Set in a quaint Victorian, Chez TJ has launched the careers of innumerable culinary talents-and the latest chef at the helm, Jarad Gallagher, is more than worthy of its legacy. Though it may seem old-fashioned for its Mountain View zip code, this former home decked with flowers and Tiffany lamps, has a throwback appeal with a hint of romance that's perfect for escaping the demands of technology. Attentive, polished servers add to the pleasure. The dining room offers two menus: either a seven-course exploration into seasonal cooking sourced from within 100 miles; or a more lengthy chef's tasting resplendent with luxurious global ingredients. Both exhibit thoughtful technique with Mediterranean dishes that play with Spanish and Japanese flavors. Opah crudo arrives as a unique and very beautiful arrangement beneath micro herbs, trout roe, pomegranate arils, shaved persimmon, toasted rice and beads of quince jam. To the contrary, the straightforward appearance of dry-aged beef almost undermines this beguiling and complex array of mineral-rich, perfectly cooked tenderloin and ribeye. It is served on a creamy pool of buttermilk potato purée with caramelized roasted carrot and pleasantly bitter kale and cress coulis.
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