It's not often that we can pay our respects to an establishment that has been around since the 1950s, but when it comes to in San Ramon, we can do just that. The restaurant first opened in 1955 and has been serving customers ever since.
Before you even have to ask the question — yes, there is a giant brass door in this restaurant.
I knew we were going to be in for a treat when some very soft garlic bread made its way to our table right from the get-go.
For starters, you can try oysters on the half shell for $2 each. You'll also find sliders for $3.75 or lamb lollichops for $5 each. There are also small plate choices to share, such as a scallop or prawn trio for $11.50 or a tenderloin brochette for $11.
For soup, you can always order the classic French Onion for $6.50. There are also some great salad choices, including an Asian Chicken ($11.50 for medium size, 14.50 for large) or a Cobb ($12 for medium size, $15 for large). And one mustn't forget their Louie options: a Bay Shrimp Louie for $12.50 or $17.50 and a Crab Louie for $17.50 or $22.
Sandwiches are served all day. You can try a prime rib French dip for $20 (full size) or $12 (half) or maybe a reuben sandwich for $13 (full) or $8.25 (half). This restaurant has all of the classic sandwiches: open-face turkey, tuna melts, grilled crab and many more.
On a recent visit I tried the dish that the Brass Door is well-known for, prime rib. I got the 12-oz size and ate every bite. It was just as juicy, tender and flavorful as I had hoped. It came with a baked potato and creamed spinach for $28.
One of my companions had the Calamari Siciliano, which was a lightly breaded calamari steak stuffed with Dungeness crab meat and bay shrimp. It was moist and creamy and the portion was very large for $23.
Another companion had the pan-seared scallops, which were plump and cooked perfectly. They came with with linguine that had a nice tart lemon flavor ($19.50). And my third companion had the Brass Door Burger, which was $9 and came with thick-cut french fries.
There is plenty of beef to choose from in addition to the prime rib:filet mignon (9-oz. for $28 or 12-oz. for $34) or a New York steak (12-oz. for $25). You can also order rack of lamb for $26, Chicken Piccata for $18, or a veal cutlet for $20.
For fried selections, try the fried chicken for $16 or the fish and chips for $17.50.
The Brass Door has some great desserts. We selected a warm chocolate cake served with ice cream and a brownie, also served with ice cream. They were both delicious, but we we were stuffed from our entrees and couldn't finish either of them.
There are some choices for the kids, too. Chicken strips with fries costs $7.50, while a five-cheese pizza goes for $8.50. There is also Pasta Alfredo or Bolognese for $8.
Brunch is an option at the Brass Door on Sundays. Omelettes are in the $9 range, and blueberry pancakes are $6.25. There are also some offbeat choices, such as Prime Rib Hash for $10 or Schnitzel and Eggs for $11.25. There's even a Sausage McDoor for $4.50.
The Brass Door has plenty of seating, a full bar and a good wine selection. They have banquet facilities, with special menus for those occasions.
The Brass Door, 2154 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. 925-837-2501, Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. (brunch) to 9:30 p.m.