This week, we’re diving into the heart of beautiful Downtown Saratoga and right into The Hero Ranch Kitchen. Within the Historic Saratoga Village and its architecture, classic storefronts and cozy corners, there’s a fresh taste of something special.
It’s no surprise why this farm-to-table spot has made waves in Saratoga’s dining scene. Founded by culinary entrepreneur Angelo Heropoulos, The Hero Ranch Kitchen stands as a testament to his vision for creating a dining destination where flavors, community and the farm-to-table philosophy come together.
Heropoulos—the creative force behind the well-renowned “Opa!” and various other Bay Area restaurants—redirected his culinary journey with the idea of creating a space that he’d want to dine himself. This vision resulted in a diverse menu prioritizing top-notch ingredients, approachable prices and quality service.
The Hero Ranch Kitchen features outdoor tables bustling with diners and servers who charismatically engage with their tables in enthusiasm and steamy plates of food. Despite the biting cold, the patio remained warm with positive energy.
Interestingly, a seat at the bar turned out to be one of the best in the house. It gives a front-row view of the entire restaurant in action. The dining room has a rustically elegant decor and provides the setting for lively conversations, clinking of glasses and enticing smells.
The menu is simple and offers a variety of drinks, starters, salads and entrees. I ordered the Scotty Too Hotty, a bourbon-based cocktail infused with subtle notes of strawberry, lemon and jalapeno puree. Its initial sweetness was followed by a lingering heat.
I indulged in the crispy sushi bites, which were fantastic. They were elegantly presented in three portions and accompanied by droplets of wasabi-like horseradish aioli on one side and Sriracha mayo on the other. Each piece contained a fresh combination of tuna, salmon, hamachi, creamy avocado and spicy pepper slices that were complemented by a sweet soy infusion and crispy rice. This dish was a palate-pleasing snack full of sophistication and flavor.
Diving further into the menu, I noticed a 14-ounce bone-in apricot-glazed pork chop. It was prepared by a sous vide method and finished on their wood-fired grill, which made the pork chop come out in a blend of juicy tenderness and smoky crunch. The apricot glaze added a sweet and savory barbecue touch. The dish was accompanied by a potato mash, bacon-infused brussels sprouts and sweet potato chips.
The Best Butter Cake dessert option caught my interest next. It is a rich butter cake with luscious mascarpone whipped cream plated with fresh strawberry slices and droplets of raspberry gel. It’s a medley of rich, creamy, fruity and sweet flavors.
The Hero Ranch Kitchen delivered a remarkable dining experience while elevating the farm-to-table industry in Downtown Saratoga. Adding this delicious gem to a New Year’s resolution provides for a delightful night out.
The Hero Ranch Kitchen
14583 Big Basin Wy, Saratoga