Michelle and our son-in-law Kyle, our son Jason and Alex joined us at Saint Michael’s Alley to celebrate Cecile’s birthday last evening. To family and friends who know her best, she is the brightest light in our lives as measured by her gentleness, common sense wisdom and loving-kindness.
Aside from its historic past, the singular event that put Saint Michael’s Alley on the map was when President Bill Clinton and family rented St. Mike’s to celebrate Chelsea’s graduation from Stanford University in 2001.
Founded in 1959 by Vernon Gates, it began as a simple coffee house. It was named after the first coffee house in London on St. Michael’s Alley in 1652, situated below the spire of St. Michael’s Church. Back in the day, St. Mike’s bohemian ambiance was a hangout for many beatniks and was responsible for helping to launch the careers of writers, artists and musicians that included the Grateful Dead, Grayce Slick, Joan Baez, Ken Kesey and Jefferson Airplane. In 1994 the restaurant was sold to the current owners, Jenny Youll and Mike Sabina.
It’s no wonder they call this place "St. Michaels Alley.” The food was heavenly. For starters we had cocktails, Ahi Tuna Tataki with Ginger Beets, Bruschetta, and Wild Mushroom Cakes. For our entrees we enjoyed Butternut Squash Risotto with smoked Chicken, assorted speciality pasta dishes and Seared Wild Sea Scallops. For dessert we enjoyed warm Pumpkin Bread Pudding with caramel sauce and Whipped cream and a Duet of Seasonal Sorbets with a Homemade Gingersnap Cookie. But, the real treat was showering Cecile with gifts and being in the company of people we love. Kudos to Jason—who works in Palo Alto—for recommending this highly rated eatery that specializes in California cuisine and changes its menu every three months.
Happy Birthday Cecile! May you be filled with the effervescent joy and happiness I feel when I am around you❤️