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Crafts Creamery Opens in Danville

100 Railroad Ave, Danville

The ice cream shop Crafts Creamery opened in Danville recently and as you can see in the photo below it’s made using liquid nitrogen although it doesn’t seem to be mentioned on their website. Unlike Smitten which also uses liquid nitrogen in their ice cream making process, Crafts Creamery offers a HUGE selection which is great. Check out their menu here.

A small size is $4.95 and is available in a premium, organic, low-fat, and a coconut/granita dairy-free base. After you choose a base you can choose from flavors such as Cap’n Crunch, adzuki bean, milk and cookies, and plenty more. Normally I stick with chocolate but I tried low fat caramel popcorn out of curiosity and it did indeed taste like caramel popcorn.


Photos of the caramel popcorn ice cream and inside signage after the jump: Continue Reading


Local Lamb Dinner Featuring Napa Valley Lamb Co. Lamb at Pizza Antica on May 26th in Lafayette

Photo from Pizza Antica Facebook

From an email:

Napa valley lamb company’s lambs are raised on the grounds of the infineon raceway in sonoma. lamb expert-owner don watson takes a hands-on approach when it comes to caring for his sustainably raised livestock. don, with the help of a handful of expert peruvian sheepherders, personally cares for his heard. for this dinner, chef bradley will travel to sonoma to meet don, where he will select a very special lamb. that animal will then be hand-delivered by don watson. if we’re lucky (if he doesn’t need to race back to the “ranch”) he might stick around long enough for you to meet him! a special selection of wines from oregon and washington will be paired with each course.

eat & drink

lamb mortadella, prosciutto cotto,
pickled vegetables, gnocco fritto
pinot gris, ponzi, willamette valley 2013
lamb sugo, mint, pistachio, pecorino
gsm, gramercy cellars, lower east, columbia valley
mixed grill of lamb
fork-crushed fava beans, english peas, new potatoes
syrah, elk cove, rogue valley 2002
fresh strawberries
almond shortbread, whipped ricotta
brut rosé, argyle, willamette valley 2010

food & wine $90 | food only $58
(inclusive of gratuity)

click here to reserve.


Izakaya Jun Soft Opening this Weekend in Downtown Walnut Creek

1552 Locust St, Walnut Creek

Eagerly anticipated since beginning of the year, the Japanese restaurant Izakaya Jun in downtown Walnut Creek is set for a soft opening this weekend. Check out photos of the inside below. The wood paneling throughout looks great. The menu will feature traditional izakaya fare including appetizers such as shiokara (salted fresh squid), dashi maki tamago (Japanese style sweet egg omelet), yaki onoigiri (grilled rice balls), and gyoza. There will also be a selection of sashimi, grilled and pan-fried dishes such as yakitori, ika-yaki (grilled squid). Deep fried dishes will include tori nankotsu no kara-age (deep fried chicken cartlidge), various tempura and more.

There will also be a large selection of Japanese sake and Asahi draft beer on tap. This is going to be a great addition to downtown, can’t wait to check it out!


Bar area with sake selection:


54 Mint Il Forno Offering Dinner Service Beginning on May 20th in Walnut Creek

1686 Locust St, Walnut Creek

The bakery and pizzeria 54 Mint Il Forno, which opened last May in downtown Walnut Creek, is expanding their pizza offerings to accompany their new dinner service times and is having a grand opening celebration this Wednesday, May 20th from 5-8pm. Check out this month’s menu here.


“Please join us and bring a friend or two, if you like to RSVP please send an email to Daniele @”


Bonehead’s Texas BBQ Opening Early June in Lafayette

3422 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette

Folks are counting down the days until Bonehead’s Texas BBQ opens in Lafayette which replaces Bo’s Barbecue that closed last year. I recently spoke with the owner who indicates they are planning for an early June opening. Check out the latest updates on their Facebook page here. Learn more about their smoked meats, sauces and rubs here. I’m looking forward to trying this place out!


Peruvian Restaurant Parada Opening in Walnut Creek Near Pleasant Hill BART Late June

7001 Sunne Ln, Walnut Creek

Last year we learned that a new Peruvian restaurant, Parada would be opening near the Pleasant Hill BART station in Walnut Creek. Check out the rendering from the press release followed by more info below:


Chef Carlos Altamirano, owner of Mochica, Piqueos, Sanguchon food trucks, and two-time Michelin Star winner La Costanera, will open Parada, a casual, welcoming restaurant and rotisseria showcasing vibrant and creative Peruvian flavors, in the heart of downtown Walnut Creek in late June 2015.

Parada is the first East Bay venture for veteran

Chef Carlos Altamirano, who currently owns and operates San Francisco restaurants Mochica in Potrero Hill and Piqueos in Bernal Heights, the Michelin-starred La Costanera just north of Half Moon Bay in Montara, Calif., and Sanguchon food trucks that serve the Bay Area. Known for flavorful and contemporary interpretations of traditional Peruvian fare, Chef Altamirano brings the vibrant flavors of the traditional market in Lima, Peru to downtown Walnut Creek. Taking its name and inspiration from the Peruvian outdoor produce market, Parada will serve dishes such as fresh fish cebiches, organic salads, grilled anticuchos and flavorful tapas and entrees such as Pollo a la Brasa, traditional Peruvian rotisserie chicken. With both a la carte and family style meals available for dine-in or take out, the restaurant is a welcome addition to downtown Walnut Creek, and is the only full service restaurant within two blocks of the Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART station.
Continue Reading


Table 24 and Barbacoa get New Chefs, Launch New Menus in Orinda

Orinda Theatre Square

From a press release:

Barbacoa’s new Executive Chef, Remberto Garcia, is a seasoned cooking veteran who worked alongside celebrity chef Hubert Keller at Fleur de Lys for more than 20 years. His Latin heritage will influence Barbacoa’s rich, flavorful menu with new menu items such as a Quinoa Green Citrus Salad with Roasted Pistachios and Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos with Piquin Aioli. Fish Tacos with Cilantro Pesto, Carne Asada Rolled Tacos with House-Made JalapeñoSauce and Roasted Beet Salad with Roasted Beet Dressing exemplify Garcia’s commitment to simple, authentic flavors accompanied by a beautiful presentation.

Table 24’s new Executive Chef, Jonathan Williams has established a back-to-the-basics approach to the restaurant’s neighborhood comfort menu. A Boston born native, William’s no nonsense method to cooking enables him to focus on simple, seasonal, fresh and flavorful ingredients that round out Table 24’s home-style experience. A sampling of some of the refreshed menu items include beautiful, simple, organic salads with house-made dressings, home-made sauces, fresh baked breads, twice baked potatoes, fresh catch of the day, smoked pulled pork sandwich and baby back ribs along with a few new favorites such as William’s authentic recipes of New England Clam Chowder, Maine Lobster Rolls and Free-Range Slow Roasted Half Chicken.




Project Pie Opens in Downtown Walnut Creek

1590 Botelho Dr, Walnut Creek

The build-your-own-pizza fast casual restaurant Project Pie opens today in downtown Walnut Creek. I dropped by over the weekend for their soft opening and was able to get plenty of photos (see below) and try their pizza. The inside looks great and feels spacious with tall ceilings and tables liberally spaced throughout.

I wasn’t sure how quick it would be to order and get the pizza but it was surprisingly fast. Once I got to the front of the line, it took a couple of minutes to order and not more than 5 minutes to get the pie. There is actually a machine that takes the dough and smushes into a perfect pie shape in a few seconds! The crust was crunchy and tasted delicious. During the ordering process you can select from several options (see menu here), or order a custom pie. I ordered a #2 and requested extra red sauce, plus red onions and mushrooms. Amazingly there is no charge for extra toppings. All pizzas are $8.50 except for a plain cheese pie at $6. They also offer a banana and Nutella pie for $4.50 which sounds tempting… One other interesting thing I noticed was instead of Coca-Cola etc. they offer fountain drinks from Boylan Bottling, made with real cane sugar in “small batches”.

Look for a full bar with flat screen tvs and adult milkshakes coming within the next few months…


Plenty more photos of the inside, the pizza and patio after the jump… Continue Reading