PALO ALTO RESTAURANTS IN YELP TOP #25
Yelp has become an integral tool for those who love food. Many foodies first visit Yelp to find out what others are saying about local eateries, making dining decisions based on Yelp reviews. Yelp recently used these reviews and ratings to arrive at the top-rated restaurants in the Silicon Valley and beyond. Their recent Top 25 Restaurants in the Bay Area included two notable eateries in Palo Alto: Evvia Estiatorio and Zola, which ranked #17 and #25 respectively.
420 Emerson Street, Palo Alto
Making the #17 spot on Yelp’s list is Evvia Estiatorio, which serves Greek fare accentuated by “the wealth of fresh California produce, meats and seafood.” Driven by the Greek hospitality of “making a stranger a friend,” Evvia’s old world atmosphere is abundant with warmth, the wine flows freely and the food embodies “Greek food with grace and gusto,” says Zagat.
Evvia gets its name after the largest island in Greece and brings to its menu traditional Greek ingredients, dishes, flavors and preparation but with a modern bent. According to Evvia’s website, their menu “features many of the most sought-after traditional Aegean dishes, as well as selections which have been modernized through the innovative blending of cultures and techniques.” In short, foodies are sure to find old and new favorites every time they dine here.
Evvia’s Michelin guide review also speaks highly of the eatery:
“You’ll feel like Adonis after ascending to the heights of this culinary Olympus, which serves some of the best Hellenic fare in the entire Bay Area. Inviting and cozy with its rustic wood beams, hanging copper pots, and roaring wood-burning fireplace, this Greek God’s central Palo Alto location is a draw for local techies and VCs by day, and couples or families in the evening. Much of the menu emerges from the wood-fired grill, including smoky, tender artichoke and eggplant skewers drizzled in olive oil and paired with garlicky Greek yogurt. The rustic, impossibly moist lamb souvlaki is nicely contrasted by a refreshing tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad. For dessert, pumpkin cheesecake is subtle, sweet, and accented with syrup-poached chunks of pumpkin.”
Evvia’s chef, Mario Ortega, has an impressive culinary resume, including Kokkari Estiatoria, Evvia’s sister restaurant in San Francisco, which ranked #9 on Yelp’s Top 25 list.
Evvia Estiatorio Hours:
Weekdays Only 11:30am – 2:00pm
Mon-Thu 5:30pm – 10:00pm
Fri 5:30pm – 11:00pm
Sat 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Sun 5:00pm – 9:00pm
565 Bryant Street, Palo Alto
Named for French writer Émile Zola, chef Guillaume Bienaime opened Zola in 2014. He shared its step-by-step creation on Twitter and Instagram, from the initial permitting process to the arrival of the custom polished white oak tables. The French bistro is Bienaime’s first restaurant but he is by no means a novice in the culinary industry. Growing up in both France and America, Bienaime was introduced at an early age to “the conviviality brought on by good food and wine.” Former chef at Portola Kitchen and Menlo Park’s Marché, Zola blends the best of France and California cuisine, topping it with a welcoming dollop of geniality.
Zola’s menu centers around comforting French food with a distinct contemporary California flair. Dishes vary by season to take advantage of the freshest, most bountiful local produce and meats available. Accenting Zola’s menu is its thoughtfully selected French and California wine list (including vintages from Santa Cruz Mountain wineries) and intimate, hospitable atmosphere.
The Michelin Guide has this to say about Zola:
“A Palo Alto sparkler, Zola charms its way into diners’ hearts via a seductive French bistro menu with Californian flair. Whether you’re spreading smoky salmon rillettes on toasted artisan levain, twirling pillowy caramelized ricotta gnocchi into the yolk of a soft-cooked egg in brown butter, or tucking into exquisite roasted pork loin and belly over Brussels sprouts and apple, you’re sure to fall hard for the food. The stylish space updates a few classics (wood tables, bistro chairs, pressed ceilings) with a dark teal color scheme and enticingly low lighting, and the well-chosen wine list is equal parts Gallic and Golden State. Crème caramel for dessert may be traditional, but it’s also perfectly golden-brown and decadently creamy.”
Says Mercury News contributor, Jennifer Graue, “Bienaime clearly has poured his heart and soul into Zola. That, coupled with his talent as a chef, makes each meal here memorable.”
Based on these two reviews alone, it is obvious why Zola made Yelp’s Top 25 list.
Tuesday – Thursday:
Friday & Saturday:
Sun 5:00pm – 9:00pm