14 Dec Lunch in Los Gatos at The Catamount
The first time I went to Los Gatos was when my friend and I rushed to the Michelin-rated Manresa to enjoy their “Bar Bites” menu before heading to catch our flight out of the San Jose Airport. As we drove into the town on our single-minded mission, I made a mental note of how adorable the town of Los Gatos looked and how I wanted to go back. And I finally did!
In between events in San Francisco, I headed south to Redwood Shores (20 minutes north of Palo Alto) to visit friends. When I was invited to check out The Catamount, I thought it was a perfect chance to return to Los Gatos. Little did I know that Los Gatos is a good 45 minute drive from Redwood Shores but thankfully my friend was a good sport and willing to drive.
We entered the charming town of Los Gatos where the streets are lined with shops and pulled into the lot where The Catamount is located.
Opened in May of 2017, The Catamount is a very large (10,000 square feet), bright and airy space with a beautiful Carrera marble bar welcoming you at the entrance and a warm, modern comfortable overall feeling. The historic building dates back to 1923 and the name The Catamount is a combination of “the cats” (translated from Los Gatos) and the Santa Cruz Mountains, which can be seen from the windows in the restaurant.
There are five dining rooms, including “the library” where there is a roaring fire. We took our seat in the main dining room at a table looking out to the walking trail and mountains.
The upscale comfort food menu was enticing and my friend and I wanted to order almost everything on the menu. We decided that in order to try a lot of different flavors, we would start with multiple appetizers.
Deviled Eggs with smoked Idaho trout – I have not seen smoked trout on a deviled egg before but really liked the combination. It was not too smoky and did not overpower the deviled egg and was a tasty bite to start our lunch.
Spiced Lamb Meatballs with tomato ginger chutney and minted yogurt – The lamb meatballs were so delicate but it was the tomato ginger chutney that stole the show. It was so delicious that once we finished the meatballs, we dipped our bread in the sauce and used spoons to just enjoy it like a soup.
Ahi Tuna Poke with cucumber, citrus, avocado and sesame dressing and taro chips – Tuna poke is a pretty classic dish but the super tart grapefruit added an nice touch to balance the creamy avocado and spicy chili.
Autumn Squash Soup with wild mushrooms, spiced yogurt and pistachio oil – A rich, flavorful soup with a bit of spicy heat, it was prefect for a cold Fall day and for each bite we took, we liked the soup more and more. There were so many spices in the soup that we kept trying to figure out what we were tasting. The mushrooms and small pieces of pistachio added texture.
After filling up on the appetizer dishes, we were trying to decide if we wanted to order main dishes. While we were tempted by the grilled fish sandwich and the beef brisket bollito (stew), we were so content from our first dishes that we decided to skip to dessert. And, personally, I am quite happy to make a meal out of numerous appetizers.
Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich – The dark chocolate brownie cookie was chewy and reminiscent of a classic ice cream sandwich. The brownie is so thinly sliced that you taste the chocolate but just slightly. The spiced pumpkin ice cream was creamy and delicious. Topped with creme Chantilly, it tasted like a frozen pumpkin pie, my favorite holiday dessert
Mexican Chocolate Molten Cake with cinnamon caramel and almond Chantilly cream – As my dining companion is a pastry chef, she was ready to pass on the molten chocolate cake for dessert, thinking it was a slightly outdated dessert. But, she agreed that this one was a home run! After taking the first bite of the rich dark chocolate, the flavors of the spices (cinnamon, chili, allspice) lingered on the palate.
Warm Apple & Cranberry Crisp – Chunks of apple and whole cranberries are buried under warm oatmeal streusel and house-made vanilla ice cream.
After our tasty lunch, we took a walk around the charming town of Los Gatos. While I was able to spend more time there on this visit, I definitely want to return and enjoy the town more in the future, especially now that I know where to eat!
50 University Ave
Los Gatos, CA 95030