At White Shallot, a restaurant located at 3143 Stevens Creek Boulevard in San Jose’s Winchester Shopping Plaza, couples, families, friends, and business people pack the tables for a fine dining experience. While waiting for their food, diners can smell the fresh flowers set in glass vases at their tables or admire the art work of the Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge, or Ha Long Bay on the champagne yellow and burgundy red walls.
“The French and Vietnamese have a strong historical relationship and so Chef Lan Le decided to open a restaurant specializing in both cuisines,” says Kevin Truong, manager of White Shallot. “Our restaurant is not a fusion restaurant. We don’t mix the different cuisines in our dishes. On our menu, there’s a French menu and a Vietnamese menu. It’s like having a French restaurant and a Vietnamese restaurant together in one room.”
“Chef Lan wanted to create a restaurant where diners could enjoy the best of both worlds right at the same table,” says Dan White, Chef Lan’s husband and co-owner of White Shallot.
Popular orders from the French menu include the escargot baked in parsley with garlic butter, the pan-seared Hanger steak with shallot red wine reduction sauce, and the salmon with crushed almond. Popular orders from the Vietnamese menu include the Hanoi shrimp cake, the grilled shrimp and beef on vermicelli noodles, and the prawns clay pot prepared in caramel sauce. After a meal at White Shallot, customers can enjoy a variety of desserts, including the Valrhona chocolate cake served with crème anglaise with fresh berries, the tofu custard served with ginger caramel and coconut sauces, and the passion fruit crème brulee.
Chef Lan, as diners call her, graduated from the inaugural class of Campbell’s Professional Culinary Institute, now called The French Culinary Institute. She also attended classes at San Francisco’s Le Cordon Bleu, which is part of the California Culinary Academy. To serve the best food to her diners, Chef Lan works with local suppliers. She also frequents farmers’ markets everyday to locate the freshest ingredients.
“When Chef Lan cooks, she tries to bring diners an authentic French or Vietnamese dish at a reasonable price,” Truong says. Truong also adds that every weekend, from Friday through Sunday, the restaurant offers weekend menus with special items.
Diners entering White Shallot will be treated to Chef Lan’s cooking and Truong’s hospitality. Chef Lan was born in Vietnam and moved to the United States 30 years ago. Before immersing herself in culinary studies and opening White Shallot in 2008, Chef Lan owned a travel agency and worked in electronic sales. Truong was born in Vietnam and grew up in Paris, France. He has 15 years of experience in the food and restaurant industry and is an expert in wine and beverages.
Though White Shallot has only been around for three years, the restaurant has been involved in community outreach.
“We have participated in the 4th of July festival held annually in Santa Clara,” White says. “One year, we managed a booth selling food from our restaurant and donated proceeds to the city of Santa Clara.”
Visit www.whiteshallot.com for more information.