The Grub Guide: The Peasant & the Pear

A bar atmosphere with rows of seats next to a counter

Indra Deshmukh

The busy bar area adds classy modernity to balance out the agriculture-inspired decor.

Indra Deshmukh, Staff Writer

Named after its location in downtown Danville, once the site of the world’s largest pear orchard, The Peasant & the Pear is packed with history. Surrounded by antique decor and a bustling atmosphere, I was delighted to discover that this restaurant’s rustic vibe is matched with its timeless dishes.

The Peasant & The Pear is award-winning chef Rodney Worth’s first restaurant. Their website describes their meals as “Californian-Med comfort food,” created with sustainable local ingredients, and this warmth emanates from the cozy seating area decorated in tile and wood. The focal point is a glass bar display that adds a modern twist to the rustic, agriculture-inspired setting.

My family and I arrived for dinner during peak hours, and the restaurant was crowded and bursting with noise. Still, service was efficient and we got our orders quickly. We decided on pear quesadillas for appetizers, La Toluca pizza, and the top-recommended lamb shank. For dessert, we went with creme brûlée and pear tarts.

 

Plate with quesadillas lined up to form a semicircle. Some red sauce on the side
The pear quesadillas bring local freshness to a classic dish. (Indra Deshmukh

Pear Quesadillas

These cheesy quesadillas were a scrumptious appetizer, perfectly sized for the table to share and loaded with brie. Unfortunately, The Peasant & the Pear failed to live up to its name here – the pear pieces were unevenly spread and could barely be tasted. I rate this a 7/10 because the quesadillas were tasty nonetheless.

 

La Toluca Pizza

This thin-crust pizza was packed with toppings, notably savory house-made chorizo and sweet Brentwood corn. The variety of flavors came together nicely, as did the balance between the crunchy crust and softer toppings. I rate this dish a 9/10.

 

Lamb Shank

Recommended by Rodney Worth himself, the slow-braised Italian lamb shank was served with lamb demi-glace, gremolata, and a side of creamy polenta. I don’t normally go for meaty dishes, so I was surprised to find that I enjoyed this one. The texture was tender rather than chewy, and the touches of spice added welcome variety. After a few bites, however, the flavor started feeling too uniform, and the contrast between the lamb and polenta wasn’t strong enough to be satisfactory. I would rate this a 6/10 – good, but disappointing for the restaurant’s specialty.

Creme brulee (right) and pear tart (left) were the top-recommended desserts by our waiter. (Indra Deshmukh)

 

Desserts

Of course, we couldn’t end our experience without a hearty dessert. I found the creme brûlée a little heavy and sickly-sweet, but the pear tart was perfect, balancing its sugary flavor with vanilla ice cream and refreshing fruit reminiscent of the restaurant’s Californian history. I’d give the creme brûlee a 6/10 and the pear tarts a 10/10–the tarts were definitely my favorite part of the meal.

 

Final Verdict

Inspired by a blend of cultures – Tuscan, Mediterranean, local Californian – The Peasant & the Pear is a fantastic Danville find, and I highly recommend the comfortable atmosphere combined with the locally made food. I certainly didn’t feel like peasantry eating here – I would give this restaurant an 8/10 and consider going back for seconds.