My wife and I flew into San Jose for a 2 day work related visit on a Monday ( Labor Day ) recently. We had already decided where we wanted to have dinner both evenings but daaaah forgot that there are small local businesses that like to give their workers the day off. First up the coffee shop where we intended to have lunch was closed and then after checking further we found out the restaurant where we intended to have dinner on Monday evening was also closed.
We found another coffee shop open but what could we do for dinner tonight. Then we remembered that 2 Apple IT dudes sitting next to us at a restaurant on our previous trip recommended a place called Mount Hamilton Grandview Restaurant. They said it had incredible views and the a la carte menu was very good though a little pricey. What a great idea so we phoned ahead and sure enough they would be open. We managed to secure a reservation at 5pm.
We jumped in our rental SUV and headed off into unknown territory. Higher and higher went the windy road……Red Tailed Hawks and maybe even Eagles were appearing overhead everywhere and the narrow road was getting scarier by the minute. Eventually we arrived just before 5pm and parked our car out front. It certainly looked a grand old structure with a gob smacking view of half the planet. We wandered around outside for a bit looking for viewing hotspots and then entered through the front door.
A lot of old world charm going on…..baby grand piano in the corner near the bar. Mmmm maybe they have live music. We fronted at the host desk and a gentleman noted our reservation….turns out he was the owner Giuseppe Carrubba and he handed us over to Ilya the restaurant GM who showed us to a table with a view to die for. There were a cluster of diners already seated at tables not far from us but overall the restaurant was mostly empty at this early time.
A smartly dressed server named Christian came by our table to take our order. We needed some time to digest their dinner menu so I ordered a Grandview IPA after Christian had offered to fetch me a sample. They didn’t have much of a choice in craft beer sadly. It’s all about cocktails these days ! After a few minutes we worked out our choices for dinner. I chose a serve of Calamari Con Limone for my appetizer and my wife ordered Fresh Maine Lobster Ravioli for her entree.
I ordered the Filet Mignon….medium well done which came by itself ( a la carte ) so I needed something with it and selected a side of Smashed Potatoes. My IPA beer tasted ok….nothing extraordinary. Giuseppe the owner came by to have a bit of a chat with us and kindly posed for pics with us. My Calamari hit the table and tasted pretty good…my wife didn’t care for my Calamari appetizer because it could interfere with her dessert ambitions. Giuseppe told us his piano player wasn’t well…hence no live music tonight.
Our entrees arrived together and looked splendid. My Filet Mignon was cooked exactly the way I wanted and the Smashed Potatoes tasted very nice….my wife pinched a fair few. A lot more people were milling into the restaurant around 6pm and a nice mixture of background music was oozing out of their sound system. My wife was happy with her Lobster Ravioli….it was good enough. I quite enjoyed my Filet Mignon even though I rarely eat beef steaks these days.
We had earlier looked at the dessert menu online and it looked acceptable. We seldom dine at restaurants without a good dessert menu. It is half the fun ! My wife chose the Butterscotch Budino because it sounded interesting. I was surprised she didn’t go for the Chocolate Torte. In the meantime I ordered another beer…a Golden Road Brewery Hefeweizen from L.A and it tasted very nice. My wife wasn’t overly fussed on her Butterscotch Budino because she thought the flavor was not intense enough.
The sun had set and the horizon looked astounding. The ever smiling Giuseppe took a few photos of us together on the patio. We bid goodbye to our server Christian, restaurant GM Ilya and of course the charismatic owner Giuseppe who kindly walked us to the front door and thanked us profusely for coming to dinner. Then we jumped in our SUV and headed back down the dark and windy mountain road. We thought this was a very interesting restaurant in a beautiful location !