Gourmet ice cream: What kind of entrepreneur would open an ice cream shop during the coldest January in memory? Only one who had been an ice cream aficionado since his childhood summers on Cape Cod, Mass., and who had perfected his own recipes over years and years. General contractor Chris Leahy has embarked on an encore career with his wife, Lori, and their children, opening Mission City Creamery in Santa Clara. If the crowds of Santa Clara University students on recent 38-degree nights are any guide, Leahy may have a hit on his hands. He's hand-crafting more than a dozen flavors on-site (by the way, that butterfat content starts at 14 percent and goes higher for some flavors), and the customers already have clear favorites. His trendy-yet-subtle Salted Caramel is flying out of the freezer case, followed closely by the Caramelized Banana and the Coffee with Heath Bar. Other flavors include honey lavender, chocolate peanut butter, peppermint stick and butter pecan. Come summer, Leahy aims to do plenty with coastal olallieberries and other fresh fruit. Fall is covered, too: He says he makes a great pumpkin pie ice cream, crust and all. Details: Open daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 2905 Park Ave., Santa Clara. www.missioncitycreamery.com.


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Wine-fed beef: At Wente Vineyards in Livermore, there are two answers to the "where's the beef?" question. The beef is right there on executive chef Matt Greco's menu. And the beef is right there on the Wente estate, which is raising its own cattle as part of its sustainability program. And the cattle are getting to dine on wine-laced feed, to boot. To celebrate the cattle program and Greco's first anniversary on the job, the winery will hold Wente Estate Beef Week from Jan. 28 through Feb. 3, with a special beef-themed menu. Choices include a 28-day dry-aged short loin with Bearnaise sauce; crispy clams in beef chorizo broth with bone-marrow butter; and a charcuterie plate of shank rillette, bierwurst and smoked Texas-style sausage. Reservations: www.wentevineyards.com.

Send South Bay and Peninsula dining tips to Linda Zavoral at lzavoral@mercurynews.com.