[Portola Valley, CA] Portola Kitchen

Had a quick lunch at Portola Kitchen in Portola Valley. Guillaume Bienaime, most recently of Zola and formerly of Marche, used to run the place. Now under a new chef, I am curious to see how the food is.

Lumache con pesto e salsiccia- Pasta is housemade. Came with what tasted like fennel-basil sausage, pesto from kale, chili flakes & pecorino. The pasta had a bit of good chew. Though preferred it to be cooked half a minute less and a little more firm. The pesto, cool and savory at the same time, coated the lumache generously. Preferred it to have a bit more herbs in the taste though overall the dish tasted pretty nice to me. Apples to oranges but I like this lumache better than the one at Vina Enoteca.

The house bread was bland and unremarkable, though its good for mopping up the pesto.

For those who work/ live near 280, this seems like it can be a decent option since restaurants are sparse nearby. Though this comment is obviously based on a very limited sample size. Price reflects what the local demographics is willing to bear.

Has anyone been recently?

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Mafalda alla bolognese- well textured pasta with a mellow and well-flavored ragu. The pasta could be a bit more al dente. Looks like the kitchen likes their pasta a little softer. Maybe I should pipe up when I order next time.

Magherita was alright. Cheese was very chewy. Pie needed a little more time in the oven, and more basil. We sure got spoiled by Napoletana Pizzeria. PK’s pasta offering so far is stronger.

I used to like Donato Enoteca’s pasta more. But a recent meal disappointed. Need to try iTalico next- has anyone been?

So far PK’s pasta has been quite solid. Not quite Belloti-good, but decent locally.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2