Tagines, available in four variations, are a signature item on Porta Blu’s menu.
As the name implies—not to mention the striking signature blue doors suspended horizontally overhead—Porta Blu is a portal that leads to the tastes of the Mediterranean by way of California. Located inside the new 11-story Hotel Nia in Menlo Park, the airy, contemporary restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The kitchen is overseen by executive chef Eric Cousin, who has worked at New York’s Essex House and Plaza Hotel; and by chef de cuisine Michael Riddell, a Bay Area native formerly of The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay.
Dinner offerings include a mezze plate with hummus, muhammara, baba ghanouj, marinated feta and pickled vegetables; Ameijoas na Cataplana, the classic Mediterranean surf-and-turf of clams, ham and chorizo cooked in a brothy tomato sauce; and tagines served with fish, chicken, lamb or vegetables. The wine program offers more than 100 labels, and the cocktail program boasts selections that include the namesake Nia Copita, a frothy blend of egg white, mescal, grapefruit shrub and lemon. 200 Independence Drive, 650.304.3800
Originally published in the June issue of Silicon Valley