Esin, Danville - White tablecloths, fun bar, professional servers, delicious food no matter what I've ordered, and they are famous for their desserts. Ask about the evening's specials, and order dessert when you sit down, because if you wait, it may very well be gone!
Va da Vi, Walnut Creek - innovative small plates and a diverse wine list with many ways to try many wines. Always bustling!
Trabocco, Alameda - Giuseppi and Christina are the wonderful chef/hostess. I love to sit at the chef's bar and watch the pizza being prepared, and seeing the cooks at work. Delicious authentic Italian food - and some with a Califoria twist.
Locanda Ravello, Danville - Warm and friendly owners and staff; some of the best Italian food in a charming setting.
The Cooperage, Lafayette - Informal, big bar with TVs and people meeting and having a good time; well-prepared food in a warm place with a great vibe.
Fontina, Pleasanton - really nice Italian food, reasonable prices, great dip for the warm bread.