In the socioeconomic jungle that is the Silicon Valley, a relatively innocuous road in Menlo Park, dotted with inconspicuous buildings, can be credited with giving life to what Silicon Valley is known for worldwide: its startup culture. Sand Hill Road is the boulevard for the who’s who of venture capitalist firms.

But also along this same road, past Stanford Mall, is another open secret: the gorgeous Rosewood Sand Hill hotel, a luxury resort with beautiful views and a landscape hidden from the beaten path. It’s easy to fall in love with Rosewood’s privatized luxury; it’s like an Aspen getaway without any of the cold or altitude. Better still: visiting the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant Madera, which is Spanish for “wood.”

Madera has been unintentionally shrouded in the mystery that is Menlo Park, Sand Hill Road and the Rosewood. Having been a past recipient of the coveted Michelin star—and after regaining that star in 2017—not much has been publicized about this highly deserving restaurant. Much of the dining public has been missing out on thoughtfully executed, yet approachable, seasonal dishes.

Luckily in the Bay Area, we still enjoy a brief Indian summer period where the summer’s bounty of tomatoes, corn and grapes is still available. In a recent visit exclusive to media, Madera showcased these ingredients in their appetizers. Heirloom cherry tomatoes were served with aerated burrata ($16) the consistency of whipped cream, bringing a special twist to a summer classic. Sweet-corn-stuffed agnolotti were heavenly pockets topped with wild mushrooms and a treat of shaved burgundy truffles ($20). Slightly tart and creamy fromage blanc was accompanied in each bite by slices of fantasy grapes and golden beets ($15).

As a recipient of Wine Spectator’s 2016 Award of Excellence, Madera also offers a meticulously curated selection of wines to pair with their dishes. The above-mentioned appetizers were paired with Val de Mer rosé ($20 a glass), San Fabiano Calcinaia ($15) and Marco Felluga pinot grigio ($14), respectively.

Within the privacy of spaced-out tables and the dining room’s vaulted ceilings, it’s easy to forget the level of ritziness and accolades Madera has received. The staff is friendly and professional, and most diners come dressed casually though neat; trousers for men and at least a nice blouse are recommended for women. The ingredients, of course, are more local than exotic, and the entrees were even more impressive than the appetizers.

Pillowy Yukon Gold gnocchi ($32) with a striped green citrusy tomato, fennel and pine nuts made an exquisite vegetarian option. This was paired with Ernest Vineyards pinot noir ($24), a subtle, fruitier type of red. A full-bodied syrah from Jean Louis Chave ($24) came with the gamey Liberty Farms duck ($38). The strip of pink peppercorn-crusted duck breast was cooked medium rare, along with a crispy confit leg, and they were accompanied by figs two ways (balsamic and raw), braised Treviso radicchio and crushed hazelnuts.

The most memorable dish of the night was olive oil poached halibut ($37), which appeared misleadingly plain and glistening on a plate with shelling beans, charred zucchini and pickled ramps. One bite, however, revealed the silky slivers of pure halibut flavor untouched and yet enhanced by the olive oil poach, a technique in which the fish is submerged in an oil olive bath and cooked under a low temperature in the oven. This was paired with a light Tyler chardonnay ($19).

After two courses of three dishes each, it is difficult to save room for dessert. But at a Michelin-star meal, one simply must make room for it. We enjoyed the coconut sorbet with finger lime pearls ($12) with a thin layer of mango passion fruit jam, airy pistachio sponge and lemongrass chantilly cream. The combination may not sound complimentary but it’s actually a perfect grouping. Also make room for the expertly balanced sweetness of Jorge Ordonez “Victoria” muscat from Spain ($12).

And then make room yet again for the second dessert of Tory Farms Peach Melba ($12), a classic dessert of peaches, ice cream and berry sauce. Madera’s version uses vanilla brulee, raspberry coulis and peach sorbet. The refreshing dessert was served with a sweeter Donnafugata “Ben Rye” Pantelleria ($23) dessert wine to round out the meal.

Little hype has surrounded Madera in the manner given to its Michelin Guide peers, yet at any given time the Rosewood is lively and Madera has patrons enjoying a meal or drinks. The hilly views can be seen only after entering the hotel and particularly from the patio of the restaurant. In a way, this makes the restaurant more inviting—a hidden gem to be discovered. What diners may find here, other than a delicious meal, is that the restaurant is approachable, not at all exclusive to the VC crowd.

2825 Sand Hill Rd, Menlo Park