rhunker wrote:I've visited each at least two times, always felt welcomed and intend to go back. Livermore has a lot more to offer then I anticipated.Richard
rhunker wrote:I live in Vegas. Wish I had your problems...Napa, Sonoma, Livermore
rhunker wrote: Can't wait to get back.
As others have said, Wente is by far the best restaurant in the immediate area; super service, very good to excellent food, and an expensive but relatively deep wine list. Herbs grown on site, menu changes twice daily, etc. They'll try to steer you to the "signature" double-cut applewood-smoked pork chop, which is delicious barbecque but doesn't really show what the kitchen can do. The fish are always impeccably fresh, and I've never had a soup that failed to impress. Oh, and avoid the Wente "selected vineyards" wines on the list; they're the supermarket kind. Stick to the reserve selections and the Murrietta's Well (also owned by Wente). Lunch is a better deal, typically uncrowded, and the light in the room is beautiful. Oddly, no tasting menu is available, an oversight I'm planning to ask them to correct when we go for our fifth anniversary.
From the wineries, you'll have to drive a few miles to downtown no matter where you go. In downtown I like Sansar, northern Indian food done well. For American Zephyr Grill on the western edge of downtown (10 blocks long, don't worry) serves good California-ish food with ambiance (also fun happy hour). South of town is a branch of the small chain restaurant Emil Villa's, resolutely American comfort food (try anything with bacon) at low prices. If you're willing to go a bit farther afield, the Tri-Valley Seafood Restaurant in Pleasanton serves pretty authentic dim-sum all week during lunch and has tanks of live seafood for dinner, though service can be lacking (one of my pet projects is to figure out the precise hierarchy of dim-sum cart ladies, waiters, runners, check-bringers and suit-wearing managers). Also, if you've never eaten a fried prawn head whole, try the omakase at Tomo in downtown Pleasanton (I think it's $40). For Jaliscano Mexican food, try Anita's
Tacqueria in Livermore. Their carnitas (only available on weekends are super), as is any dish with tounge.