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Fodor's Northern California 2014
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Epic Roasthouse Review
"Epic" describes it all: the outsize dining room, the seven-foot flywheel and pulley that sits in the middle of it (an homage to old bay-side pump houses), the mile-wide bay view, the huge metal fireplace, the hearty slabs of meat, and, alas, the prices. This is the latest venture, along with the seafood-theme Waterbar right next door, of famed restaurant architect-owner Pat Kuleto. Chef Jan Birnbaum, a Louisiana native who made his name first in San Francisco and later in the Napa Valley, is in charge of putting $46 New York strip steaks and $25 burgers on the fire. There are also seafood, duck, and plenty of other non-beef dishes; unfortunately some dishes on the menu can occasionally fall victim to less-than-perfect execution. For sides, he has opted for sautéed spinach with garlic confit over classic creamed spinach, and you can take your pick from six different preparations of potatoes. If you don't have a Texas-size wallet but still want an Epic experience, head upstairs to the Quiver bar and graze from the rather extensive bar menu, served only until 8 pm (there's also a busy happy hour, and a $20 deal for a burger, beer, and brownie at any time in the bar). Weekend brunch has a variety of options, and there's always that expansive view of the bay.
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