Garlic Brothers

Meal with a view

By MELISSA HUTSELL
Garlic Brothers is a Stockton staple located on the harbor at Village West Marina, and naturally offers impeccable views of the delta as soon as guests pull into the parking lot.

The bar and grill is accessible by land or water; guests often step off of boats, and into the eatery. Indoors or outdoors dining is available, but patrons can enjoy the delta from just about anywhere in the establishment.

There are no shortages of windows, sunlight or views; it’s surrounded by water on three sides and offers a panoramic of the marina.

Add happy hour and a sunset to the mix, and you can see why Garlic Brothers has become a renowned destination for locals and visitors. Since opening its doors in 1995, the restaurant has collected its share of awards, including Best Happy Hour. Garlic Brothers is regularly recognized for its outdoor dining, as it’s right on the river, said the restaurant’s owner, Greg Risso.

The delta vistas aren’t the only sights to see here. The restaurant features artwork, painted by Risso himself. The colorfully adorned walls, tables and hanging lights create a funky ambiance that is brightened by the sun’s rays during the day, while allowing for a lively atmosphere at night.

The waterfront eatery is among the top 10 places to dine out in Stockton, according to the national online database, USA Restaurant. It’s family friendly (kids especially enjoy the vibrant décor and children’s menu), reasonably priced (there are daily and weekly specials), and Garlic Brothers offers a diversity of dishes for different palates.

Risso said the menu – which is based on his own recipes – offers multi-cultural meals. It doesn’t necessarily revolve around garlic, he said, as there are dishes for both the garlic lovers and non-lovers out there.

The diversity of food found on the well-rounded menu includes Italian, American and Asian-inspired dishes, gumbo, seafood and pizza. Though there are staple items – like garlic steak – the menu is ever evolving. New additions, such as the restaurant’s grilled pork steak marinated in a Thai Basil sauce and topped with orange zest, are big sellers, Risso explained.

Stone oven pizzas are also quite popular, and come half price on Tuesday nights. Traditional favorites include the Margherita, a thin-crusted pizza that’s topped with basil, olive oil and tomatoes.

More adventurous options include the Eggstream Pesto — made with spicy sausage, arugula, bell peppers, eggs, tomatoes and pesto — or the Chop Stick, which comes topped with prawns, pot stickers and cream cheese drizzled with chili sauce.

Garlic Bros. is open throughout the week for lunch and dinner, and offers a casual dinning experience with servers who are ready to recommend. Appetizers range from artichoke dip, to grilled duck wraps and atomic balls, made from fried macaroni, bacon and green onions. Of course, the garlic fries come loaded with the namesake ingredient, and Parmesan cheese.

The seafood selection is certainly on par for a waterfront restaurant. Oysters, salmon, prawns and Triggerfish are some of the options incorporated into the menu’s appetizers, soups, salads and entrees.

While the views and the food certainly deliver, that is only part of the experience at Garlic Brothers. There’s live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, in addition to daily specials.

Specials include $12 entrees on Mondays, $1 tacos on Tuesdays, $3 spaghetti and garlic bread on Wednesdays, and Bloody Marys on Sundays.

The restaurant’s full bar incorporates wine, cocktails, and beer that’s available on draft or in the bottle. Happy hour specials include specialty cocktails, such as chocolate margaritas, Blackberry Sangrias, or the “fishbowl” — a bowl filled with your drink of choice. It’s fit to be shared with a group, and/or with shots on the side!

For more information, visit Garlic Brothers at Facebook.com/GarlicBrothersRestaurant.

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