On the weekends it seems that the entire village of Los Gatos spills itself onto the streets to roam, shop and, most of all, lunch. Tucked just behind the bustling main drag of the historic eastside, Tapestry restaurant offers an oasis of charm and casual elegance, whether it’s for wine tasting, coffee and dessert or a full-on lunch.
After a morning of combing through Los Gatos antique boutiques, my friend Angela and I were ravenous. I’ve always enjoyed savoring the artwork punctuating the walls at Tapestry, and last weekend was no exception. Clustered around the chic main bar area were landscapes that might have been painted from the restaurant’s patio.
Tapestry’s excellent lunch menu offered almost too many mouth-watering choices. Finally, we decided to splurge on glasses of vibrant Leceranas Garnacha ($8) and a Caesar salad ($8) to start things off. The bold pepper- and berry-laden Grenache made an admirable partner for the garlic and olive-oiled greens.
The cozy deck seating offered plenty of privacy for conversation, or for soaking up the landscape around this charming California Craftsman dining spot. Our salads provided an unusual blend of grilled and fresh romaine mingled with croutons and grated Parmesan. The grilling deepened the springtime flavor of the lettuce, and we enjoyed every bite, partnered with fat slabs of sourdough slathered with a bit more butter than was absolutely necessary.
At exactly the right moment, a staff member cleared our plates and swiftly produced our main courses. Tapestry sidesteps tricky trends, offering a carefully constructed menu of California classics instead. Their pastas and risottos, seafood and grilled steaks all sounded equally tempting. But in the end we each selected one of the house specialty sandwiches, a Kobe beef burger (not named after anyone playing for the Lakers) for me and a Mediterranean-esque Pan Bagna of poached tuna, green beans and sliced egg for my friend Angie ($14).
This beautifully-presented sandwich, served on lightly toasted focaccia, was close to being a Nicoise salad on a roll. It was accompanied by a thicket of delicious caramelized onions and an organic green salad with a mysteriously sweet dressing, and was quite satisfying. In between the two slices of bread was olive oil-poached tuna, beans and tomatoes, strewn with feisty capers and hard-boiled eggs with lots of pesto to moisten every bite.
My burger ($15) arrived on a thick rectangular bun, the kind that defies access unless the top half is removed. The patty itself was also fashioned into a big, serious rectangle and was cooked, unfortunately, just past the desired medium-rare point. However, the presence of world-class French fries more than made up for any “beef” with the beef. These were frites worthy of any Parisien brasserie, frites that practically demanded to be eaten. We obeyed.
Dessert was another tough call. On offer, was chocolate cake, pot de creme, and bread pudding among others—all favorites that no one in their right mind could pass up. Finally, a lemon brulee tart, topped with fresh strawberry, whipped cream and raspberry sauce made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. A decadent metaphor for spring, this dessert was nothing short of stupendous ($8). No, it was even better. This dessert did something few pastries manage—it tasted as good as it looked. Lemons, cream and fresh, ripe strawberries form an unholy trinity when combined in just the right proportions and Tapestry’s kitchen worked actual magic with this creation. The crust was light and crisp, the interior replete with intense lemon flavor. Even the raspberry puree calligraphy decorating the plate brought a distinctive, sweet-tart top note to the dish. Can we say “destination dessert?” Of course we can.