Travelers Rating: 5
San Ramon: Mudd's Restaurant: "Fresh, new & inspiring"
KAsoccer, Walnut Creek Jul 9, 2007

This is the hidden gem of the east bay. Maybe not for very much longer though. I hadn't been to Mudd's for a while. Even though I always enjoyed the restaurant, the menu was safe. Then a stunning review was found in the CC Times and back i went. Unbelievable! Great tasting, brilliant presentation and as always a stunning garden view. I can say that it had been about 3 years since I had been. Now I've been three times in the last month. Loved the spring menu so I had to go back. Then back a gain for the summer just keeps getting better.

Travelers Rating: 5
San Ramon: Mudd's Restaurant: "A fabulous dining experience"
CAEastbaytraveller, Piedmont, CA Apr 24, 2007

Mudd's has a new chef who has completely overhauled the old menus. The new food is so much more exciting. The building is beautiful, the service impeccible, and the food is akin to the better restaurants in San Francisco, albeit less expensive.

The restaurant touts its fresh ingredients, straight from the beautiful gardens out back. You can eat outdoors surrounded by nature. Highly recommended.


Kate B.

Reviews Written: 180

5 star rating

This is a really beautiful friendly place with nice food. My husband took me here on our first date and we really enjoyed it back then. The food was really good and the service friendly. We liked it so much and had such good memories that we even checked them out as a potential wedding site. We ended up going with a different place, but Mudd's has a lot going for it. First of all, go during the day, the gardens are really amazing and nice to even just walk around in. The building is cozy and while not a huge place, doesn't feel crowded either. We really like the food there. It is the "typical" "fresh-organic California cuisine." But really, that stuff is good. The ingredients are fresh (many from their garden right outside) and the food tasty with a decent wine list. If I was out that way more often, I'd be eating there more often too.
New Chef brings new hope to a beautiful, local place
Apr 14 '07

A knockout gorgeous restaurant and grounds with good food.

The Bottom Line: This is the most beautiful interior of any restaurant in the local area. It's pricey but would be right for special occasions and romantic evenings.

Full Review

Mudd's has been around for a long time and gone through several ownership changes. The concept is exceptionally fine. It is a series of beautiful, rustic wooden buildings hidden from the major thoroughfare just 50 yards away. Their parking lot is nestled in a grove of big, tall fir trees. It feels like you're out in the country! The building itself is an all wood, single-story, rambling, casual looking and a bit rustic in feel. In fact, it is a series of wooden frame, wood shingle sided building connected together to form an intriguing complex with a very intimate ambiance. To complete this idyllic setting, here is an organic garden and a creek on the backside. Here, the chef and his staff can mine this asset for the freshest of ingredients and in the summer, makes for a nice, leisurely stroll through the garden. In the past, the above has been the best part of the Mudd's dining experience. The food has been 'just OK' and did not do full justice to the expectation that the building, interior and grounds seemed to offer. In short, the food did not match the place. This is a real problem because the menu is expensive. However, they just changed chefs and we went to see if there was an appreciable upgrade in food quality.

Darren Robey is the new chef. He is from the U.K. and learned his craft in a formal culinary school in France. He spent time in Florida and seven years in San Francisco and several years in the heart of the Napa Valley Wine Country. He has good credentials. I'm hoping these will make a nice improvement in the food served, here.

Upon entry, the visitor is completely awed by the beautiful wooden interior. The ceiling is a curved arch made up of longitudinally placed dark wood planking. Imagine a beautiful, dark, hardwood floor that has been been curved and placed above that matches the wood-lined walls and polished hardwood floors! It is absolutely gorgeous. There are various small rooms and alcoves that provide a very intimate setting. This is an ideal place for a romantic dinner. Even their private dining room is an intimate place - a separate wooden building off the main dining room. It seats about 24 and is totally isolated for superb privacy an quiet calm. The full-service lounge is in a separate alcove off the main entry area. All dining rooms and areas are outfitted with tables and white tablecloths, heavy silverware and very nice dinnerware. In the evening, the lighting is indirect and very low to compliment the intimate feeling. Reading the menu can be a bit challenging in this light even with the candle on the table

The new menu features fewer items but of a different direction. The former menu was classic Continental - nothing outlandish, nothing beyond safe. The new menu is a bit more daring ambitious. It changes frequently based on what is in season and takes advantage of local ingredients and strengths. Appetizers run $8 (soup of the day) to $15 (Seared Foie Gras with Vanilla Oatmeal, Citrus Salad & Maple Syrup. There are 6 salads - all at $8. For dinner, there are only 7 items, ranging from $17 to $28. Examples are Pumpkin Gnocchi with Broccoli Rabe, Toasted Pumpkin seeds, Roast Garlic Nage ($17); Grilled Harissa Quail with Date Almond Cous Cous, Braised Artichokes, Lemon Jus ($25); Pan Roasted Salmon with Salt Cod Fritter, Piquillo Pepper Salad, Paprika Butler Sauce ($27) and Grilled Ribeye Steak with Celery Root Gratin, Roast Chanterelles, Red Wine Lobster Sauce ($25).

Brunch is offered on Sundays from 10 AM to 2 PM. Three salads plus a soup and the following items make up the Brunch Menu:

Huevos Rancheros $14
Smoked Salmon Omelet $14
Petite New York Steak & Eggs Any Style $18
Chorizo Frittata Spanish Rice and Refried Beans $15
Eggs Benedict $14
California Beef Burger $13
French Toast $10
Selection of Artisan Cheeses $12

To sample the new Chef's food, we decided to do Brunch with another couple. I had the California Beef Burger (Avacado, Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese & Pommes Frites). I'm a sucker for Blue Cheese and the Pt. Reyes is a good one. This combination of the cheese, bacon and beef was a good one - very tasty and very satisfying. My fries were excellent - just like I remember them in France and Belgium - thin, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside and properly drained of all oil. It was pricey but good. Besides it's a beautiful place for brunch.

My wife had the Eggs Benedict. She thought it was excellent and, possibly, the best Hollandaise sauce she has ever had. The egg was done perfectly and complemented the Canadian Bacon. The other couple had the Smoked Salmon Omelet and French Toast. They liked their selections without any negative comments. The French Toast was unique in that it was made with Hawaiian Sweet Bread and served with Strawberry Compote & Mint Syrup. If you've never had it, Hawaiian Sweet Bread is a very soft, tender bread and quite sweet all by itself. When done in the French Toast format, it makes a very nice delicate texture and works really well with the other sweet ingredients. I was fortunate enough to sample this treat.

Another notable improvement is the coffee. I recall the previous coffee to be relative benign - a bit weak and, perhaps, wanting to be unobtrusive. The coffee is now much stronger - as if to make a statement. It was good with a good, complex flavor. I had the decaf and the 'leaded' versions and both were very good.

The one negative note to this experience was the server. We had a new, novice server. He was not fully versed in the food or the menu and was not very sure of himself. He was nice enough but he was not well trained. He was awkward in serving and he was not very swift. I know he will improve or be let go. I did bring it to the manager's attention and he apologized for this lapse and admitted that he should have kept a closer eye on him.

Bottom line is - the food, I think, has improved. Now, the food offered more closely mirrors the excellent ambiance. The prices are about the same so this signals a definite improvement for this establishment.



Kid Friendliness: No
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes
Notes, Tips or Menu Recommendations Finally, the food has improved to more closely match the beautiful building and ambiance.
Best Suited For: Romantic Evening

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