Saturday, December 17, 2011

Steamers Grillhouse, Los Gatos, CA

It has been a very exciting week for me.  For the first time ever, I was given an overseas assignment for work.  It involved a flying trip (in every way) to San Jose, California in the United States.  And I had the most amazing time - probably the best week of my working life, ever!

My colleagues and I stayed at The Toll House in Los Gatos, and for dinner the first night, we chose a restaurant close by from a list provided by the hotel.  That restaurant was Steamers Grillhouse,  primarily a seafood and steak establishment, in the Old Town.  My colleagues and I were joined for dinner by one of our hosts for the next day.

Here is our menu on the night:

For a starter, I naturally chose oysters "au naturel", served with salsa, horseradish and lemon the side: 

These oysters were attractively served, but they seemed to have been overwashed, as there was a lot of water in the shells, and much of the salty taste of the sea had been lost.  This meant that the salsa came in handy to add some flavour back.

Jeff chose the tuna tartare served on sesame crackers:

It was a very impressive looking dish, especially with the black and plain sesame seeds.

James selected the crispy calamari with garlic and chive aioli:

I wasn't game to ask my colleagues how their meals were (they were very tolerant of my food photo taking), so there was no way I was going to turn the conversation to their impressions of their meals.  Both looked good though.

For mains, I ordered grilled salmon with seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes, with tartare sauce:

This meal was quite delicious, and the salmon was cooked to perfection.

Jeff chose the scallops with mushroom risotto:

I adore scallops, so I am sure that this meal would have tasted as good as it looked.  I was impressed by the size of the scallops, as we generally only get tiny ones here.

Moving on to desserts, Jeff ordered the tiramisu:

Isn't this the best-presented tiramisu you have ever seen?  I adore the chocolate basket in which the tiramisu is encased.

Simon, from our host company, ordered the apple charlotte: 

I could not resist the pumpkin bread pudding with caramel-pecan topping and vanilla bean icecream:

I had to try this dessert as the pumpkin-pecan-caramel combination is very American, and where better to try this than in America?  It was tasty, especially the icecream and topping, but the pumpkin custard-soaked brioche was very heavy, and I could not finish it after the other two courses (not to mention the flight lounge and in-flight catering before that).

There is of course a full selection of alcoholic beverages at Steamers.  We shared a bottle of white from Decoy Wines in the Napa Valley, but I can't remember for the life of me exactly what it was (perhaps the Sauvignon Blanc?) - I am surprised I remember anything at all, as at 9pm California time, after a 14 hour flight to LA then another hour to San Jose, I hit the wall and began to fall asleep - oops.  Sorry guys, it was not the company, it had just been a long day (in fact, two days - this was our second Tuesday after crossing the date line).

I liked the atmosphere at Steamers - it was friendly and relaxed.  Our wait staff were attentive and lovely, even when James asked the trainee waitress why fish in Afghanistan are more expensive on Thursday - the poor girl looked puzzled, as I am still!

Steamer's Grillhouse
31 University Ave - Old Town
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Ph +1 408.395.CRAB (2722)


Kayte said...

Wow, you are getting closer to getting to my neck of the woods...well, okay, still a half a continent away, but at least it is the same continent!!! I love the posts after you go to great restaurants and show us what all you and your dining party had to much fun to see it all and hear about it! Work on getting to central parts of the United States, okay? Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Detroit all very good and we could meet up for a meal or chat, Indianapolis and you can stay with me! :-)

Cakelaw said...

Hi Kayte, would love that! Not sure that work will come to the party, but I would love to come on a holiday to the US sometime soonish - and I have never been to Illinois.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great restaurant! Sounds like you enjoyed your time state-side!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

ooh how exciting! I used to love travelling for business because they would take you out to nice places. Or give you an allowance too!

Johanna GGG said...

oooh you are moving up in the world - I hope you took some of your home baking to convince them that you should return - and brought me back some of that bread pudding - sounds delicious

Lauren said...

The food looks delicious! Pumpkin, pecan and caramel is terribly American. All those flavors together scream "Thanksgiving." :-)

Fourteen-hour flights are too long, though. Our flight from Houston to Paris was thirteen hours. I'm hoping next time we go to Europe we can break it up by staying in New York for a couple of days on the way there and on the way back! No wonder you were exhausted.

Amanda said...

Lucky you - what a great trip. Thanks for sharing your dinner with us!

Cakelaw said...

Lauren, I am with you. It would take over 20 hours for me to go to Paris.