Continuing my observations regarding the shortage of real restaurants in the East Bay – my definition being places where you can enjoy a relaxing, even entertaining, sit-down meal, that will take more than 30 minutes or so.
This month we take a first look at Walnut Creek, the “old town” to be precise, north of Mount Diablo Boulevard. With so many restaurants here, can we find some that would really be considered fine dining?
Perhaps the oldest restaurant in Walnut Creek, Prima has had its ups and downs over the years but is still considered by many to be the best restaurant in Walnut Creek. And the ambiance and service, combined with a classical Italian menu, not to mention the prices, leave no doubt that this is truly a “real restaurant”. One of the few that effortlessly earn that distinction.
Another long-time Walnut Creek restaurant, and a personal favorite, Scott’s has changed little over the years. This is possibly the largest restaurant in the area and has a w ide range of seating together with a very popular full bar area. With a very traditional ambiance, and an extensive menu that changes seasonally, Scott’s caters to a loyal clientele of all ages. I have always found the service to be attentive and many of the wait0staff have been here for years. Another real restaurant where you can easily spend an hour or more over dinner.
Situated in an imposing position on the edge of Walnut Creek “old town”, Il Fornaio is another contender for the category of largest restaurant. The ambiance is more contemporary than those previously mentioned restaurants and the noise level is considerably higher, yet it can certainly be considered “fine dining”, although many patrons seem to view it as a pizzeria, and while they do have a wide range of pizzas and pasta dishes, they also have a wide choice of Italian inspired entrees.
Opened in 2016, Teleferic quickly established itself as an up to date, modern Basque restaurant, providing authentic Spanish tapas, Paellas and more in stylish surroundings. This is definitely a place to visit when you are not in a hurry. Paellas are cooked to order and take at least 30 minutes. But this is all part of the Spanish dining experience. And although many come for the tapas and the bar scene, Teleferic offers some very interesting Spanish entrees and desserts. A truly individual dining experience.
Across from the Walnut Creek library, Benvenuti had a major face-lift a year or two back and is now one of Walnut Creek’s most appealing restaurants. With first class service, good, traditional Italian food and a very attractive dining room, this is another personal favorite, and the perfect venue to enjoy an unhurried and enjoyable meal.
I can certainly see that there at least a few restaurants in Walnut Creek that I would consider to be good examples of “real restaurants”. I’ll aim to find more that are worthy of that category next month.