The Little Pear: Delicious In Downtown

A new restaurant opened in downtown Walnut Creek where The Counter burger restaurant used to be. The Little Pear is from the same ownership group (The Worth Group) as The Peasant & The Pear in Danville and The Peasant’s Courtyard in Alamo.

When I visited, I ordered the Bishop Ranch salad with Mexican White Prawns and it was absolutely delicious (unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture!). The Little Pear is open every day except Mondays from 11 am to 8:30 pm (opening at 10 am on weekends) and I highly recommend you add it to your list of downtown Walnut Creek restaurants to try.

They offer a menu for weekend brunch, several tasty starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, specials, and burgers and other entrees. My Bishop Ranch salad had pear, candied walnuts, blue cheese, and balsamic over greens and I still think about it!

They also have nice outdoor seating for when the weather warms up. I have ate at both of their other restaurants which are also fantastic and think The Little Pear will be no different. Chef Rodney Worth grew up in Northern California and learned to make “good food that makes you feel good” while pursuing a Culinary Arts degree from DVC. He has worked at Wente Vineyards, Bizou, and in catering so he has a wide range of experience that you can taste in every bite.

If you give it a try, let me know what you think about it!

New Listing: 1121 Glenwillow Ln. In Concord

I recently represented the buyer for 1121 Glenwillow Ln. in Concord, a beautiful 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 2,600-plus-square-foot home. Its panoramic views in the Pine Hollow neighborhood make for a peaceful and private homey feel on the cul-de-sac back by the Open Space.

The house also has an extra den/office, vaulted ceilings, and large windows to allow extra sunlight to fill the rooms. The kitchen is updated and has stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and a breakfast nook. An expanded great room boasts hardwood floors, a fireplace, and access to the backyard.

The master suite has a spacious walk-in closet and a large en-suite bathroom with a custom vanity, a luxurious stall shower, and a separate soaking tub. In the backyard, a turf lawn, putting green, deck, and dining area with BBQ mean endless hosting opportunities, no matter the weather. There is even a finished 3-car garage, a storage shed, space for an RV or boat to park, and an owned solar system included in this home.

My client bought for $1.38 million, got a seller paid rate buy down and the roof repair of $8500! If you are looking to buy or sell in the East Bay, give me a call!

Just Sold: 3317 Tice Creek Dr. #4

I recently represented both buyer and seller for 3317 Tice Creek Dr. #4 in Walnut Creek. Both sides were very happy with the deal, which closed at $325,000. The unit is a 1-bedroom, 1-bath, 729-square-foot home in a Rossmoor senior living community.

The seller wrote me a kind review that I’ve shared below. He also mentioned: “I am watching the two others that were comparable to mine. One is at $325k and the other at $328k, and neither has sold yet though they’ve been on the market about 3-4 weeks each. You did a great job!”

It’s always nice to get positive feedback from my clients like that. It helps when the home showed so well, as the owner agreed to stage, the kitchen was previously remodeled and he put in new windows and remodeled the bathroom. All of that helps in selling a home.

Rossmoor is the premiere active-adult community in the Bay Area, offering several activities and amenities for an outdoor lifestyle. As you can see in the photos above, that includes golf courses, swimming pools, gyms, and much more.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the East Bay, give me a call!

And, finally, to all: a Happy Thanksgiving! May your holidays be filled with family, fun, and food.

Visit AXR Winery In St. Helena

It doesn’t get much better than AXR Winery in St. Helena. The winery is known for its Cabernets and for being smack dab in the middle of a stunningly beautiful setting. It is a truly excellent experience, whether you are a winery expert or someone visiting for the first time.

A couple of years ago, the big fire in that area came within about 90 feet of their tasting room. Thankfully, the tasting room was spared. The winery is located in a historic estate in the heart of St. Helena. They describe the tasting experience as “down-home” and private, which I have to agree with.

Though the tastings are more on the expensive side, it’s worth it to fully immerse yourself in this lovely winery. The cost makes sense when you realize their bottle of reds range between $190 run you $540; it is a lot, but it is high-quality wine in the most famous wine region of the country. Luckily, I was there with my friend Doug who is a member and our tasting was free!

When I visited, I truly enjoyed every moment of my wine-tasting experience. I highly recommend giving AXR a try next time you visit the Napa Valley area.

I love the description they give for their vision….

If only these vines could talk, they would tell you stories of the old Napa Valley. The history of our estate is compounded in layers; rooted in historic tales of fierce Native American hunting grounds, wild west pioneers and the first woman vintner of California in 1886. It has changed hands over the course of 134 years to become a brewery, restaurant, inn, winery and saloon. Tales of love, lust, heartbreak, murders and great fortune create an imaginative backdrop to our present-day vision of AXR. Today, we are a winery that pays homage to its history and blazes the trail of excitement and innovation in napa valley as the pioneers before us did.

We want to be reminded every day to live fully and to leave a lasting impression on our layer of history. Named after the axr rootstock (aramond x rupestris) that was so prominent in building the modern California wine industry, axr#1 eventually succumbed to phylloxera and most of California wine country was left as a blank canvas. Vintners now had a chance to replant and to rethink the entire structure of the vineyards; attention was paid to the terroir and unique varietals were researched. This was truly a turning point in the wine industry as we know it. AXR invites you to go on a journey through the past, present and future of Napa Valley.

Road Trips: Mammoth Lakes To Hope Valley

I am finishing my three-part road trip blog, inspired by the destinations suggested in 7×7, about hidden Northern California gems. Here is the first one, about Mariposa to Placerville. Here is the second, about Leggett to Ferndale. And, today, we discover a route from Mammoth Lakes to Hope Valley. Enjoy!

This is a road trip that takes you along the spine of the Sierras, beginning at Mammoth Lakes. If you’ve visited Mammoth, you are familiar with its outdoor opportunities, ghost towns, hot springs, and amazing mountain passes. This route also has comfort, like the Sierra Nevada Resort, and highly rated restaurants like Vulcania.

On the way, don’t miss these turn-offs:

Bodie,a ghost town off US-395. Credit: 7×7

Devil’s Postpile National Monument: Devil’s Postpile is a natural wonder and the monument also boasts breathtaking views and hikes. I have hiked this area a long time ago and staying in Mammoth Lakes in the summer and doing the Devils Postpile was a highlight!

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve: An ancient lake with unique natural structures protruding from the water (the “tufa”).

Bodie State Historic Park: This eerie Gold Rush-era attraction still shows the ghost town of Bodie’s deserted streets and abandoned homes.

Travertine Hot Springs: Treat yourself after a long drive! Travertine is composed of three natural pools just south of Bridgeport.

If you want to further understand this area a great book is Miracle Country by Kendra Atleework. She livedĀ in the Owens Valley of the Eastern Sierra Nevada, where annual rainfall averages five inches and in drought years measures closer to zero. It also talks about how Mulholland and his engineering feat to get water to Los Angeles and took it from the Eastern Sierras which had a big impact on Owens Valley and the future of fires.

Tatsu Sushi In Walnut Creek – YUM!

I checked out Tatsu Sushi in Ygnacio Valley Plaza recently, and I just have a one-word review: YUM. It’s an awesome Japanese restaurant that is apparently very popular, if their extremely busy Wednesday evening crowd is any indication.

I ordered a couple of rolls and they gave us gyoza on the house. We also tried the vegetable tempura. You can see pictures of the meal below, but fair warning; they might make your mouth water.

Tatsu is open for lunch and dinner every day but Sunday, but like I said, the place was really busy on a random Wednesday night. So, make sure you plan in advance for your visit!

On the website, they describe the restaurant as “on the frontier of Japanese fusion restaurants,” and promise the freshest seafood, meat, and produce. The meal I had at Tatsu was definitely fresh and delicious – I will be back!

Good Food At Genuine Goodness

I recently visited Genuine Goodness in Orinda, which specializes in catering, grab-and-go sandwiches, soups, salads, smoothies, and baked sweets. They also have some really cute gifts for sale there!

There is some indoor seating here and they have good, nutritional options for those seeking healthy food. I thought that all the food I tried was really delicious, and I’d highly encourage anyone to give it a shot when they’re in Orinda.

Maybe my favorite feature, though, is that you can pre-order take-and-bake meals directly from their website. They say a full-size take-and-bake order will feed two adults and two kids, so it’s perfect to call ahead and pick up for the family.

Many of their take-and-bake meals are hearty, healthy, and delicious-looking; full of veggies and protein that we health-crazed Californians will love. Learn more at their website here.

Fall Is In The Air!

If you are wanting a day trip or an overnight get away, this helpful poster was shared by Fidelity National Title, giving monthly fall activity ideas, including those for kids, in the Apple Hill area between Sacramento and Placerville. They even marked them on a handy Highway 50 driving route for you to enjoy.

This area is close enough to the Bay Area that I think it’s well worth a day trip up to one of these orchards or vineyards to see the fall colors and take part in some fun activities, fruit picking or wine tasting! I know the photo is a little bit hard to read, so I have included all of the still-relevant info below.

For general information about this region’s activities, visit applehill.com, email info@applehill.com, or call (530) 644-7692.

October

  • Oct. 20: Wreath Making & Wine Tasting at Smokey Ridge Ranch & Winery (530-903-6470)
  • Oct. 28: Vampires & Vines at Fenton Herriot Vineyards (530-642-22021)

November

  • Nov. 2: Wreath Making & Wine Tasting at Smokey Ridge Ranch & Winery (530-903-6470)
  • Nov. 9: Wreath Making & Wine Tasting at Smokey Ridge Ranch & Winery (530-903-6470)
  • Nov. 11: Veterans’ Day Specials for service members and veterans at participating farms
  • Nov. 18: Holiday Sip & Saver at Boeger Winery (530-622-8094)
  • Nov. 18-19: Bonfire, Chili & Cornbread and S’mores at Harris Family Farm (530-644-2194)
  • Nov. 18-19: Bottle Your Own at Fenton Herriot Vineyards (530-642-2201)
  • Nov. 24: Opening day for most Apple Hill Grower Christmas tree farms!
  • Nov. 25: Bonfire and S’mores at Grandpa’s Cellar (530-644-2153)
  • Nov. 24-26: Santa Visits (weather permitting) at Apple Ridge Farms (530-647-0613)
  • Nov. 25-26: Dust Off the Bottle Library Wine Event at Lava Cap Winery (530-621-0175)

Kids Activities

  • Abel’s Apple Acres: Gem Mining, Sand Art, Amazing Maze
  • Apple Ridge Farms: Maze, Nature Trail, Gemstone Mining, Face Painting (weekends only)
  • Delfino Farms: Farm animals (Babydoll SHeep), nature trail, large grassy hill, pumpkins/gourds. Mini pumpkin decorating on weekends.
  • Fudge Factory Farm: Farm Animals (Alpacas), Face Painter, Playground, Balloon Artist, Gem Mining
  • Harris Famly Farm: Nature Trail, Scavenger Hung, You-Pick, Berries, Apples & Pumpkins (in-season until picked out)
  • Hidden Star Camino: Kids Town Play Area
  • High Hill Ranch: Face Painting, Fishing Pond, Pony Rides
  • Indian Rock Tree Farm: Gold Mine, Indian Hut, Trout Stream
  • Larsen Apple Barn: Museum (self-guided), Park (lawn play, picnic)
  • O’Halloran’s Apple Trail Ranch: You-Pick Pumpkins off the vine, Flowers & Christmas Trees, Indian Corn, Johnny Appleseed Tree, Nature Trail
  • Pine-O-Mine: You pick apples (until all picked out – call for info), Pumpkin Patch
  • Rainbow Orchards: Hay Bale Hop-a-Crooked-Mile, Pumpkins, Winter Squash & Ornamental corn, Popcorn, Fresh Cider Mill, Grassy Orchard Play Area
  • Smokey Ridge Farmstand: Pictures on the tractor, you pick apples & chestnuts (in season until all picked out)
  • Carrot Farm: You-pick Flowers (in season)

Please Consider Donating!

Walnut Creek’s Community Service Day is this Saturday, October 14th. The giving season is underway, and if you are considering donating, I ask that you please consider doing so to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. More and more people need help and there are some great sales on the items on the shopping list below. Your generous donations are greatly appreciated!

If you would like to take part, there are four options for giving:

  1. Give a bag of food from your home: put a bag of food in clear view at the end of your driveway by 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.
  2. Donate at any Walnut Creek Safeway: money and food can be donated at any location from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturday.
  3. Call Kristin: you can call me to pick up your donation or drop it off at my house (190 Arlene Dr., Walnut Creek), as long as it’s done by 10 a.m. on Saturday.
  4. Give online: finally, you can donate by visiting www.walnut-creek.org/service!

Please note that the Food Bank can not take glass items, and that they prefer to receive items listed on the poster. Help us fight hunger now!

    A New Listing In Rossmoor!

    This 1-bed, 1-bath unit (3317 Tice Creek, Unit 4) in Rossmoor has a private fenced-in patio that allows level-in entry from the street. It is a delightful Cypress Co-Op (Entry 12) unit ready for a new owner to enjoy.

    Luxury vinyl plant flooring and a fresh coat of paint enhance the home’s appeal. The kitchen shines with recessed lighting and quartz countertops. A remodeled bathroom with a convenient shower stall, updated fixtures, and a tiled floor awaits your relaxation.

    The unit is surrounded by mature hedges and has an area for flowers, creating a serene haven perfect for soaking in the sunshine or creating a charming garden retreat. You’ll also appreciate the ease of sidewalk access for bringing in groceries or avoiding the stairs. Carport #1601-1 is conveniently located directly across from the unit. As a bonus, you’ll find 10 guest parking spaces and the community laundry room just a few steps away.

    Rossmoor stands as the premiere active-adult community in the Bay Area, offering a plethora of amenities to enhance your lifestyle (Examples: six clubhouses, two golf courses, four swimming pools, a well-equipped gym, a movie theater, art studios, bocce ball and lawn bowling, tennis and pickleball courts, a variety of clubs, and much more!).