Lark Creek, Walnut Creek CA
We’re already familiar with the Lark Creek Restaurant Group, since we’ve been to Yankee Pier a couple of times. The group is part of the Seafood Watch Program through the Monterey Bay Aquarium that serves fish that has been “caught or farmed using environmentally friendly practices.” Lark Creek Walnut Creek has been on August’s radar for years, ever since living and working in downtown Walnut Creek, and finally tonight we went there for dinner.
Crab month is over (we went to Yankee Pier in February so that’s when we found out the restaurant group does themed months). That doesn’t mean, though, that crab is entirely stricken from the menu. We started with a small cup of dungeness crab chowder with dill drop biscuits.
The wood oven baked dungeness crab dip with olive oil crackers and grilled baguette was creamy and well seasoned. The olive oil crackers were thin, crispy, and very light in texture, but with enough substance that they didn’t break when scooping the dip. The baguette slices were like large, crunchy croutons, bursting with herbs.
From February to March, the group changed from crab to lamb. This California lamb shank was braised and served with polenta, Swiss chard, and a porcini reduction. The meat was definitely lamb and not mutton, which August appreciates more than the average person, as her grandfather and great grandfather were sheepherders. The portion was generous and fork-tender, not requiring too much use of a knife. The polenta was very creamy with a rich Parmesan taste, and the porcini reduction was a delicate, savory icing on the proverbial cake.
Every Thursday is Thanksgiving at Lark Creek Walnut Creek! Nightly classics change throughout the week and are available until they run out; fortunately we arrived before it was too late and Zach got to order the organic roast turkey dinner with sage cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, and cranberry sauce. The turkey was moist with a selection of both white and dark meat. The mashed potatoes had a nice roasted garlic flavor, and the gravy was rich and creamy with flavors of sage and thyme. The yams were tender and only mildly sweet with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. They make a fresh cranberry relish for this dish, which was tart like it should be but not overwhelmingly so.
We’d like to come back for lunch when the weather turns and bring Bea the Dog, since this establishment has a pet-friendly patio (so does Jack’s). Some items can be prepared vegetarian or vegan, and many can be prepared “in gluten sensitive fashion,” so this is a place welcoming to all eaters, including another species.