Esin means “inspiration” and this would be very apt for one of Danville’s most highly regarded fine dining establishments but in reality, the restaurant is named after Esin deCarion who is the wife and co-owner with Curtis deCarion who is also Esin’s chef.
Esin opened in Danville’s Rose Garden center in 2008 having previously been in very small premises in San Ramon since 1998. Known as Café Esin in those days it quickly built up a firm following which increased many-fold at the present location.
It had been quite a while since Sylvia and I had been here and on the last occasions we had been a little disappointed as the staff had seemed a little overwhelmed. Still, many of our friends continued to rave about how good it was so we really felt it was time for another visit.
Let me say immediately that we were not disappointed. Esin is as good as, if not better than, it ever was.
This is undoubtedly a spectacular restaurant. The ambiance always reminds me of a Spanish Parador with it’s high ceilings, dark wood finishes, cream walls and simulated candle-light. There is lots and lots of seating and I suspect it may be the largest restaurant in Danville but it always seems to be pretty full and reservations are a must.
But enough about the ambiance, on to the food!
I am pleased to note that Curtis does not just dish up the same menu as so many restaurants in Danville. He is a talented chef and produces some imaginative dishes.
Sylvia chose one of their long-time favorites, filo wrapped chicken breast as an entrée. This is a generous sized chicken breast in filo pastry filled with feta chees, goat cheese, grana padano & spinach , then sliced in half and served over cous cous with a tomato coulis.
My choice was a duck breast confit which was served over green lentils.
We also asked for a side order of fries, partly because we seemed to recall that portion sizes were on the small side.
Neither of us wanted an appetizer as we knew we would want one of Esin’s famous desserts but our waiter helpfully told us that the chicken dish could take around 20 minutes, so we opted to have the fries as an appetizer (!) Good call! They were delicious. But we really need not have been concerned about portion sizes as they were ample.
Both entrees were delicious. This really is good food. We also had a glass each of an excellent Russian River chardonnay whose name I can’t recall. Esin is noted for it’s wine selections both by the glass and by the bottle.
We finished our meal with a home-made Bread Pudding with lemon sauce. I think all of their desserts are home made and this is one of the reasons Café Esin first became well known. Few restaurants even come close and they have a very wide selection.
So I am please to say that Esin provided us with an excellent evening out and we will have no hesitation in returning. You can read more about them on their website at esinrestaurant.com.