June 20, 2024
State Street Market, Peninsula's only food hall, announces a new anchor tenant

The Peninsula’s only food hall, State Street Market in Los Altos, has lined up a new tenant for its premier restaurant space.

Cetrella — a Peninsula and coastal standout for seafood and housemade pasta — will relocate just a few blocks to take over the spot that was abruptly vacated by celebrity chef Traci Des Jardins’ El Alto restaurant after six months in business.

Cetrella will not only fill the largest space at 170 State St., but it will also anchor the food hall across the courtyard that’s been rebooted in recent months with several additions, including Orenchi Ramen, Konjoe Burger, the Good Salad and Penny Ice Creamery.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cetrella,” said Robert Hindman, managing director of Los Altos Community Investments, the developer of the food hall, on Tuesday, adding that he’s known the Cetrella team and their cuisine for years. “I feel they’re a perfect fit for the State Street location.”

Restaurateur M’hamed Bahet called the State Street space “optimal” for his current and future Cetrella plans.

For starters, he said, “The premises are Mediterranean in design, including the prized outdoor dining in the paseo, something that guests particularly appreciate in light of the pandemic. This aligns with our business concept and menus focused on Mediterranean Rim and California Coastal cuisine.”

Looking ahead, he said: “I am excited to develop the new opportunities it offers to run the speakeasy below the restaurant and the teaching kitchen across the paseo.”

The highly regarded Cetrella burst onto the Half Moon Bay dining scene 21 years ago with its California-Mediterranean focus, and the second location opened in 2015 in Los Altos. In 2017, that became the sole Cetrella.

At the new site, Bahet plans to maintain the restaurant’s reputation for “accessible fine dining” while also innovating with Mediterranean tapas and wine flights on the paseo. The speakeasy will open as a venue for late-night cocktails and bites, he said, as well as a site for private parties.

Diners can expect to see their longtime favorites — Grilled and Marinated Spanish Octopus, Salt Spring Mussels, Fritto Misto with rock shrimp and Happy Boy Farms vegetables, housemade pastas — make the move from Main Street to State Street, along with Cetrella’s wine cellar and the wine-dinner program.

A mid-October opening is forecast. Until then, Cetrella will still be serving at 400 Main St., Bahet said.

State Street Market launched in September 2021 with four tenants and the promise of Des Jardins’ first culinary foray south of San Francisco. Her El Alto opened in March of 2022 and closed in September 2022. No reason was given by Des Jardins or divulged by State Street Market for the sudden shutdown.

The post-Des Jardins reboot started in January of this year with the hall’s owner, Los Altos Community Investments, ending its contract with the Bon Appetit culinary management company and lining up new tenants. Other newcomers include the Ikuka dessert counter, a Little Sky Bakery expansion and the soon-to-open Bibo’s NY Pizza & Pasta, with that restaurant’s first pasta menu. Previous tenants Little Blue Door and Murdoch’s have reopened.

Details: 170 State St., Los Altos; www.statestreetmarket.com

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