A Pit Stop in Claremont
Photo Credit: TN

Photo Credit: TN

A Pit Stop in Claremont

Travel Noire
Travel Noire Feb 27, 2014

Driving to Las Vegas from Los Angeles? You’ll undoubtedly drive through Claremont, California a small little city hidden between San Bernardino and Pasadena. Claremont Village is a great area to walk around and soak up the sunshine. On a Sunday you’ll catch a fantastic Farmer’s Market and on Friday nights there are live bands that play out on the street corners.

Should you decide to treat yourself to some grub, stop by Union on Yale, a restaurant that does European and Mediterranean cuisine well and will stir up your wanderlust at the same time. They run on the principle of not ordering your food all at once, but ordering as you go and place an importance on sharing plates with the people you dine with. Union’s purpose is to serve food and drink that people can fully enjoy.

When you walk into Union on Yale, you’re met with the option to be seated inside or outside. If you decide to get out of the sun, you’ll find an aesthetically pleasing environment with bright colored chairs, attractive wall art, a beautiful fully stocked bar, and a gorgeous wood fired oven brought over the pond from Naples, Italy. Should you decide to dine outdoors, you’ll be met with the luxury of watching the cooks prepare the fare in a separate nook just across from the restaurant that boasts floor to ceiling windows. While you wait for your food and drinks, you can take up a game of Bocce Ball (I know, right?) with friends or just enjoy the relaxing music that softly pumps from the overhead speakers.

To start, you could order their legendary Gnudi to share, which is a brilliant mixture of garlic, olive oil, and potato cheese dumplings crafted together, served hot in a small cast-iron dish with the intention of generously spreading this divine bubbling glory across toasted pieces of bread. At this point, you should get ready to be taken by storm. This dish is not only rich in flavor, but is surprisingly addicting. I’d recommend asking for another serving of bread when the first one comes to the table, you’ll need it.

When you’re ready to move on, order the Butcher’s Pizza that is prepared in their incredible wood fired oven mentioned above. This pizza boasts pickled red onions, Italian sausage and tesa (another word for pancetta), tomato sauce, mozzarella and finnochio (fennel).  When this pizza arrives at your table, prepare yourself, take your time, and savor each bite as new flavor combinations surprise your taste buds. If you’re not a huge meat eater, the Forest Floor pizza is a sure winner. Delicately dreamed up, this pizza has forest mushrooms, mozzarella, grana padano, and fontal cheese. This is a satisfying pizza that is filling and delightful to share.

If you’re solo or not really into sharing food, I recommend checking out their “Sam-ich” part of the menu, and ordering the Turkey Bacon Avocado sandwich (when does bacon ever fail you?). Not into bread? Noshing on the Cottage Pie, a delightful mix of beef, mashed potatoes and Irish cheddar cheese baked in a mini-cast iron skillet will fill you up and satisfy your hunger as well.

Don’t forget to wash all of this down with a French 75 or a good ol’ Pimm’s Cup.

Bon appétit.

This story was curated by Davinah Simmons.

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