Spring Arrivals: New to the East Bay Dining Scene
New restaurants are popping up like Spring flowers these days. It’s great to see so many terrific choices in East Bay dining. Here are a few we tried. If you have a favorite you think we should check out, be sure to let us know!
WALNUT CREEK – The long anticipated MoMo’s finally opened in Walnut Creek, transforming the former McCovey’s spot into a chic, upscale dining destination.
If you’re craving comfort food, as I was, the chicken pot pie is a good choice. The dish of roasted chicken, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes and peas topped with a chicken shaped herbed pastry is served piping hot. Besides being delicious, the cuteness factor was off the charts.
As you’d expect, steaks and chops are on the menu. The grilled pork chop was a hands down home run. The bourbon apple glaze locked in the flavor of the tender pork. It comes with mashed potatoes and broccolini.
If you can swing it stop by for happy hour. Oysters are $1, flatbread pizzas $5 and beer and wine $5. Entrées start at $17. Full bar. Open Monday-Friday from 11:30am and Saturday and Sunday from 10am. 1444 N. California Blvd. in Walnut Creek. MoMosWC.com.
DANVILLE – Featuring reclaimed, recycled and stylish building materials & nearly 100% compostable or recyclable products, Danville’s Homegrown is committed to creating the smallest footprint possible while providing high quality, sustainable “fast” dining options.
Make it a combo so you can enjoy a half sandwich and either soup or salad. I loved the cherry chicken pecan sandwich on a French roll with the farmhouse side salad. The chicken salad is made with grilled chicken breast, dried cherries, spiced pecans and sage aioli. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory.
Bowls like the hatch chili steal grain bowl, are also a great option. Warm quinoa is topped with grass-fed tri-tip steak, cage-free egg, Petaluma Creamery Jack cheese, cherry tomatoes, and greens.
Sandwiches start at $9.95. No alcohol. Open daily 7am-7pm. 405 Railroad Ave., Danville. EatHomeGrown.com.
DUBLIN – In a mash up that can only be described as oddly inspired, Pakistani, Indian and Asian cuisine meet burgers, pizza and fried chicken at Dublin’s Mirchi Cafe & Masala Pizza.
The result? Selections like gobi buffalo wings – a plate of battered cauliflower fried and tossed in spicy wing sauce served with ranch dressing. I was skeptical, but it totally works. Why have an Americano burger, when you can have a lahori burger made with 100% halal beef, onions, chilies and mirchi masala? Once my taste buds got used to the spices, I really enjoyed it. As you’d expect, the burger came with a side fries.
In addition to American favorites, the menu features a handful of stir fries. I enjoyed chili beef with bell peppers served with basmati rice. If you like spicy, this one is for you.
Entrées start at $7.99. No alcohol. Open daily at 11am. 7083 Village Pkwy. in Dublin. MirchiCafe.com.
The Banks Vault
LIVERMORE – A great selection of craft beer and wine await you at The Banks Vault in Livermore. The cozy spot serves small plates, flatbreads, salads and sandwiches in what was once the Bank of Italy’s vault.
Always a favorite, the charcuterie plate features two cheeses and three meats, warm naan, crackers, spiced nuts and fig jam. It’s a hearty platter and suitable for three or four to share. I followed it up with a small tureen of French onion soup. The caprese sandwich is also a good choice. Or share a sandwich or a flatbread pizza with a salad.
Don’t leave wanting for anything. The Banks Vault’s service is notably good and the staff will go above and beyond to make sure you have everything you need.
Small plates start at $8. Beer and wine only. Open Wednesday-Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at 10am. 56 S. Livermore Ave., Livermore. 925.292.1543. TheBanksVaultLivermore.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 May 2017.
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