IN THE PRESS


– RECENT –
MEDIA COVERAGE
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Edible East Bay,
“Hitting the Bull’s-Eye at Bull Valley Roadhouse”
(08.15.2013)

“Port Costa has quietly become known, at least among Bay Area bon vivants, as a destination dining location. Bull Valley Roadhouse, which officially opened in November 2012, quickly earned three stars from the Chronicle and a best-new-restaurant-in-the-world nod from Condé Nast Traveler, along with 69 other establishments in New York, London, Paris, San Francisco, Sydney, and Shanghai. Not too shabby.” —Read more …

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Conde Nast Traveler,
“Best New Restaurants in the World”
(07.01.13)

“A restaurant that turned a ghost town into a food destination. In Port Costa—a tiny valley off I-80 that had a brief moment of glory as a wheat-shipping center in the 1800s—the lovingly restored dining room is all Victorian touches and nods to the past: As he presents the pork stew topped with a wedge of lime, a waiter points out that sailors needed citrus to combat scurvy.” —Read more …

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Sunset Magazine
(04.01.13)

“Snuggled into a cove on the edge of the Carquinez Strait, Port Costa hasn’t seen much excitement since the late 1800s, when sailors arriving at the bustling port kept the local brothel busy. These days, the few visitors who do come here often roll in after biking the many hills that surround the sleepy town of fewer than 200 people. But lately Port Costa is showing signs of becoming something no one ever expected: a serious dining destination. They can thank Earl Flewellen and Samuel Spurrier who revamped the historic Bull Valley Roadhouse.” (See Sunset Magazine, April 2013, Northern California Edition, “Inside Bay Area”)

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Diablo Magazine
(02.11.13)

“You might be forgiven if you start to lose your sense of time and place while eating a the new Bull Valley Roadhouse. Located in a 100-plus-year-old building in sleepy Port Costa, hidden at the bottom of a long winding road along the Carquinez Strait, the restaurant feels like it’s caught in a time warp.” —Read more …

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Inside Scoop SF
(02.11.13)

“This weekend, Michael Bauer reviewed Bull Valley Roadhouse in Port Costa. Don’t worry if you don’t know where Port Costa is, because just about no one does. Turns out that it’s a little town of 190 people, just south of the Carquinez Bridge in Contra Costa County, about 40 minutes east of San Francisco. And its restaurant, Bull Valley Roadhouse, now has three stars.” —Read more …

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SFGate
(02.11.13)

“Bull Valley Roadhouse seems like a restaurant that has been hermetically sealed in the past, in a town that many people don’t even know exists: Port Costa. It’s about 3 miles off the exit on Interstate 80, south of the Carquinez Bridge in Contra Costa County. Driving on the winding, hilly road, especially at night, feels like another world. The town, with a population of 190, is at the end of a bumpy street that probably hasn’t seen new asphalt since the 1970s; if you drive too far, you’ll end up in the Carquinez Strait.” —Read more …

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SFGate
(02.06.13)

“As the oldest continuously running hotel in California, the Burlington Hotel in Port Costa holds secrets dating back to 1883. There are tales of rowdy sailors from wheat-bearing ships, brawls between union railroad workers and imported scabs, and a madam who liked to conduct business from her bubble bath.” —Read more …

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San Jose Mercury News
(01.15.13)

“We’ve stumbled upon a marvel at the river’s edge—a retro, rustic marvel that mixes fresh, seasonal fare with pre–Prohibition era charm, Bee’s Knees cocktails and delicata risotto. Also, glass-bottle Cokes with stripy straws, butcher-aproned waiters and a ramshackle dock town. Did we mention the Slanted Door connection? And the wildflower honey? It sounds like I’m babbling, but after you drive the long, winding lane and dine at the new Bull Valley Roadhouse in Port Costa, you too will talk like this—in disjointed exclamations of delight. The fried green beans! Did you see the daguerreotypes by the door? There’s a golden bull hanging outside! I blame the charming time-lapse feel of the place. Let’s start there.” —Read more …

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Martinez News-Gazette
(11.09.12)

“The nestled, waterside village of Port Costa is currently undergoing a surprising renaissance, led by two men who were initially simply looking for a place to house bees and manufacture fresh honey. Just under two years later, their enterprise includes a hip and popular coffee shop, a historic hotel brought back to life, and a modernized, chic restaurant featuring the show-stopping cuisine and cocktails of a team of top San Francisco chefs and mixologists.” —Read more …

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Diablo
(11.07.12)

“I had a chance to go to the grand opening of the Bull Valley Roadhouse and it is quite a place. If you’ve never been to Port Costa, it’s sort of a funky, historic, ramshackle little town on the Carquinez Strait near Crockett that’s only accessible via a winding 10-minute drive. The town has a colorful history—it was once home to a thriving railroad ferry—and has the architecture to match (the imposingly Victorian Burlington Hotel was built in 1883 and really looks like something out of a Wild West movie). The restaurant has a lot of that history too, but now it has been taken over by a younger cast of characters, several of whom are from San Francisco’s lauded Slanted Door restaurant, including David Williams (the full-time executive chef) and Justine Kelly (the Slanted Door’s chef de cuisine, who is consulting and occasionally cooking at the Roadhouse).” —Read more …

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Grub Street San Francisco
(10.31.12)

“Let’s start by saying Port Costa is awesome. If you haven’t been to the tiny East Bay town, once a ferry landing and wheat loading point north of Crockett, south of Martinez that backs up to the train tracks along the Sacramento River Delta, you really need to make the trip. In its brief heyday in the late 1800s as a wheat shipping port, it was obviously a one-whorehouse, one-saloon town, and you can still kind of tell. The town saloon, now a popular biker destination called the Warehouse Cafe, is great in and of itself. But now they have a new restaurant, the Bull Valley Roadhouse, which is a reincarnation of the former Bull Valley Restaurant, but dressed in fancier clothes.” —Read more …

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San Francisco Chronicle – Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants
(05.20.15)

“Walking into this Port Costa restaurant is like entering a different century, at a time when this small town was the world’s largest wheat port. Earl Flewellen and Samuel Spurrier took over the rundown Bull Valley Restaurant and adjacent Burlington Hotel and re-created its 1880s Victorian vibe. All the carefully made cocktails are pre-Prohibition concoctions, and the family-style menu from chef and co-owner David Williams uses historic reference points…..” —Read more …

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Sunset Magazine
(03.01.16)

“Can a single restaurant turn a never-heard-of-it town of 200 people into a serious dining destination? Earl Flewellen and Samuel Spurrier believe it can. The two reopened The Bull Valley Roadhouse, Port Costa’s biggest to-do since its glory days as a busy shipping port in the late 1800s. Judging by its aesthetic, you’d think little has changed in 150 years…..” —Read more …

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The Bold Italic – Where to Go in Port Costa
(04.17.14)

“’Well, this feels pretty remote’ is all my boyfriend can say as we take off our motorcycle helmets and scan the dead-end street that meets the waterfront. We’ve been cruising through winding country roads just a few miles southeast of the town of Crockett, home to the C&H Sugar factory, with an occasional bat flapping by, and we’ve finally reached our destination…” —Read more …

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Bay Area, Check Please!
(04.16.15)

Watch Video Please!—Read more …

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