San Mateo, recently named by Rand McNally’s “Best of the Road” competition as America’s “Best Small Town for Food,” is already in love with its latest culinary addition: Amour Amour. The charming establishment is both a wine bar and tapas restaurant, focusing on how one element enhances the other. It’s certainly a petite operation with only six tables and a small bar. The main portion of the menu is split between hot and cold tapas with most selections under $10. Beef comes with a kaffir lime marinade and chimichurri sauce, and kabocha squash is paired with a honey butter sauce under the hot tapas category. A lacinato kale, avocado and pumpkin seed salad and nibbles like olives and Marcona almonds are among the cold choices. An assortment of crostini bites, a soup of the day and a few flatbreads round out the savory part of the menu. Not surprisingly, cheese flights and plates, and charcuterie selections play an important role as well. You can end on a sweet note too, choosing a flavor of France with chocolate souffle, or Italy, with the tiramisu. Of course, several wines are poured with most labels not from California for a change of pace. Sangria, beer and a few cocktails are also served for those not in the wine mood.
305 E. Fourth Ave., San Mateo; (650) 513- 1759. No website.
Thirsty yet? We’re now in the midst of the annual Silicon Valley Beer Week until Aug. 2, with several unique events taking place up and down the Peninsula from Los Gatos to San Mateo. One creative highlight is “Spaghetti Western Night” at The Refuge in San Carlos, where an Italian-Oklahoma brewery collaboration stout called “Spaghetti Western” will be released and paired with, yes, spaghetti and meatballs. Other events include tap takeovers like the Belgian brewery La Trappe at The Refuge’s Menlo Park restaurant Friday. Visitors can also get a taste of cask ales at Redwood City’s Freewheel Brewing Co. on Tuesday.
For full schedule, visit SVBeerWeek.com.
South San Francisco
South San Francisco now has a branch of the popular Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a Virginia-based national chain with over 1,000 locations that promotes fast food with high quality ingredients like humanely raised fresh ground chuck beef, 100 percent peanut oil for frying, and Idaho grown potatoes for French fries. Nothing is ever frozen and there seem to be 250,000 ways to individualize a burger at the restaurant. This is the third Upper Peninsula location of Five Guys.
2278 Westborough Blvd., South San Francisco; (650) 244-9900. Fiveguys.com.
Kung Fu Tea recently opened in San Mateo, specializing in many types of bubble tea drinks. There are the traditional types of tapioca pearl-milk teas and different green teas that can be topped with red beans or flavored jellies, along with iced drinks called a “slush” and “Wow Milk,” where toppings are blended into the drinks. Based in New York, the company has branches across North America and Asia.
140 S. B St., San Mateo; (650) 372-5136. KFTeaUSA.com.