Chef Greg Kuzia-Carmel’s Canteen opens in the Springline development in Menlo Park
The woman who posted on Nextdoor: “We really need more fun places to hang out in Menlo Park” will get her wish fulfilled when the doors open at Canteen, Chef Greg Kuzia-Carmel’s new wine, spirits and small plates restaurant — the first to open in the Springline development. The vibe is all “drop in, be comfortable, enjoy a good beverage and tasty food.”
We were fortunate to sample the menu at a preview last week and the verdict among the five of us was “thumbs up.” It may be the only place in Menlo Park where you can swing by, take a seat at the bar and get a drink and a quick something to eat at a reasonable price — a nice alternative to full-meal dining.
“My goal for Canteen was to create a space that sets the bar high for casual, but carefully executed dining, while keeping the energy of the space young, welcoming and approachable,” said Chef Greg.
The small plates menu draws from Chef Greg’s experience apprenticing at the Two-Michelin Star Mugaritz in the Basque region of Spain before coming back to the states and working at Per Se in New York and Cotogna and Quince in San Francisco. Locals know him as chef and owner of the popular Camper on Santa Cruz Avenue.
Given that there is a good assortment to choose from, here is what stood out among the five of us tasting: deviled Chino Farm hen eggs; Salt Miner’s potatoes; Kabocha squash croquettas (the table favorite!), Salt Spring Mussels cooked in Vermut, and Miyagi Oysters on the half shell (so pretty on the colored rocks). Of note: there are about 20 small plates to chose from.
For those wanting a “full meal”, there is bone-in Schmitz Ranch New York Strip Steak which serves two to four.
The food is paired with a variety of craft cocktails and beer along with both international and California wine and “free spirit” beverages (non-alcoholic).
Canteen, located at 558 Oak Grove Avenue, opens for business tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25. Initial hours will be Monday to Thursday from 4:00 to 8:00 pm and Friday to Saturday from 4:00 to 9:00 pm.
Side note: A patron had just gifted Chef Greg with the diving helmet, hence the poise. We think it pairs well with the surf board on the wall.
Photos by Linda Hubbard (c) 2023