Last week I received an invitation to the VIP Preview of the new Paul Martin’s American Grill in Mountain View this past weekend (which opens officially today at 3pm). I decided to check it out with a two of my friends. I chose to preview dinner on Saturday evening, even though lunch was also an option.
We arrived a bit early for our 7pm reservation. Walking up, we noticed there was a valet parking station (only $5) as well as a patio dining area. The patio looked inviting and I made a mental note to check it out when it’s open and a bit warmer out. Walking inside, the restaurant is dimly lit, which I found to be inviting. While waiting for our table to become available, I floated around the dining area to briefly chat with a few people I recognized. On the left side of the restaurant, circular booths lined the exterior of with wooden tables in the middle and the kitchen area straight ahead. It was very easy to navigate through the roomy seating area.
When our time came, we were seated at one of those booths on the left side, which was very roomy (I mention roomy because, as a non-skinny woman, this is important). We were greeted by our server as well as several members of the staff, all making sure we felt welcomed. After we ordered drinks and appetizers, I decided to check out the right side of the restaurant, where the full bar was located. This side was less formal and designed for drinks and mingling. The bar runs about a third of the width of the restaurant with seating. There is also a long bar-type table with ample seating, a few more booths and table seating.
Heading back to my booth, I saw a colorful drink sitting on the bar. I asked the bartender, Steve, what it was: a Meyer Lemon Drop. I requested one but couldn’t remember the name of my server when asked. Kenny, the bar staff trainer, then handed it to me and said “enjoy!” Brownie points earned.
Back at the booth, our appetizers arrived: Butternut squash soup, Castroville Artichoke, Town Dock Calamari and Salt & Pepper Wild Prawns. Everything was delicious and plentiful. The calamari and prawns were warm and crispy. One appetizer can easily be shared with one or two others. We barely finished them among the three of us.
Soon after, our entrees arrived: I had the Braised Short Ribs while my guests had the Cedar Plank Salmon and the Linguini with prawns (though I can’t find it listed on the online menu). We also ordered a side of the Mac & Cheese with crispy prosciutto. Again, we ordered not realizing how generous the portions would be. There were no complaints at our table. The braised short ribs were the best I’ve had, next to Vaso Azzurro in downtown Mountain View. The mashed potatoes that came with it were airy, which we all loved. The linguini dish came with twelve prawns, which we thought was unheard of (but welcomed!). The cedar plank salmon was nicely seasoned and well cooked.
We were so full that we opted to skip dessert, but saw others around us enjoying a crumble that simply looked amazing. We made a note to come back and try it.
Overall, the atmosphere, food and service and Paul Martin’s were amazing. I should also note that everything is prepared onsite, including the butchering of meat.
I recommend trying out Paul Martin’s when you have a chance. My friends and I will drop by again this week to check out their Happy Hour.