Despite the Bay Area’s penchant for chilly winter temperatures, locals have always wanted more spaces to perch and drink from a good vantage point, and it seems we are in the midst of a rooftop bar surge. The latest entrant into this category is the President’s Terrace, which sits atop the Graduate Palo Alto, offering views of downtown Palo Alto from seven stories above.
Expected to open in early January, the new spot will offer “an intimate setting” for guests, the announcement reads — think an outdoor fireplace, couches, and vibrant green plants accompanying the food and drinks. For beverages, the hotel tapped Los Angeles bar consultant Bad Birdy to come up with the menu. There’s a take on the mai tai dubbed the Nutty Professor, incorporating pistachio orgeat and pistachio foam; meanwhile, the Weekend at Burning Man pairs tequila with pineapple juice and an elote reduction. Also on the menu are a number of non-alcoholic drinks, as well as a list of natural wines.
On the food side, diners can expect a “seafood-forward” menu with items such as a kampachi crudo with chimichurri; a roasted cauliflower dish with sumac-infused raita sauce and pomegranate molasses; or Manresa Bread sourdough paired with bone marrow whipped into a spreadable “butter” and infused with pickled fennel and confit garlic.
Manresa Bread will also be providing pastries for the hotel’s ground-level all-day cafe, Lou & Herbert’s, alongside coffee from Saint Frank. Beyond pastries, there will be a breakfast and lunch menu. The Power Pancakes fold whole wheat flour and quinoa into flapjacks, which are then topped with blueberries and maple syrup, while items like the chilled soba noodle salad fill out the lunch menu. At night the cafe will move into more of a bar format, with snack options like oysters and tuna tartare, plus more natural wines and cocktails from Bad Birdy (in case you want a drink, but indoors).
President’s Terrace (488 University Avenue, Palo Alto) debuts in early January.