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Dish: Prix Fixe in Walnut Creek

Chevalier back in Lafayette; a melt of Matzo; Limon Rotisserie update; Trader Vic’s cocktail secrets


Courtesy of Corner's Tavern

Walnut Creek Restaurant Week

Driving through downtown Walnut Creek at dinnertime is an overwhelming experience. With new restaurants popping up everywhere and longtime favorites still thriving, how is one supposed to decide where to eat?

Walnut Creek Restaurant Week is one solution. The annual culinary celebration returns April 17-24, with two-dozen restaurants offering chef-created, seasonal, prix fixe menus for lunch ($10-$30) and dinner ($20-$40). Teleferic Barcelona, located in the eye-catching 1500 Mt. Diablo building, is one of the new restaurant choices this year.

Kathy Hemmenway, associate director of Walnut Creek Downtown tells Dish, “Walnut Creek is proud to celebrate the diverse collection of restaurants we are fortunate to have in our downtown. There is something for everyone’s palate, and we look forward to welcoming diners!”

Walnut Creek Restaurant Week is partnered with Open Table for this event, and reservations can also be made on the Walnut Creek Downtown website. Reservations are recommended but not required.


Chef’s Table by Chevalier

Acclaimed chef Philippe Chevalier is back in Lafayette on April 24 at 5:30 p.m., with his Chef’s Table Experience at Back to the Table Cooking School.

The event offers participants the chance to learn new techniques and recipes through a hands-on, interactive experience. All courses are prepared by chef Chevalier and personally served to guests in the elegant studio kitchen. Envision a fresh six-course spring menu featuring items such as squash blossom beignets and butternut risotto with day boat scallops and Petrossian caviar.

Reservations are required, and the event is capped at 20 guests. Price per person is $158 with an optional wine pairing for an additional $85 per person.

No post-meal dish washing required.


Courtesy of The Melt

Passover at The Melt

Passover is just around the corner, kicking off on April 22. Not to be left out of the celebration, The Melt is bringing back its Matzo Melt sandwich.

The Melt is best known for its variety of grilled-cheese sandwiches. During the week of April 22-30, for $4.95, customers can dig into one with aged cheddar between two toasted and seasoned squares of matzo.

Enjoy this seasonal twist at any of The Melt locations, including in the East Bay on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue.

Sounds like a Passover winner.


Rotisserie in Walnut Creek

A few weeks ago, we mentioned that San Francisco’s Limon Rotisserie is expanding east, moving into the former Inge’s Footwear location on Locust Street in Walnut Creek. Its family-style menu is famous for free-range rotisserie chicken, slow roasted over an open flame.

We spoke with owner Antonio Castillo, who plans to open the newest rotisserie in early October. A resident of the East Bay, Castillo thought Walnut Creek was the perfect place to expand. Also in the works is a Burlingame location, with potential for future expansion plans as well.

Castillo tells Dish to expect the same concept and menu as the well-loved San Francisco version. Next door, Pleasanton’s Mediterranean favorite Lokanta will be opening a second location, also slated to open this fall.


Courtesy of Corner's Tavern

Margaritas at Corners Tavern

Who says tacos need to be served on a Tuesday?

Last Monday, Corners Tavern began a Margarita Monday special. Executive Chef Adam Carpenter tells Dish that this recurring special is an all-day $10 margarita affair. Last week featured blueberry margaritas and al pastor tacos, although new flavors will be regularly introduced.

Other current specials at Corners Tavern are no-corkage Tuesdays as well as a Sunday Supper Series. For $30, diners take part in a three-course meal featuring an organic mixed green salad, fried chicken, and a bananas foster dessert. There’s no kid pricing for this special, but a child’s menu is available.

With spring on the horizon, look for seasonal menu changes to reflect what’s currently in season at local farms.


Winemaker’s Pour House Revamp

Livermore wine bar and beer garden The Winemaker’s Pour House closed its doors over the weekend for an overhaul. While specific details are scarce, the staff promises a new name, theme, and menu when it reopens in a couple weeks. Stay tuned for further details…


Shake a Cocktail

Emeryville-based Trader Vic’s is known for its over-the-top cocktails, and the staff is sharing its expert knowledge on Friday, April 22.

For $60, you can learn the art of Trader’s Mixology, based on the 1947 Bartender’s Guide by Trader Vic. Snack and sip as you go. Advanced ticket purchase is required.


Oysters in Berkeley

Ashby Avenue favorite The Advocate has debuted a nightly oyster hour.

Chef Joseph Humphrey is serving up oysters all night on Mondays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Thursdays, and all other nights from 8:30 p.m. to closing.

Hog Island Sweetwater oysters are served on the half-shell with a Meyer lemon-celery migonette, or wood-roasted with seaweed butter and breadcrumbs for $1.50 each. Also on the oyster hour menu is a wood-grilled burger, a porchetta sandwich, and a selection of beers and wines by the glass.

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