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Classic Hits: Harmonious Global Fare

Fifteen years in, Va de Vi still rates five stars.


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Va de Vi Bistro and Wine Bar

If you know of another restaurant serving killer tacos, sublime pot stickers, lamb tagine, and charred octopus—all with smooth wines to match—let’s meet for lunch. In the meantime, you’ll catch us at Va de Vi Bistro and Wine Bar, which 15 years ago made exclamatory headlines with its global small plates and dozens of wine flights.

Chefs have come and gone, and the food quality has seesawed, but under Mike Fischetti, who took over in 2018, the international flavors are harmonious. The Caribbean tacos were stuffed with goat: tender and just a tinge gamey, served with pickled veggies and—watch out!—nubs of habanero (a steal for $4 at happy hour). Lush Moroccan lamb over couscous came dotted with chickpeas and spiked with sweet-tart kumquats. Tender Spanish-style tentacles were given a Korean flair with crispy rice cakes and a sweet-and-sour soy “barbecue” sauce.

If you’ve yet to dine here, the wine-themed restaurant is gorgeous, with a bustling bar area, open kitchen counter, and a barrel-like ceiling. Dining alfresco, especially on the old oak patio, makes for sensational fair weather fare.

1511 Mount Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek, (925) 979-0100, vadevi.com. Lunch and dinner daily.

 

Happy Hour Bar & Bites at
The Cooperage

Monday through Friday
3pm – 5:30pm

 

This isn’t your typical happy hour. This quintessential neighborhood spot offers high-quality craft cocktails on tap and tasty bites. Menu features: $10 cocktails on tap, $5 select beer & wine, $1 oysters, $7 bacon cheeseburger sliders, $7 crispy beer battered shrimp sliders, $9 sashimi-grade ahi tuna tartare. 

32 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette
​Reservations: www.thecooperagelafayette.com or 925.298.5915

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