Summer Is in Session
Hang up your aprons. Summer is the perfect time to try out some hot new dining spots where you can enjoy a good meal, relax and stay cool.
WALNUT CREEK – Founded in Saint Helena by brothers Joe and Duncan Gott, Gott’s Roadside took Walnut Creek by storm last year with its menu featuring Niman Ranch beef, vegetarian fed chicken, and wild caught seafood.
If your burger tastes lean towards the gourmet, try the blue cheese burger. It’s topped with Point Reyes blue cheese crumbles along with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and Gott’s secret sauce. If you prefer spicy, the green chile cheeseburger with grilled Anaheim chile, jack cheese, salsa verde and jalapeño mayo will hit all the right spots.
Gott’s Mahi Mahi tacos are a standout. The fish was perfectly cooked and nicely seasoned. Tacos are piled high with fish, slaw and salsa.
If greens are your thing, the avocado and citrus salad with grilled chicken won’t disappoint.
Burgers start at $7.99. Beer and wine. Open daily 10-10pm. 1275 S. Main St., Walnut Creek. Gotts.com
DANVILLE – If 25 varieties of Moscow mules, 16 beers on tap, specialty cocktails and a large outdoor patio sound enticing, head over to the newest addition to Danville’s dining scene, Kick’N Mule. I enjoyed the Kentucky Mule with an order of Thai lettuce wraps. Big enough to be an entrée (in fact, if you’re thinking of ordering a salad, I’d recommend these instead), the butter lettuce leaves were filled with marinated chicken breast, Asian slaw, mango and just a hint of toasted coconut. The sweet to savory ratio in these wraps is perfect.
I skipped over the burgers and sandwiches in favor of the chicken marsala, served on a bed of mashed potatoes, which were real ones with a few lumps left in—exactly how I like my mashers—and sautéed veggies.
Entrées start at $13. Full bar. Open daily, 11am-12am. Check their Facebook page for the live music schedule. 340 Hartz Ave., in Danville. KickNMule2.com
Wild One Grill
PLEASANTON – It may be small, but Pleasanton’s Wild One Grill dishes up Mexican favorites that are big and bold with flavor. The menu features seasonal selections passed down from owner Griselda Avila’s father who was raised in the Mexican state of Michoacán.
If you’re a fan of enchiladas, try the potato verdes version. These corn tortillas are filled with savory roasted potatoes, grilled onions and cheese. Served with organic brown rice and black beans, they were the comfort food I was looking for on a cool summer evening. While we loved the enchiladas, the roasted pork carnitas plate was the table’s favorite. Marinated in an orange sauce with just the right amount of cumin, the slow-roasted pork was fork tender.
Salads, including a refreshing watermelon feta salad topped with chicken, are also available.
Entrées start at $12. Beer and wine. Open daily, 11am-9pm. 349 Main St. in Pleasanton. WildOneGrill.com
LIVERMORE – Livermore’s Range Life features a selection of seasonal, locally sourced snacks, appetizers and entrées that will wow your palate.
Whether you opt for one of the craft cocktails or dive straight into the wine list, trust me, you’re going to want to order the freshly baked levain bread and butter.
The grass-fed sirloin steak served on a bed of grilled little gems, spring garlic and mashed potatoes was a home run. A marrow reduction provided the finishing touch.
Grits lovers will be bowled over by the braised chicken leg served with cheddar grits, herb salad and bacon lardons.
Save room for the cobbler!
Entrées start at $22. Full bar. Wednesday-Monday, 5-10pm. 2160 Railroad Ave., Livermore. RangeLifeLivermore.com
Janet Fazio writes ‘Tastes of Your Town’, a monthly feature on East Bay dining in the print editions of Your Town Monthly. A version of this article was originally published in July 2018 editions.
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