There is always a need to dine finely, and in our quaint corner of the bubble, there are quite a few choices to make when the occasion calls for white linen tablecloths and place settings with more than one fork. As some of you may recall, I have had a couple of our local upscale eatery’s as my home from the management side of things, but my love for our topic today goes deeper.
Let’s take a trip back to 1993. I have always wondered if Bridges is tired of living and re-living that year, but then I put back on my managers coat and realize that the type of publicity they received that year may very well still be putting people in the seats today. Heck, if you won a gold medal in the 1990s Olympics, wouldn’t you still be proud of showing it off today?
I was one of those community college kids a year out of high school taking up valuable space at the smoking booths in Lyons Coffee Shop on a nightly basis. We would spend our time flapping our gums about how misunderstood we were and how nothing ever happens in this town.
Then one night, right down the street there was a great to-do happening. There were big lights, and security blocking the driveway to Bridges every late night for quite a few days. We would huddle around as close to the tape as possible to try and catch a glimpse of Robin Williams in action, and then the movie was released. There was our small town represented by some serious Hollywood names on the big screen, and they didn’t even change the name of the restaurant. Oh yeah, and Lori Hales back of the head had a cameo—she was my girlfriend in first grade—BOOYA!
But the story doesn’t stop there, and for very good reason. Bridges could have enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame and slipped off into oblivion, but they did the un-thinkable. They built off of their good fortune and created something else to talk about and revisit for years: A superb product with amazing people!
The reason that Bridges stands out to me is simple—they have fine dining down to an art form, but wrapped up in a cozy local tavern feel. As soon as you enter the property with a vine covered trellis and natural granite waterfall you feel calmer than you did when you got out of the car. Then you see it, arguably the best patio in the area. Inside is soft lighting and hard surfaces, softened by the décor of linen, glass and pictures of bridges. You feel oddly sheik but comfortable, even on a budget. That’s their thing: you don’t need to take a second out on the house to dine here. Their happy hour in the bar is ALL DAY and the $29 three course Prix Fixe menu is inspired. But honestly there is zero sticker shock here.
Executive Chef and Partner Kevin Gin is California educated, French trained, and Japanese inspired and brings all of this to the menu at Bridges. The “Partner” piece carries a lot of weight. You want that kind of ownership in a Chef. Along with Wine Director David Gibson, they have created more than a night/day out—they have created an experience—the type of experience that reveals what food and wine is supposed to be about.
Mrs. Doubtfire may have put Bridges on the map, but they decided to make the most of it, and that they did. They have created a private club feel available to everybody that comes through the door.
Whether you are there for Happy Hour, lunch or to close a major job prospect while also satisfying your family time under two different genders, you will be treated as though you are family and will leave looking forward to your return.
44 Church St, Danville, California 94526