Grilled chicken and spinach salad with Applewood smoked bacon, roasted mushrooms, blue cheese, red onion, and warm mustard
Sliced prime rib sandwich au jus with caramelized onion and horseradish mayo on an Acme torpedo roll, served with Gilroy garlic fries
Pan-roasted Alaskan halibut with couscous salad and blackberry vinaigrette
Graduation season is a little different for the families of the students. To me, it means enduring an exceptionally long commencement ceremony featuring a slew of mostly dull speakers trying to spin the same speech about the future we've heard many times before in a new way. Fortunately (or unfortunately for some), you are not alone in the audience wondering why this random student is being recognized for something everyone else already does; your family's with you. My brother just graduated and to celebrate the occasion, we went to the Paragon Restaurant & Bar at the Claremont Hotel in the Oakland Hills. (Pop culture fans will know it as where the Jolie-Pitts stayed when Brad was filming Moneyball.)
I've only been to the Claremont once before, to cash in a gift certificate for a massage. The restaurant is a bit more modern than the old money vibe that seeps through the hotel's pores. Their menu is simple, yet complete and pretty accessible. All of our courses were cheaper than anticipated; around $15 - $20 a pop. I ordered a prime rib sandwich au jus with garlic fries. The sandwich was as juicy as expected, although a bit messy. My family seemed to enjoy their food as well: the salad was fresh, the halibut flavorful, and the not pictured burger juicy. (Pro-tip: To get more bang for your buck, the sandwiches seem to be the more filling option than the main entrées.)
If you're looking for a taste of affordable luxury with an excellent view of the bay, why not try out the Paragon?
Paragon Restaurant & Bar
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41 Tunnel Rd., Berkeley, CA 94705
Open: Every day for lunch 11:30 - 2:30, dinner 5:30 - 10
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