A dual birthday celebration at Justin's- 2/8/14

The restaurant The food  Cake and gifts

Tonight we are celebrating Phuc's and my birthday at Justin's restaurant located on Homestead road in Santa Clara.  This year both of our birthday fell on a week day and instead of celebrating on "the day" we both opted to celebrate together on the closest Saturday. Our group is too large (12) and if we don't plan ahead it is impossible to get a reservation on the fly and we tend to always go back to same restaurants we used to.  This time my task was to find a new restaurant and after a bit of research I choose Justin's a fairly new restaurant that was opened in March of 2013.  Justin's is serving “New American cuisine with global influences”, features three dining rooms with seating for over 150, including a one-of-a-kind 1,000-plus bottle wine room, fully stocked bar, private dining area for up to 35 people. 

The restaurant is really huge from the outside and looks really nice.

This location used to be the iconic  Wilson's Jewel Bakery, a Santa Clara institution for nearly nine decades that turned out thousands of wedding and birthday cakes for generations of valley residents, has closed its doors and is now home to Justin's.  I remember buying birthday cakes from Wilson a long, long time ago.

The front door.

As we are walking in the restaurant I notice how spacious this restaurant is. 

Stepping inside, you first notice the large wine room behind the host stand.

The 6 of us were the first to arrive.

You can see in the back ground Justin's large Wine room with a one-of-a-kind 1,000-plus bottle wine room but it does not matter we have our sommelier and we usually bring our own wine.

On the ceiling they have a really interesting wine-bottle chandelier and high above the entrance door there is a collection of vintage cookbooks resting on a metal shelve rack.  


Closer view of the wine bottle chandelier.  I thought it was very interesting and unique.


View from the lobby into a large sleek and modern bar with colorful lighting.


We are now walking pass the bar into a large dinning area with wooden tables and modern decor.


On the wall, next to our table there is a large metal board holding a multitude of bottle corks.


We were led into the private dinning room that can hold up to 35 people.


Maily, Loan, Me, and Hanh


Tuan, Hoa, and Minh

Hanh and I

Maily and Loan

Loan, Me, Hanh and Ha


We barely sat down and the complimentary bread arrived in miniature flowerpots .  Really cute!


The menu

The whole menu with appetizers, salads, soup and main entrees.

Phuc brought 2  Caymus 2008 special selection Cabernet Sauvignon which he called Caymus on steroid and 2 bottles of 2010 Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley.

From the Critics:

"This is mind-blowing on the nose with sweet tobacco, chocolate, cedar, cigar box, and licorice. Full-bodied and round with a bright and velvety tannin structure. Starts off slow, but then flies away. This is fabulous. Intense finish. Delicious today, but will be even better after 2013" -98 Points James Suckling

"The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection is the first example of this cuvee to include Merlot (about 14%) in the blend. The Merlot component has given the wine a cocoa/chocolate nuance to its black currant, licorice-infused fruit. The tannins are velvety soft and the wine is beautifully textured and full-bodied. It is ideal for drinking now and over the next 15 years. "
-94 Points Robert Parker

2010 Kistler Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay

 Kistler Chardonnay: full-bodied but not overblown, with acidity and minerality to balance its inherent richness and concentration. The 2010 Sonoma Mountain cuvée was produced according to the same Burgundian methods as Kistler's single vineyard wines: native yeast fermentation, prolonged sur-lie ageing in hand-crafted French oak barrels, and bottling without fining or filtration. The 2010 is full and round, with lemony citrus flavors on the nose and palate, accented by buttery lees and creamy vanilla. Minerals and mouthwatering acidity add structure to the palate and lift the finish for a lingering aftertaste of candied lemon and toast.


The restaurant brought over a large bucket with ice so that our white wine stay cold.


Phuc talking about wine....






Our house


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