Restaurant roundup: Tea, coffee shops open; Persian on the horizon

Photos by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Tre Monti, left, the Italian restaurant on Los Altos’ Main Street, opened over the holidays. Rose Market, right, a Middle Eastern grocery and deli, awaits its reopening in Mountain View.

Long-awaited eating establishments opened throughout Los Altos over the holiday season, ranging from bubble tea to Venezuelan fare. But one anticipated Persian eatery remains a work in progress.

Brut IPAs combine Champagne dryness with IPA hop intensity

Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco’s Social Kitchen and Brewery, the originator of the Brut IPA style, produces Puttin’ on the Spritz.

Brut IPA is a relatively new beer style, developed in late 2017 by Kim Sturdavant of San Francisco’s Social Kitchen and Brewery.

Indulgent dessert: Panna cotta with a wholesome, nutty twist

Rita Held/Special to the Town Crier
Refresh the Italian treat panna cotta with the addition of dark chocolate and pecans.

A new year often means it’s time to try something different, whether it’s travel, an exercise plan, a wine or cooking up something new in the kitchen.

Ice cream innovator offers stories in a scoop

salt straw eliza
Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier 
Salt & Straw's Tyler Malek visited Palo Alto to launch a new location for the ice creamery, and December's holiday flavors. 

A special source, ingredient or pairing can transform a recipe from food to story. During the holiday season, people pay tribute to family or faith when they dust off an ancient cookie recipe or heat oil for the sufganiyot. Tyler Malek, the ice cream creator for Salt & Straw, mused on the idea of storytelling in the kitchen in an exclusive Town Crier interview at the innovative ice cream shop’s new Palo Alto location, which opened three weeks ago. 

Seasonal brews make your feast more festive

Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
Gnoel de Abbey from The Lost Abbey in San Marcos is billed as a “holiday brown ale.”

Sure, you can enjoy a nice bottle of wine with your holiday feast, but why not enjoy some delightful winter seasonal craft brews from California instead?

Homemade halawa makes a sweet holiday gift

Courtesy of Blanche Shaheen
Halawa, a sweet sesame seed paste confection, makes a tasty holiday gift.

When my mother was a young girl living in Bethlehem, chocolates and other candies were a luxury. So she ate halawa, a sweet also known as halva, a sesame seed paste confection that almost has the consistency of chocolate fudge.

Halawa means “sweet” in Arabic, and this confection is not only sweet, but also packed with calcium, magnesium, fiber and antioxidants. Halawa is ubiquitous all over the Middle East, from Syria to Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon.

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