938 Villa St
Mountain View, CA 94041
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Chez TJ

Neighborhoods: Old Mountain View
Cuisine: Contemporary French, French, Fine Dining

Chez TJ is a Contemporary French, French, and Fine Dining restaurant where most Menuism users came for fun with friends, paid more than $50, and tipped more than 18%.

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Gayot
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chicanery

 San Francisco, CA
 

An exquisite meal, all around

I had my reservations about dining at Chez TJ. Mountain View is better known for a fabulous burrito and eclectic Asian food than as the home of any fine dining establishment. But after our meal there this week, I cannot understand why our reservations were so easy to make — with the atmospheric highs at which Christopher Kostow is operating in the kitchen, Chez TJ should be booked solid for weeks. I maintain that the restaurant is just in the wrong neighborhood.

At the restaurant, you have your choice of the 12 course Chef’s Tasting Menu, for $110, or selecting 4 courses from the “Menu Gastronomique” for $80 (fois is a $12 supplement). Since there are only 14 items on the Menu Gastronomique, it makes little sense NOT to order the Tasting Menu, although going that route unfortunately made us miss out on the trio of suckling pig. It looked amazing. In its place, though, we had a butter poached lobster (which was not on the menu gastronomique) that more than made up for it.

My favorite dish of the night was the fois gras prepared two ways. The first was a standard seared fois with some sort of strawberry compote. The fois had a perfect outside crisp to balance out the fatty goodness. The second was a fois gras creme brulee with a caramelized strawberry top. I loved the way the flavors of the creme brulee progressed in your mouth. The fois flavor settles in just as the initial creaminess is fading, followed by the sweetness of the strawberry. It was the perfect Ratatouille fireworks combination.

The aforementioned butter poached lobster had (what else) a truffle foam delicately layered over the dish. This was a GREAT use of foam! It was a good, well prepared dish.

There were only two downers to the meal: First, the “chocolate covered banana.” The turron ice cream that accompanied the banana was great. The banana center was tasty as well. But the chocolate itself – it was basically a chocolate ravioli with pureed banana inside. We were expecting a harder chocolate shell, and instead were underwhelmed with a limp, overcooked pasta sort of texture. Serious texture violation. Second, as Michael Bauer noted, the service was not nearly as precise as service at a restaurant of this caliber should be. One male waiter clearly knew what he was doing – friendly, confident with the menu, and attentive. The remainder of the wait staff, however, regularly served the men before the women, and placed the plates down at the wrong angle (which the male server promptly corrected). It’s not that the rest of the staff was incompetent or rude, but just not trained.

All in all, though, I will be returning to Chez TJ regularly.

Butter Poached Lobster

With sweetbread ravioli, summer truffle.

Stone fruit "Gazpacho"

Excellent cutting skills on the fruit

Santa rosa plum sorbet

With Soju-plum consomme

Chocolate covered banana

with Turron ice creama, banana glace

Sonoma Squab

with aprociot, cardamom scented carrot, ibarra chocolate. I don’t normally order/eat squab, but this preparation was fabulous.

Slow Poached Beef Tenderloin

With Corn Gnocchi, chanterelles, summer truffle

Morel Mushroom Tea

With Black Truffle and a Pecorino Crumpet. I could do without the crumpet, but the tea was a great way to start the meal

Raw Scallop and Osetra Caviar, Three Presentations

The best of the three was by far the one with uni

Salad of cold smoked kampachi

With Grilled watermelon, cherry tomato confit. The cherry tomatoes were the best part of this dish.

Sava Cremasco

A very salty cheese

Hudson Valley Fois Gras

With Strawberries, Almond, Balsamic. Memorable, innovative, beautiful. This is the dish that sold me on the restaurant.

Citrus Cured Sardine

With Yellow Gazpacvho Sorbet, pulled levain, celery. The sorbet was spicy! Awesome surprise.

Tags
Contemporary French French Fine Dining
Website
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Hours
Tue-Thu 05:30PM - 09:00PM
Fri-Sat 05:30PM - 09:30PM
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Chez TJ is located near the cities of Mt View, Los Altos, Loyola Corners, Mountain, and Sunnyvale.
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