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“Best meal of my life”
Review of Chez TJ

Chez TJ
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Ranked #68 of 326 Restaurants in Mountain View
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Shoreline & Castro
Transit: CalTrain: Mountain View
Somerville, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Best meal of my life”
Reviewed September 11, 2013

This was the best meal of my life, although also one of the 2 most expensive. I had the chef's tasting menu with wine pairings which was a 12 course meal with 9 wine pairings, IIRC. Everything was creative, tasted amazing, and was prepared perfectly. The wine pairings were all at least very good and featured several very interesting wines from obscure regions including Hungary. Many of the dishes also included some super fancy ingredients like black caviar, antelope fillet, champagne gel, and gold leaf. And the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable without being pretentious.

The atmosphere is a little odd, the rooms are all very small and you feel like you're in someone's house. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not a typical restaurant experience.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ryan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    47
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
San Jose
Level Contributor
211 reviews
105 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“First Class Dining”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

We were looking for a place for our Anniversary dinner and Chez TJ had been mentioned by friends. When a "daily deal" for their tasting menu came up in my inbox, the decision was made. The deal offered both the 8 course and 4 course tasting menus. I was in favor of the 8, but my bride voted for the 4. Of course, her wishes won and she was correct, the 4 courses were plenty of food, especially since the 4 were really 8 when you add in the extras. One special item they offered was a top rated Kobe ribeye. Paying an extra $50, on top of the tasting menu price seemed a bit much, but it was a special day so we tried one order. I might not do it again, but the experience was worth it. It was beef as rich as foie gras, almost like butter. The rest of the meal was all innovative and tasty. Each course was beautifully served with appropriate sides.

The service was excellent with the water glass kept full and the bread plates re-filled when necessary.

This isn't a place for a quick, casual meal, dinner took almost three hours, but definitely a place I would return for another special day.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Halems
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mountain View, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Meal was great, but other issues that I would not expect for the price”
Reviewed May 23, 2013

The tasting menu was enjoyable, especially the 2 deserts, and the wine pairings were quite good. The service was a little slow to start when we were there (it took nearly a half hour until the amuse-bouche). The small rooms can also be quite noisy depending on the other people in the room with you. I definitely would go again though.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Owen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Altos, California
Level Contributor
160 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Multi-course dining with wine”
Reviewed May 12, 2013

We hadn't been to Chez TJ for many years, and have seen the good reviews it gets consistently, so decided it was time to return. We booked for the same week - for 7PM on a friday. We had a nice table at the front of the house. As expected, there's a fixed menu, with wine. There's a small note you can have "only 4" courses if you choose, but they don't tell you which of the 4 you will get.

All of the courses were good. Some were really excellent. The service was good, but not outstanding. The pacing was quite inconsistent, which was a shame for such an expensive meal. The first 3 courses came at a rapid pace - not even time to finish the wine after the dish before the next came. Then there was a long lull before the main course. We opted for a short walk through the garden before the intermezzo. After that, the service fell off; water wasn't refilled; and the Maitre'D even brought our check before the last course!

The sommelier was quite young, and said she had only been in the area for a year. The wine went well with the meal, and perhaps she was more knowledgeable than her age and demeanor would indicate.

The food -
1st course was stellar - blini with caviar, deviled duck egg and cremes.
2nd course was ok - "pot of earth" it was an asparagus custard with blossoms and such on top. Very pretty, but too salty for me.
3rd course - just ok - Yellowfin tuna, with an octopus sushi roll. Some of the flavors were excellent, and the garnishes/extras really went with the tuna, but the large piece of sashimi on the plate was just too hard to cut.
4th course was one of my favorites - a sous vide egg with pea puree. The flavors were subtle and rich and luscious, and the parmesan crisp was perfect on top
5th course my husband's favorite - halibut in a vegetable broth - the boar belly was a good foil
was duck 3 ways - a very rich quenelle of pate - too rich for my husband, duck confit, and a seared breast. The date accompaniment was very good, but the mushroom was hard to chew/cut; and all 3 of these were just over the top somehow.
6th course was antelope. It was OK - the riceless risotto was not appetizing to me, and the antelope was too rare and heavy (maybe I'm not used to eating that much)
The intermezzo was a nice quenelle of a mojito sorbet
The 1st dessert was really amazing - the panne cotta was a wonderful surprise with honey and lavender. just soft and fluffy. Yumm
The 2nd dessert was a chocolate souffle - very good - although I preferrerd the 1st my husband liked this one.
And the final dessert was a trio of a creme puff, a chocolate, and a gelle, with very nice decaf coffee in a french press.

Would I dine here again? Probably every few years, but I would get the "short" menu, and ask if we could know which of the 10 items would be on that menu.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank travel-lms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
Level Contributor
51 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Very enjoyable”
Reviewed May 8, 2013

We celebrated an anniversary here and we are glad that we chose Chez TJ. We opted for the abberviated menu with the wine pairing. Each dish was beautifully prepared, the earth and sea amuse was delicious, seabass was perfect and my boyfriend loved the duck (even though he says he is not a fan of duck). The wine pairing was worth it. They even brought us an extra plate of treats with "bonne anniversaire" written in chocolate. Nice touch!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank adventurefoodie03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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