New Lafayette Restaurants Emerge

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Sarah Rockwood, Staff Writer

While Orinda may have superior STAR Testing scores, Lafayette ranks higher when it comes to finding a good bite to eat. With a wide range of posh restaurants and culinary stores, Lafayette offers all the retail opportunity of Walnut Creek, and saves diners the longer trip. There has always been a good reason to head south on Highway 24 to Downtown Lafayette, but now more than ever it’s certainly worth the trip. With three new restaurants making their debut within the past six months, Lafayette has surpassed expectations once again in providing unsurpassed satisfaction for our palette.

The most recent addition to Lafayette’s culinary entourage is The Cooperage, which is scheduled to open in Feb. 2014.  Founded by Lafayette resident Andrew McCormick, The Cooperage is designed to be a comfortable, family-style restaurant that features many American favorites such as New York steak. McCormick is the founder and manager of the renowned City Tavern in San Francisco. Together with Bill McCormick, who co-founded the acclaimed McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood restaurant chain, the Andrews’ next step is to bring their culinary expertise to Lafayette.

Another exciting restaraunt addition to the streets of Lafayette is Roam, which has finally given the city bragging rights about their excellent burgers. Since its opening day in December, Roam, located at 23 Lafayette Circle, has been packed day in and day out.  With excellent service and raving Yelp reviews, Roam has been all the talk in Lamorinda, as hoards of people are swarming there to either get a taste of the San Francisco burgers they know and love or to try a savory new burger experience.

On her first trip to Roam, junior Sondra Abruzzo was instantly hooked: “The milkshakes are like nothing I’ve ever tried before, especially with the addition of the bruleed marshmallow,” Abruzzo said. “The burgers are just beautiful and amazing. The seasonal vegetables are right out of an organic cookbook.”

Serving all free-range meat and organic produce, Roam makes a delectable and customizable burger while also pleasing health nuts. Their wide range of options will satisfy any connoisseur: elk and bison burgers are unique options, along with the Sunnyside Burger (yes, it has an egg in it) and the French and Fries Burger (why get them on the side when you can get all the good stuff in one bite?).  With a cozy ambiance and bustling atmosphere, Roam is a great place to grab a delicious bite on the go, or to sit down and enjoy a meal with friends. “If heaven had a taste, that would be it. I would live here if I could,” Abruzzo said.

The final addition to Lafayette is Rustic Tavern, a gourmet, American-style restaurant that opened on 3576 Mt. Diablo Blvd. about six months ago. Serving comfort food with an elegant touch, Rustic Tavern is yet another option for a fine night out with some quality food.  Founder Gary Rust brings his cooking expertise,  with classic entrees such as wild Coho Salmon to the Lamorinda Area.