Village California Bistro and Bar - Santana Row (San Jose)

When it comes to an upscale area full of shopping and good food, Santana Row in san jose steals the show. This small street is lined with beautiful shops on both sides and quaint yet inviting restaurants that can fulfill any culinary urge! Decked among these is the only independently-owned Village Bistro and Bar that offers the finest and freshest local ingredients in a culturally diverse menu that reflects the personality of our region. If you are looking for a fresh take on taste and presentation on californian cuisine, Village California Bistro is a place you should not miss. With a great location, admirable food and the most eclectic wine list in the South Bay, this place will make you feel right at home!

Located right in the middle of Santana Row, The Village California Bistro is walking distance to numerous hot spots on the street. We went there for an early dinner with a reservation, which was good, as it does get crowded at times. The place is small and quaint, and though the ambience was relaxing, I think the lighting was too dim; just a little more bright would only have made it more appealing. They are open for Lunch and Dinner and offer a special Brunch Menu on weekends, which looked pretty interesting. They have a bar seating on the right side, and a wonderful outside and shaded side-patio seating which is perfect for sunny days! The decor of the place was soothing, and each table has a neatly folded square piece of paper which is actually the Menu- pretty cool and different, I liked the style!

True to its California Bistro theme, the menu has several options with regional favorites combined with classic and some fusion elements. It has a wide choice for both vegetarians and the meat-lovers alike. The portions are small, especially if you are comparing them to generous servings in indian or italian restaurants, so be prepared to order an entree per person, unless you have a really small appetite. But the dishes are reasonably-priced, comparing with the other places in Santana Row. We had the Housemade Tortellini and Spring Garlic Soup which were just fabulous; we ordered the Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna and the Grilled Asparagus Spears, while our friends had the Linguine Clamps and the Oven-roasted Salmon- all food was cooked fresh and was aromatically spiced with herbs and sauces. They have variations in the menu for weekend brunches, so we are definitely trying those next time.

The wine selection is huge, and if its California wine (from the wine country itself), you know you can't go wrong! The desserts were good, we could barely share the Sunken Hazelnut Belgian Chocolate Brownie which was awesome! They do charge $2.00 extra for split/sharing orders (kind of strange, huh!), but that's printed on the menu in fine print, so don't be shocked! So far so good, and now a look at a few things that I'd like to be changed. The staff is coureous, but the service is slow, and the food takes a really long time to come! I'd like to think its because they make everything fresh, and it gives us time to enjoy and converse, but a little faster service would get it more followers. And I don't think its a place young kids would enjoy. Maybe the patio for brunches, yes, but the restaurant is more suited to private, romantic dinners rather than a group of boisterous people.

Overall, we did like the food at Villge Bistro, and though we may not visit it as often as Amber Indian Restaurant, its definitely a nice place to enjoy authentic and fresh californian food around the Santana Row area.

Village California Bistro & Wine Bar in San Jose

378 Santana Row
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 248-9091
Village Bistro and Bar

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Anonymous said...

I agree, this is a great place for some nice food in santana row, and me and my wife especially love the side patio in summer!:)


Arundathi said...

I used to love hanging out at the coffee shop and people-watching in between all the window shopping! I remember Cazuelas - a nice little Mexican place.

Jan Scholl said...

It's snowing here in Michigan and this would never happen here even in summer. the local governements have something about outside dining-like we can't handle it. this would be divine right about now.

Anonymous said...

Sitting outside is nice. However I've found their food to be a bit mundane and uneven -- haven't been in a while. Perhaps things have changed.

Though -- they sometimes have "winemakers" dinners which are pretty darn good.