Steak Houses


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Maguire’s Irish Pub


East Bay

Ajanta Indian Restaurant-Berkeley 2013
We have dined at and enjoyed the Distinctive Indian Cuisine at Ajanta Restaurant on Solano Avenue in Berkeley many times over the past twenty years and were interested when we heard that they were initiating a nightly Chef’s Tasting Menu. We always enjoy the décor that features large bold Indian Art inspired by the Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra India. Indian background music and lovely flowers on every table also adds to the experience.

Artisan Bistro
We also enjoyed the Artisan Foie Gras Terrine, toasted brioche, balsamic, kumquat and red grape carpaccio which was delicious. Definitely have the Steamed PEI Mussels with spicy fried garlic, tomatoes, parsley, shallots, sherry. It had an excellent broth.

We loved this appetizer and would return just to have it alone. The entrees that we enjoyed were the Skate Wing with Bloomsdale Spinach, Niman Ranch bacon, sweet potatoes puree and brown butter Hollandaise and the Coca Cola Braised Short Ribs with spring peas and red onions.


We are big BBQ fans and are always happy to hear that a new BBQ restaurant has opened in The Bay Area. We were particularly interested when we were told that Chef-Restaurateur TanyaHolland, from the very popular Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland,  had recently opened a sister restaurant on San Pablo Avenue called B SIDE BBQ. 
The Barrel Room Restaurant, Wine Bar, Retail Wine Sales
We are Wine Lovers but must admit that we haven’t been to a Wine Bar since our favorite, Rick’s Wine Cellar, in Marin was sold about a year ago. We really enjoy learning about and finding new wines to enjoy, so we ventured to The Barrel Room. They have a location in San Francisco and just opened on College Avenue in Oakland and offer 50 wines by the Glass and over 200 by the Bottle.
Bijou Restaurant & Bar
There’s a new restaurant in Hayward that serves California/ French Cuisine called Bijou which means “A Little Gem” in French. The restaurant owned by Benjamin Young and Phillip Chan has a crisp, chic, modern décor.
Bourbon & Beef -Latin Inspired Kitchen in Rockridge
Bourbon & Beef is the newest restaurant in the Rockridge District in Oakland which has always been known for great food. They serve Latin inspired meat focused cuisine prepared with seasonal, locally sourced, sustainable and organic ingredients. Executive Chef/Restaurateur Munther Massarweh born in El Salvador to Jordanian parents and raised in San Francisco brings a lifetime of culinary experience to his stylish small 32 seat restaurant which is directly across the street from Market Hall and walking distance to BART.
BOWL’D BBQ- Korean Stone Grill
We’ve enjoyed dining in the North Oakland‘s Temescal neighborhood for many years and watching the dining scene blossom. There are all types of restaurants and we get excited when new one’s open. BOWL’D BBQ- Korean Stone Grill recently opened and offers meats, fish and vegetables as well as Gluten Free and Vegan options, all made using their Korean Family Recipes. You can try Stews, Rice Dishes and Hot Stone Grill where you prepare your own food at your table utilizing an individual stone grill.

BUILD Pizzeria Roma-Berkeley
We love Pizza and the thought of customizing our own gourmet Roman Style thin crust pizza led us to the new Build Pizzeria Roma. It is located in a Circa 1904 Landmark building on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley near BART. Inspired by Italian Pizzerias with their sense of community Restaurateurs Lisa Holt and DavidShapiro have created a lively, friendly and unique environment

Centouno 101 Taverna Italiana
We have enjoyed going to Jack London Square in Oakland for many years and have seen dramatic changes which has brought growth in both housing and businesses to this beautiful waterfront area. The Historic Overland House building at the corner Broadway and Embarcadero has seen most of the changes, as it was built in 1909. Centouno 101 Taverna Italiana which serves Italian Comfort Food is its newest tenant.
Chevalier Restaurant
We love French Cuisine and were thrilled to hear about Chevalier which is in Lafayette and has been open for almost two years. As we entered, we were greeted by Executive Chef-Owner Philippe Chevalier who was born in Vendee, France.
Desco – Italian Cuisine in Old Oakland
We love dining in Old Oakland as there are trendy Restaurants and Bars which draw a sophisticated crowd. The historic buildings and classic street lamps create a retro American city atmosphere which adds to the overall ambience. We were craving Italian Cuisine so we wanted to dine at Desco which just recently opened. It is located in a Historic 1876 building and is quite welcoming with its big D shingle above the entrance and 1940’s Italian Café feeling.
Digs Bistro
Berkeley has a new restaurant that is casual and cozy and has a small focused menu serving New American Cuisine with Mediterranean influences. It is so cute inside you feel like you are away for the weekend in Carmel or Mendocino.
District Wine and Whiskey Lounge
The Chipotle Deviled Eggs with pickled radish and baby arugula and sprouts were excellent. Next, we enjoyed the tasty Braised Oxtail Sombreros served on crispy corn tortillas with radish, lime and cilantro. The meat was very succulent and the presentation was fun. The Warm Local Asparagus with truffled poached egg, crispy house made pancetta and banylus vinaigrette was simply amazing and definitely a must! We loved the Ahi Tuna Tartare with Peruvian rocoto chili, cucumber and Meyer lemon dressing.
Doukkala Restaurant
The Temescal neighborhood in Oakland continues to grow and thrive as a dining destination. Doukkala Restaurantrecently opened on Telegraph Avenue serving Moroccan inspired California Cuisine. Talented Executive Chef Eric Lanvert uses French techniques and local and sustainable ingredients to create interesting and tasty dishes.
Gather Restaurant
Downtown Berkeley now has a great new restaurant that features seasonal farm fare and organic fruits and vegetables that are carefully sourced and thoughtfully prepared by Executive Chef Sean Baker who honed his culinary skills at Millennium. They serve Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in a comfortable environment which is very active and lively.
Homestead -Fine Dining on Piedmont Avenue
We love to hear that hard working ultra-talented chefs after honing their skills in great kitchens for many years finally get their chance to open their own restaurants. Homestead on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland was just opened by Co-Owners Elizabeth Sassen and Executive Chef Fred Sassen who both enhanced their culinary skills at fine restaurants including Farallon in San Francisco and Camino in Oakland.
Honor Bar
Emeryville is home to many Hi Tech, Bio Tech and Entertainment Companies. Today, with the stress associated with business there’s always the need for a cocktail and as we all know American’s can surely use a stiff drink right now. Honor Bar fits in perfectly, serving interesting Specialty Cocktails made with Housemade Syrups created by Bar Manager Alex Smith and Gourmet “Bar” Cuisine created by Chef Jordan Grosser.
Italian Colors Ristorante
It is hard to believe that Italian Colors Ristorante has been open in the Montclair hills of Oakland since 1993. We have dined there many times and enjoyed their Italian cuisine. Executive Chef/Owner Alan Carlson who is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York has continued to create new Italian menu items that reflect the changing tastes of his loyal customers.
Jordan’s Restaurant
Fine Dining with a Great San Francisco Bay View
Jordan’s Spicy Crab Cake- Carrot, Daikon & Orange Salad with Sweet & Sour Chile Vinaigrette- Almost all crab which is unheard of these days and absolutely fantastic!! This was the Best Crab Cake we have ever eaten!
Joshu-ya Brasserie
Our favorite starter was the Seared Hokkaido Scallops served in a wild mushroom bacon sauce nestled in a blend of mashed potatoes. Next, we had the spicy and ultra-fresh Jalapeño Hamachi Carpaccio with sweet ponzu. This was a perfect pairing of sweet and spicy with the Jalapeno pepper.
Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill
We were very excited to hear that the Lake Merit Municipal Boat House in Oakland had been restored and the Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill was now open. We appreciated that valet parking was available in the evening, as parking can be very difficult around the lake.
Laurus Restaurant
We have always enjoyed going to Blackhawk Plaza in Danville to dine and shop but had not been there in well over a year. We knew there were some new restaurants, so we decided that since it was overcast and 60 degrees in the City a ride to where it was warm would be very welcome.
We knew about a hip, trendy restaurant just off of Oakland’s Broadway Auto Row called Mua but had never had a chance to go. A recent tweet from @1skinnychef alerted us that experienced Executive Chef, Brandon Peacock, had recently joined them so we decided to see what this Oakland Hot Spot was all about. The décor is SoHo warehouse chic industrial with wood beam ceilings, skylights, cement walls and ceiling fans. Large wild edgy Art paintings by Kimlynh E. Chun and Hi-Suk add to the fun Artist’s Loft statement.
Meridian International Sports Café
The Truffle Deviled Eggs with crumbled bacon, tomatoes and chives had a Dijon kick and were a wow!! We ordered the Chefs Dinner for two which included two entrée and a bottle of wine which was very value priced. We loved the Moroccan Barbeque Wild King Salmon with Jasmine Tea infused rice, spice rubbed vegetables
The Entrée was absolutely fabulous. It was a Pepper Crusted filet of Wild King Salmon with giant peppercorns; pinot scented mustard, greens, smoked corn and pinot reduction.
Nonni's Bistro
We enjoy our day trips to small towns in the Bay Area and are always looking for new and interesting dining destinations. We went to Downtown Pleasanton for their Annual Antique Fair a few weeks ago and noticed that there were quite a few restaurants with both indoor and outdoor dining options on Main Street. Nonni’s Bistro which recently opened in July 2010 was quite charming and inviting so we decided to sit outdoors and have Brunch which is served on weekends from 8:00 A.M to 3:00 PM.
Ozumo Restaurant
Downtown Oakland ’s “Restaurant Row” is a hotspot for upscale dining. It is hard to believe that Ozumo Oakland which led the way to help revitalize this area has been open for almost two years now. This impressive and stylish restaurant features a Sushi Bar, Robata Grill, a beautiful Bar with a the evening, and a Sake Lounge with the largest “By the Glass” Premium Sake selection in the United States
Pasta Bene
Berkeley has a new casual Italian restaurant, Pasta Bene, recently opened by experienced restaurateur Farhad Jalal. They offer both indoor or patio dinning and you have the option of table service or ordering at the counter and seating yourself. The interior is nicely decorated with bright classic Italian poster art and beautiful bold hanging light fixtures.
Revival Bar and Kitchen
Executive Chef/Owner Amy Murray offers a seasonally inspired menu using locally sourced and mostly organic ingredients. They are proud of their close relationships with local producers, farmers, ranchers, coffee roasters and winemakers and Chef de Cuisine / Master Butcher Travis McConnell makes all of their Charcuterie, sausage and bacon in-house. There is a large bar area where Head Mixologist Nat Harry loves to create Modern Interpretations of classic cocktails.
Spenger’s has always drawn a fun crowd. Such luminaries as Clark Gable, Carol Lombard, Errol Flynn, Ernest Hemingway, Robin Williams, Al Rossi and Tom Hanks have been known to dine at this historic restaurant. So much history, but now its time to move on to the main attraction---THE FOOD.
Tanjia Moroccan Restaurant
We had dined at and enjoyed Tanjia Moroccan Restaurant a few years ago with a group of friends and were eager to see the changes, as we had heard that there were new owners. Restaurateur Jamal Zahid who grew up in Casablanca and his wife Judith recently bought the restaurant from his brother and renovated the interior.

We were pleased to hear that Zut! had hired successful and accomplished Executive Chef Jim Wimborough who is a graduate of The California Culinary Academy and has great local experience. As we entered the newly renovated space, we could tell that the vibe was more welcoming than previously.


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