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News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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French delights emerge from Beausejour


What really defines a French restaurant is not the service or the décor, but the food. Beauséjour Restaurant Francais in Los Altos serves French classics such as carre d'agneau, canard a' l'orange and ris de veau maison in the finest culinary tradition.

William and Anh Yee have operated Beauséjour in the same location since 1986. William as the chef brings passion and flair to the cuisine. Anh greets customers and ensures discrete and professional service.

Although Beauséjour specializes in classic French dishes, it has modified recipes to reflect contemporary California tastes by reducing the use of butter and cream sauces.

"Food is prepared in more of a healthy style. People ask for steamed vegetables and broiled fish," William said. "People ask for no salt, and that is no problem. The menu is changed four times a year and features items the customers request."

Other changes have occurred over the 16 years since Beauséjour opened.

"The economy was better when we opened, the food cost less and the rent was much lower in those days," William said. "We had a piano bar, but those are passé now."

One very evident difference is the type of alcohol which complements meals. When the Yees opened, diners typically ordered a cocktail before and during dinner. Today, wine has replaced the cocktail.

"Women used to drink white zinfandel or rosé wines. Now they prefer chardonnay," Anh said.

The current menu features frog's legs, escargots, scampi and a great Caesar salad. But I have been searching for onion soup the way I like it for years. Beauséjour's soup a l'oignon gratinee is a treasure.

Bite-sized onions, not overcooked; a good brown broth, not overpowered by salt; crowned by a crusty cheese and baked with submerged croutons recalled my memories with its flavor. Every French household has its own interpretation, and every French restaurant diner has his or her personal favorite; and I like the Beauséjour combination.

Recently, I had the pleasure of enjoying dinner for eight in one of the smaller banquet rooms where different entrées were served, including duck, sweetbreads and lamb.

The ris de veau maison, veal sweetbreads, are served with puff pastry, carrots and champignons. They can be sautéed, braised, poached, grilled or fried. A la carte, $17.95.

William ensures a crisp outer skin without sacrificing the inner moisture for his canard a' l'orange or duck by scoring it before baking to the requested medium or medium rare. A la carte, $20.95.

The carre d'agneau, lamb, is served with scalloped potato, asparagus and roasted garlic sauce. A la carte, $23.95.

The soufflé grand marnier furnishes a feast for the senses. It must be ordered when you sit down to be ready for dessert, but it's worth the wait and the reasonable $8.95 price.

William admitted he watches food programs on television. "I watch what foods they focus on. I like the Iron Chef. Never met him, but I will someday," said William. "I really don't have the time, but we joined the Asian Chef Association in San Francisco."

Many of the Yee's customers are middle-aged or older; but there is a trend for couples in their 30s choosing Beauséjour for special occasions.

The restaurant flourished during the '80s when it was the favorite of the new breed of executives from companies like Apple, Intel and Tandem; now they tend to be from H-P, Synopsys and Loral.

"We still have diplomats and ambassadors come in with their bodyguards," Anh said.

Beauséjour offers an executive lunch, with a choice of pasta, chicken, salad or ravioli, for under $10.

The sunset, or early bird two-course dinner is $16.95 and includes six different entrée items and salad or soup du jour.

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