East Bay's best restaurants

November 3, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Every year at this time, the readers of Diablo Magazine vote for their favorite East Bay restaurants. You can find the results in this month's issue. Diablo's executive editor, Michaela Jarvis, introduces us to one of this year's winners, Jeffrey Amber of Gigi Restaurant in Lafayette.

For more information on the Diablo Magazine Food Awards, click here.

The readers of Diablo Magazine voted for their favorite restaurants, and Diablo's judges rated them for food, ambience, and service - out of a possible 90 points.

Food: 27 points, Ambience: 26 points, Service: 25 points
FINAL SCORE: 78 points

Food: 26 points, Ambience: 27 points, Service: 23 points
FINAL SCORE: 76 points

Va de Vi.Walnut Creek
Food: 28 points, Ambience: 22 points, Service: 26 points
FINAL SCORE: 76 points

Prima.Walnut Creek
Food: 23 points, Ambience: 24 points, Service: 28 points
FINAL SCORE: 75 points

Food: 24 points, Ambience: 24 points, Service: 24 points
FINAL SCORE: 72 points

Yankee Pier.Lafayette
Food: 26 points, Ambience: 21 points, Service: 24 points
FINAL SCORE: 71 points

Uncle Yu's
Food: 21 points, Ambience: 24 points, Service: 25 points
FINAL SCORE: 70 points

Food: 23 points, Ambience: 23 points, Service: 70 points
FINAL SCORE: 70 points

About Jeffrey Amber: Jeffrey Amber ran the venerable Moose's Restaurant, after a very successful tenure at the highly touted XYZ Restaurant (W Hotel in SF) where he garnered a Rising Star chef Award from the SF Chronicle, as well as numerous other accolades and most recently oversaw the three kitchens for Chow Restaurants. Gigi is named after his daughter.

Gigi Restaurant
1005 Brown Ave
Lafayette, CA 94549
(925) 962-0882

Champagne Poached Pear
For four guests

  • 4 Pears peeled and cored
  • 1 cup Champagne
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a medium size pot. Bring to a low boil. Carefully add pears and poach pears for approx. 4 min. Remove from liquid and refrigerate.

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 oz. mascarpone
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract or ½ vanilla bean

Combine cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in mixing bowl and whip until medium peak. Fold in mascarpone and whip.

  • 8 oz. huckleberry
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Combine all ingredients and reduce slowly until ingredients thicken.

With a small piping bag fill cored out pears with cream filling. Place in center of plate and surround with huckleberry sauce.