A friend and I ventured out to the beautiful Walnut Creek, California for a girlie day (no Brit this time) of lunch and shopping. Lark Creek seemed like the perfect choice for lunch to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather, as they have an outdoor dining area. After all, a girl needs fuel so she can snag those bargains right?
The menu at Lark Creek is both varied and interesting. Their menu is on the gourmet side of the scale, but there are plenty of dishes that are easy enough that non gourmands can enjoy. (We all have those people in our lives who have a hard time with food that seems too fancy or overly complicated.)
The atmosphere on the outside patio near the street reminds me of cafes in Europe. The street is tree lined, so there is plenty of natural shade. They also have a covered patio which is attached to the restaurant for the best of both worlds if you don’t want to be right on the street and you want to avoid the sun all together.
The restaurant inside is lovely. Soft warm yellow walls and woods make the space feel intimate without being claustrophobic. They have a gorgeous well stocked bar, and I could imagine enjoying cocktails with friends there.
I have dined at Lark Creek in the past for brunch and it was excellent. The brunch was served off a menu rather than buffet style, but we were still able to enjoy a mimosa or two with our meals.
On this occasion, our waitress was very pleasant and efficient. Waters and drinks were brought out quickly. She smiled easily, and she had the polish and poise of someone far older than she seemed. I knew we were going to get excellent service, and we did.
I started my meal by ordering a glass of the 2014 MacMurray Ranch Russian River Pinot Noir from the menu. Unfortunately, the wine had been left open too long and had started to sour. I ended up sending it back. The second glass was fine (though not particularly to my taste – it was a bit bland) and we enjoyed our drinks while we perused the menu.
Along with my lunch I also ordered iced tea without lemon. My companion ordered it with lemon. Both were brought correctly and glasses were refilled throughout the meal several times without prompting or our glasses getting that empty look.
My dining companion that day happened to be a vegetarian. I was happy to see several choices on the menu for her. Many of the restaurants we had visited during her stay had only one or two items from which to choose.
On this day, we both settled on the Napoleon veggie sandwich. It was served warm on a rustic focaccia roll. We also both opted for the sweet potato fries to round out our plates. (They are veggies so we assured ourselves we were being healthy that day.)
I have to say that we both liked our sandwiches. They were filled generously with grilled veggies, arugula, onion jam and mozzarella cheese. The preparation of the sandwiches were good, the veggies were firm and retained all of their flavor. We weren’t biting into a mouth full of mush. I think for me however, for the bite to be perfect, I would have liked a sauce/condiment that was a little more exciting. The onion jam was tasty, but it faded into the rest of the flavors. Maybe a little spicy aioli might have given it some zing and a contrasting flavor which would have brought it to the next level of yumm.
The sweet potato fries were amazing! Crispy, on the outside, creamy on the inside and perfectly spiced. We both ate them enthusiastically.
Neither one of us were in need of dessert and we were anxious to get back to our shopping adventure, so we asked for our bill. The waitress surprised me by comping both of my glasses of wine in apology for the first glass being served sour. Classy!
I really enjoyed my lunch at Lark Creek and would not hesitate to return. It is the perfect spot for a leisurely quality meal with someone you really enjoy.