New Year’s Eve has started in earnest over here on the West Coast.Â Finely dressed hostesses are starting to guide even more finely dressed patrons to their hotly desired seat at every dining establishment in California.Â Beth and I spent the day acquiring clothing and preparing for the evenings festivities, when I would be DJing at Spoontonic in Walnut Creek, alongside my fellow DJ’s, owner Jeff (Heff) and Sean for the latest and year-end installment of the mashup monthly, The Winchester at the bar.
After getting both of our outfits squared away, we decided to start the celebration of the end of 2008 with a stop at one of our favorite local steakhouses and cocktail bar, Moresi’s Chophouse in Clayton, CA. Moresi’s is housed in were two historic 1800’s era buildings, now combined, in the long-standing rural enclave of Clayton, CA.Â Ed Moresi, longtime proprieter of the outstanding family dining and sports bar establishment Ed’s Mudville Grill (check out the amazing collection of sports memorabilia!) son Dom and the rest of the Moresi clan have created a wonderful stop within the small, comfortable downtown of Clayton.
The restaurant seamlessly melds the history of the region, tucked below the peak of Mt. Diablo, with contemporary high-end chophouse cuisine, but still retains the Italian-heritage family comforts that one would expect from a loving family that embraces it’s food-filled history.Â Indeed, much of that history is displayed on the walls of the restaurant with many framed historical photos, courtesy of the Clayton Historical Society housed next door.Â The restoration work has resulted in a gorgeous wood patio with a full view of the downtown area, backed up by the heights of the aforementioend Mt. Diablo.Â Much of the work was actually completed by friends and family. It has an outstanding wine list, that is hand-picked by Ed and includes wines from many family friends, such as Cabs from one of my favorites, Regusci Winery in Stags Leap District, Napa.
Ed grew up in town and has stayed to raise his own successful family, many of whom work in both dining spots throughout the week, such as the Dom, the Moresi’s Manager and Head Bartender.Â Another son would probably be doing the same if he weren’t creating his own sports memorabilia in the MLB Houston Astros organization.Â Nick is a centerfielder in their Minor League system.
Moresi’s was completely booked up when we arrived at 3:30 pm for some bubbly to end the afternoon.Â The restaurant was already humming with food and drink preparations, but Dom and Ed served us up a welcoming hand shake and a Veuve Cliquot split to get us started.Â Ed had prepared numerous special accents for the evenings, not the least being complimentary glasses of Rotari Spumante Brut, served with some conversation by the patriarch, himself, and a couple fresh raspberries.
As Beth and I shared our way through the NYE sparkling cocktail list, we enjoyed watching many of the Clayton locals make their way into the bar and lounge area to be seated for their last fÃªte of 2008.Â As night and a misty fog fell, we bid everyone a happy New Year and headed home to now freshen up for the DJing and antics at Spoontonic.
From all of us at WineLog.net, we wish you a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration and a brilliant 2009!Â Thank you, friends and wine lovers, for being a part of our growing vinous family!