One of the East Bay's best finds. Yes the plates are small, and intended to be shared. similar to tapas, you select a number of plates to share and get a sample of everything.
The wine list, like the menu, is constantly changing but always very good.
Va de Vi
Favorite Dish: Hard to say. The chicken papaya salad when availble is excellent. the potato leek soup (shots) are also very good. The (Kobe) hamburgers are so tender and jucy they melt in your mouth.
I've not had a dish yet that I could even call mediocre.
Lark Creek is one of a number of higher end dining establishments owned by Bradley Ogden. Unlike our experience in Las Vegas at his restaurant in Caesar's, Lark Creek in Walnut Creek, CA continues to be a favorite.
The food is consistently good and the summer specials are just wonderful.
Favorite Dish: On our last visit, we started with an heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad. No, actually we started with fresh baked, warm rolls and a bottle of 5 Vintners Zinfindal. Next came the first salad. This was followed by a chicken (pulled) tostada which was incredible. Then we had the sea scallops and yes, another salad with shrimp.
All appetizers and shared, but just enough for a light dinner. It was great.
As the name might suggest for those baseball fans out there, this is a "sports bar" type restaurant sporting the name of one of the SF East Bay's local "hero's" Willie McCovey. Sport momentos abound for decoration.
The food is surprisingly very good for this type of establishment. Typically "sports" places have the standard mediocre fare, but McCovey's is definitely a step up and the service is quick and efficient.
Favorite Dish: I've tried a number of items, but their burgers and pulled pork are two of my favorites. The frys are consistently done crispy just how I ask for them.
I was spending the weekend at my girlfriend's place here in Walnut Creek and on the day of my departure she suggested we get out for breakfast. She brougth me here to Katy's Kreek. The restuarant looks minimal from the outside but as you enter you are greeted with a large dinning area with high ceilings, nice bar and beautiful art work throught the walls.
There is also a small "patio dinning" area where we choose to have our breakfast. The restaurant was really nice, the service excellent and the food great!!
Favorite Dish: I was starving and I knew with a long flight ahead of me would probably not eat the rest of the day other than maybe a snack, so I ordered a few items from the menu. I had the banana pancakes, 1 egg over easy, side of potato, coffee and oj. Mel ordered the classic eggs benedict!!
I was way too much food and I left most of my pancakes, but I did enjoy my potatoes and egg and the coffee was quite good.
Prior to my last visit, I would have said that Prima is one of the finest Italian restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, and that is saying a lot. However, my last visit was a disappointment. Prima Ristorante was established in 1977. It specializes in contemporary Italian food.
Not only do they have an excellent wine list, they actually have a wine shop adjacent to the restaurant where their wines can be purchased and where wine tasting is offered. The shop is basically a full service wine merchant specializing in hard-to-get wines from all over the world. They especially have some strong selections of wines from California, Italy, and Australia. However, on my last visit, the waiter would not take our wine order until the soup and salad had arrived.
Excellent food and great service push this restaurant's reputation to the top of the pack in the area. However, to me this reputation has been tainted. Although wine is important at Prima, the restaurant’s food has been first rate. Their menu does change over time. It has currently taken a divergence to the dark side.
Prima formerly served some of the best gnocchi that I have tasted. This was cooked to perfection and complemented with a nice red sauce. However, on my last visit I tried some gnocchi that was awful. This time it was soggy and overpowered by a strong distasteful dark sauce that was inundated with the extremely fatty sausage. The meal had started off nicely with a fine minestrone that included garbanzo beans and hit the spot on a cold winter night. The citrus salad was not bad. But failing to balance off the gnocchi, the ravioli was barely palatable. The ravioli was supposed to be stuffed with a fine cheese and even include some lamb. But only trace amounts of cheese were evident and I do not believe lamb could have been found with the aid of an electron microscope. The ravioli's sauce was also simply not good and the dish was overwhelmed with peppers. After an initial delay in getting some wine, the service was fine and even attentive to our disappointment. The meal was finished with a lovely warm chocolate cake served with a nice gelato that somewhat redeemed the experience.
Reservations are highly recommended. In a pinch, you might get lucky find a table at the bar.
Favorite Dish: Their warm chocolate cake complimented with gelato makes for a wonderful dessert.
Walnut Creek is home to an unusual abundance of great restaurants for an East Bay community. Almost every type of food is represented. Fine steaks are served at steak houses with Vic Stewart's on Broadway leading the pack by a wide margin. Italian food is well represented with Prima, Montecatini, Caffe Delle Stella, and Il Fornaio. But Chinese, French, Cuban, Vietnamese, Tai, Mediterranean, American, Indian, pizza, crepes, and even burgers are well represented.
The variety and quality of restaurants is high. There are restaurants to fit any price range and they vary from the more elegant, to casual, and yes even fast food. The downtown area features a high concentration of fine eateries within walking distance of each other. But there are a few gems outside of downtown like Rocco’s, a local favorite for pizza and pasta that is hidden away on a strip mall on Ygnacia Valley Road, as well as Sargam Indian Cuisine, on North Civic Drive just beyond downtown.
Tomatina in downtown Walnut Creek is my favorite pizza place in the East Bay. They have about four locations in total. But other than Walnut Creek, I have only been to the one in Alameda, which is also quite good.
Tomatina serves fresh pizza, pasta, and salads in a family atmosphere. Their dough, dressings, and sauces are all made from scratch. Their pizzas are generally of the thin crust variety, decorated with fine toppings, and cooked to perfection. They have some excellent salads to complement their pizza and pasta.
They have a sidewalk seating area that is quite pleasant in the summer. In the winter months, their dining room is more inviting. Tomatina is popular, so on a Friday or Saturday night, a wait for a table should be expected.
Favorite Dish: Their spicy three cheese pizza is quite good. Also their mixed green salad with Gorgonzola cheese and candied walnuts topped with honey mustard vinaigrette makes for a fine start to meal.
The location of Ruth's Chris in Walnut Creek is not what you might expect for this "high end" dining location. Packed into the 2nd floor of a newly renovated "down town" complex it is a bit difficult to find and get to if you are not familiar with the area.
Valet parking is available at $7.00 and is quite polite and very efficient both dropping off and retrieving. NOTE: the hot cars do get preferential treatment...or so it appeared.
Favorite Dish: DUH... Ruth's Chris Steakhouse...Let me think I tried the fish?...NAW...The Filet's were INCREDIBLE. Done to perfection (an I'm a royal pain on steak) taste that challenges anything I've eaten.
Caesar salad was very good. Crisp, not too much dressing as instructed, and no "little hairy worms" crushed into it. Crutons crisp too.
The veggies were done perfectly as well. Asparagras, al dente - quite hot but still crisp.
Potatoes - extra crispy, and they were.. we snacked on them long after the meal was finished.
Good food, mixed and trendy crowd. Everyone wants to eat at this locale so make reservations in advance!
Favorite Dish: Va de Vi means "it's about wine" in Catalan...and this place is all about the wine, not just from the Napa Valley but from all over the world! Flights available.
LOVE the Kobe beef! The lobster risotto was wonderful as well.
And the chocolate souffle is to die for! Order in advance.
OK, this is the scenario: It's 6:45p.m. on a Thursday night. Me and my girlfriends walk up to the door at Bing's (can't help but notice all the valet's in their cute hats). The gentleman at the door says we have to wait outside (41 degrees Farenheit) because even the lounge is full!
So I start to get excited. "The food must be really great!". A few minutes later we get in, joining our other friends in the lounge/bar. A table is secured. It's SO loud, you can't carry on a conversation with people across from you at the table. Not good. I like a lively crowd, this is too much.
The drinks come rolling in. Impressive specialty drinks list: YES. Alcohol content: Um...well, let's put it this way: Usually after two drinks, I'm DONE. Two drinks in and I'm wondering if I've had a key lime juice drink, not a key lime martini. Sigh...ok, maybe the food's better.
On to ahi tuni, skirt steak brochettes (wait, aren't brochettes supposed to be shaped differently than this?), salad and crabcakes. The beef was good, a little overcooked and the salad was YUMMY! The rest left something to be desired.
Yes, they're a small plates menu but when you spend over $130 between three people and you walk away hungry, something is wrong, no?
I'm going back to Va Da Vie. Back to my Kobe beef, ahi tuna and pomegranite cosmos.
Favorite Dish: I don't know. Will give Bing's another chance and will update you all then.
I've eaten Cuban food in two places...Spain and California. Obviously that doesn't make me a very knowledgable critic when it comes to Cuban food, BUT I know good food when I taste it. Havana has great food!
A loud, casual place to grab some good food.
The mojitos ROCK, especially the de Colada!
I LOVED the hostess, Diana. She is great, makes the visit there even more enjoyable!
Favorite Dish: Ceviche with fried plantain
Fish encrusted with macadamia nuts