Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

East Bay restaurant recommendations?


MarkinHouston
 Share

Recommended Posts

My wife has a business trip in early April which requires staying in San Ramon. We are going early and will have one dinner up in Sonoma at The General's Daughter thanks to the great reviews here. The other night we want to eat somewhere in the East Bay area. We have transportation so location is not an issue. I think we would like to find a place offering good local products. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would suggest Cafe Esin in San Ramon. It's California style food with a Mediterranean influence. If you go there, plan to get dessert. Esin makes all the desserts herself, there are about 10 choices that change regularly. I would recommend the brownie torte and the lemon meringue tart with gingersnap crust.

I also really like Lark Creek in Walnut Creek. It's American style food with local ingredients. They also have a nice lunch menu.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good call on Cafe Esin -- I worked in San Ramon for a six months or so last year and I had forgotten about Esin!

Nearby is Pearl Garden which has fairly decent Cantonese food (I wish I had something comparable in my neighborhood).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cesar is a nice tapas place in Berkeley; right next door to Chez Panisse on Shattuck Avenue. Nice cocktail and wine selections as well.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Patrick Davids in nearby Danville for terrific Pacific Rim and Postino in Lafayette for great Italian.

www.patrickdavids.com

www.postinorestaurant.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife has a business trip in early April which requires staying in San Ramon. We are going early and will have one dinner up in Sonoma at The General's Daughter thanks to the great reviews here. The other night we want to eat somewhere in the East Bay area. We have transportation so location is not an issue. I think we would like to find a place offering good local products. Thanks.

Is there place better for this than Chez Panisse?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For those nights you're shooting for simple in San Ramon, Amber Bistro and The Peasant and the Pear in Danville are both nice. Cafe Esin was the first place that came to mind followed by those two.

Bridges in Danville (famous for being a resturant in Mrs. Doubtfire) was purchased by someone who had a great place in Walnut Creek, but I haven't been there since that happened and I'm not even sure if it still has the same name.

Noone I know who has been to Chez Panisse in the past year has been satisfied in any way. That neighborhood certainly is fun to hang out in though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For those nights you're shooting for simple in San Ramon, Amber Bistro and The Peasant and the Pear in Danville are both nice.  Cafe Esin was the first place that came to mind followed by those two. 

  Bridges in Danville (famous for being a resturant in Mrs. Doubtfire)  was purchased by someone who had a great place in Walnut Creek, but I haven't been there since that happened and I'm not even sure if it still has the same name.

  Noone I know who has been to Chez Panisse in the past year has been satisfied in any way.  That neighborhood certainly is fun to hang out in though.

I had a bad experience at Chez Panisse last weekend for lunch. I most definitely will not be back again. I agree that Peasant and the Pear is good. I haven't been to Bridges since it changed hands, but I know multiple people who have gone, and no one's been impressed with the food, which is too bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Can you describe your disappointing lunch experience at Chez Panisse Cafe a bit more, Sararwelch? Was this your first experience there?

Just curious to hear what contributed to the negative experience. I haven't been to the Cafe for lunch in awhile but it's always been great there for me over mulitiple visits.

Thanks!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark, aren't you a charcuterie guy? I suggest the Oliveto Restaurant in North Oakland, co-owned by Paul Bertolli. The charcuterie used to be made by Bertolli--as far as I know, it still is, even with a new chef. The charcuterie is a specialty of the house--check out the salumi on the menu. http://www.oliveto.com/basic.html

The restaurant also emphasizes local ingredients, in the Chez Panisse tradition.

Edited by djyee100 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Can you describe your disappointing lunch experience at Chez Panisse Cafe a bit more, Sararwelch?  Was this your first experience there?

Just curious to hear what contributed to the negative experience.  I haven't been to the Cafe for lunch in awhile but it's always been great there for me over mulitiple visits.

Thanks!

This was my second time at Chez Panisse Cafe. It was one of the worst meals we've had at any restaurant of any caliber in a long time. I understand the style of cooking and what Alice Water is trying to achieve, but this food was just bad.

We started with leeks vinaigrette with egg and black truffle. The only discernible truffle was some black specks in the dressing, and the leeks were just ok. This was the best part of our meal.

I got the sand dabs with leeks and lemon sauce. One sand dab with some sauteed leeks and boiled potatoes. The fish was completely devoid of seasoning. The lemon sauce was flat tasting. The potatoes were just peeled and boiled. No salt, no seasonings.

My husband got the laughing stock farms grilled pork leg with sausage, polenta and slow cooked peas. When it came to the table, my husband remarked that it looked like a tv dinner. The pork leg looked and tasted like cold cuts. The sausage had an extremely coarse texture and a jarring flavor - too much juniper perhaps? The polenta was gritty, and the peas looked as if they had come from a green giant bag.

At this point, we just wanted to get out of there with as low of a bill as possible, so we declined dessert. The service was strange. The leeks vinaigrette was taken from us before we had finished eating it, and our bread plates were taken from us while we were actively eating the bread, so we had no where to set the bread down.

I don't mind paying a lot of money for good food, and I like the idea of local, seasonal ingredients, but this food was just subpar. Was it an off day? Maybe. But we definitely will not return ever again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark, aren't you a charcuterie guy? I suggest the Oliveto Restaurant in North Oakland, co-owned by Paul Bertolli. The charcuterie used to be made by Bertolli--as far as I know, it still is, even with a new chef. The charcuterie is a specialty of the house--check out the salumi on the menu. http://www.oliveto.com/basic.html

The restaurant also emphasizes local ingredients, in the Chez Panisse tradition.

Excellent suggestion, dj! I am indeed one of the sausage/pork belly/abcon fanatics, so I will definitely include the Oliveto. The trip is back on for mid-April, so the anticipation is building! Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...