The better-beer scene continues its ascent in the South Bay with Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant in downtown Mountain View set to open March 28. There will be wine and cocktails, but the primary focus will be on high-quality beers. Steins will feature 30 taps and a menu of modern American comfort food crafted by executive chef and Bay Area native Colby Reade.
Owner and South Bay native Ted Kim is a beer enthusiast; he tells me that Steins is a salute to the traditional German beer halls and gardens, which he experienced during his travels throughout Europe’s premier beer cities. Designed by architect Marc Dimalanta, Steins features a 300-seat, 8,000-square-foot domed interior room and a 4,000-square-foot outdoor patio.
Ted, with his contagious positive energy, says that he can’t wait for folks to check out the “in-your-face, custom-made walk-in cooler” next to the main bar. Guests can gaze at the unique direct-draw draft system—the tap handles are connected to the kegs, eliminating draft lines and helping to keep the beer at the highest quality and freshness levels. Having 30 draft beers is a manageable number for staff, Ted says: “I want them to know exactly what we’re serving. I want to be able to give genuine beer recommendations, so ongoing beer education will be important.”
The food will have a local, farm-to-table emphasis according to chef Reade, and everything will be made in-house, including breads and pretzels. Because of the generous kitchen space, there will also be in-house charcuterie, butchery and pickling programs. “We want to make food as fresh as the beer is,” says Reade, who embraces beer’s versatility in food pairing.
Some examples from the tidy menu of 25 items include pork belly poutine and short-rib sliders for appetizers; smoked albacore and spinach salad; fried chicken and waffle sandwich; the Steins burger; house-made pastrami; pan-roasted game hen with creamy polenta; and grilled, black sea bass and herbed lentils. There will also be vegetarian options and bar snacks consisting of homemade corn nuts and deviled eggs, to name a couple.
Ted wanted to open something like Steins a number of years ago and considered locations in the San Francisco and Oakland areas that already had places with great beer programs, but he knew that he had to stay in the South Bay. “I’m a local kid. I grew up here. I really know this place.”
Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant
895 Villa St., Mountain View; steinsbeergarden.com