November 25, 2009 > Restaurant Review: Horatio's
Restaurant Review: Horatio's
By J.D. Wolfe
Let's begin with a simple question. What do large metropolitan cities such as New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, Los Angeles and Chicago have in common with San Leandro? They all have at least one fine dining establishment. A few weeks back, on a recommendation of a friend, my wife and I headed to San Leandro and visited Horatio's for their Sunday brunch. WOW!
To get to Horatio's you simply exit I-880 at West Marina Boulevard and follow it to the San Leandro Marina. The trip is truly like stepping into a different world when driving around the final curve. There is plenty of parking. Like any Marina there are boats, but also San Leandro's Marina is positioned just south of the Oakland Airport.
Horatio's attention to detail is impressive. Pictures on the walls remind visitors of an era when England ruled the seas. The decor mimics the interior of a great sailing ship; you can dine by the windows or in the Captain's or Admiral's area. Regardless of where you are seated, diners look right out onto Marina. As a bonus, every few minutes you can watch a plane land at Oakland International Airport.
Bob, our waiter was great. Once we were seated he took very good care of us. We were able to choose between brunch and the main menu. We chose the brunch menu and I am sure glad we did.
My wife ordered a seafood omelet and I ordered a breakfast skillet with biscuits and gravy. Blueberry Muffins and blueberry-whipped butter was a delicious beginning to our meal that was out of this world.
I was drawn to the New England clam chowder. It was calling to me and Bob assured me that I would like it. He was 100% right.
The omelet and breakfast skillet arrived; the omelet was fluffy and full of shell seafood - crab and shrimp. It came with freshly made home-made potatoes. My wife let me sample it and, at first I thought this may have been a mistake because I had yet to taste my meal. Her omelet was delicious!
However, that moment passed with my first bite into the breakfast skillet. Black Forest ham, the size of small cherry tomatoes was mixed with eggs, hash brown potatoes and melted cheese - just terrific. I wanted to stop about halfway through and take the rest home but there was no way that was going to happen.
The menu at Horatio's is as complete as I have seen and although the price range is a little past the mid-range on the high side, it is affordable and it is this critic's feeling that everything on their menu is well prepared. Plus dining at Horatio's really is more than just the food. The atmosphere is worth the extra cost. It is hypnotic to watch boats gently swaying back and forth and every few minutes Southwest Airlines ads of frequent flights are verified as diners watch their planes land every few minutes seemingly almost touching the boat masts.
The truth is you really don't want to leave after you pay the bill, so don't. Wander up to the bar area and watch a sporting event on big screens located around the room. There is more to see up there as well and plenty of windows to watch planes and boats. All in all, Horatio's is a ship where one could happily stow away as it travels through the day. You would definitely eat well.
Reviewed October 24, 2009
60 San Leandro Marina Drive
San Leandro, CA 94577