Dining With Family

By Alexandra Krueger

Stockton’s Newest ‘Kitchen’ Rings the Dinner Bell

Tucked away into the corner of West Lane and Bianchi, you’ll find the restaurant known as Kitchen at Stonebrier. The first thing that strikes you will probably be its name—if every restaurant has a kitchen by default, what’s with the emphasis? 

When you walk into the restaurant, that’s when the “ah-ha!” moment strikes: It feels as though you’ve walked into a friend’s dining room. Chairs are wide and comfortable, various rugs carpet the floor giving the place artsy appeal—and yet, place settings are poised, a musician is strumming his guitar, and all the elegance of dining out is still there. With its unique atmosphere, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything like the Kitchen in San Joaquin.

“The family environment makes our restaurant really special,” says Jeff Holt, Head Chef at the Kitchen at Stonebrier. “It’s almost like Cheers when people come in here—by the time you get out the door, you’re going to know somebody.”

A chef for nine years, Jeff was attending the Farm to Fork event in front of the Bob Hope Theatre some months ago when the folks from Kitchen asked him if he was interested in the job. The rest is history.

“I like that I get to be creative here,” Jeff says. “We change the menu probably at least once a week, sometimes twice. There’s not one dish that’s been consistently on our menu since we’ve started.”

While the wild-card menu means we can’t indulge you in the current dishes of the week, we can paint a picture of the hand-crafted cuisine you can expect from the Kitchen: Take their Chicken Caprese Sandwich, in which chicken grilled to perfection rests on a bed of fresh mozzarella, artichokes, tomatoes, and a basil pesto spread on a ciabatta roll. For dinner, there’s the crowd-favorite Herb Marinated Rack of Lamb, served with creamy asiago-parmesan polenta and Ratatouille.

“With so much fresh produce being grown in this area, I’d love for 100 percent of the food on our menu to be from somewhere within 30 miles,” states Jeff. “I want the emphasis to be local; to support our farmers and to have them support us.”

While the Kitchen’s entrées take the spotlight, you could say their drink menu adds the ambiance. And what better place to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of local vino than on a private patio? With iron tables and chairs sporting spiraling designs, a fire pit for winter, and an outdoor bar, it feels like you’re having dinner in the fancy backyard of a good friend—it’s an easy-going atmosphere that draws in many, with a dash of elegance.

If you’re in the mood for more of a quick bite than a meal, the patio is also the best place to enjoy the Kitchen’s wide selection of appetizers. Currently on offer are the Jalapeño Popper Deviled Eggs, loaded with bacon and micro cilantro, arranged in a nest of crispy potatoes. If it’s something wine-friendly you’re craving, you can’t go wrong with their excellent charcuterie & cheese board to pair, featuring an assortment of cured meats, cheese, nuts, olives, honey, and crostini.

No matter what’s on the menu at the Kitchen at Stonebrier, you can be sure it’s going to satisfy and surprise the San Joaquin palate—it’s received rave reviews since the moment they opened their doors. Just under six months old, the Kitchen is just getting started.

“It’s like a hidden jewel,” says Jeff. “I’ll come out and talk to everybody out here, and people will come up to the counter top and talk to us… It’s a nice, easy-going place. We try to treat everybody like family.”

Join Us for Dinner:
Kitchen at Stonebrier

4780 West Ln., Stockton
(209) 932-9322

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