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Barone’s: Great for a Thirsty Thursday

A good place in the Tri-Valley to go for drinks and a meal if you are willing to pay a little more for your experience.

I'd never been to  in Pleasanton before but I'd heard great things about their Thursday night live music and dancing.

I went with a few of friends on a Thursday around the Happy Hour (4-6 p.m.) and discovered that we could not have drinks outdoors.

There was also a cover charge of $5 to get in for the music and dancing later on, so we opted just to grab dinner and a few drinks, have a leisurely early dinner and then call it a night.

The dining area inside the restaurant at 475 St. John Street is rather small, but it would be perfect for a date night or a casual gathering with friends. 

The outdoor patio is huge and full of seating of all types — it has bar stools and fire pits, capped off with a stage and a dance floor where you can dance the nights away. For those of who want the VIP experience, you can reserve a cabana for $400 (the drink and food minimum).

All three of us girls had Cosmopolitans ($11 each) and although they were delicious, that seemed a little pricey for drinks. The server was extremely pleasant and helpful while we asked about some of the house favorites. We opted for one appetizer and entrees to share.

We had the Barone’s Crab Cakes with fresh fruit salsa and a jalapeno-cilantro aioli ($13). I do not like fish of any kind, but these crab cakes were not fishy at all, and the fresh fruit salsa added a bright flavor to the crisply fried cakes. Also, the green aioli added some color and spiciness to the dish. I enjoyed them thoroughly.

Entrees arrived and we were thrilled by the portion sizes and began to split it up between the three of us. We had veal parmigiana ($28) and the fettuccini alfredo ($18). The veal is milk-fed and extremely tender, topped with house-made marinara sauce and tons of cheese. Along with the veal, you get a very generous helping of penne pasta tossed in garlic and olive oil. Finally, you get some fresh steamed seasonal vegetables. This was delicious and it was nice to see that Italian classic made so well.

The fettuccini Alfredo portion was so large that we could share it and I even got to take some home. This pasta was a thick-cut fettuccini made with a sauce of heavy cream, lots of cheese and butter with a little nutmeg. This was served with a sliced grilled chicken breast. The pasta was tender and flavorful, while the chicken was perfectly seasoned and grilled to perfection.

This was a great meal — a good place to go for drinks and a meal if you are willing to pay a little more for your experience. The crowd for the music later in the evening seemed to be a little older, so if you are looking for a mature audience to dance the night away with and enjoy some good-quality Italian food with some strong drinks, this is the place to be. 

To read more about the restaurant or see the menu, click here.

Barone's is located at 475 Saint John St., Pleasanton. For more information, call 925-426-0987.

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