Three Reasons to Cross the Bay Bridge


What to do on an average, ho-hum weekend in the Bay? Head east for a quick game of petanque, a knock-your-socks-off Mexican meal, and a 21st century take on Hamlet, under the stars.

CalShakes Hamlet You've only got a couple more chances to catch Hamlet at the California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda. Director Liesl Tommy's modern take on the play has been winning praise all summer, but it's not just the theater that's the draw here: The outdoor amphitheater is one of the best spots in the Bay for an evening picnic. Bring a bottle of wine and enjoy the show!

Petanque in the Park Attached to Lafayette's Community Park is a charming little spot ringed by trees, dotted with picnic tables, and outlined with string. These are the Lamorinda Petanque Courts, a great place to spend a lazy weekend day. Petanque is the French version of Bocce Ball and you'll spot enthusiasts here most weekends. If you're new to the game, don't worry: It's easy to pick up and lends itself well to friendly competition and drinks in the park.

Authentic Mexican Fare at Destino
The latest addition to Grand Avenue's foodie corridor opened quietly last weekend and is well worth a trip over the bridge. Authentic Mexican food is hard to come by in the Bay Area, but not any longer. Destino executive chef Marisol Del Rio has created a fantastic menu of tapas and entrees from her home country with occasional nods to Central and South America, all made with local, organic ingredients. Don't miss the melt-in-your-mouth birria, the best-ever tortilla soup, or the deep-fried artichokes with chickpeas and cilantro sauce. And save room for dessert -- the panna cotta is the perfect light ending while the chocolate cake is the stuff chocolate lovers dream of. Destino is the latest from Bay Area restaurateur Gary Rizzo who closed popular Rockridge brunch spot Somerset last month. Fortunately he brought along mixologist Alex Aguilar, whose Latin-influenced cocktail menu is the perfect complement to Del Rio's food.

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