My husband and I like to try to be cool. We’re not (or at least he’s way cooler than I am), but we do like to pretend. We love thinking we’re even just a tiny bit trendy and going to really fun places all over our town.

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Santana Row in San Jose, CA

In all honesty, we probably like the idea more, seeing as how when we go out for date nights, we often find ourselves home by 9:30pm, in our PJ’s with a glass of wine and watching our favorite shows, falling asleep by 10:30 (because we have a 2 year old who will be up at exactly 6:58am).

But really, we do try. So, when I received an invite to visit Cielo, the rooftop bar at Santana Row here in San Jose, I jumped on the chance because it automatically bumped my “cool points” up. If you haven’t been, Santana Row is one of the trendiest spots in San Jose – the “Mini L.A.” as I like to call it. It’s full of high-end shops (think Kate Spade, Burberry, etc), amazing restaurants (Roots and Rye, upscale Mexican and swanky restaurants), and top-notch spas and hotels. The Hotel Valencia is the amazing hotel in Santana Row, and it is fantastic. We’ve stayed there before for an anniversary getaway, and loved our experience there. We kind of feel like celebrities when we stay there.


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Santana Row – San Jose, CA

Cielo is their rooftop bar, and they hosted a seasonal grand opening that was just amazing. They served wine tastings from several wineries, house-made sangria, Spanish tapas including: Spanish meatballs w/ Valencia rice in a sofrito sauce and shaved papato cheese, chorizo empandillas, braised chicken and rice filled piquillo peppers, marinated mushrooms with olives, deviled eggs with Serrano ham and green pea and manchego croquettes. They also served Spanish Paella, and vanilla bean panna cotta with wine soaked cherries and almonds for dessert. The chef did an amazing job, and the feel was fantastic. My favorite was definitely the chorizo empandillas! There was music and the atmosphere was perfect for just spending time their and enjoying each other’s company.

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Olive Medley and Deviled Eggs

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Wine Tasting 

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Spanish Paella

Of course, in an uncharacteristic weather day, San Jose decided to have a day of rain (we seriously have had 3 days of rain in the entire year of 2015, and this day happened to be one of them). That meant the event had to be moved inside to the hotels bar, V Bar, rather than being held on the rooftop bar, but they did a great job of maintaining the energy, feel and excitement of the event. The party spilled onto their outdoor patio, which gave a fun feel to the party as well.

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V Bar  

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V Bar

I’m an avid rule follower, but decided to be adventurous and make my way up to the actual Cielo Bar, forgetting the fact that they closed it for the weather and decided to take a look around to see if it was worth coming back on a good weather day. It definitely fit in my trendy expectations and we’ll certainly be coming back! It has spectacular views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and parts of the Silicon Valley. The hotel has created lounge areas, which I love. They just set the mood for good conversation, allowing you to reconnect without the table in the way. It’s also perfect for large groups.

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The View of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Silicon Valley from Cielo Rooftop Bar

So, if you’re looking for a local trendy place, or you like to pretend to be trendy on date nights (even if that means being in PJ’s by 10pm), Cielo is a fun spot and definitely worth the effort to get out of your PJ’s for!

* Disclaimer – The entrance fee for this opening night event was covered by Cielo, but my opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this event.

Hello, I'm Rebekah! Wife to a creative guy and mom to one incredibly cute little man. I love to read (novels), run (especially races), drink lots of coffee (sweet and creamy please), and enjoy beautiful community with good conversation around a table (with delicious food). This space is all about meshing real life, good food, and beautiful pictures - of food of course.