The Underdog – Livermore Wine Country’s Hidden Gem

by | Dec 8, 2011 | Restaurant Overviews, Travel, Wine

As Livermore’s downtown continues to grow with new wine bars, pubs, and restaurants, one of the best is hidden out in Livermore’s wine country

The first few miles of Tesla Road in Livermore is blanketed with vineyards, wineries, and tasting rooms. Hidden among them is the Underdog Wine Bar, which is one of my favorite places to go to unwind with friends and family or have a light leisurely lunch. The Underdog Wine Bar is adjacent to Concannon Vineyard’s tasting room.

The decor at the Underdog is modern and tasteful

The wine distribution system keeps the wine at the optimal temperature

The decor in the Underdog is tasteful, modern, and leaves you with asking, “Is this really Livermore?!?” The decorator has also done a great job of incorporating grapes and vines into the decor.  One of the Underdog’s assets is the outdoor patio that looks out on the Livermore hills, vineyards, and Concannon’s grape arbor. The patio has heaters, so you can sit out there in all seasons and enjoy the view. There are tables, chairs, and couches for seating that can accommodate a fairly large group of people.

With views of the vineyards and Livermore Hills, the patio is one of the Underdog’s assets

The wine can be ordered by glass, flight, or bottle. I usually order a flight which is three glasses on a wooden stand, with a fairly substantial pour. Ordering the flight gives me an opportunity to try a variety of wine. 

A flight of wine at the Underdog

The small plates served at the Underdog are incredible and designed by gourmet chef Barbara Llewellyn. The menu changes throughout the year and the items removed are replaced with seasonal foods. Currently on the menu is a braised short rib dish with seasonal vegetables that is out of this world. On a recent night when my sisters and I were at the Underdog, we could smell the short ribs cooking and it was a dizzying experience for the Calhoun sisters, especially since we were so hungry when we arrived. One small plate of the braised short ribs led to another . . . .

Homemade potato chips

Seasonal flat bread with walnuts, prosciuto, cheese, and grapes

There is an ahi tuna tartar tower that is always on the menu and is made with cucumber, avocado, radish, wasabi aioli, and coriander oil served with lightly salted wonton chips. Most of the people that I’ve been to Underdog with have ordered it and loved it (I don’t do raw fish).  The desserts are not to be missed. One of the static menu items and always the best is the valrhona extra noir chocolate tart that is served with coffee bean caramel and sprinkled with grey salt. During the spring we took our cousin Becky and her daughter Kelsie to the Underdog for wine and dessert. My teen daughters and Kelsie thoroughly enjoyed the desserts especially the buttery strawberry shortcake that was on the menu at that time.

Valrhona extra noir chocolate tart with coffee bean caramel and grey salt

The seasonal straberry shortcake is made with a buttery pastry

The next time you’re looking for a great place to spend some time enjoying a glass of wine, good conversation, and good eats, venture out to Livermore wine country’s gem. You will be happy you did.  ~merry~

If all be true that I do think, There are five reasons we should drink:  Good wine— a friend— or being dry—Or lest we should be by and by—Or any other reason why.

~Henry Aldrich (1647–1710)