Showing posts with label east san jose. Show all posts
Showing posts with label east san jose. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

New San Jose winery open for tastings 🍷

Yes, you read that correctly. A winery--not a wine bar or wine store--is open in San Jose. Now while we were never Napa, our region has been know to produce some quality grapes. J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines is actually based in San Jose but most if not all of the wine production is now done elsewhere. Like the orchards and farmland, real estate values make it highly impractical to have wineries in San Jose these days. However, there are still some rebels out there that are going to try.

In Evergreen if you keep following Quimby Road you will eventually fine a vineyard on the hillside called Bella Montagna. The owner, Victor Klee, sold his Vino Vino wine bars to focus on the new winery (I still miss the original San Pedro Square Market Vino Vino).

The land Bella Montagna sits on was once owned by the Mirassou family which were pioneers in the US winemaking industry. The 12-acre property was also once owned by the Bay Area Girl Scouts, who put it up for sale in 2001 after plans to turn it into a retreat didn't materialize. Now it's an actual vineyard and winery, in San Jose, in the year 2023.

Bella Montagna winery is currently making Sauvignon Blanc, Merlots, and an award winning Cabernet Sauvignon which you can buy on their website over here. They also have a wine club and you can schedule weekend tastings by emailing

I should also mention that the vineyard looks gorgeous. Up on a hill it has amazing view of Silicon Valley. Hopefully they will do tastings and events more regularly. For now you have to make a reservation via email. 

Source: The Merc

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Culture Night Market at Hillview Park in East San Jose, Sep 23

Another Culture Night Market is coming to San Jose, except this time on the East Side. This is an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate San Jose culture through food, art, and music. 

A key goal of the event is to empower small businesses, artists, and local entrepreneurs in the area--especially those that are still recovering from the impact COVID had on our economy.

The event takes place Saturday, September 23rd from 4-10pm at Hillview Park (2255 Ocala Ave, San Jose).

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Viva CalleSJ: Calle >> Matsuri (San Jose's Japantown, Kelley Park, and Tamien Park)

Viva CalleSJ is back for it's 3rd event of the year! Miles of city streets will be completely shut down to let people walk, run, dance, bike, unicycle, skateboard, or hoverboard down the streets of San Jose. 

Calle >> Matsuri features three activity hubs which are festivals-within-a-festival that highlight the local area. This time the activity hubs will be at Japantown, Kelley Park, and Tamien Park. You can expect live music, vendors, food, activities, bike parking, and good times at all of the hubs. In between the activity hubs you will still find all sorts of interesting stops, hydration stations, and stores. Watch the video below to get a feel for the event if you've never done one.

As an added bonus, Happy Hollow Park and Zoo will be providing free admission for anyone participating in the Viva CalleSJ. This is the first time I remember this happening, so it's worth taking advantage of--especially if you're going with your family.

The event takes place on Sunday, September 10th from 10am to 3pm (streets are closed until 4pm). There is no beginning or end and the traffic flows in both directions. It's completely free and you can use the handy map below to locate the routes and festivities. For more info, head over here.

Friday, August 11, 2023

New mural in East San Jose

It's great to see that even giant national chains adding some local flair to their restaurants. Local artist Hector Covarrubias painted "Patterns of Nature" on the side of a McDonald's on Story Road. Even cooler, there is a QR code inside the restaurant that lets you bring the artwork to life on your phone. I'd love to see more of this throughout San Jose.

Source: SJ Today


Wednesday, July 19, 2023

ADEGA, first and only Michelin Star restaurant in San Jose is shutting down 😢

Ouch, this one hits me pretty hard. If you draw a Venn diagram for people that love Michelin Star restaurants, are San Jose advocates, and members of the Portuguese community--I would be right in the center. ADEGA was not just the first and only Michelin Star restaurant in San Jose, it was the only Portuguese Michelin Star restaurant ever west of New York. They also had the largest Portuguese wine collection of any restaurant outside of Portugal. Hearing that they are shutting down is a major bummer, especially just as their sister restaurant Petiscos won a Bib Gourmand award from the Michelin Guide (a step just below a star).

It's not all bad news. The space at 1614 Alum Rock Ave. in East San Jose / Little Portugal will be converted to a second Petiscos restaurant. This will be a format that is much more accessible to the local community, and... well, everyone else. Portuguese food is not traditionally fancy or expensive, it's down-to-earth cuisine best shared with family and friends tapas-style. That is why in many ways Petiscos is a more accurate representation of true Portuguese food, although I love what ADEGA did to elevate traditional dishes.

It also appears that they will try to open additional California Petiscos locations. Thankfully Pasteleria Adega and NOITE, two other projects by the same team are also staying open.

If you want to try ADEGA one last time (or for the first and last time) get your reservations before December 16th.

Source: SVBJ

Friday, June 9, 2023

Viva CalleSJ - Downtown Westbound

Viva Calle SJ is back for it's 2nd event of 2023! Miles of city streets will be completely shut down to let people walk, run, bike, unicycle, or skateboard down the streets of San Jose. 

Viva Calle Downtown Westbound features three activity hubs which are basically festivals-within-a-festival that highlight the local area. This time the activity hubs will be at San Carlos, Roosevelt Park, and SoFA. You can expect live music, vendors, food, activities, bike parking, and good times at all four hubs. In between the activity hubs you will still find all sorts of interesting stops, hydration stations, and stores. Up to 100,000 people attend this event, but it never feels crowded given how spread out it is.

Viva CalleSJ 2022 takes place on Sunday, June 11th from 10am to 3pm (streets are closed until 4pm). There is no beginning or end and the traffic flows in both directions. It's completely free and you can use the handy map below to locate the routes and festivities. For more info, head over here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Eastridge remodel is complete

Last week Eastridge unveiled their latest refresh. This was my neighborhood mall back in the day and I'm glad to see it's still alive and well unlike some other malls in the area (Vallco, Sunnyvale Town Center, etc.).

The $15 million renovation adds grassy lawns with play areas, a new food court, upgraded finishes, beautiful murals celebrating San Jose, and new programming to make the mall more of a destination. New events include food struck popups, a weekly art experience, and even a dog-friendly social events called "Yappy Hour Forth Fridays."

They also have a few new stores like a 8,400 SQFT Toni & Guy salon, H&M, and an eatery called Trifecta Cooks which landed a free retail space by wining a cooking contest.

For more info and a full event list, head over to the Eastridge FB page.

Source: SJ Economy Blog

Monday, October 16, 2017

East San Jose mixed-use development

The eastside is finally getting some development love. A 10.6-acre property at 641 Capital was sold to a developer earlier this month for $30 million. The land is already entitled for 188 condos, a medical office building, a commercial/retail building, and a mini-storage building. 30 of those units would be "E-homes" or "environmentally friendly homes" and include solar panels and electric car charging stations.

The homes would be 3-story townhomes, probably not the density we would hope for it would be an improvement for the area. Retail would clock in at 10,000 SQFT in a two-story building at the corner of the project and there would also be a 28,000 SQFT medical office building right next to it with an art plaza between them. A four-story 70,000 SQFT storage building would be placed on the opposite end of the project and provide some extra buffer from 680 noise. A one-acre park with a playground, orchard, and community garden would round out the project.

It is nice to see a mixed-use development of this size being planned for East San Jose. Downtown and North San Jose are getting most of the attention right now, but other San Jose districts are going to evolve as well.

Source: SVBJ (subscription required)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Insider's Guide to Little Portugal in San Jose

As I am hopping on a plane later today to visit family in the Azores, I thought it might be a great day to link to a great guide to San Jose's Little Portugal neighborhood just east of Downtown.

While not very large, the area has a rich history and is well worth a visit. Little Portugal is located on Santa Clara Street/Alum Rock Avenue between 28th and 34th street. Five Wounds National Church is the primary landmark for the area, but ADEGA--San Jose's first and only Michelin Star restaurant--is quickly becoming the top attraction.

You also have some really nice bakeries, cafes, and grocers that offer Portuguese treats throughout Little Portugal. Bacalhau Grill is another staple of the area that is part grocery store and part restaurant. You can try a number of Portuguese and Brazilian specialties here without breaking the bank.

To check out the guide and see a map of the attractions, head over here.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

San Jose's ADEGA is one of America's 100 Best Wine Restaurants

As a San Josean of Portuguese descent, ADEGA is a very special restaurant for me. Not only is it the very first restaurant in San Jose to earn a Michelin Star, but it is one of only two Portuguese restaurants in the United States to earn that honor. ADEGA has just won a second major award, a spot on Wine Enthusiast Magazine's prestigious "America's 100 Best Wine Restaurants of 2017."

One of ADEGA's owners is actually a wine importer, and he has amassed the largest collection of Portuguese wines outside of Portugal. This includes a large selection of ''green wines" which come from one of two varietals that only grow in Portugal.

The list was announced earlier this month and includes restaurants that the editors feel reflect the "best, brightest and most progressive wine and food experiences available today." The issue will hit newsstands in July and you can read the initial announcement over here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Valley Palms Neighborhood Association's "La Caminata" walking event

Tomorrow the Valley Palms Neighborhood Association in collaboration with Project Access (local nonprofit) are hosting a walking school bus event to raise awareness of pedestrian safety issues in East San Jose. As we slowly move to a future when cars are not the only way to get around San Jose, pedestrian access will only become more critical. All of the details from the press release are below.

Valley Palms Neighborhood Association’s “La Caminata” Walking School Bus Event Sheds Light on Pedestrian Safety in East San Jose

Beginning Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 7:00 AM
Ends Wednesday April 26, 2017 at 7:30 AM

WHAT:              The Valley Palms Neighborhood Association is hosting a walking school bus event from Valley Palms Apartments to Katherine Smith Elementary School in order to demonstrate the need for improved pedestrian safety in the King/Tully neighborhood of San Jose.

                        An anticipated 150 community residents and their children will form a walking school bus and walk from Valley Palms Apartments to Katherine Smith Elementary School, where council member Tam Nguyen and community leaders will speak on the important issue of pedestrian safety.

WHO:               The Valley Palms Neighborhood Association, the County of Santa Clara Probation Department’s Neighborhood Services Unit, Project Access, Katherine Smith Elementary School, and Overfelt High School have partnered to rally the community and host the “La Caminata” Walking School Bus event. Interview opportunities with Project Access CEO Kathy McCarrell and Santa Clara County Probation Department officials.

WHEN:             Beginning Wednesday, April 26th at 7:00 AM

WHY:                To demonstrate the need for improved pedestrian safety in the King/Tully neighborhood of San Jose.

WHERE:           Begin walk in front of Valley Palms Apartments at 7:00 AM
                        2155 Lanai Avenue, San Jose, Calif., 95122
Meet in front of main gate

End walking school bus at Katherine Smith Elementary School, where presentations will take place at 7:30 AM.
2025 Clarice Drive, San Jose, Calif., 95122

HOW:               Meet in front of main gate of Valley Palms Apartments to participate in the walking school bus.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Eastridge Shopping Center launches Holiday Season with safe Halloween fun and dazzling tree lighting display

San Jose, Calif. (October, 2016) – Eastridge Center, ( located in eastern San Jose, is kicking off the holiday season with safe mall-wide trick-or-treating on Oct. 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. Then, on Friday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m., shoppers can join in the celebration of the grand arrival of Santa Claus to San Jose with a spectacular tree lighting display.

“Eastridge has been hosting friends and families for 45 years as they make holiday memories and find the perfect gifts for loved ones,” said Eastridge Center’s General Manager John Petersen. “We look forward to these annual holiday events and the chance to give back to the community through Halloween activities, the magical tree display and visits with Jolly Ol’ St. Nick.”

Halloween Activities

On Oct. 31, the fun begins at 4 p.m. as free gift bags are distributed to the first 1,000 kids, ages 2-12, who are wearing a costume.

  • Throughout the entire mall, stores displaying a pumpkin in the front window will be offering treats to families.
  • Halloween fun is offered online for kids with a Halloween Interactive Coloring Book ( The site offers 24 coloring designs, enough to keep kids busy for hours in between seasonal activities!
  • Worried about too many sugary treats? Eastridge Center offers a “Candy Buy Back” event Nov. 1-5 from 4 to 6 p.m. Bring your candy to Center Court and receive $1 per pound up to $5 per person. The candy will be donated to troops.
  • The Safe Trick-or-Treat and Candy Buy Back is sponsored by the dentists from Manila Dental Center & Orthodontics IV and South Bay Dental Center & Orthodontics.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

On Friday, Nov. 11 from 6 to 7 p.m., Eastridge Center guests will countdown with Santa to light a 36-foot holiday tree in Center Court. The tree stands more than 36 feet tall in center court and is wrapped with a giant ribbon spiraling around its surface and the base of the tree enclosed in an exploding gift box. Adorned with a collection of 1,000 festive ornaments featuring a modernized traditional palette and more than 300 lights, it has become a community holiday tradition.

The celebration begins at 6 p.m. with a Holiday DJ spinning music and holding holiday raffles. At 6:50 p.m., the parade starts, with a drum corps and about 100 cheerleaders cheering up and down the route. At the end of the parade, Santa and his special guest will lead the countdown to the tree lighting, followed by Santa tossing candy into the audience amidst magic falling snow. Even more importantly, Santa will stick around to hear Christmas wishes from young and old and pause for photos with those who still believe.

Celebration begins: 6 p.m.
Santa Arrival:  7 p.m.
Tree Lighting Countdown: 7:15 p.m.
Holiday Celebration and Photos with Santa:  7:15 p.m. – close

Eastridge is a major regional destination with more than 150 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in the thriving Silicon Valley market. Set on 113 acres in eastern San Jose bounded by Tully Road, East Capitol Expressway and Quimby Road, Eastridge is a two-story, enclosed super regional mall. Among the center’s distinctive mix of retail, restaurant and entertainment destinations are a 15-screen AMC Theaters, Round 1 Bowling and Amusement, Barnes & Noble, JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, Forever 21, Tilly’s, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, Chili’s, Red Robin and Olive Garden.

To learn more visit or its social media accounts

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Adega became the first restaurant ever in San Jose to get a Michelin Star!!!

This is epic news for San Jose foodies! My favorite San Jose restaurant just got the international recognition it deserves. Adega in Little Portugal has become the first and only restaurant in San Jose to win a Michelin Star!

The Michelin guide represents the highest level of recognition restaurants can achieve. Each year, I highlight the lack of Michelin restaurants in San Jose with an annual post analyzing the guide and listing all Bay Area winners. I am completely thrilled that on my 8th annual post we will finally have a restaurant representing San Jose and it could not be a more appropriate one at that.

For my full review on Adega and its stunning interpretation of authentic Portuguese cuisine, head over here.

Better yet, head to the Adega website to make a reservation before the word gets out and it gets booked out for months.

Well done Adega, well done.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

San Jose Bus Rapid Transit overview video

VTA's first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line is getting closer to reality. Despite several delays, the line connecting East San Jose and Downtown should be fully operational in 2017. The blue hybrid "accordian" buses are already being used on the route. These are the nicest buses in the VTA fleet with comfortable seating, free WiFi, and bike racks both inside and outside the bus.

When the BRT line is complete, each stop on the route will get stations similar to Light Rail. These will have real time information for arrival times, local artwork, bright lighting, and 24/7 security cameras.

The other major improvement that BRT will bring besides the stations is faster travel times. This will be accomplished using dedicated bus lands in the median of Alum Rock Avenue as well as transit signal priority (green lights will stay on longer if a bus is present). You also won't have to worry much about catching a specific bus since they are only 10 minutes apart during peak hours.

Have a look at the 3 minute video below for a quick overview of the new system.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sun Basket is San Jose's answer to on-demand food delivery

Blue Apron, EatClub, and Caviar have all been gaining in popularity for on-demand food service, but we have a local San Jose company that has thrown its hat in the ring. Sun Basket is a subscription-based meal service that specializes in healthy, organic, paleo, and gluten-free options. They deliver the raw ingredients in the right proportions along with instructions on how to prepare the meals. It is a fantastic option for people that want to cook wholesome meals but do not want to waste time shopping for ingredients or hunting new recipes.

My wife and I currently use Blue Apron which has a similar business model, but are planning to try out Sun Basket very soon. So far we have had great experiences with Blue Apron meals. I really think these services are a great compromise between getting take out and traditional cooking. 90% of the meals I've had are restaurant-grade and half the price.

Sun Basket already has 20,000 subscribers. The company has 225 full-time employees and is planning to grow to 300 in the near future. They are based in a 65,000 SQFT warehouse on Olinder Court in East San Jose (formerly Race Street Foods).

Check out the Sun Basket website over here, and make sure to read SJ Economy's post using the source link below.

Source: SJ Economy Blog

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Eastridge Shopping Center is celebrating their 45th anniversary tomorrow with new tenants and free events

The mall I frequented as a child is celebrated their 45th anniversary with some big events and new tenants. The biggest addition to their retail mix is H&M, which is opening a 24,000 SQFT store in the fall. A 6,800 SQFT Payless will open in June, Valliani Jewelers just opened in a larger space, and Gong Cha (boba shop) has just opened.

Tomorrow from 4-6pm, Eastridge will host a celebration in the Center Court with live music, free cake and ice cream, dance contests, and gift card giveaways. This summer they announced that they will host a Job Fair on June 9th from 1-3pm featuring local non-profits, a dance break with DJ music every Friday from 4-6pm, free fitness classes, and a concert series. For more details, please read the press release below or head over to the Eastridge Center website.

San Jose, Calif. – Eastridge Center ( located in eastern San Jose, is celebrating 45 years by welcoming new tenants, launching a Summer Event series and hosting a Free Anniversary Celebration on May 27. Eastridge is a major regional destination with more than 150 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in the thriving Silicon Valley market.

“Eastridge has been hosting friends and families for 45 years as they make memories at our entertainment, dining and retail destinations,” said Eastridge Center’s General Manager John Petersen. “Now it’s our turn to give back with a free anniversary celebration and summer event series that will include valuable job fairs, enriching health and wellness activities and entertainment for local families.”

Anniversary Celebration

May 27 from 4 to 6 p.m., Eastridge Center will host a free anniversary celebration in Center Court. Guests can enjoy a live DJ and music, complimentary cake and ice cream, dance contests and activities as well as gift card giveaways and retailer prizes.

Summer Event Series

This summer Eastridge Center will host a number of events including:

  • Community Job Fair on June 9th in Center Court from 1-3 p.m. featuring local non-profits, trade schools and opportunities for people to receive valuable job training and networking with area companies seeking applicants.
  • Dance Break Friday: Every Friday in May, June and July, guests can enjoy Friday Night – DJ Night with complementary tunes, dance contests and giveaways with local DJs performing from 4-6 p.m.
  • Fitness Fridays: San Jose can get fit for free at Eastridge Center this summer. Guests will enjoy free fitness classes in center court with local health and wellness professionals on Fridays in July, August, and September. Pre-registration not needed, simply show-up in comfortable clothes and shoes and bring water to stay hydrated.
  • July Summer Concert Series – featuring a number of local performers throughout the month of July offering fresh free musical performances for Eastridge guests. Check for full schedule of July performances a month prior.

Grand Openings, Relocations and New Tenants

  • Valliani Jewelers hosted a grand opening this month for its new larger space in a prime location across from Best Buy next to Center Court. The popular jeweler features the latest styles and accessories for spring and summer.
  • Gong Cha Tea and Beverages is a new Eastridge Center restaurateur opening in the Food Court this month. Gong Cha offers popular bubble tea, coffee, juices and other custom beverages.
  • Payless Superstore is opening in June in a 6,800-square foot space and will offer an expanded collection of footwear and accessories for all ages and styles.
  • H&M, offering fast-fashion clothing, footwear and accessories for men, women, teenagers and children, is anticipated to open fall of 2016 in a 24,000-square foot space.

Eastridge is a two-story, enclosed super regional mall set on 113 acres in eastern San Jose bounded by Tully Road, East Capitol Expressway and Quimby Road. Among the center’s distinctive mix of retail, restaurant and entertainment destinations are a 15-screen AMC Theaters, Round 1 Bowling and Amusement, Barnes & Noble, JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, Forever 21, Tilly’s, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, Chili’s, Red Robin and Olive Garden.

To learn more visit or its social media accounts



About Eastridge Center
Eastridge Center is a 1.4 million square-foot shopping destination in eastern San Jose that features abundant shopping, dining and entertainment options. Featuring Macy’s, JCPenney, Sears, Barnes & Noble, Sport Chalet, Red Robin, and Chili’s, the long-standing center showcases 150 stores, an impressive 15-screen AMC Theatre and multiple restaurants. Highlights include Hollister Co., Tilly’s, Victoria’s Secret, crazy 8, Forever 21, a spacious Food Court and family restrooms. The grand Center Court offers two levels of shopping with superior store accessibility and visibility in between Tully Road, East Capitol Expressway, and Quimby Road in eastern San Jose, California. For more information, visit

About Pacific Retail Capital Partners
Pacific Retail Capital Partners is a fully integrated, entrepreneurial organization with an unparalleled depth of knowledge in all aspects of retail real estate. Its team of executives and strategic partners draw on decades of experience with major national shopping center owners to deliver top-tier service as an operating partner and provide efficient oversight of the company’s own portfolio. Pacific Retail’s broad-based talent is versed in multiple disciplines from investment and development, which enables the company to quickly assess market opportunities, to management, leasing and marketing which allows it to effectively control costs and maintain the quality of its properties. Based in Southern California, the company operates nationally with a particular emphasis on large regional malls. Its investment and management portfolio includes the West Oaks Mall in Houston; Yorktown Center in suburban Chicago; Colonie Center outside Albany, New York; South Towne Center in Sandy, Utah; Queen Ka’ahumanu Center on Maui, Hawaii; and Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara, California. To learn more visit

Monday, January 18, 2016

Eastridge Mall Gets Sold, Redevelopment Planned

Majority ownership of Eastridge Mall is moving from General Growth Properties to Pacific Retail Partners and Silverpeak Real Estate Partners. While those names likely don't mean much to you, the new owners are planning to revitalize the 1.4 million SQFT mall. They will be investing $15 million off the bat and have already announced that H&M is going to be one of the new tenants. The popular clothing store is going to take a 23,000 SQFT space in Eastridge, roughly the same size as the Santana Row location. You can also expect new paint, landscaping, signage and a revamped play area and food court.

In the SVBJ article, there is mention of bringing in an Asian grocer. I can see something like a 99 Ranch Market doing very well here.

The last Eastridge renovation was in 2007 and included a $140 million expansion. Currently the mall is 97.3% leased, which is a very strong number given that retail is slowly trending away from malls. The purchase also includes tons of developable land circling the mall. I'm sure that building on that extra property will only become more lucrative after the Bus Rapid Transit system running from Downtown San Jose to Eastridge is completed at the end of this year.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Adega Restaurant Review

I was initially heartbroken when Sousa's, the only Portuguese sit-down restaurant in Silicon Valley, closed earlier this year after a 33-year run. Ordering Sousa's for special occasions was a family tradition of ours. However, it is time for a new generation of chefs to carry the torch and bring their own unique spin to Portuguese cuisine.

The restaurant was sold to husband-and-wife chef team David Costa and Jessica Carreira along with Carlos and Fernanda Carreira (Jessica's parents). Jessica was born and raised in San Jose. She studied cooking at the Cordon Bleu and then went to Portugal for three years to master Portuguese cuisine. By age 20 she became the head pastry chef at Restaurant Eleven, a Michelin-star restaurant in Lisbon. That is also where she met her husband David Costa. David had been cooking for over ten years and believes in transforming traditional dishes without destroying the original flavor. He has worked at several notable restaurants in addition to Restaurant Eleven and was the sous-chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Lisbon.

With Adega (which means wine cellar), David and Jessica have realized their life-dream of opening their own Portuguese restaurant. There is character in every corner of the space. Much of the furniture is hand made, original tools used in wine-making are hanging on the walls, there is a traditional tile mosaic on the back wall, even the plates and dishware are imported from Portugal. True to the restaurant's name, Adega's massive collection of Portuguese wines is one of the first things you'll notice when walking in. It is immediately clear that this is not a cookie-cutter restaurant.

Before I get to the food, let me just say I am Portuguese-American and have been eating amazing home-cooked Portuguese meals for 35 years. I've visited Portugal over 20 times and have had countless amazing, authentic meals there. The dinner I had at Adega in San Jose, was easily one of the top five Portuguese meals I have ever had in my life. I think the food here is something that everyone can appreciate, even if you have never had a Portuguese dish before. This could very well be the best fine-dining restaurant in San Jose right now.


House-made hummus and Portuguese bread - These comes complimentary. The hummus is a unique blend and may change from one visit to the next. The marinated olives are perfect to nibble on while you browsing the menu and wine list.

Pork belly, pea puree, poached quail egg - A must-order dish! Pork belly has become very popular in the US over the last few years. This combines perfectly cooked slices of pork with an outstanding pea puree that could stand on its own. Add the quail egg and you have magic on a plate. The presentation is also gorgeous.

Sweet prawns in a buttery garlic sauce - This is a very simple dish that is exploding with flavor. I forgot to ask how long the prawns are marinaded for, but I imagine it is a very long time. These were so good that we were looking around the table to see other's reactions when they bit into the shrimp.

Rabbit terrine with pine nuts, pistachios and cous-cous salad - Rabbit is not something you see often on American tables, but it is a popular staple of Portuguese cooking. The taste is similar to chicken and is not gamey at all like other "exotic" meats. At Adega, it is prepared perfectly in a terrine mixed with nuts and each slice sits on a bed of cous-cous. The sweet sauce on the bottom is what really elevated the whole dish for me and made it all come together. If you are adventurous, you have to try this one.

Octopus salad with roasted red pepper sauce - As beautiful as this dish was, I could only try a small bite since I'm allergic to raw onion. Everyone else at the table had no problem cleaning this plate.


Fresh cut kale, chourico bits, cream of potato (Caldo Verde) - This is as traditional of a Portuguese soup as you can get. It tastes just as good as how my grandmother made it, but Adega dresses up the soup with a modern presentation I have never seen before. It tastes as good as it looks.

Seafood bisque, aspic of lobster & oysters - Absolutely delicious. This is as good as any soup I have ever ordered at a Michelin-star restaurant. The soup is poured over the seafood table-side.


Ribeye steak, crispy Iberico ham, fried egg, fried potatoes (Bife a Portuguesa) - Wow, what an amazing and fun interpretation of a Portuguese classic. Usually this is a marinated flat-iron steak topped with an egg and french fries, but Adega has put a tuxedo on this traditional dish. They use a premium Ribeye which comes medium-rare and sizzling on a hot stone (similar to Rok Bistro). You can leave it on the stone to cook to your favorite temperature and then combine it the accompaniments on the neighboring plate.

Braised beef, roasted taro root puree, sauteed spinach (Alcatra e Inhame) - Another outstanding beef plate. This one is less interactive than the Bife a Portuguesa, but combines melt-in-your-mouth beef with taro mashed potatoes and surprisingly flavorful spinach. This was one of my wife's favorites.

Sea bass cooked with potatoes, bacon, green beans - The fish was flaky, crispy, and moist all at the same time. The texture was excellent and it had the right amount of spices.


Fried coconut rice pudding, passion fruit sauce, mojito sorbet (Arroz Doce Adega) - This might be the best Portuguese dessert I have ever had. It was not a traditional rice pudding like what I was expecting. You have three fried pastries filled with coconut rice and combine those with the passion fruit sauce and mojito sorbet in the middle. I could have eaten a half-dozen of these. This is another must-order item.

Flan pudding, caramel tile, caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream - This is definitely not your traditional flan. I like this version much more and my table devoured the flan in about 20 seconds.

Orange roulade cake, cream cheese, in cardamom sauce - I don't think I have ever had this before in Portuguese cooking so I have nothing to compare this to. It was sweet, decadent, and the cake was the perfect sponge for the sauces and cream cheese.


Adega has what is likely the largest collection of Portuguese wines of any restaurant outside of Portugal. Chef Jessica's parents are both in the wine industry and have used their connections to get over 200 different types of wine across multiple regions of Portugal. You will probably need some help picking a wine similar to what you are used to, but I would recommend being adventurous and trying something that you will never find anywhere else. My pick would be a "Green Wine" (Vinho Verde), which comes from one of two varietals exclusive to Portugal. The cost for these is very inexpensive and Adega has some of the best ever made.

For dessert, you can add a shot of Port, Madeira, or Moscatel to help close out a wonderful meal. They have suggested pairings for each dessert and the cost is only $5.

Adega also has a selection of Portuguese beers and sodas. If you are going non-alcoholic then I recommend the passion fruit soda.

In conclusion, you should book a reservation ASAP before the word gets out. Adega is San Jose's best shot at getting its first Michelin Star Restaurant in 2017 and is a shining example of what the next generation of San Jose restaurants could be.

Adega is open for both lunch and dinner at 1614 Alum Rock Avenue. Hours are 11:30am to 2:30pm and 6pm to 10pm Wednesday through Sunday. Parking is available behind the restaurant, across the street, and valet parking is available on weekends. You can book a table from the Adega Website.