Greater East Bay
Artisan Bistro CLOSED 1005 Brown Ave./Mt. Diablo Blvd., (925) 962-0882. L Tu-Sat, D Tu-Sun, Sat-SunBr; $$-$$$. Reservations advised.
Operating on a quiet side street within a converted 1922 cottage, this intimate venue’s decor includes natural wood beams, a stone fireplace, and walls painted with sophisticated muted darker colors. In good weather, an expansive brick patio invites fresh-air dining. Lunch includes a salami-avocado chopped salad, a burger, and sandwiches, while the seasonal dinner menu might offer a thick and tasty artichoke soup with a dollop of marcona almond-mint pesto, an herb-crusted rack of lamb, or a satisfying deep-fried Cornish game hen with mashed potatoes, gravy, and a housemade biscuit. Desserts run the gamut from homey orange-and-caramel bread pudding to a refined goat cheese torte with Port sauce and cranberry sabayon.
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