A man and a woman stand facing the camera holding plates of food
Server Megan Fernandez and The Club on Post restaurant owner George Gonzalez show off what he describes as food that fits into a “California lifestyle restaurant.” Photo by Robert Eliason.

There is a studied minimalism at The Club on Post that gives way to whimsy at times. Old movies and cartoons are projected on the wall. Picnic tables and umbrellas are set up down the middle of the closed-off street in front of the restaurant. A full bar runs half the length of the place, with owner George Gonzalez practically dancing as he works the shaker. After 24 years in the real estate business, the man is living his dream.

“I have no experience in the restaurant business,” he told San José Spotlight. “But I am learning really quickly. What they say is 100% true — it’s tough. But at the same time, it’s very exciting. When people walk in, they just kind of feel like they’re on vacation.”

The Club opened last July after overcoming a few stumbling blocks, not the least of which was finding a cook that fit Gonzalez’s vision of what he calls a “California lifestyle restaurant.”

“The food needed to be as diverse as San Jose,” he said. “Every chef that we interviewed had a specialty and they wanted to guide us towards it. I said, ‘No, we need to kind of open it up.’”

Chef Antonio Lara. Photo by Robert Eliason.
Chef Antonio Lara met restaurant owner George Gonzalez of The Club on Post by chance, and the two teamed up. Photo by Robert Eliason.

By chance, he met Antonio Lara, who was delivering some produce to the Labyrinth Restaurant next door. Lara had worked in restaurants on Santana Row for 20 years, starting when he was 15, but had been in the produce business for the last three years.

“I asked George, ‘When are you going to be open,’” Lara told San José Spotlight. “He told me, ‘I’ll be honest, I don’t have a chef or line cooks, so I don’t know.’ I said, ‘We should make a plan and a tasting menu.'”

One of the first dishes they developed was the truffle fries, a popular item in the starters. Tossed with copious amounts of Parmesan cheese and doused with truffle oil, the fries are served with a delicate garlic aioli, but ask for a side of the house-made cocktail sauce. Bright red with a sharp, vibrant taste, the sauce elevates an already fantastic dish.

Another is the braised pork belly, glazed with pomegranate sauce with a bit of cardamom to give it an earthy balance. It’s topped with fresh pistachios, mandarin orange sections and golden pears to give it a medley of flavors and textures.

“A lot of first-timers will come in and see the pork belly on a table,” Gonzalez said. “They will ask us what it is, and that’s our goal, you know? To get them to step outside of the box.”

Braised pork belly. Photo by Robert Eliason.
The braised pork belly, glazed with a pomegranate sauce with a bit of cardamom to give it an earthy balance. Photo by Robert Eliason.

Grits are another specialty, served with jumbo shrimp and Cajun butter, accompanied by cherry tomatoes, English peas, corn and bacon bits. It is a favorite of long-time customer Monique Falconer who was dining with her family.

“It is an unusual dish on this side of the country,” she told San José Spotlight, “but the grits are creamy, and there is a lot of flavor. I also love the vibe here — it is hard to find places where kids are so welcomed.”

Miso-glazed Chilean sea bass. Photo by Robert Eliason.
The miso-glazed Chilean sea bass sits on a bed of coconut quinoa, served with an apple salad. Photo by Robert Eliason.

Another must-try is the miso-glazed Chilean sea bass on a bed of coconut quinoa served with an apple salad. Pickled onions provide tart notes, and a beautifully delicate ginger beurre blanc sauce brings the dish together.

The menu always carries a few staple items on the menu as regular dishes and specials are periodically rotated in, but Gonzalez said the kitchen is always ready, on request, to cook anything they’ve offered in the past.

“I like it when people ask for those things,” Gonzalez said, “because you are telling me that you’ve been here, you know what you’re looking for and you know what you like.”

The Club features a full bar with seating and showcases Gonzalez’s skill as a mixologist. One can’t-miss drink is the Oaxaca on Post, which layers the tropical flavors of papaya and lime with an undercurrent of smoky Mezcal with a watching-the-sunset-in-Baja relaxed feel to it.

The Espresso Martini G’s Way. Photo by Robert Eliason.
The Espresso Martini G’s Way is a bold choice. It has a deeper, chocolatey tone that will open your eyes and keep them open. Photo by Robert Eliason.

The signature cocktail is the Club Espresso Martini, made with vanilla vodka, Irish cream foam, cold brew liquor and espresso, but the Espresso Martini G’s Way is a bolder choice. It has a deeper, chocolatey tone that will open your eyes — and keep them open.

Brunch is available on the weekends with some of the same choices as the dinner menu like the starters and salads, but adds a few twists such as crab cakes Benedict, Belgian waffles with berries and chilaquiles with a tart salsa verde, queso fresco and pickled onions.

In his concern for customer care, Gonzalez went as far as having his employees photograph plates returning to the kitchen to see what customers eat and what they leave.

“If we see somebody returning a lot of food,” he said, “we’ll say, ‘Hey, did you not like that or is something wrong? Let me fix it for you.’ The biggest thing we want to provide is great service and great food, the best we can deliver.”

Contact Robert Eliason at [email protected].

The Club on Post

Located at 43 Post St. in San Jose

(408) 352-5286


Monday-Tuesday Closed

Wednesday-Friday 5-9 p.m.

Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.




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