There is a real shortage of new restaurants to review this month, although there are a few on the horizon. Instead, as we move into Fall, I am reminded that our evenings are cooling and this is the perfect time of year to enjoy outdoor dining. If you share my thoughts, one or two of the following suggestions may appeal to you.
Il Fornaio, Walnut Creek
One of the most appealing things about Il Fornaio is their varied menu. With a choice of half a dozen pizzas, a similar selection of pasta dishes (all with house made pasta), and some more substantial (and more expensive) dishes from the grill, there is something for everyone who enjoys authentically Italian food. They also have a seasonally changing menu based on different regions of Italy. It may not be the most affordable place on this list but it is well recommended.
The Peasant’s Courtyard, Alamo
If you are looking for casual dining with a nicely secluded patio, The peasant’s Courtyard takes some beating. One of Danville restaurateur, Rodney Worth’s restaurants, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is a well-established Alamo favorite.
Menu items range from sandwiches, burgers and salads to some more substantial entrees such as salmon piccata and chicken marsala, plus there is always fish and chips on Fridays. And If you are a burger enthusiast, the Rodzilla burger will not disappoint. Prices are very affordable. This is one of my personal favorites.
Jack’s, Pleasant Hill
With an extensive outdoor patio as well as a large indoor space, Jacks has a menu to match. Yet despite the vast selection of dishes on offer, the quality shows no signs of suffering. And it’s not just the number of dishes on the menu, so much as the wide variety of cuisines. Here you can choose from a number of burgers, macs, pastas, fish and more. In the mood for a steak or maybe salmon? No problem. And Jack’s also has some of the best fish and chips in the area. This is a lively, well-supported restaurant and one of Pleasant Hill’s best.
Fieldwork, San Ramon
Now on to something completely different. Much more recently opened than any of the above, and situated in the new Bishop Ranch City Center, Fieldwork is a brewing company with a very pleasant outdoor dining area, an exceptional range of beers on tap and a fairly limited selection of food comprising a choice of siz or seven pizas and a handful of salads and appetizers. Everything is very affordable though, and this is a very pleasant place to just relax and enjoy a good beer.
If you haven’t been to Faz, you have missed out on one of the most attractive dining patios in the area. There are numerous tables set among giant redwoods with a water feature in the background. The menu is Mediterranean style with dishes ranging from pizzas to pasta dishes and kebabs. I strongly recommend the Fettucini Marco Parlo, a delicious dish of prawns, tomatoes and spinach in a creamy curry sauce.