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First Bite: A Table For Gathering

A gourmet dining experience in Richmond inspires more than what’s on the plate.


Lauren Bonney

Right off Interstate 580 near Point Richmond, next to a collection of construction machinery and warehouse buildings, is your next dinner party. We know what you’re thinking because we had the same thought: “Am I at the right place?” But leave the industrial parking lot behind, and enter into an entirely different atmosphere at Anaviv’s Table.

A single communal wood table dressed with fresh flowers and 10 place settings greet you as you step into the cozy dining space. Grab a seasonal craft cocktail or glass of sparkling wine, and say “hey” to the other guests (after all, they are the other members of your intimate, reservations-only dinner party) before heading into the kitchen to chat with chef Ed Vigil. Nosh on some appetizers, including squash blossom fritters, and then engage in a five-course meal paired with a selection of fine California wines.

The farm-to-table dinner is hyper-local, organic, and seasonal, plus the menu changes on a weekly basis. On our visit, we started with an heirloom tomato and watermelon salad over greens dressed in an edible flower vinaigrette and a sprinkling of goat cheese, followed by a “surf and turf”–inspired course with lavender and vanilla cured pork belly, a diver scallop, a grilled prawn, and a phenomenal champagne gastrique.

As the courses kept coming and the wine kept flowing, so did the conversation. By the third course (a stunning risotto with summer corn, chanterelles, and tomato relish that knocked our socks off), connections were made, stories shared, and, dare we say it, new friendships gleaned.

That’s what made this experience so unique. A brand-new pop-up style dining experience motivated total strangers to gather around a single table and connect. And while the food was certainly a delectably gourmet conversation starter, the opportunity to meet people from the area or, in our case, other parts of the country was exceptional.

600 Hoffman Blvd., Richmond, (415) 328-4403, anaviv.com/table. Dinner Thurs.–Saturday. Call or go online for reservations.

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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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