*** Show this article at Flights and be upgraded to First Class: You'll receive FREE CHAMPAGNE & white glove service, compliments of owner Alex Hult. Not sparkling wine, but real Champagne; specifically, Charles Lafitte Brut. Offer available through the end of February.
Last week, Alex Hult invited me to try his new restaurant Flights. He couldn't have a more visible location, at the intersection of University Avenue and Highway 9, just before the 17 on ramp. I'd often seen his previous restaurant Hult's, but had never dined there. Last summer, Alex, a Swede and former San Jose Sharks player, opened the first Flights in downtown Campbell. It's been such a success that he turned Hult's into a second Flights, and a third location is planned to open this summer in Burlingame.
The theme is aviation and I loved it—it's clever, fun, and done up to the max. The servers wear flight attendant uniforms, the décor is vintage luggage and travel paraphernalia, and the food and drinks come in flights of three. They even have an official Flights limo used to transport people between the Campbell terminal and the Los Gatos terminal when flights get overbooked.
My husband and I started off with a flight of Cabernet Sauvignon. For $18, we received three 4 oz. pours of hearty reds. A standard wine pour is 5 oz., so this was a good deal for the equivalent of 2+ glasses of good wine. My favorite drink was the flight of Old Fashioneds: one Classic, one Orange, and one Bold with a scrumptious bourbon-soaked cherry that I devoured without sharing. My husband declared the angus beef sliders the best burgers he's had in awhile: one was Bacon & Cheddar, one was Blue Cheese & Crispy Onion, and one was Avocado & Pepper Jack. Of the three calamaris, the Paramesan & Herbs stood above the rest. That said, if you prefer to have your flight be three of the same flavor, your request will be granted. Some of the food items have room to improve: the ahi and tacos were a bit bland. Thankfully, recipe adjustments are easy; taking off with a bang is the hard part, and they are smooth sailing.
There are two distinct areas of the restaurant: the front is sit-down dining, the back is a sports bar with bar tables, couches, and TVs. They also have front patio seating with couches and heat lamps. We sat in the sports bar section on the most beautiful leather couch with a vintage travel trunk for a coffee table (pictured below), it certainly felt like we were in first class. They are a family friendly destination and offer a kids menu. Brunch is served on Sundays from 10 am - 3 pm.
Flights Deals & Insider Info:
- The Happy Hour is generous: Monday-Friday, 11 am - 5 pm, 25% percent off everything.
- Join their Frequent Flights loyalty program and receive perks galore. It's free and easy to sign up, and immediately rewards you with 5% off every bill, a birthday dessert with candle, and an anniversary champagne toast. If you spend $500 annually, you'll get 10% off every bill. If you spend $1,000 annually, you'll get 15% off every bill plus free private party bookings.
- Heads up: They add a 4% kitchen tip to every bill, you can request to have it removed. The purpose is to give the kitchen staff a livable wage (which, of course, everyone supports), but I suspect they'll need to change how they go about providing a livable wage. The 4% service charge hasn't been well received, it's a charge consumers aren't accustomed to.
- Simply Silicon Valley's First Class Special — show this article for free Champagne and white glove service, thru the end of February.
Flights has been bustling every night since their grand opening. There is certainly a buzz about this restaurant-sports bar hybrid, it's a great place to hang out. We were there on a Thursday and there wasn't a free seat in the house. The staff is catching up to the excitement and service quality could improve: it took 10 minutes for someone to approach our table, but we didn't mind—we were on a date, child-free for a few hours, and happy to be trying out the newest restaurant in town.
I definitely recommend taking a Flight yourself. They don't do reservations; if you have to wait a bit for a table, you can sip your Simply Silicon Valley French bubbly on the terrace while you take a deep breath and soak up this beautiful weather. Quelle belle vie!