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Montebello Market brings East Coast eats to Los Gatos

They kicked it off with a big party and ribbon cutting that happened to coincide with Derby Day, and being on the cusp of Mother’s Day, it couldn’t have been better.

“Smashing!” is how co-owner Jim Foley, local real estate and restaurant entrepreneur, described the grand opening of the new Montebello Market, a combination deli, market, gift store and bottle shop near the Los Gatos post office.

Hundreds attended the May 6 opening.

“We hope to make Kentucky Derby Day our anniversary celebration every year,” said Foley.

For now, they are in slow rollout mode. Current hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m., but they will be extended.

Foley and restaurant partner David Cohen, who is also executive chef and co-owner of Oren’s Hummus, have been carefully constructing the bones of this place for months, intending to bring a bit of the East Coast to Los Gatos.

Cohen, who hails from New York and has degrees from Cornell University and Le Cordon Bleu in London, said, “This is about sharing our stories. Every product has a story to tell, and experiencing it becomes part of your story. Our stories are tied back to the neighborhood where we grew up. We want to make this a local neighborhood market, where our story and your story come together.”

With an East Coast focus, it comes as no surprise that they are sourcing Carnegie Deli pastrami, as well as New York-style rye bread and Amoroso rolls for sandwiches.

For kids and adults who refuse to grow up, old-time concession treats like pretzel bites, churro bites, funnel cake fries, cotton candy and soft serve (spiked for adults) can be ordered from the window. Pick up drinks there as well, like The Caddy, a frozen Cadillac margarita with Gran Marnier float; the Funky Monkey, a frozen banana daiquiri with dark rum float; You Better Take the Ferry, Long Island ice tea with a twist; and The Bird, their take on a mai tai.

On the deli menu is hot cheesesteak (beef or chicken) with your choice of Cheese Whiz (big East Coast thing) or provolone (another East Coast thing), with mushrooms, onions and sweet and sassy peppers. Other New York faves are the Italian sausage with peppers, onions, provolone and broccoli rabe, and the Carnegie deli Reuben—hot pastrami topped with ‘kraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island. The Rachel substitutes turkey for pastrami.

Hot dogs, matzah ball soup, tuna salad and the Italian hoagie, loaded with Genoa salami, soppressata, capocollo, mortadella, sharp provolone, hot and sweet peppers, lettuce and tomato, all drizzled with seasoned oil, are classic East Coast staples.

Fries are available with sea, truffle or smoked salt; onion rings are also on the menu. Going green? Salads are the hot Cobb (bacon, avocado and hardboiled egg), the K.C.P. Spinach with mushrooms, tomato, blue cheese and caramelized onion vinaigrette (add bacon for $2) and the China Town Bus with greens, wontons, sesame seeds and soy peanut dressing. Grilled chicken thigh or teriyaki steak can be added to any salad.

By the end of May, the full breakfast menu should be live, featuring a hoagie with eggs, cheese and bacon, and Hash ‘n Eggs, with corned beef or pastrami, shredded potatoes, poached eggs and tabasco mayo on a hoagie roll.

Coffees, including the Irish version, are ready to roll, as are smoothies like the Green Lantern, which combines spinach, broccoli, kale, mango, apple and lemon juice, and Noah’s Special—banana, strawberry and Greek yogurt—created by Foley’s son.

Shelves will be stocked with small batch sauces, cookies, candies and seasonings, plus adult beverages to satisfy a thirst for experimentation, with a selection of rare whiskeys, gins, seltzers, craft beers, kombuchas and wines. There are flowers, cards and gift items.

A cold case will stock premade salads and sandwiches to go. Canned cocktails come in two sizes: Something to Do and Nothing to Do. Guess which is larger?

Montebello Market is located at 9 Montebello Way, Los Gatos.

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