Walnut Creek may not seem to be an obvious place for a Yacht Club but when Ellen McCarty and Kevin Weinberg opened up in 1997 it was an immediate hit and is now a well-established part of the Walnut Creek dining scene.
It had been a while since Sylvia and I had been here, so an update seemed very timely and a fairly miserable Friday evening in early March found us joining the lively scene here. And lively is an apt description for the ambiance.
The theme is obviously nautical with pennants over the bar, lots of teak and mahogany plus a ferocious looking fish. All of this, together with a commitment to the finest quality seafood pulls in a lot of people. All are not diners, of course. There is a very popular bar area and also an Oyster Bar.
Although everything is fitted on to one (large) page, the restaurant menu has lots of choice with one section being devoted to a choice of items that can be prepared pretty much any way you want it. Then there are some individual presentations such as Gumbo Ya Ya and Bluenose Bass and Red Coconut Curry. Also a wide range of appetizers and salads and lots of oysters. None of their food is frozen and it is kept packed in crushed ice right up to when it is prepared.
Neither Sylvia no I had an appetizer and we both ordered from the section on the menu where your choice is cooked to your requirements. Sylvia had the Halibut (from Half Moon Bay), sautéed in garlic, white wine and butter, together with a side of fries, while I had the Dayboat Scallops, all the way from Barnegat Light, New Jersey. I had these prepared in the same way as Sylvia but I chose mushroom pilaf as an accompaniment.
Everything was really perfectly cooked. Both the scallops and the halibut were presented lightly browned and the portion sizes were generous. The flavors were fresh and tasty and the scallops were as good as any I have tasted.
All this was perfectly complemented by the bottle of Acacia Carneros Chardonnay we had brought along with us.
Now we did not have high expectations for dessert in what is primarily a fish restaurant but we decided to take a chance. What a great decision! As I learned later, unlike many local restaurants, they make all of their own desserts and the Bread Pudding that we shared was delicious, with Bartlett Pears, a caramel sauce poured over, then topped with a very generous scoop of cinnamon ice cream.
Yes, cinnamon ice cream sounds strange but it was really quite delicious. This was one of the few restaurants in the area that has at least one outstanding dessert that we would order again.
The Walnut Creek Yacht Club is definitely recommended for lovers of fish and seafood. Check them out on the Internet at wcyc.net.