SIR - Branch 128 SIR - Branch 128
 
Home Our Members Meetings & Events Activities Info Exchange Administrative
Dine Out Archive
 

 
Past Dine Out Events
 
Where When Follow-Up Comments
DJ's BISTRO
1825 Sutter St
Ste C.
Concord, CA
(925) 825-3277
 
 
 
Oct 26, 2019
Our last visit to DJ's Bristro was another highly successful event.  We had 17 happy and pleased diners and a good time was had by all.  We convened at 6 PM and did not break up until 8:30 PM.  The food was good and the serving portions are still humongous and prices are ridiculously low for what we got.  This is one of the best dining values in the whole Bay Area!  Most of the folks got the full-order (2 platter-sized cutlets) of Weiner or Jaeger Schnitzel and, virtually, everyone had a leftover carton for at least half of their food to take home for another meal or two, each!  If you are ever in their neighborhood at lunch or dinner time, do give it a try.  I'm sure you'll love it and it will be one of the cheapest meals you will ever have at a local, sit-down-service restaurant!  Try the Roast Duck.  It's also a huge portion (half a duck) for just $17 (includes soup or salad).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SULTAN’S KEBAB
6654 Koll Center Pkwy,
Pleasanton
(925)  846-2511
 
 
 
Sep 26, 2019
Sultan's Kebab was another bright success in our long line of good and fun events.  Some of the folks had never been to a place like this but they all seemed to have a lot of fun and enjoyed the food.  Even though the place now has a large dining room, we seemed to have filled it up pretty well and all were having a great time socializing and comparing their various dishes.  One of the signals I look for to determine how successful an event like this is - how long the folks hang around and socialize after they finish their meals.  In this case, most did not make a move to leave until 8:30 PM.  That's a long time since the food comes out pretty quickly, here, even when they have a large party.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CHICKEN PIE SHOP (CPS)
1251 Arroyo Way
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(925) 322-8799
 
 
 
Aug 22, 2019
No comments or pictures provided....
 
 
 
 
 
 
C Casa
Bishop Ranch
6000 Bollinger Canyon Rd. #1207 City Center
San Ramon, CA 94583
 
 
July 23, 2019
This dine out event at C Casa, San Ramon, was another big hit. We had 22 people and all agreed that it was a beautiful venue, food was excellent, prices were very reasonable, the ambiance was superb and the weather was absolutely gorgeous for al fresco dining. It's a super casual environment so many people lingered and socialized for more than an hour after they finished eating. 
 
If you've never been here before, I recommend that you give it a try. It's definitely user-friendly.
 
 
 
 
Lima 
2151 Salvio St., Suite I
Concord, CA 94520
Phone: (925) 309-7774
 
 
June 22, 2019
The June Dine Out at Lima, Concord, was another highly successful event - especially for the trial idea of holding this event on a weekend night to avoid the commute traffic on 680 frwy during the week days.  Lima is an authentic, casual, Peruvian restaurant.  While Peruvian cuisine has recently become one of the newer food trends, Lima was one of the earlier establishments to feature this unique South American food style to our local area. We had 20 souls with a new member, Mike & Miriam Lee, join us.  We also had an existing member, Gary & Magnolia Pilecki, join us.  That came in handy as Magnolia is from Peru so she was able to help a number of people with their ordering from the extensive Peruvian menu. And, we even had a past member, Katie and Leonard Tom, in attendance.
 
The weather really cooperated nicely for us - mid-90's at 5 PM, our gathering time but there was a slight breeze and the outdoor patio with a huge fountain flowing nearby really made it a nice venue.  The food was good as were the prices and service.  So I can honestly say that it was another successful event!
 
 
 
 
Rocco's Ristorante Pizzaria
2909 Ygnacio Valley Rd.
Walnut Creek
 
 
May 22, 2019
None provided. 
 
 
Thai House Restaurant
254 Rose St.
Danville, CA 94526
 (925) 820-0635
 
 
May 2, 2019
Folks, This was truly a special event!  Our hosts, Sam and Marisa, were so very generous and considerate.  First, they let us take over their entire facility.  Then, they gave the entire group 2 complimentary appetizers to compensate for what they felt was an extended wait for the food to come out of their tiny, Pullman galley-sized kitchen.  In reality, the wait was really no longer or worse than most other places we've taken 36+ people to in the past 14 years!  Not only was the food outstandingly good, the all our folks were very impressed by the ambiance - so very "homey!"  All appreciated the large serving portions and reasonable prices.  Almost everyone went home with left overs.  And, everybody was really impressed at the poise and grace of the service and staff.  When we finished and Sam, the chef/owner came out from the kitchen, EVERYONE ROSE TO THEIR FEET AND GAVE THEM A WELL DESERVED STANDING OVATION!  I was really proud of how appreciative everyone was and our they demonstrated their appreciation to our owner/hosts.  Some of our folks did not realize the significance of the Bib Gourmand Award from the Michelin Guide until it was explained to them that is just short of a 1-star designation by the famed food guide book!  This really was an unqualified success for Dine Out events! 
 
 
 
 
GIANNI’S ITALIAN BISTRO
2065 San Ramon Valley Blvd
San Ramon, CA 94583
(925) 820-6969
 
 
Mar 28, 2019
We had a really good time at Gianni's Italian Bistro.  We had a full house - actually more than a full house.  We had a limit of 24 people but we had a Wait List with 2 couples on it.  I called Gianni's the night before the event and asked if they could take 4 more people.  They agreed to change the room arrangement to accommodate these extra folks.  It was a win-win for all.  We filled their entire main dining room.  The food was really good as was the service and friendliness of the staff.  Dishes came out of the kitchen quickly and piping hot.  There were no errors as everyone got what they ordered and without having to wait a long time.  Things went so well that I instructed the servers to add a 20% tip!  I truly wish all of our events would go so smoothly as this night!  I heard a lot of people remarking about how much they liked this place.  I passed this sentiment onto Gianni and his staff!  
 
LUCILLE’S SMOKEHOUSE BBQ
7202 Amador Plaza Rd,
Dublin, CA 94568
Phone number (925) 828-7427
 
 
Feb 28, 2019
We had another great event at Lucille's BBQ, tonight.  Even the weather cooperated by staying dry all night!  Every one appeared to be very happy withe food, the company, the service and the physical facilities.  Portions were humongous and most folks had goodly amounts of leftovers to take home!  We managed to do introductions as we had a separate section of the dining room reserved just for us.  There were a lot of happy faces throughout the evening!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oasis Restaurant & Wine Lounge
780 Main St., Ste 101
Pleasanton, CA 94566
 
 
Jan 24, 2019
Oasis was another wonderful dining event enjoyed by all that attended.  I've received many compliments and positive comments following this event.  All the remarks were similar - good food, good service, nice ambiance and reasonable prices.  That all led to their conclusion that this was a superb value.  One thing that was different and appreciated by the group was the seating arrangement.  First, we had partition separating us from the rest of the main dining room.  Second, we were a group 29 strong.  We were seated at two large, round tables of 10, each and one long rectangular table for 9.  This allowed for easier conversation among our folks, especially at the round tables.  It was a super-fun evening for all!
 
 
 
 
 
DJ's BISTRO
1825 Sutter St., Ste C.
Concord, CA 94520
Phone: (925) 825-3277
Oct 20, 2018
Hooray!  We had another super successful Dine Out for October!  We had a full house of 24 very happy folks for this event.  While the restaurant is relatively small and a bit cramped, nobody seemed to mind at all because all were having fun.  The food was as good as ever and the prices are still ridiculously low and the portions uncommonly large.  That's a tremendous combination.  This was made even better by having cake to celebrate John Kent's birthday.  The cake was furnished by Barbara Wixson, John's friend.  There was enough cake to share with some of the other patrons and the whole house sang Happy Birthday!
Photos from our dinner at DJ's
 
Birthday Boy John Kent & Super Hostess/Waitress Barb Wixon
 

Berevino Italian Cucina

4590 Dublin Blvd.

Dublin, CA 94568

(925) 361-0862

Sep 27, 2018
We had another super event at Berevino, Dublin.  We had a full house 24 souls and everyone raved about the food, service and the outdoor patio that turned out to be a totally private area just for us.  We two of the best servers you could ever hope for - Scott and Sal.  They did such a good job that I instructed them to include a 20% when they made up the checks.  Everything really did go so very smoothly. 
 
None of the folks have ever been here before but many said they will be coming back.  The food is very good.  The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable.  I had the Garlic Braised Lamb Shank and it was one of the best I can recall in the local area.  Joyce had the braised short rib ravioli and she reported it as being very tasty!  We saw a lot of packaged leftovers at the end of the meal.
PACIFIC CATCH
5251 Martinelli Way
Dublin, CA 94568
(925) 999-8053
Aug 23, 2018
We had another highly successful Dine Out event.   We had a full house for the event.  Surprisingly, only a few had been to Pacific Catch before.  I hear a lot of comments about how good the food was and how reasonably priced it was for fresh seafood.
 
We did have a bit of an issue with service.  We were taken care of by a single server, a young man.  I suspect he didn't have a lot of experience.  That's a lot of people for one server to handle.  Anyway, Ron Weston's order went awry and he waited and waited.  When he finally asked where his meal was, they delivered a Salmon entree.  But he didn't order salmon.  Apparenty, they delivered his order to someone else.  So, they told him could keep the salmon and there would be no charge.  Meanwhile, they prepared a fresh entree of his choice for him.  It all turned out well enough - just a longer wait than usual for him to be served.

Andaman Thai

400 Market Place
San Ramon
925 365-1799
July 24, 2018
We had another super success at Andaman Thai.  We had 25 folks and all seemed very hungry, happy and appreciative of the food and service. 
The food was outstanding!
 
The idea of combining couples on the same check, definitely, has the advantage of allowing people to sample more dishes than if they were ordering just for themselves. The time we did this was at Burma Burma last month.  It worked well there and we will likely do this whenever the meal format promotes family style dining. The place was packed and a bit noisy so you may need to turn down your hearing aids but definitely well worth the trouble. Maybe next time we will opt for the outside patio  Lot's of extra food for all to take home - all for about $20-25 per person!

Burma Burma

7294 San Ramon Rd, Dublin, CA 94568
 
(925) 556-6188
June 28, 2018

The night was a terrific success for our Dine Out event at Burma Burma.

 

 

No, I'm not trying to imitate Trump by using superlatives.  I have to say that everyone was universally happy and pleased with their menu selection, food quality, service level and competence of the staff!  I received so many comments from what seemed to be everyone about how much they enjoyed this particular event.  I believe it is a new benchmark for member satisfaction. 

Most folks combined with another couple to form tables of four in order share and try more dishes than would be possible when dining only as a single couple.  The staff was helpful in recommendations.  The different flavors and the combination of unusual spices and herbs made for a really dazzling diversity of flavors and textures. 

We shared our table with Greg and Tally Delmore.  We ended up ordering 6 dishes plus 2 different rices.  Every dish was really good.  We ate so much that we didn't have room for dessert.  And we had some leftovers to split up. 

If you missed this event, I recommend that you go on your own and take a couple of friends and let the staff or the Manager, Darryl Wong, help you choose a suitable selection of menu items.  I'm sure you will have a wonderful experience.

Jim

Café Attila

 

2211-B San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon, CA 94583

(925) 837 – 2886
May 24, 2018
Our group convened at Cafe Attila around 6 pm for another wonderful culinary experience! As usual, our hostess Lynne, was extremely welcoming and accommodating! She quickly allowed us to reconfigure our table setup as a result of a few last minute cancellations.  Chef Attila was again at the top of his game with the dishes ordered by our group. We also enjoyed the delicious desserts to close out the evening. No one complained about the house wine special of $3 either. 

Rocco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria

2909 Ygnacio Valley Rd.
Walnut Creek, CA 94590
(925) 947-6105

 

Apr 28, 2018
After our highly interesting and informative wildflower walk on Mount Diablo, many of the participants enjoyed salads, pizza, pasta and other Italian dishes at Rocco's. The food was delicious and many were seen taking doggie bags home as the portions were very large! 

Clementine’s

18070 San Ramon Valley Blvd.

San Ramon, CA 94583
Telephone: (925) 973-0433

Mar 29, 2018
We returned to Clementine’s, which is a former Marie Calendar’s location, for another canjun-inspired culinary adventure. It has a large, open dining room that has a partition-like feeling that separates the rear part of the room for us.  While it is not a private area, it did give some separation from the rest of the guests in the restaurant.  
 
 
The menu is quite varied with an emphasis on Cajun cuisine. When it first opened some years ago, the food wasn’t very good.  But, in the last few years, they have ‘found themselves’ and been able to define and improve on who and what they are. There was, truly, something for everyone.  For those of you that are not familiar with Cajun cuisine, you may want to try Gumbo, Jambalaya, Ettouffee, Hush Puppies, Fried Chicken & Waffles or Shrimp & Grits.  And, of course, they have plenty of ‘regular’ food like Prime Rib, Fried Chicken, BBQ Shrimp, Smoked Pork Ribs, Salmon, pasta and burgers and other classic sandwiches and salads.  The prices are very reasonable for the quality and quantity you receive.  That, of course, is always a welcome value!
7745 Amador Valley Blvd
Dublin, CA 94568
(925) 828-2028
Feb 23, 2018
We had a semi-successful Dim Sum Luncheon at Golden Sand Harbor.  We had 27 folks seated 9 people for each of our 3, large, round tables.  Dim Sum is made up of small plates of very creative dishes.  For the most part, the food was fairly good.  A few were less than good but people seemed to enjoy the total experience.  The biggest problem we had was service.  My own experience is that if we came in with a small group, everything was fine, including better quality food.  Others have reported similar experiences.  There were long delays before we got our food served.  And, they ran out of some things even though we were seated by 11:30 AM and ordered by 11:45 AM.  Total cost for our table was $21/person.  Another table was $27 per person and the remaining table was $23/person.  This was including tax and tip.
 
We would like to do this again sometime in the future but will try to find a better venue.  This place doesn't seem to know how to handle a large group.
202 Sycamore Valley Rd. West
Danville, CA 94526
925 208-1403
Jan 23, 2018
 
Zalla Kabob House was a great success!  We had 27 very happy diners.  We completely filled the whole house so it turned out to be our private dining room experience. We exceeded the originally stated limit of 24 in order to accommodate a couple of last minute people after I checked to see if we would all fit.
 
The food was outstandingly good and super tasty.  I received many comments at how low their bill was for the quality and quantity of their meals.  When Jamila, the owner/server was introduced at the conclusion of service, she received a happy and appreciative ovation!
 
The only negative was that two couples did have to wait for their dinners to the point that they received their food after most others were finished.  But, they were happy to report that they were not unhappy as the food was delicious and the price was very reasonable.  Besides, I had warned folks that service might be a bit slow as it is a small place and we would fill it to capacity.  And, it was still faster than the poor service received at our previous month's event at Santorini.  That was a real disappointment since Santorini had been so good for us in the past.
 
 
SANTORINI MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT
Suite #105A, Town & Country Drive
Danville, CA 94526
925 743-1035
November 30, 2017
Be advised that they have been sold. The new owner is the former, on-site manager.  We just had a Dine Out event here this last Thursday and learned of the change. I had made the reservation a month ago with the original owner. When we arrived, we were told about the change of ownership. I was disappointed. Some folks had good meals and others not so good and the food was not hot for many folks. Service was noticeably slower and some orders were incorrect or missing.  And it took forever to our checks.
 
 
1825 Sutter St., Ste C.
Concord, CA 94520
Phone: (925) 825-3277
October 19, 2017
Due to competing events scheduled for this same date we had a smaller turn-out than usual.  11 attendees, most  new to Dine Out, enjoyed the experience.  The food was just as good as always and, amazingly, the prices remained the same - $16.50 for the big entrees and $10.50 for the 'single' portions.
 
2300 First St #120
Livermore, CA 94550
925.961.1300
September 28, 2017

Here's a decent tip. I had asked for and received seating in the front, closed in, entry area. It's sort of like an outdoor patio. It was much quieter there and we could talk as a group without having to shout. Tip - you can reserve a table in this area during normal business hours and you don't have to be a part of a group. Another tip - order the Burnt Ends. They're the best thing on the menu.

Seoul Jung
Korean BBQ
3762 Fallon Rd
Dublin, CA
(925) 999-8299
August 24, 2017
Folks, If you missed this event, you missed a doozey!  We went to the new Seoul Jung Korean BBQ, Dublin, near BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse, Panera, Dick's Sporting Goods and Target Stores. This was totally different from any other Dine Out venue.  It was AYCE (all you can eat) and 'grill-it-yourself' with a gas-fired grill at each shared table seating of 6 guests.  This event was extremely well received and it can be said that it was an unqualified success.  We had a full house except for one no-show couple. 
 
As you can see from the photos, all were having great fun with the 'do-it-yourself grilling' of the meats.  At first there was a little confusion on the definition of "all you can eat."  It came with some rules - ordering only 5 items among the 6 guests at each table to start with and all of that must be consumed before ordering more food.  If it's obvious to the staff that too much food remains when the meal is finished, the restaurant can charge for the uneaten selections.  We had a humongous choice of more than 120+ items to choose from for just $27/person.  Many of them were unknown to us but there were plenty of items suitable for Western palates. 
 
It was such a big hit that we will likely keep this place in the rotation of other favored places.  And, I was thrilled that so many people signed up without knowing what and where we were going!  And we had some new folks that normally don't attend Dine Out.  Thank you for your trust!
 
 2151 Salvio St., Concord, CA 94520, 
(925) 309-7774
July 27, 2017
Folks, we had a terrific time at Lima!  It was the most fun and really different dine out event in some years!  We were sold out so we had 24 very happy souls.  But, unknown to us, there was a big event going on that night  at the Todos Santos Plaza, across the street.  So all the street parking and the two, large public parking structures were full-up.  People kept straggling in up more than 1/2 hour after the 6 PM start time.  And two couples had to wait longer than usual for their order to be served at their table.
 
But even with these difficulties, all were really happy and pleased with their total experience.  Not only was the food really good and very different from any previous events, it turns out that the Chef/Owner, John Marquez, is and has been a neighbor to Tony and Janice Fassiotto for a long time.  Many folks came to me right after dinner to say how much fun they had and I got emails and a phone call to that effect from more folks in the following days.
 
I can heartily recommend this place without any reservations.  And, if you go, tell 'em you're with SIR's #128!
 
 
Where When Follow-Up Comments
7467 Village Pkwy
Ste 9
Dublin, CA 94568
(925) 828-6000
June 22, 2017
Our original venue, Zalla Kabob House, was unable to take us at the original time due to a temporary staffing problem.  They gave us enough notice that I was able to come up with several alternate places that I passed onto the folks that had signed up.  Since we were a small group (12) I was able to propose smaller places that we normally would not fit a full-sized group.  The group chose Khyber Pass Kabob, Dublin.  This is a place that Phil Davey discovered some time back.  They were terrific and the food was very good and the prices were great.  Everybody had a good time and I think we now have some converts to Afghan cuisine.
11755 Coarse Gold Ln, Columbia, CA 95310
May 25, 2017
THis experience was not nearly as successful as all our previous ones.  I think Chef Ron is great for Western cuisines but not so good with Asian flavors.  His Pad Thai was way off base - wrong flavor, texture and even the noodle was wrong.
2540 San Ramon Valley Blvd
San Ramon, CA 94583
925 820-8866
Mar 30, 2017
While this was our initial visit to Giuseppe's, it was another resounding success!  It was really nice to see so many happy and satisfied diners for this event!  Everyone seemed to have smiles on their faces and over 3/4 of the folks had leftovers to take home and the prices ($21 to $26 [before tax/tip] depending upon entree choice for a 3-course dinner) were very reasonable, especially in view of the generous portions.  Service was also very good considering the size of the sold-out crowd!  Getting our checks took a bit longer than usual but still not a bad or lengthy wait.  The ambiance was very good.  While we did not have a private room, the lower area that we were seated was noticeably separated from the rest of the dining room giving us a  semi-private feeling.  And the noise for the whole evening was not loud enough to prevent each table being able to have good fun talking to others in a regular social fest.  This turned out to be a very popular place and we will likely return next year.  Anyone that missed this dinner missed out on having a really good time!
988 Murrieta Blvd
Livermore, CA 94550
Telephone: (925) 606 – 1004
Feb 23, 2017
The Posada dinner was another sterling success just like the time before! Everything worked out well even though the Concannon winery tour ran a bit late. Most of the folks did not arrive at Posada until 4:30 PM, half an hour late. I'm told they were too busy buying wine.
 
 This was the first visit for about 1/3 of our group. Everyone seemed to be in high spirits and all agreed that they had a wonderful time at both Concannon and Posada. An early dinner following the wine tasting event appears to be a winning combination! Some of the folks were already looking forward to next years event.
2211 San Ramon Valley Blvd # B, San Ramon, CA 94583
Jan 19, 2017
First, thanks for your participation in our Dine Out event last Thursday evening.  It looked like most had a good time.
 
However, I notice a few, uncharacteristic 'inconsistencies' in the dinner service that night.  As an example, my pork chop was not as moist as usual; another person mentioned that their pasta noodle accompaniment was too salty; someone else had Swordfish that was a bit dry, another said the bread pudding wasn't quite as custardy, etc.
 
While any establishment can have an 'off-day' it was just so unusual to hear or experience this that I did talk to Lynne after everyone left.  It was then that I learned that Attila, her husband and chef, is currently working half-days under doctors orders.  She didn't elaborate further but did say that he should back to a full schedule, soon.
 
She is genuinely concerned about the quality of the the meals they offer and would like to know what other areas were deficient.  In that regard, I would like to help her as it would allow her to work with her husband and kitchen staff to ensure that any systemic problems are rectified.
 
Please feel free to let me know how your meal and service went and I will summarize them and take them to her.  I'll do it in a nice and constructive manner.  I know she'll appreciate the input.  Only in this way can they know of any dissatisfaction issues that they can work on to maintain their good reputation they have built over the last two years.
1825 Sutter St., Ste C.
Concord, CA 94520
Phone: (925) 825-3277
Oct 27, 2016
"Octoberfest" for our folks at this Dine Out event was another unqualified success!  We had a full house and everyone had a thoroughly good time.  The rain and traffic, however, resulted in several couples arriving quite late.  But the delay nor the weather could dampen our spirits.  It was a noisy but fun affair.  The food and generous portions were just as good as before.  Newcomers were really amazed at how good, generous portioned and inexpensive they experienced for this event!  If you've never been to DJ's European Bistro, I strongly recommend you try it.  It is, clearly, one of the very best dinning bargains in the entire Tri-Valley areas!  We will do this, again, in the 2017 season.
988 Murrieta Blvd.
Livermore, CA 94550
925-606-1004
Sep 22, 2016
Posada was another big success for all.  We had our full compliment of 24 folks and and another group of 6 for a total of 30 who all had a great time.  The menu is now expanded and dining room is more refined and it felt more sophisticated.  The menu is even more creative then before and the food and flavors did not disappoint.  A number of people remarked to me that they had never had any cuisine similar to what they had that night.  For this reason, I strongly recommend that you try them on your own if you were not part of the Dine Out folks!  Try it, I know you'll like it.  There are small plates, larger plates, dishes that can be shared and the menu prices vary a lot so you can be on a budget and still eat well or splurge and have a truly unique dining experience!  But the food quality will always be topnotch!  Check out some of their signature dishes!
 
 
 
 
Suite #105A, Town & Country Drive
Danville, CA 94526
925 743-1035
Aug 25, 2016
The Santorini Dine Out event was another unequivocal success!  We even managed to include two couples that were on the Wait-List.  We had 40 people and it was a really fun crowd.  One of the measures I use to gauge the success is how long the folks linger around chatting with other folks.  Some did not clear out until almost 8:30 PM.  And mind you, the kitchen and the servers were really on the ball because we were served very quickly and efficiently.  And the checks came very quickly and they were accurately made out.  And, of course, the food was good, portions generous and the prices very reasonable for the quality of the food and service.  No one was just waiting for their checks.
 
All-in-all, it was another terrific night for all.  I am very pleased when our events turn out this well and that's why I am happy to organize them.  I like seeing a really happy group of people having a good time.
 
Thank you to all that attended!
 
Jim
5251 Martinelli Way
Dublin, CA 94568
(925) 999-8053
July 28, 2016
Pacific Catch was another good, fun event for all!  We had our own little dining room and we completely filled it up.  We had as many as 7 couples on the wait-list at one time but we did have some movement on the attendee's so that only 3 couples were left on the wait-list in the end. 
 
 
This place gave a lot of people a chance to try things on the menu that most had never experienced before. 
        
Poke (marinated raw fish chunks), a typical item found all over Hawaii was new to most people.  The special fish of the day was Salmon.  Some folks tried the Salmon Roll and Grilled Salmon.  The Salmon Chowder was a big hit, as well.  The service went very well with most folks getting their hot food without having to wait very long at all.  And, issuance of the check was quick and, for the most part, correct.  I heard folks comment that good seafood at reasonable prices was a rarity and this place was a good option to fill that need.  All in all, it was another good, trouble-free, fun event! 
 
Jim & Joyce
2211 San Ramon Valley Blvd.
San Ramon, CA 94583
Phone: (925) 837-2886
June 23, 2016
Cafe Attila was and unqualified success and more.  To illustrate how great it was, here is an email message I sent to all the attendees.  It clearly indicates what great fun and fantastic experience it turned out to be!

 
Folks,
 
THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS THE SPECTACULAR SUCCESS THAT IT WAS!
 
Joyce and I were really impressed at how everyone came over to express to us how much they liked the food, menu and service.  Virtually every person in attendance either gave me a hug or a hearty handshake for the great time had by all.  That has never happened in the past where 100% came forward to say what a super-good time they had!  And, even today, I'm getting emails about what a great place that Cafe Atilla turned out to be!*:) happy  I have to admit that in the 12+ years that we've been doing this, Thursday's dinner was the best in every respect.
 
That was really heartwarming for us and it's the reason we're happy to do this for our SIR members and friends.
 
After you all left, I chatted with Lynne to see how things went for them.  She really meant it when she told you folks, publicly, that "you guys were great!"  She said we were welcome back anytime.
 
As you all know, I was a bit leery about 'swamping' them as they don't have a big staff.  But Lynne did a great job.  And, I was not happy about having to switch places when I had to cancel Pasta Primavera.  Who knew how well it would turn out!!!!*:)) laughing
 
And another thing I was surprised by - how sophisticated your palates are!  I saw a fairly good number of Octopus orders delivered along with the Rack of Lamb and other sophisticated dishes.  I could tell all were enjoying their food, immensely!  And, I was surprised by how many (about 1/3) of you had dined here before last night!  I thought it was a 'hidden neighborhood gem.'
 
A couple of miscellaneous comments - they offer house wines by the glass at just $3/glass!  And it's good wine.  Everyone seemed surprised at how good a $3 wine could be!  Also, to summarize the food quality, I believe that Esin Bar & Restaurant and Cafe Attila are the only two places that qualify as "fine dining" establishments in the local Danville, San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton area.
 
So, THANK YOU ALL for making this event such a great, fun and memorable experience for us!!!*:) happy
 
Jim & Joyce
Yankee Hill Winery
11755 Coarse Gold Lane
PO Box 330
Columbia, California 95310
(209) 532-3015
May 26, 2016
Our Yankee Hill Cooking Class/Dine Out event for May was a resounding success!  We had 24 very happy folks.  We made Hummus, two salads, a simple pasta for a starch and the main course was a Moroccan Tangine Chicken. 
For dessert, we made a Poached Pear with fresh Ricotta Cheese and Honey.  Chef provided cheese & crackers and fresh Baguette.  Everything was wonderfully tasty.  And best of all, we learned a lot – how to make Ricotta Cheese (really easy), knife skills, easy way to take out the stem on Bell Peppers, scrape things off your chopping board using the back edge (spine) of the knife to prolong edge sharpness, etc. 
And, we drove home in daylight making it a beautiful day!  Listening to the big Warrior's - OKC game was 'frosting on the cake!'  We made it home in time to watch the end of the game and the victory celebration!
 
We all had such a good time that we will do this, again, next May 25, 2017!  The cuisine of choice will be Thai!  Put it on your calendar and come join us!  
Clay Oven
2417 First Ave.
Livermore, CA 94550
925 443-4100
March 24, 2016
Comments to follow
 
 
 
  
 
 
1825 Sutter St., Ste C.
Concord, CA 94520
Phone: (925) 825-3277
February 25, 2016
DJ's European Bistro was another big success.  Our Big Sir says it was a "Home run!"  We had 33 souls and by all accounts, everyone had a really good time even with the tight quarters.  The food was just as good as expected, the portions were enormous and like past visits, the new folks could not believe the portion sizes nor the low prices.  Hannah, our single wait person did a fantastic job of keeping everything straight and flowing smoothly and the small kitchen produced the food quickly and it was delivered while it was still fresh and piping hot.  All in all, it was a fantastic job they did for us!  All went home totally satisfied and happy! 
 
Jim
  
 
  
Big Sir Phil Davey eyes a giant schnitzel nervously!
 
1250G  Newell   Ave.
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
 
925 935 9278
January 28, 2016
I'm happy to report that not only did we have a full house for our first event for the new year, but that it was very happily and well received . We had a lot of people and a lot of fun and things turned out fantastically well. We could only hope that all future events will be just as successful!
 
"Kebab House did a fantastic job. They closed down the place just for us so that it turned out to be , really, our private party. Everyone thought the food was wonderful and the hospitality of the staff was infectious. It was a real treat for us to see so many people laughing , smiling, chatting and just plain having fun.  And I saw lots  and lots of boxed leftovers. So, just as I had predicted, many of the folks, if not most, had leftovers for another meal at home .
 
Thank you to all your participation . You folks were the ones that made it so successful !
Jim
 
Clementine's
18070 San Ramon Valley Blvd.
San Ramon
925-973-0433
October 22, 2015
Our visit to Clementine's turned out to be a really great Dine-Out event.  A total of 25 members & spouses attended to sample the wide array of Cajun-style cuisine this establishment is known for.  We were seated in a semi-private section of the restaurant which was very conducive for lots of socializing with other attendees.  Our group included several new members- Tim and Linda Pederson & Roger and Joanne Zeltmann.  Everyone made them feel welcome! 
 
 
Some attendees commented that they had been there for the great breakfasts served but not for dinner service.  After sampling their own meals and noticing what others ordered, it seemed like everyone felt they would be returning, especially after receiving a 20% discount coupon.  In addition to the great food, it turned out to be "Thirsty Thursday" so all drinks were at Happy Hour prices for the entire evening. The service staff and manager, Natalie, really went the extra mile to make everyone happy.  
 
Lanna Thai
2270 Las Positas Rd
Livermore, CA 94526
Phone: (925) 552-5238
September 24, 2015
The Lanna Thai Dine Out event in September was, unfortunately, memorable because of the very poor service and some huge lapses in food delivery.  In all the 10+ years we've had the pleasure of bringing our members and their spouses together for our monthly gatherings for good food and a good time this is only the 3rd time that I feel that a restaurant did not even come close to meeting our expectations!
 
We had a very nice, private dinning room that was great for everyone to be able to visit with one another with complete separation from the rest of the restaurant guests.  And many of our folks had gone to the Check Please Bay Area website and reviewed the video segment on this restaurant and expected a really good culinary inexperience like they showed on the video clips.  On top of that, The Cerri's and us dined specifically to check the place out and we, too, had an excellent time.  The food and service was “spot on!”
 
But, this time, the food was not prepared with the same love and care and the service was sparse but the worst part was having 3 of our people not getting their entrees until after the rest of us had finished our meals!  In one case, the completely lost the order!  None of the dishes arrived in any kind of reasonable order – some appetizers arriving after entrees were delivered.  There seemed to be no sense of urgency displayed by our single server.  He was not very helpful and did not seem vested in the idea of treating his customers with care and concern.  And the food did not display the same high quality that we had experienced on our previous visit!  And they were out of one of the highly regarded items, the Chicken Dumpling Shooters.  That seemed odd.  It was only 7 PM and the restaurant was not very busy at all.  And I noticed that the presentation was not as nice as on previous visit.  It almost felt like there as a different kitchen crew working and our single served just wasn't all that interested in doing his best to make sure we would be pleased enough to come back. 
 
Bottom line, I can't recommend Lanna Thai to anyone based on this visit!  Obviously, I will strive to make sure that we don't have a similar experience in the future!
Mexico Lindo
6690 Koll Center Pkwy
Pleasanton, CA 94566
(925) 462-1140
August 27, 2015
The Mexican food was excellent and we had our own area of the dining room set aside for us.  Everyone had a good time and the only negative was that the noise made it pretty hard to do introductions and to have any meaningful discussions with the group.  But, it was another good event and everyone seemed to end the evening very happy and satisfied.
 
It didn't quite start that way, however.  When I got there, I learned that they had only set up tables for 30, not the 36 I had specified.  But, our folks took matters into their own hands and moved tables to make room for the proper number of guest.  Apparently, the night manager had misread the day manger's note in the Reservation Book.
 
Even though we had just one server (plus bus boys) thing went very well.  He did such a good job that some were so impressed that they gave extra tip over and above the group tip included in their bill.
 
We also had a group discussion about the starting times for future Dine Out events.  One of our senior folks suggested that we move the time up from our regular time of 7 PM to 6 PM.  The consensus was to try it.  We will do so on future events.  However, our next venue is located in Livermore.  Due to the heavy Eastbound commute traffic on 580 Frwy, I've decided to keep the 7 PM start time for our next Dine Out at Lanna Thai.  A 6 PM start would mean we would be smack in the middle of the commute mess.  We will try the 6 PM start time on the next Dine Out after September!
 
Come join the fun in the future!
Kane Ramen
6654 Koll Center Pkwy, Suite 300
Pleasanton, CA 94566
(925) 223-6677
July 23, 2015
Folks,
We had another fine time at Kane Ramen.  We had a good turnout with 33 folks gathered for dinner!  About a third of the folks had never really had authentic Ramen.  Yes, many have had the cheap, dried noodle with the dry soup base mix but this was a far cry from that.  The ramen here is made with fresh, special noodles and the various broth choices were simmered for 8+ hours to extract the wonderful flavors. Others had the more traditional Japanese dishes like Tempura, Teriyaki and other standard Japanese dishes.  A few brave souls even had Suishi!  Good for them!
But the main thing was that everyone had a good time.  We also had a number of new folks join us and that made it interesting as we made introductions.
The only minor issue was that service was bit slow that night.  Some folks had to wait unusually long for their order to come out.  The weird part is that when we did this place last year, everything worked out beautifully without any real delays.  And, the place was packed with other patrons!
Be sure to come join us in the coming months!  I'll be working to find other unique but good places for the group to try!
Jim
PASTA PRIMAVERA
3124 Crow Canyon Place
San Ramon
(925) 830-9500
June 18, 2015
Folks,
 
We enjoyed another fine event at Pasta Primavera.  We were a group of 24 for the evening and had our own private dinning room and that made it nice a cozy for us to socialize and relax.  And, the price was right.
 
 
We started off with a nice Spring Salad with a tasty Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Most chose a pasta or the Chicken Piccata.  I hear a lot of favorable comments about the food and some raves about the Roma, a very tasty linguine pasta with Andoulle Sausage and chicken in a Marinara sauce. 

The only negative was there was a major problem getting our checks for each couple.  The waitress mistakenly put all 24 food orders on one ticket not realizing that the system could not produce 12 individual checks!  Bummers as it took the staff a considerable delay to come up with a way to 'game' their computer system to produce 12 separate checks.
 
But, bottom line, the food was good and folks has fun time dining and chatting in a private room!
DJ's BISTRO
1825 Sutter St., Ste C.
Concord, CA 94520
Phone: (925) 825-3277
March 26, 2015
The March Dine-Out at DJ's Bistro was another terrific event!  We were filled to capacity even with a last minute cancellation.  The food was excellent, the restaurant was welcoming (as usual) and the prices remained astonishing low for the quantity and quality of the meals we experienced!  Everybody had a really fun time as evidenced the by the accompanying photos!  
 
 

The portions, especially for the Schnitzel, were humongous almost all had plenty of leftovers to take home.  Fortunately, I had warned folks before dinner that they would likely only eat 1/3 or 1/2 of their dinner and take the rest home for one or two more meals!  Some might have thought I was joking.  Not anymore!!!  But, it wasn't just the portions or the low price.  The food is really good, home-style cooking.  I heard people raving about the soup and salad and all the entrees and the Red Cabbage and Sauerkraut.  I even heard some planning their next repeat visit!!!
 

And, not surprisingly, I learned that many of the folks had been there, before!  That is, probably, the best indicator of how good the place is!  If you missed this dinner, I highly recommend that you go on your own.  You're gonna love it!
AMBER  BISTRO
500 Hartz Ave.
Danville, CA 94526
Phone: (925) 552-5238
February 26
& March 5, 2015
This Dine Out Event at Amber Bistro was a total success in every way.  It was so popular that both the first and second seatings were completely filled to maximum, allotted capacity!  We had 23 the first week and 25 the second week.
 

Everyone was thrilled about the 3-course dinner for just $30.  They all praised the menu offering, the food service, the price and the service!  This is why this is one of the most popular of our Dine Out events since we started doing this on an annual basis at Amber for over 6 years.
 

What made it special for me is that we had some new members attending for the first time at both events.  They all appeared to have had a really good time and will sign up for future events.
 
KABOB HOUSE
1250G Newell Ave.
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
925 935-9278
January 22, 2015
Folks, I have a bit of a problem!  Most, if not all, of our Dine Out events have turned out to be excellent experiences for all.  I've run out of superlatives and positive remarks without making it sound like a duplicate of previous events!  I want to “tell it like it is/was,” but not to be repetitive about it.  After awhile, I'm afraid everyone will either think I am too easy as a critic or that I see the world through 'Rose colored glasses!'
 
         Anyway, our last event, Kabob House, Walnut Creek was another great experience!  As regulars know, one of the measures I use for gauging success of an event is how long folks stick around after finishing their dinners.  This one was similar to most – we closed the place down well after their normal operating hours of 9 PM.  That means most had a fun time for about 2-1/2 hours of good food, drink, service and socialization!  And we were all impressed at how gracious our owner/host/servers were as the night progressed.  It was a lot like dining at a friend's house!  And, it didn't hurt at all that the dinner prices were very reasonable!
          

          This time, I did something a little different.  After introductions (we had some new folks) of everyone around the room, I asked for a show of hands for those that had never had Afghan or Persian food.  About ½ of the folks raised their hands.  I asked them if they liked it and all signaled that they were enthusiastically happy with the event!  I also asked if these 'newbies' to this cuisine thought that it was going to be spicy and almost all were in agreement that they thought it would be.  But, none could explain why they thought that.  And, of course, all were very pleased that it was very tasty but not 'spicy hot.'  And for about 90%+, they had their very first taste of a common, Middle Eastern spice, Sumac.  It's a reddish brown, medium-grind, powder from the shrub plant found all over Africa and North America and used also by Native American Indians.
11755 Coarse Gold Lane
PO Box 330
Columbia, California 95310
(209) 532-3015
November 13, 2014
Folks,
 Our Special Event - Yankee Hill Cooking Class, in November was an unqualified success by any definition!!!
 

 

We had 27 souls for the event and I was really pleased at that number considering that it was a 2-hour drive to/from.  However, most folks stayed overnight in the immediate area and came home the next day.  It would have been 29 but we had one couple cancel due to illness.
 
Everyone had a good time.  The spirit and enthusiasm of all was readily apparent.  Everyone I talked to were thrilled with the experience all said they would like to do it, again!  So, it looks like it will be an annual event.  It might even be more than once a year.  This last event was based on Italian cuisine.  I've already chosen Basque Cuisine for our next class.  I believe this will be in May.  That way, the drive to and from Yankee Hill Winery would be during daylight hours.

We started with the making of appetizers and had a large selection of them on the table within a short time.  All were enjoying the appetizers and wine while our teaching Chef, Ron Erickson, conducted sessions on making fresh pasta and Lava Cake.  At the same time, we had started a nice Chicken Risotto for the main course.  We had a terrific dinner of a tossed green salad, a Zucchini Pasta for a starch and the Chicken Toscana with Mushroom Risotto for our main dish.
 

The wine was good and unlimited.  The food was great as was the group.  All-in-all, it was really fun and a great learning experience for those that were so inclined.  Some just kicked back, relaxed and watched the action and sipped wine and had a great dinner!  All for an incredibly low price of just $35!

More info will be coming about our next Cooking Class!  Watch for it!

Jim
 
  POSADA
988 Murrieta Blvd
Livermore, CA 94550
925-606-1004
October 23, 2014
To say that "you missed a good one," is an understatement!  Things could not have gone better for our group!
 
Folks began arriving from the Wente Wine Tasting gig just a short distance away and all seemed to be a good mood.  We were a very happy crowd all through the night.  Why not?  They shut down the whole restaurant just for us.  We had our own private paarty!  And we filled it up, except for a few small tables outside.
 
I loved the way that people sat down, looked at the menu and had confused/surprised looks on their faces.  Why, because the menu was so very different than any other restaurant that most folks had ever been in!  It took a little longer than usual for most to decide what they wanted to try.  Most tables decided to order many various dishes to share and try - a good strategy in a situation like this.  Later as the food began to arrive, these looks of confusion turned to big smiles, grins and exclamations of wonderment!

So many of you came by our table to say how much you all enjoyed the special dining treat.  And almost all said they would be coming back on their own.  I think that's really good news.  Blanca and Eduardo Posada work hard to develop this place and they deserve our patronage.  They're good, solid people and they serve excellent, innovative food!
 

I think it was an extraordinary affair and, again, if you have not yet joined us on a Dine Out event, this is the kind of thing you are missing!
 
 Wence’s Restaurant
1922 Oak Park Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
(925) 566-8971
September 24, 2014
Wence's was a nice and clear departure from our more typical events.  First, we were a smaller group - just 7 couples.  But, that made it nice since we were able to converse with more of the group.  And the menu gave us so many various options for small plates, appetizer and the larger entree items.  That made it so very versatile.  Folks like that along with the ability to have a nice, inexpensive meal of their choice.

I heard a lot of good comments about so many of the food items - Fish & Chips were excellent.  They use Halibut for the fish - good and meaty.  The Steamed Clams were a hit as were the Street Tacos and White Truffle Mac N Cheese!  Some raved about the Artichoke Salad.  Pan Seared Scallops were also a hit!  Except for the steaks, most folks dined for well less than $20 per person!  
 

Everyone seemed to be very pleased with the total experience!  Again, folks hung around and chatted well beyond the finishing of their meal.  That, to me, is always a good indication of how nice a time folks are having at these events!  We, basically, closed the place down well after 9 PM!

I recommend that you try Wence's on your own!
Red Smoke Grill
4501 Hopyard Rd
Pleasanton, CA 94588 
(925) 734-0307
 
August 28, 2014
Once again, we had another highly successful dining event.  We, literally, took over almost the whole restaurant!  We had 35 folks!  There were more that wanted to come but we just couldn't accommodate them.  The food (except for the Coca Cola Cake) was a hit.  This place features Santa Maria Style Tri Tip Beef.  I heard raves about the various salads w/Grilled Shrimp, Chicken or Tri Tip.  The Pulled Pork and Tri Tip sandwiches were also a big hit.  We had five, long, communal tables.  This made for a lot of good, easy, casual conversations. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It was pretty obvious that everyone was having a good time.  Good food, lots of friendly people and inexpensive prices practically guarantees a highly successful event!  Don't miss out - plan to join us on future Dine Out events!
 
Santorini Restaurant
105 Town Country Dr.
Danville, CA 94526
(925) 743-1035
July 24, 2014
I know I sound like a broken record repeating myself, often!  But, those of you that did not go to this one really missed a good one!  We had 28 folks this time so it was a good crowd.  The space was really quite spacious and we had the place pretty much to ourselves so everyone was able to move around, freely, to socialize.  And the noise level was moderate so there many conversations going at once without having to shout to be heard!
 

The food was outstanding.  Those that had the Lamb Shank raved about how tender, moist and flavorful it was.  One person went on to say that it was the best Lamb Shank he had ever had!  There great comments on the Gyro Platter, too.  Ditto the Pomegranate Chicken!  And the prices for all the items were very reasonable, given the quality and portions of the food.  I had instructed the staff to not try to serve 'banquet style' but, rather, deliver the food orders as they came up out of the kitchen.  That meant a few people waited a bit for their entrees but it wasn't a problem and everyone had hot, delicious food! 
 

I can easily judge how well an event is received by several factors - how long the crowd stays, how happy and smiles the conversations are and by how many comments I get back in the days following the event.  We, basically, closed the place because the last guests left at about 9:30 PM!  Everyone had a smile or laugh on their face as they left! And I was still receiving great compliments and remarks a full week afterwards!
 
So, by all accounts, this was a Home Run!

Don't miss the fun in the future.  Mark your calendar to hold the 4th Thursday open for Dine Out!!!
Gateway Shopping Center
21001 San Ramon Valley Blvd
San Ramon, CA 94583
(925) 828-3686
 
June 26, 2014
Folks, those of you that missed this event really missed a great one.  Why? Because it was very unique in a number of ways.  First, it was incredibly cheap - just $9.50 per person and that included tax and tip!!!!  And nobody went home hungry!  Second, it was not your typical Chinese dinner.  This was more 'home style' than the normal 'banquet dishes' that most Caucasians are used to seeing on the menu.  This meal was a lot less fancy.  Third, we had 8 different dishes.  And from the informal vote of the group for their 'favorite dish of the night,' it looked a lot like almost all the dishes were favorites of many of the folks!
 

 
It looked and sounded like everyone had a good time!
 
Don't miss the fun in the future.  Mark your calendar to hold the 4th Thursday open for Dine Out!!!
Primavera Ristorante
3124 Crow Canyon Place
San Ramon, CA 94583
925.830.9500
 
May 22, 2014
Pasta Primavera was another, highly successful event!  We  had 28 folks - all friendly and happy to be there!  There would have been more but there was a conflict with one of the Book Club meetings.
 
          
Tom & Susan Barclay                      Jim & Judy Powers
 
George & Loretta Bishop

We had a private dining room that allowed everyone to relax, kick-back and have a good time with one another!  The food was excellent as was the service.  We also ended up with a superb value because the banquet menu that was used stated that the price was to be $29.90 (not including tax or tip).  But, when we got our bills, it appears that we were only charged $24.90! 

The funny part is that I tried to negotiate the 3-course dinner at that price and was turned down.  Anyway, it all worked out to be a really fun and thoroughly enjoyable event.

Those that were not able to attend - you missed a good one!!!!
Kane Ramen
6654 Koll Center Pkwy, Suite 300
Pleasanton, CA 94566
(925) 223-6677
Apr 24, 2014
Dine Out at Kane Ramen was another super success!  We had 21 folks for the evening, including 3 single folks!  Everyone had a lot of fun!  So don't be put off just because you don't have a date or companion.  One of the ways to tell if all are enjoying the evening is how long the group stays and chats.  We started at 7 PM and no one made a move to leave until almost 9 PM!  The group had smiles and laughs on their faces most of the night.  When they weren't doing that, they were either eating or drinking. 
 
              
 Mike + Helene Maher, Karl Scheick, Jerald Cerri               Jim + Dottie Kaiser, Bob Denison
 
                                     
Chris Percy, Al Hudock, Don + Judy Holmes, Pete Davey, Ron Weston
 
              
               The whole table with  Ron + Lindsay Lowe & Marge Hudock on the right
 
It was really interesting to me at just how adventurous the folks were in trying the widely varied Japanese cuisine menu.  About 1/3 tried the Ramen, their specialty.  It surprised me to see how many chose the "Spicy Ramen" and pronounced it as 'not too spicy' and they appeared to really like it!  Tempura was another popular choice.  Combinations of Tempura and Short Ribs was, definitely, well liked.  And, for sure, no one went home hungry. 
 
  
                             Tempura                                                             Gyoza
  
                     Spicy Ramen Noodle                                                Beef Teriyaki
The portions were very generous and at the moderate prices, all considered this place a great value and most will likely come back.
 
The service was good even though we overwhelmed their small kitchen but they more than made up for the slight delay early in the service as once things got going, everything flowed fairly smoothy.  The attitude of the staff was just outstanding.  They couldn't do enough for us and all were genuinely interested in making sure everyone got what they wanted and that they enjoyed the total experience.  They answered all questions nicely, offered suggestions and offered to bring samples of sake or ramen broth if folks were undecided.  They gave us a choice on the ramen, straight or 'curvy/wavy' (al dente).
 
I forgot I had a sore lip and ordered my favorite dish, the Spicy Ramen.  When it came, I couldn't really eat it because of the open sore and the hot, spicy broth.  They saw that and without any word from me, offered to take it back and give me something else that I could eat without burning my lip.  I ordered Gyoza (potstickers) and took my ramen home.  And, at the end, they gave us all complimentary dessert - Red Bean Ice Cream.
 
For those did not go, ask anyone that did attend and I think you will find that you missed a really good and fun event!  Try it on your own and tell them that you are part of the SIR's Branch and mention my name.  I assure you that you will be treated very well!
 
500 Hartz Avenue
Danville, California, 94526
925.552.5238
Jan 23, 2014
Our January Dine Out was at Amber Bistro and it was a great success!  People will sometimes ask me why I do these for our Chapter, thinking that it's a lot of trouble.  Well, my reward is to see a group of people truly enjoying themselves through the wonderful socialization of dining with other folks and partaking in the excellent food offered at reasonable prices!

We had our maximum of 24 folks.  Most took advantage of the Prix Fixe, 3-course dinner.  Actually, it was four courses because the chef gave us a tasty Amuse-Bouche to start things off!  Everyone seemed very pleased with either the Braised Beef Shortribs or the Seafood Risotto.  A few ordered off the menu.  Bill Buhl had a huge Braised Lamb Shank.  He finished it all, right down to the bone!  The wines offered by the glass were all at half-price.  Since Eric, the owner is a registered Sommelier, all the selections offered were excellent!
 
           
              
 

And these are photos of some of the dishes we had.  Unfortunately, we were all having such a good time that I forgot to take photos of some of dishes until I had partially devoured it!  In the case of Bill Buhl's Lamb shank, that is all that was left by the time I saw it - just bare bone!!!!

Those that did not attend - this is what you missed!  Eat your hearts out!!! :-)
Mixed Grain
1546 Bonanza St.
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
925 938-5959
Oct 24, 2013
Folks, I'm happy to report that the Mixed Grain event was an unqualified success!  We had 19 guests and all were very happy, pleased and content.  Some were not familiar with Korean cuisine  but by the end of dinner, everyone I talked to was talking about coming back to try more things!  Those that are Korean food veterans were just as pleased.  Everyone was impressed with the young lady that took care of us.  She was friendly, helpful and a very beautiful young lady.
 
As you can see from these photos, all the food looked great!  
 
 
 
        
 
 
Most folks had the traditional Grilled Beef Slices (Bulgogi), Grilled Beef Rib (Kalbi) or  Spicy Grilled Pork.  Another popular item was the rice bowl with beef/pork/chicken with vegetables in a 4500°F, hot stone bowl (Bibimbop) with a fried egg sunnyside-up on top.  All these entree items came with 8 little side dishes and soup!  The Spicy Chicken Wings were also a big hit. 

The food was wonderful, the staff was great and the prices were very inexpensive for such good food and a fun time!  I know a good time was had by all!  After dinner, a few of us went to Lottie's Creamery for gourmet ice cream just 1-1/2 blocks down the street.
Tender Greens
1352 Locust St
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(925) 937-5100
 
 
July 25, 2013 Our July event at Tender Greens was a small but fun and spirited group.  We had a total of 11 folks!  We had our own table and we ended up chatting for almost an hour after eating.  A small group decided to go on a quest for ice cream up the street or to find Rice Pudding like the variety found on the Eat Coast and some parts of the Midwest!  All-in-all, everyone seemed to have a really good time.  Come join us in the future!!!
Mercado del Sol
1450 Monument Blvd.
Concord, CA 94520
(925) 676-8837
 
June 27, 2013
This place was a great experience for all!  They food was excellent and the staff was really very attentive and quite a lot of fun.  Consuela was our host and she is very personal and helpful to us.  She had 5 tables arranged into one long table.  On the center table, she brought a beautiful, handmade tablecloth from home.  She put out chilled water and plenty of fresh chips and salsa for each table.  She helped some folks in ordering and was wonderfully patient about explaining/describing menu items.  She also has a great sense of humor and made it fun for all of us.  This place is one of the best values in food/price/service that we have ever experienced!  Many of the folks were delighted to have been introduced to this restaurant!  Those of you that missed this one, really did miss out on a great event!

If you come on your own, don't miss their Roast Baby Back Ribs and anything with Al Pastor (pork) in it (tacos, burritos, etc.).  Or better yet, just ask Consuela or her daughter, Christina.  They usually man the front counter.  And come join us for our future dining forays!
Ristorante Due Rose
1596 Fitzgerald Drive
Pinole, CA 94564
Telephone (510)223-5620
May 23, 2013 This was one of our smaller turn-outs, just 10 couples.  Vacations, graduations, meetings and medical procedures kept some of our regulars from enjoying this very popular venue.  But from the comments I heard, this was one of the best!  The smaller, more intimate group combined with a private dinning room made for a really nice gathering where we could easily socialize.  And the food was excellent, as usual!  Those that had the Filet Mignon were amazed at how good they were and how low the price was - just $25 for a full three-course steak dinner!!!!
2468 San Ramon Valley Blvd
(Inside Crow Canyon Shopping Place)
San Ramon, CA 94583 (925) 838-7655
                                             
March 22, 2013 I believe everyone had a lot of fun and I know, for sure, that no one went home hungry! I had said that this was “not your typical pizza joint.” Just from observation, only about a fourth of the group had pizza. Most folks had Persian dishes – beef, chicken, lamb kebabs and Kofte (sausage) with salad, grilled tomato and onion with Basmati Rice. And, our generous host/owner provided homemade Bolani, stuffed with pumpkin, leeks and garlic for appetizers. They also provided a side dish – Kadu Boranee, a delicious Roasted Sugar Pumpkin topped with ground beef and yogurt/mint sauce. It was outstanding and everyone loved it! This was followed by a homemade desert, Silk Kebab – an egg dish with honey. All of that was complimentary. Many folks had plenty to take home. And the prices of their entrees were very modest. If you did not attend, you missed a good one!!!
AMBER BISTRO
500 Hartz Ave., Danville, CA 94526
Phone: (925) 552-5238
February 28, 2013 Like all our previous events at Amber, it was a good group.  We filled the place with our usual 12 couples.  The 1/2 priced wines was, again, a big hit for our people and the menu was very much appreciated by all!
YIPING
2416 San Ramon Valley Blvd., #140
San Ramon, CA 94583
(925) 838-7188
January 24, 2013 Yiping is a relatively new addition to the list of places that we frequent for Dine Out but everyone seems very happy with them.  This is not your usual Chinese restaurant.  All their food is organic/natural/sustainable.  The Sichuan menu is distinctly different but it was well received by our group.  It was a very happy and successful event to kick-off the new year off for Dine Out!  I'm sure t his bodes well for the rest of the year!