Shenkman gave the early deets on the New England style chowder house, which will serve seafood staples such as live Maine lobster, fresh local crab, clam chowder, lobster rolls, fish and chips, calamari and more. (Sam's is not exclusively for fish lovers; the menu also includes meat dishes and Shenkman said the restaurant can accommodate gluten-free and vegetarian diners.) There will also be an oyster bar; Shenkman said they're currently working on removing Campo 185's pizza ovens and adding new kitchen equipment to accommodate Sam's menu concept.
Sam's also makes its own cured salmon, dressings, sauces and desserts in house.
Executive Chef Robert Holt will head up the Palo Alto kitchen. His previous Bay Area cooking stints have included Boulevard and Acquerello in San Francisco and Marzano in Oakland.
Though the menu will change based on season and availability of local ingredients, here's a sneak peek at a few menu items to get your stomach excited for Sam's opening:
- Jumbo scallops wrapped in house pancetta, with truffled cauliflower, celery root puree, Tuscan kale and grilled leek vinaigrette
- Spaghetti "Vongole" with littleneck and manila clams, tomato concasse, garlic, chili, and white wine
- Slow roasted pork shoulder, with braised lacinato kale, Iacopi Farms butter beans, and sweet and spicy tomato jam
Sam's Chowder House: 185 University Ave., Palo Alto; 650-614-1177. www.samschowderhouse.com