Articles & Reviews: Grand Opening
Media Contact: Julie Shenkman
Sam's Chowder House Announces
Grand Opening of Palo Alto Restaurant
New England Style Seafood now served daily for lunch and dinner on University Avenue
PALO ALTO, Calif. – (November 11, 2013) – Sam's Chowder House today announced the Grand Opening of their second restaurant, located in downtown Palo Alto at 185 University Avenue. The 120-seat restaurant reflects the core concept of the popular Half Moon Bay flagship destination, reminiscent of a New England style seafood house, with an Oyster Bar, live lobster tank, and simple, nautical décor.
Executive Chef Robert Holt leads the kitchen with a menu that features fresh, seasonal ingredients and the restaurants signature menu items such as Clam Chowder, Sam's award-winning Lobster Roll, Fish and Chips, live Maine lobster, fresh local crab, and fried calamari, as well as specialties specific to the Palo Alto location. Holt honed his skills in key leadership roles at top Bay Area restaurants such as Boulevard, Square One, Acquerello, and Oakland's Marzano restaurant where he earned a three-star review from San Francisco Chronicle critic Michael Bauer. He was also chef de cuisine for chef Melissa Kelly at Primo restaurant in Rockland, Maine. His farm-to-table approach and love of seafood can be traced back to his upbringing in rural Texas, where his father was a farmer and fisherman.
At Sam's, Chef Holt's menu showcases the natural flavors of the freshest ingredients, and all sauces, dressings, and desserts are house-made. Start with a selection from the Oyster Bar, such as Bluepoint, Kumamoto, or Malpeque oysters ($3), or dive in all the way with the sumptuous Captain's Platter, including 4 each of Oysters, Cherrystone Clams, and Chilled Shrimp, alongside Ahi Tuna Poke and Seafood Ceviche ($34.95). Enjoy a chilled appetizer of Ahi Tuna Poke, marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, green onion, and Korean chili powder ($14.95) or the House Cured Monterey Bay Sardines, with golden raisin agrodolce, castelvetrano olives, and Satsuma mandarins ($8.25). For a hot appetizer, experience the crispy delicious Blue Crab and Artichoke Fritters, with roasted tomato rémoulade sauce (12.50), or the Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels with shitake mushrooms, ginger, shallots, kale and Meyer lemon aioli ($14.95). The season's bounty is showcased in a Daylight Farms Beet Salad, with burrata, Satsuma mandarins, arugula, rosemary almonds, and Moscatel sherry vinaigrette ($9.50) or the Mixed Fall Chicory Lettuces, with Asian pear, Oregon huckleberries, toasted walnuts and Point Reyes blue cheese dressing ($9.50).
For entrees, the daily fresh catch includes an array of choices ranging from fresh Whole Maine Lobster, to Grilled Loch Duart Salmon, with red kuri pumpkin puree, roasted Brussels sprouts, and pomegranate syrup ($26.95), or California Halibut roasted "a la Plancha" with chanterelle mushrooms, braised shallots, Yukon potatoes, sherry, and arugula salsa verde ($26.95). The house specialties include Spaghetti "Vongole" with littleneck and manila clams, tomato concasse, garlic, chili and white wine ($21.50) and a Lobster Clambake for two, with a 1.5 lb Maine lobster, steamed Manila clams, PEI mussels, andouille sausage, fondant fingerling potatoes, and coleslaw (A.Q.). Meat lovers can find many choices as well, such as the Slow Roasted Pork Spare Ribs, with braised lacinato kale, roasted delicata squash, and cranberry mostarda ($18.00), or the Roasted Lemon and Rosemary Chicken, with braised Swiss chard, red kuri pumpkin puree, and wild arugula salsa verde ($19.95).
Lunch items at Sam's include an array of sandwiches, such as the Barbequed Shrimp Po' Boy, with chopped gem lettuces, roma tomatoes, red onion and Romesco aioli ($13.50), or Blue Crab Roll, with green papaya slaw and spicy remoulade on a toasted roll ($16.75), or crispy fried platters served with Old Bay fries and coleslaw, such as Fish and Chips ($15.95) and house specialties such as Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti, with white wine, garlic, butter and fresh herbs ($22.00). Meat lovers will enjoy the delicious ½ lb. Grilled Hamburger and artisan bun with fries ($11.95). Also available is a children's menu, vegetarian options, and a full bar, and gluten-free items are noted on the menu.
Desserts satisfy with a Red Kuri Pumpkin Panna Cotta, pomegranate, Asian pear and pistachio biscotti ($8.00), or Italian Style Affogato with Ricotta-Orange Fritters, hazelnut-chocolate gelato and a shot of expresso ($6.50) or Warm Chocolate Budino with vanilla bean gelato and huckleberry sauce ($8.00).
Featuring a mix of new materials and vintage marine salvage finds, Sam's is a family-friendly space with a nautical vibe, maritime light fixtures, and freshly painted interior and exterior. The restaurant offers a mix of dining options; artisanal wood tables, cozy banquet seating, communal tables fashioned from reclaimed wood, and comfortable leather-seated wooden chairs. A handsome, curved granite bar at the entrance faces reflective glass, for an inviting setting to enjoy a cocktail like Sam's famous Sea Sweeper, or one of the seafood-friendly wines (50+ by the bottle, 20+ by the glass). Casual touches like chalkboards announce Oyster Bar items and daily specials. Private dining options are available from 8-10 people at a communal table or up to 34 people seated in the private Clipper Room.
Sam's comes courtesy of Shenkman Hospitality Group and restaurateurs Paul and Julie Shenkman, business partner and Sam's Chowder House Executive Chef Lewis Rossman, and VP of Operations Patrick McElroy. Known for a passion and dedication to farm-fresh cuisine, their portfolio of restaurants includes Sam's Chowder House (Half Moon Bay, CA), Osteria Coppa (San Mateo, CA), and Sam's ChowderMobile (three gourmet food trucks), which jointly serve 50,000+ guests monthly in the Bay Area.
Open seven days a week, Sam's Chowder House is located in the heart of Palo Alto at 185 University Avenue (at Emerson), Palo Alto, CA 94301. The restaurant is open for Lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, and for Dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 – 9:00 pm, and Friday and Saturday 5:00pm to 10:00pm. Major credit cards are accepted. Takeout is also available. Call 650.614.1177 for reservations, or visit www.samschowderhouse.com. Like Sam's on Facebook @samschowderhousepa.
For more information, please contact Julie Shenkman, (650) 726-1005 or