Plumed Horse, Saratoga – One Michelin Star


Plumed Horse

14555 Big Basin Way

Saratoga, CA 95070

(408) 867-4711

Plumed Horse Website

Book Reservation

Where do well heeled Silicon Valley people eat?

Plumed Horse Saratoga Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Plumed Horse is a long standing (1952) restaurant located in Saratoga, not far from the Montalvo winery. This location used to be a stable, hence the name. Peter Armellino (Jardiniere, Aqua SF, Village Pub) is the chef.

They have earned one Michelin star and have been on our radar for many years. We finally had an excuse to visit this fine restaurant. This restaurant was remodeled recently, giving us a good excuse to pay a visit. We paid a return visit in 2017.

Their decor is definitely top-notch with a beautiful transparent 2000 bottle, three-story wine cellar and cool chefs table / room.

Insider Tip – Go for the tasting menu and wine.

Cuisine – New American
Location – Saratoga
Opened – 1962

Plumed Horse Saratoga Interior Decor

Service – Plumed Horse had very good service with friendly wait staff that also provided good suggestions when ordering. No need to ask for refills here!
Verdict – Plumed Horse surprised us with their fine cuisine in such a remote area. The decor is beautiful. This restaurant has been in existence for many decades and should continue to evolve and exist. If you live in the South Bay, there is no need to drive up to the city to experience fine dining for many. Hit the lounge, if you are on a budget.  The food in 2017 did not wow us as it did in 2012. Portion sized are on the tiny side.

Plumed Horse Signature Dishes – Souffle, sweetbreads

Plumed Horse’s Menu features a signature tasting menu at $135 that changes seasonally as well as an a la cart menu with 6 entrees. They do have some vegetarian options including a vegetarian tasting menu for $125. Prices rose from $90 in 2012.

Website Plumed Horse Menu

Plumed Horse Food Picks:
Amuse Bouche Salmon roll

Alternate Amuse Bouche mozzarella beignets

5 different kinds of high-quality house made rolls and breads.

Plumed Horse Saratoga souffle

Black Pepper & Parmesan Soufflé, uni & Dungeness crab fondue ($19) was a signature appetizer that you waiter recommended. Beautiful soufflé and some very fresh crab.

Plumed Horse Saratoga abalone sweetbreads

Davenport Abalone, roasted sweetbreads, slow egg and brown butter ($24) combined perfect sweetbreads with a classic egg and some tender abalone.

Chefs Grand Tasting Menu $145, Wine pairing $88

Plumed Horse Saratoga Kampachi

Kona Kampachi
Tsar Nicoulai caviar, lighlty pickled Japanese cucumber – Simple, fresh, small.
MV Kathryn Kennedy “Blanc de Blanc” Santa Cruz Mountains

Alternate Amuse mushroom veoulette – excellent! This might signal that their vegetarian tasting menu is worth ordering.

Alternate Fingerling Potatoes

Heirloom Carrot – Roasted & pickled beets, tempura avocado, Vadouvan was a miss.  A mish mash of items. 2017.

Plumed Horse Saratoga Lobster

Maine Lobster – mushroom pave, baby fava beans – A very large portion of tender lobster
2010 Plumed Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Arroyo Secco.

Davenport Abalone – Gold Potato, Beech Mushroom, IP8 vinegar was a well done dish especially the table poured sauce. 2017.

Plumed Horse Saratoga foie gras

Seared Artisan Foie Gras ($25 supplement) Pickled mustard seed, satsuma mandarin foam, madras curry. 2017

1999 CH Berres Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese Riesling, Mosel, Germany

Plumed Horse Saratoga Alaskan halibut

Alaskan Halibut – sweet pea crepe, wild ramps, red wine braised pork cheeks – High-quality fish, cooked just right.

Local Black Cod – Salsify, Seaweeds, puffed wild rice was a fantastic dish. The best of the evening. 2017.

1995 Dominique Laurent “Les Chaignots”, 1er Cru, Burgundy, France.

Plumed Horse Saratoga Risotto

Alternate Risotto with Pea Shoots – Nicely done, subtle flavors, not too rich.

Guinea Hen Ballotine – Chanterelle mushroom, braised hen cannelloni, parmesan foam was an okay dish. 2 bites. 2017.

Plumed Horse Saratoga antelope

South Texas Antelope – cashew, Cara Cara orange, black pepper & date chutney – Medium rare, not gamey, not a large portion though.

Kirwee Ranch Australian Wagyu Beef – Charred broccolini, padron pepper, fig mignonette is very good.  A couple small pieces of tender meat in a robust sauce. 2017.
2003 Andrew Will “Sorella” Columbia Valley, Washington

Pre-dessert Blood Orange Sorbet, Orange foam & tapioca

Plumed Horse Saratoga toasted coconut semifreddo

Toasted Coconut Semifreddo – vanilla salt, strawberry soup, micro basil – Delicate, fruity, and well balanced.

Roaring 40’s Blue Cheese – freeze dried balsamic, almond tear cake, local honey was a strong cheese, good for cheese fans. 2017.
2007 Inniskillin “Cabernet Franc” Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, Canada

Plumed Horse Saratoga Chocolate souffle

Valrhona Chocolate Souffle – pistachio anglaise, golden raisin – The pastry chef definitely knows how to make a soufflé.

Port Jewels – Grape Glass, White malt crumble, verjus foam was a weird dessert.  It occupied a tiny corner of a large plate.

2007 Niepoort “LBV” Porto, Portugal

Alternate Kahlúa and Grand Marnier mousse – Rich, chocolatey, and smooth.

In 2017 they switched to a chocolate truffle cart.  Load up and box them. Nice!

OK: (Order if you like this dish)

Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)

Restaurant Map:

Plumed Horse Overall Rating: (Excellent 3)

Come Back?

Food Rating: (Very Good)
Service Rating: (Very Good)
Atmosphere Rating: (Excellent)
Value Rating: (Average)

Guide: 0 = poor, 1 = Below/Average, 2 = Good, 2.5 = Very Good, 3 = Excellent , 4 = Extraordinary

Alcohol:Full bar
Hours:5:30-10 p.m. nightly

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1 Comment

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    October 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm

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