After an extensive remodel, Los Gatos’ Palacio restaurant is set to open June 24. The modern Mexican/Latin restaurant, located in downtown’s historic Coggeshall mansion at 115 N. Santa Cruz Ave., replaces the late Trevese. The funeral parlor-turned-restaurant was once home to the Chart House. Dean Devincenzi, who owns Double D’s and Forbes Mill with his brother Darin Devincenzi, is opening the business with Ron Garald who is also an owner of Forbes Mill.

The restaurant held a soft opening last week, and Devincenzi said he was overwhelmed by the response. The opening was supposedly limited to friends and family, but he said he had a lot more friends and family than he realized. Devincenzi added that he and his staff are continuing to fine-tune the menu and service before they open to the general public. “There’s a lot of anticipation and that’s why we want everything to be right before we open,” he said.

The menu is the work of Manuel Martinez, the former executive chef at Palo Alto’s Reposado. Opening menus dishes include duck breast enchiladas, halibut with a pumpkin-seed crust and corn-truffle mashed potatoes, and seared day boat scallops with green rice gratin and a corn puree.

In addition to Martinez, the restaurant has made some key hires. Former Steamer’s Grillhouse general manager Greg Bardakos will serve as GM, while veteran C.B. Hannegan’s bartender Shawn Carroll will run the restaurant’s well-stocked bar. “It’s a nice little collection of people,” said Devincenzi.

Dine Downtown
Dine Downtown San Jose is about to kick off again. The annual event runs from June 22 to July 3 and is a showcase of downtown San Jose’s growing restaurant scene (see the program in this issue). It’s a great opportunity to sample a wide range of cuisine and great prices. Restaurants have created special three-course menus priced at $20, $30 and $40. Some of the dozens of participating restaurants include 19Market, the Capital Club, Morocco’s, Il Fornaio, Arcadia, Mezcal and Pho 69.

One of the coolest parts of the event is City Bites, an appetizer of what’s to come. On June 22, 4-6pm, a select group of restaurants will offer bite-size samples of what they do best. The idea is you walk around town and graze as you go plotting which restaurants you’ll come back to visit for a full dinner during Dine Downtown. And, oh yeah. It’s free. Some of the participating restaurants include Azucar Latin Restaurant and Lounge, Emile’s, Billy Berk’s, House of Siam, Morton’s steakhouse and Tengu Sushi.