I know times are hard, but it still amazing to be the only customers in a good restaurant. Tonight, though, that’s what happened. Gail and I were out with Micky and Linda at 1515 Restaurant and Lounge in Walnut Creek (at the easy to remember address of 1515 N. Main St.) The food was creative, delectable and well presented, the service was fine, the ambience hip, slick and cool. And we were the only dinner guests. We had a 6:45 reservation, left about 8:00, and never saw another customer.
The place is also a lounge, which is the nice way to say a bar. The dining room is separate, but we still heard the chatter and clink.
I started with the Caprese salad, because I always start with a Caprese salad. How they find heirloom tomatoes in January is beyond me, but find them they did. Ripe, full of flavor red and yellow tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil leaf and balsamic vinegar artfully designed on the plate–what more could a boy ask for?
1515 offers traditional entrées, “small plates” and flatbread pizzas. Micky and Linda ordered the pasta Jambalaya, a non-traditional Jambalaya made with penne pasta instead of rice and no sausage or ham. Gail and I both ordered a supposedly “small plate” of chicken enchilada–which turned out to be a 7″ frying pan full of good food, not overly Mexican but good, and decidedly enough for dinner all by itself. I also had a small plate of gnocchi in pesto (eliciting considerably table discussion of how best to pronounce “gnocchi”. My Italian heritage apparently counts for nothing with that crowd.) It’s true I’d eat wet newspapers with pesto on them, but this was the best dish of the meal. Getting gnocchi right is an art, and the chef has clearly mastered it.
The service was top notch, but with only 4 diners in the joint you’d expect that.
We liked the place. We will go back. Why there was nobody else there is a mystery, because they should have a full house.
1515 Restaurant and Lounge
1515 N. Main St., Walnut Creek