Bites is Berkeleyside Nosh’s round-up of restaurant, bar and food-related news in the East Bay. To stay up-to-speed with all that’s going on locally, read our daily Nosh Wire, and check out previous editions of Bites. We always love receiving food-related tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW OAKLAND TASTING ROOM A Hopland-based winery, Campovida, is launching a new tasting room at 95 Linden St. on Thursday, April 4, from 5-8 p.m. A message posted by Campovida indicates that the owners started their family in Oakland, then moved to Hopland to take over an organic farm and working vineyard. Now they’re reclaiming their Oakland roots (“think green acres, just an oakland/hopland version”), starting with a party Thursday in conjunction with Linden Street Brewery and the Fist of Flour Pizza Company. RSVP to Campovida at 707-744-8797 or email@example.com.
BURGER POP-UP Famed San Francisco Chef Chris Kronner, of KronnerBurger, “is taking his burgerly skills to Oakland this Friday for the Creative Growth Studio Party during Oakland’s Art Murmur,” notes SF Weekly. Tickets cost $30 and include fries, a drink ticket, and music by cosmic-dance band Shock. The event lasts from 5-9 p.m. All proceeds support the artists and programs at Creative Growth. Learn more here. Speaking of the Art Murmur, Awaken Cafe promises a “sweet, free First Friday line-up,” if you’re looking for a low-cost alternative. There’s lots more Art Murmur news on the organization’s Facebook page.
TIME TO CLEANSE Urban Adamah, a Berkeley urban agriculture group that focuses on social justice and experiential Jewish environmental programming for youth and families, will host its monthly gathering for women and girls, especially mothers and daughters, to celebrate the new moon on April 9: “This month’s circle will focus on inner healing and cleansing. We will learn about mystical rituals connected to the omer (a Jewish holy time), make herbal (plant-based) medicines and brew healing tea over an open fire.” Attendees are asked to bring a vegetarian dish to share, a bowl, spoon and mug for dinner, and tea. See ticket prices and other details here. And this Sunday is Family Farm Day.
TRIBUNE TAVERN The Tribune Tavern in downtown Oakland is set to open Wednesday, April 10. The restaurant is the latest venture from the owners of Oakland’s Chop Bar and the Grand Tavern. As its name suggests, the new eatery is located in the historic Tribune Tower building at 401 13th St. in downtown Oakland. Owner Chris Pastena and partners Temoor Noor and Tom Henderson say they are “aiming to engage the local community in a lesser-explored neighborhood.” Robert Soviero (previously of the Butterfly Restaurant Group) has signed on as Tribune Tavern’s general manager, and Huw Thornton (previously of A16 and SPQR) will helm the kitchen as executive chef. (Diablo Dish got a sneak peak.)
ROCKRIDGE UPDATE Diablo Dish also checked in with Commis owner James Syhabout about his planned Rockridge restaurant Box and Bells. The Dish reports that Syhabout said the opening, in the former Somerset space at 5912 College Ave., won’t happen before June. Previous reports focused on May, but it was clear (to us) from speaking with Syhabout that this was somewhat of a reticent estimate rather than a firm commitment. With two successful restaurants underway — Commis and Hawker Fare, both in Oakland — Syhabout is likely familiar with the challenges that can arise when launching a new endeavor. Another high-profile restaurant planned for Rockridge, A16 in the old Hudson location at 5356 College Ave., was aiming for an early 2013 launch. Restaurant reps told Nosh last week that remodeling is underway and the goal is to open by mid-May.
OAXACAN COOKING Chef and author Susana Trilling will offer a one-day-only cooking class and lunch at Comal on April 11, making a special visit from her home in Oaxaca, Mexico. Trilling has a cooking school, Seasons of My Heart, in Oaxaca, and has inspired many with her cookbook, Seasons of My Heart, A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca, Mexico, and the PBS series of the same name. Trilling’s class will cover “the ingredients, techniques and culinary secrets that make Oaxacan cuisine so seductive.” She’ll demonstrate how to make several classic Oaxacan dishes. Afterward, guests will sit down to enjoy a multi-course lunch of the dishes Trilling prepared. The class costs $50 per person and will take place at Comal, 2020 Shattuck Ave., in Berkeley. Learn more here.
VEGAN CELEBRATION On April 20, Berkeley Vegan Earth Day continues its annual celebration with an eco-chef battle, workshops, speakers, food demos and more at the Brower Center. The event, presented by The San Francisco Vegetarian Society, seeks to share tips about how to live a sustainable, vegan lifestyle. Organizers say area businesses will be on-site with products to sample and buy, and non-profit groups will share a wealth of information about eco/vegan organizations. The event costs $15 in advance, and $20 at the door. (Use the coupon code “Poster” when purchasing tickets online to save $2.) Children under 10 are free. Learn more here.
LISTEN UP Looking for a side of music with that? The ICP Orchestra will play Thursday night at Duende in Oakland at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15. And Berkeley’s Paragon Restaurant & Bar at the Claremont is launching its April music series, starting Friday with The Howard Wiley Trio and continuing Saturday with The Carlos Godinez Trio “and their Rumba-Flamenco sounds.” See the monthly schedule here. On Saturday, Duende offers a flamenco performance for $15. If you know of great spots to enjoy live music while you dine, please share them in the comments.
OAKTOWN FARMS Plans for a new urban farm are underway in Oakland, with “the look and feel of a country farm stand, without the drive. We will be your farmers market, all week, not just one day of the week. The best part is the food will all be grown where you buy it, not trucked in…” Oaktown Farms says it’s aiming to develop “the first zero carbon, solar powered, rainwater fed urban farm in the heart of the community.” Organizers say they’ll use the latest technology to “grow with 90% less water and exceed the organic standard by 5% making us 100% organic.” The group says it will offer an apprenticeship program to educate at-risk youth, veterans and disabled locals in its Aquaponics-based approach. The farm is set to include “on-site honey bees/honey, our own mushrooms, wheat-grass, locally roasted coffee, eggs, pickles, jam, and lots more.” Compost, worms and “plenty of advice” will be available for home gardeners. So far, the endeavor is still in the planning stage, but we’ll keep you posted as we know more.
CITY SLICKER FARMS And those who wish to see some existing urban farms can jump on the ‘Second Saturday’ tour with City Slicker Farms on April 13: “You’ll get to see how we do things on the farm, learn more about City Slicker Farms and why we do what we do, and, most of all, meet other fantastic folks who share similar passions – growing yummy, fresh foods to name one.” Meet at 1 p.m. at Fitzgerald and Union Plaza Parks, at the corner of 34th and Peralta streets in Oakland. RSVP to Abbey at 510-763-4241 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Light refreshments will be served. There’s a suggested donation of $10, to be collected on the tour, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.
CLAYPOT AND NEIGHBORS The southeast corner of Dwight Way and San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley is seeing a lot of new business activity. Vietnamese restaurant Claypot opened Monday in the old Bacheeso’s space. A Yelp reviewer was quick off the mark, noting the food was “good and spicy,” although he wanted more noodles in his pho. The “happy hour” menu offers $1 off all tap beer and appetizers.
ASIAN DELIGHTS Sheng Kee Bakery opened at 2307 Telegraph last month, to largely rave reviews on Yelp. Typical, from Christine H: “i hate sheng kee. i’m going to get sooooooooo fat now.” Sheng Kee offers a wide range of Asian pastries, boba milk tea and sandwiches, as well as Peet’s coffee. Apparently the long lines of students move pretty quickly. Berkeley is the 12th Bay Area location for Sheng Kee, which traces its roots back to family matriarch Mrs. Kao opening a bakery in Taipei 40 years ago.
ABC UPDATES There weren’t any notable liquor license applications posted this week with the state, but several familiar spots were granted licenses: Battambang and Jules Thin Crust in Oakland; Claypot in Berkeley; and The Hobnob in Alameda. The Hot Pot House in Oakland also got its license; it appears to have opened in December and, so far, has four stars on Yelp.
This week’s Nosh news (in case you missed it)
Berkeley Wine Festival: Tastings on your doorstep
Nosh on the town: Miss Ollie’s in Old Oakland
The Mead Kitchen joins local artisan drinks boom
Contest: Name that nosh
The Nosh Wire: 04.03.13
The Nosh Wire: 04.02.13
The Nosh Wire: 04.01.13
Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant openings, happenings and closings in the East Bay. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to email@example.com. Follow Berkeleyside NOSH on Twitter, and on Facebook.