodness surrounding it.

Steak Crostini. This was Nate’s favorite. I think mine too. But whenever I decide it’s my fave, I think about something else I ate and can’t go with a final decision. The Niman Ranch filet mignon on this crostini was cooked perfectly and tasted, well, amazing.

You have room for dessert, right? We all know I always do…

Nectarine and Blackberry Crisp.

Coconut Cream Tart.

This dog was totally judging me.

What, dog, what?  You think I ate too much?

I think every single one of you reading this post needs to come visit me in Menlo Park, just so we can go to lunch at Cafe Barrone. Deal? Great! (Bonus for your trip: you get to see me pig out and get judged by snooty dogs.)

Click more to read Josh’s description of each dish. As if the pictures wouldn’t make you hungry enough.

Thank you, Cafe Borrone, for an amazing dinner…and, more importantly, for being around for everyone to enjoy!

Fresh imported Italian burrata served with roasted tomatoes, grilled peaches and crostini
Burrata is a fresh mozzarella stuffed with cream and curd

Corn Fritters
Sweet organic corn fritters served over mache tossed a roasted tomato vinaigrette and finished with a
chili sour cream sauce

Beet Salad
Roasted organic red and chiogga beets served with organic greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette
topped with fresh goat cheese

Grouper BLT
Fresh line caught grouper, house made tartar sauce, lettuce, tomato and Marin Sun Farm bacon served
on our house made milk bun.

Steak Crostini
Seared Niman Ranch filet mignon served on a grilled crostini with an herbed aioli and arugula with a side
salad of wild organic arugula, roasted cherry tomatoes and whole wheat croutons tossed in a balsamic

Nectarine and Blackberry Crisp
Fresh organic nectarines and blackberries topped with a pecan streusel topping served with Strauss
vanilla bean ice cream

Brownie Sundae (no picture – the girls dug in too quickly!)
Our house made fudge style brownie topped with strauss vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream and
our house made caramel and fudge sauce

Coconut Cream Tart
Freshly made coconut pastry cream topped with whipped cream, toasted coconut and bittersweet
chocolate shavings


  1. 1

    goodness gracious! The food looks fantastic! Ok, next time I’m out there on business, I am totally going to find Cafe Borrone. Planning a trip in early October to the Foster City area…gonna make a slight sidetrip!!


  2. 2

    alecia – in this case, looks are NOT deceiving! it would be worth a little jaunt down from foster city for sure! 🙂

  3. 3
    Julia Axtell

    I’ve been there! it’s really good…

  4. Wow, what a meal! Beautiful photos of the food. It looks as though you were thoroughly spoiled by the owner – can’t beat a meal like that.

  5. 5
    Jane Maynard

    thoroughly spoiled is EXACTLY what we were. I felt nothing but grateful! 🙂

  6. When I lived in Pleasanton last summer, I tried this place because of your earlier recommendation. It was so yummy and such a great atmosphere!!!

  7. 7

    All the food looks amazing I wished I live a bit closer to take you up on your offer. The photos are great too, I am so making this nectarine blackberry crisp, if I can still find some blackberries in Virginia.

  8. 8

    you’ll just have to come to california! 🙂 good luck with the nectarine blackberry crisp – it was a really lovely combination, I’m certain you’ll love it!

  9. 9

    Beets are NOT sweet. Beets taste like dirt. But I still trust your culinary opinion on other things.

  10. 10
    Jane Maynard

    cora, cora, cora. what are we going to do with you? 😉

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