Not that much is still the same in Palo Alto's Food and Beverage scene as it was 35 years ago. I suspect from their loyal customers that Sundance the Steakhouse has always served a good meal.
It has a very warm decor with historic and interesting touches, but it is dark so make sure you download a flashlight application before trying to see what treasures are on the wall or on your menu! The dark woodwork, paneling, and artifacts immediately inspired the idea of a bachelor party dinner. Hearty food, done well, yet not what I would consider fine dining or stuffy. Menu pricing is on the expensive side, so definitely more of a special occasion spot and the service was outstanding!
I always dine at a place anonymously before meeting with the person who handles events because I really get a sense of the place and get to see its operations. So valuable! Here what I saw that this place does right:
1. Their decor is designed with their menu in mind and when you walk through those doors, the atmosphere readies the customer for a serious meal. Your meal will arrive handsomely placed, but the decor suggests a certain robustness to the meal and the plates don't disappoint.
2. What a following this place has! Their loyal customers have a special meal deal from 5 - 6 pm. Speaks volumes to the quality meal they produce.
4. Their wine list is extensive and has multiple price points. They advertised a "famous" Lemon Drop Martini and they were as delightful as the wine we had with our meal.
5. Probably most important is that they had spot on service start to finish. Service counts for so much of the equation when deciding where to hold a group event and they delivered on that end. My guess is that they will exceed expectations on service when hosting an important birthday celebration or a business meal.
They have three semi-private spaces for group functions. A business meeting that required A/V or private, quiet spaces would not the right fit for this space. Family celebratory functions, a business meal, Happy Hour in their bar with hors d'oeuvres stations would all rock in this restaurant. Christmas and Stanford graduation are very busy times at Sundance, so plan ahead!
I learned so much more during my site visit at Sundance, so if you would like more information on event spaces in Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto or Redwood City, please visit EventCounselor.com.