WALNUT CREEK, CA — With pandemic restrictions easing, local residents are rushing back to their favorite restaurants, their way of helping to ensure that the restaurants survive tough economic times.
But are you on the lookout for someplace new?
Open Table, a restaurant booking website, analyzes more than 400,000 new diner reviews each month across all participating restaurants.
Using the reviews, Open Table has compiled a list of the Top 10 best restaurants in the East Bay. Just one Walnut Creek restaurant made the cut. Here’s the list, updated through Monday.
1. The Star on Park, Alameda
This is the East Bay’s go-to for deep-dish, Chicago-style pizza. The family friendly restaurant also serves appetizers, salads and sandwiches.
2. Juanita & Maude, Albany
This neighborhood restaurant features s Chef Scott Eastman’s personal take on American Cuisine. “The daily changing menu highlights classic dishes, handmade pastas, whole animal butchery, homemade bread, and decadent deserts,” Open Table advises. “His refined comfort food is matched with seasonal craft cocktails and an international wine list.”
3. La Finestra Ristorante, Moraga
La Finestra is a family owned and operated restaurant, serving Sicilian and Italian food. “La Finestra offers an authentic Sicilian dishes with seafoods, pastas, poultry and meat,” writes Open Table. They serve lunch and dinner daily, along with brunch on the weekends. Closed Monday.
4. Reve, Lafayette
“RÊVE is not that snooty, splurge-on-your-anniversary kind of French restaurant,” according to Open Table. “Au contraire.This is your classic, everyday neighborhood French bistro. That kind of cozy little place you’d imagine in Saint Michel or Saint Germain. Not smack dab in the middle of the ‘burbs.” Five star chef Paul Magu grew up in Paris and prepares the foods dearly held in his heart. Authentic French onion soup, cassoulets, creme brulee, and so much more.
5. Marzano, Oakland
Are you craving wood-fired Neapolitan pizza? Open Table promises you’ll love the food created by Executive Chef Robert Holt, “Just like the small family-owned trattorias of Italy, Marzano is simple, rustic, and generous in spirit.”
6. Brasas Do Brazil Steakhouse, Concord
Are you craving a flavorful steak? “We serve grilled meat cooked the Brazilian way – over an open flame with natural charcoal,” according to Open Table. “Brasas Do Brazil features the ultimate all-you-can-eat, fixed price dining experience with continuous table-side service. Our rotisserie grilled meats are served tableside and go great with our unlimited gourmet salads and vegetables, house-made desserts and exotic drinks.” Father’s Day is June 20 — make reservations early!
7. Gyu-Kaku, Oakland
Japanese barbecue is on the menu at Gyu-Kaku, with a personal grill installed at every table. The dining experience is all about shared plates, so bring family and friends to enjoy food, conversation and laughter.
8. Shadowbrook Winery, Walnut Creek
Turn a wine tasting outing into a fine eating experience at Shadowbook, which offers appetizers, mini-meals, sides and desserts. Pair each morsel with your favorite wine. Shadowbrook has received 70 medals in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
9. Locanda Positano, Lafayette
If you are craving authentic Italian food, the proprietor of Locanda Positano is Enzo Rosano, who graduated from culinary school in Italy, grew up in a town outside of Naples. “His fondest memories of his childhood are centered around his mother’s cooking and the spirited meals he shared with his eight siblings,” according to Open Table. “Mama Carmela’s amazing cooking kept her children close to home throughout their childhood and young adulthood.” Enzo worked in London and elsewhere in the Bay Area before opening Locanda Positano.
10. Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge, Alameda
This tiki bar is all about the run drinks and bar food to absorb the alcohol. One recent diner wrote in a review, “If you’re in the mood for tiki, Forbidden Island is the place. Great drinks, friendly and skilled staff, and some good fried pupus to complement the rum.” Menu choices include coconut shrimp, chicken bites and corn dogs.
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