Paul & Gino’s wedding

paul and gino on their wedding day in 2008

Today is Paul & Gino’s wedding day.  We BARTed to the station closest to Martinez, where the Contra Costa County courthouse is, for the event.  Pouring rain.  Never was to Martinez before, nor to most of the places BART traveled through to get there, like Lafayette and Walnut Creek.  Paul picked us up from the station and carted us around for the day, keeping us from having to drive on unfamiliar freeways in the rain.  Nice of him, considering he was one of the grooms.  The ceremony was lovely – very personal and not at all perfunctory, which one might think would be the case.  We drove next – in terrific rain – to The San Franciscan Restaurant (1525 Main Street, Walnut Creek) for the wedding brunch.  They gave us a large, airy space in the back, where the group could really spread out and have a blast.  The service was excellent, and the food was fair to good, depending.  The fried calamari appetizer, served with tartar and cocktail sauces, was solid, and the crab dip  better than average, with chunks of crab rather than it being a pulverized mass.  I was the only one who had the tuna poki, a type of tuna tartare, and was glad of it.  It was slightly sweet and salty — really good and a generous portion.  My “Coit Tower Monte Cristo” was big and flavorful, but it arrived cold and limp, which was a shame since this sandwich garners its strength from melted cheese and a crispy exterior.  Matt ordered the “Fisherman’s Wharf Crab Sandwich,” which was the exact same crab dip on toast with melted cheese, which seemed a little lame to me at $15.  Steven went with the “Clams and Linguine in Bordelaise,” which was not very good because the clams were overcooked.  Again, a shame to ruin a dish by making an amateur’s mistake with the key ingredient.  This is a restaurant with a lovely space and great service.  The menu is extensive and varied – even the lunch menu, which is what we ordered from – and focuses on classic, simple preparations that rely on excellent ingredients and solid techniques.  The latter fell short at our meal, which is something that, if taken care of, would make all the difference.  That and losing that crab sandwich.  At the end of the meal the spouses danced and a cake was served.  What a joyful day!  It was so nice to see Paul and Gino take their vows.

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