Justin’s Appetite For Expression - Fine Dining Arrives in Downtown
By Robert Haugh

Share |

Justin’s Appetite For Expression - Fine Dining Arrives in Downtown

Bringing newfound beauty and a graceful, fine dining experience to downtown Santa Clara, Justin’s Appetite for Expression - a premier restaurant - recently opened in the former home of Wilson’s Bakery.

Having transformed the iconic Franklin Mall building, Justin’s brings a delectable dining experience, magnificent ambience including adjustable lighting and a shout to the past with two of the original Wilson’s Bakery portholes remaining intact in the main dining area.

Serving “new American cuisine with global influences,” the restaurant 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, and some of the most unique and contemporary design features.

“We are excited to see Justin’s bring life back to this site. As you know, this site served as the iconic Wilson’s Bakery for 85 years. We are excited to see a wonderful business here once again. You will love Santa Clara and we are happy to see a new beginning for a landmark part to our Downtown,” said Mayor Jamie Matthews at a March 10 ribbon cutting, which was followed by a special fundraiser for the Santa Clara Rotary Club.

“To me, food is art,” said chef and owner Justin Perez on the restaurant’s official website. “It is something beautiful, satisfying and challenging. It is something to be treasured and remembered ... Justin’s is the creative result of the experiences you have all shared with me on this long road. Each dish has been sculpted to share my earnest love of food and the pieces of me that they represent. I can’t wait for you to experience them.”

The menu includes an array of offerings, from gourmet burgers and wood-fired pizzas, to a wide range of entrees from poultry to seafood to wild game such as rabbit and elk. Vegetarian offerings are available as well, including butternut squash and three cheese ravioli with walnut brown butter, roasted winter heirloom vegetables and pomegranate drops.

“But dreams aren’t always things that you can achieve on your own ... I have never been prouder of a team than I am of this one,” said Perez. “The menus are exploding into new realms with the talented chefs that I have recently added. Our sales team is the hardest working and most knowledgeable team I could imagine. And on the catering end, I can honestly say that our event designers and planners are the best in their field.

Justin’s Appetite For Expression - Fine Dining Arrives in Downtown

“Justin’s will be all of the best things you remember from the places we’ve been together in the past, but with new tantalizing twists added to pique your excitement. I hope that you have an Appetite for Expression, because I definitely do.”

Several nods to history include a wine bottle opener display - something designed from an extensive collection of vintage and unique items collected by Perez’s father-in-law, who passed away a year ago. Two of the Bakery’s original portholes remain in the main dining room - many Santa Clarans may recall viewing wedding cakes and cookies through the bubble-esque windows as children.

Perez has survived a roller coaster ride in the South Bay, having been forced to close restaurant sites in Campbell and Los Gatos after a series of dramatic events, including the alleged embezzlement of approximately $750,000 by a former director at one of his previous restaurants.

Justin’s Appetite for Expression and Catering is located at 1285 Homestead Road at the corner of Monroe. Call (408) 638-5300 or visit http://www.chefjustinperez.com for more information. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Catering office hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Online reservations may be made at: http://rez.urbanspoon.com/reservation/start/5764?source=selfhost

Justin’s Appetite For Expression - Fine Dining Arrives in Downtown

Over 100 Rotary members and guests attended the evening affair highlighted by samplings of lamb osso buco, honeycrisp apple walnut risotto with crispy sage potato silhouette, an array of gourmet wood-fired pizzas, sushi rolls and more. Proceeds will benefit Rotary’s youth leadership awards, Rotary’s youth leadership training program. For more information on Santa Clara Rotary’s service projects, visit http://www.clubrunner.ca/Portal/Home.aspx?cid=4212.