Now that you know how to properly use the Caltrain, it's time to find somewhere worth taking it, which's where this roundup comes in. Here're seven incredible new spots that opened South of SF in April, from a Hemingway-inspired beer garden to a bacon-wrapped filet mignon paradise.
Jack Rose Libation House (click here for address and info) Los Gatos Named after Ernest Hemingway's favorite cocktail, and located just a few miles from where he penned some of his novels, this half-cabin, half-bachelor pad is an awesome spot to enjoy on-tap Manhattans or a couple pints on an incredible, backyard beer garden deck thing. As Hemingway once wrote, "'This is a good place,' he said. 'There's a lot of liquor.' I agreed."
The Lexington House (click here for address and info) Los Gatos Now open in Downtown Los Gatos, this small, classy-looking spot is adorned with exposed brick and a dominating central bar serving small-batch spirits, local drafts, and delicious, constantly changing fare like crispy pork shoulder (w/ chevre ravioli, seared chicories, salsa verde, and pork broth) or "Duck... Duck... Carrot!", which could either be a great dish, or an interesting party game. Probably the former.
Paper Plane (click here for address and info) San Jose This recently opened spot in San Jose has a legitimately innovative cocktail menu that plots all of its signature drinks on a Cartesian plane (sorta like NY Mag's Approval Matrix), so you can choose which quadrant you wanna be drinking in (the axes go from Comforting/Familiar to Adventurous/Bold and Refreshing/Easy Drinking to Spirituous/Bold). Also totally fantastic? Bar bites that range from brown butter and basil popcorn to a Kennebec tater totem w/ candied bacon.
Fogo de Chão (click here for address and info) San Jose Finally making its Northern California debut in San Jose, Fogo de Chão is that awesome kind of Brazilian steakhouse where you pay one price, flip your card to green, and they bring out a gauntlet of 15 skewers of meat like bacon-wrapped filet mignon or signature sirloin, until you flip the card to red/roll away.
Johnston's Saltbox (click here for address and info) San Carlos This outdoor-seating-rich, no-reservations spot is run by a guy who was raised in his family’s coast-side pub in Northern Ireland (probably not literally?) and a Jeremiah Tower protege who's putting together some seriously arresting sandwich options. Bread-meat-bread highlights include a fried chicken guy with jalapeño/cilantro slaw, a rib eye burger with melted onion, and a BLTA with a ridiculously large piece of candied bacon, gem lettuce, avocado, and tomato jam so good it'll make everyone else jelly of you.
Pizzeria Delfina (click here for address and info) Palo Alto Yep, that's right -- the already-beloved SF pizza institution has expanded to Palo Alto, so now you can grab both of your favorites (Prosciutto Pie w/ prosciutto di Parma, caciocavallo, mozzarella, panna & arugula, and the 4 Formaggi (tomato, mozzarella, Fontal, Provolone, Pecorino) while chilling with your friends who rooted for a tree mascot in college.
Joe Starkey is Thrillist's SF Editor and thinks the 7x7 needs a Kennebec tater totem w/ candied bacon, too. Get on it, SF chefs. Oh and follow him on Twitter.