Bites: New East Bay brunch spots, Homestead Dungeness crab feast, New Seasons Market update

The American breakfast pizza at Lucia’s in Berkeley. Photo: Lucia’s

A BRUNCH OF NEW SPOTS You now have a few more reasons to get out of bed before 2 p.m. on the weekends. Several East Bay restaurants have recently started serving brunch.

Gio’s Pizza & Bocce in Berkeley started brunch service last month, with a menu featuring classic breakfast foods like two-egg plates, omelettes, scrambles and steak and eggs. There are also sweet offerings like the challah French toast, served with fresh berries, cinnamon, whipped cream and real maple syrup. There’s also brunch pizza, including the Rise & Shine, with pancetta, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and baked egg. Adult beverages served during brunch include three fruity spritzes, a Bellini made with white peach puree, a Bloody Mary and the Mimosa Canale, made with Aperol, Prosecco and o.j. Gio’s Pizza & Bocce, 2420 Shattuck Ave. (between Haste and Channing), Berkeley

Another pizzeria in Berkeley Lucia’s has been offering brunch service since April. On Saturdays and Sundays (from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), you’ll find a variety of regional Italian-inspired brunch items and Neapolitan-style pizzas, as well as bottomless Mimosas, a Bloody Trumer, cocktails, beer, wine and non-alcoholic refreshments. But there are a couple of new brunchtime offerings at Lucia’s, too. Recently, the restaurant rolled out a new menu of cicchetti, or small bites, that it offers during dinner and brunch, like Venetian meatballs, Tuscan chicken liver crostini and extra crispy, hand-cut rosemary fries. Co-owner Steve Dumain also recommends the pasta carbonara, now only served at brunch, made with handmade linguine, egg yolk, Parmigiano-Reggiano and imported guanciale. Lucia’s, 2016 Shattuck Ave. (near University), Berkeley 

Red velvet pancakes at alaMar in Oakland. Photo: alaMar

Although its website doesn’t mention it yet, alaMar Kitchen and Bar in Oakland has a new brunch that it announced on Instagram. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, you can chow down on specials like oxtail hash with poached egg and Hollandaise sauce, red velvet flapjacks and a plate of fried chicken and donuts served with coconut porter maple syrup. Bottomless Mimosas will wet your whistle. alaMar, 100 Grand Ave. (at Valdez), Oakland


Honor Kitchen and Cocktails in Emeryville offers brunch from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Expect both sweet and savory breakfast items like ricotta beignets, bacon biscuits with honey butter, smoked pastrami hash, chicken and waffles, as well as more afternoon-type fare like a Maine lobster roll and their tried-and-true Honor burger. If you need something stronger than coffee, Honor Bar offers four different variations of the Bloody Mary, bottle service Mimosa, Honor Brunch Punch and several other cocktail specials, as well as beer and wine. Honor Kitchen and Cocktails, 1411 Powell St. (at Hollis), Emeryville

Pan-Asian izakaya Blind Tiger in KONO is mostly known as a late night spot, where you can get reliably solid craft cocktails, beer and flavorful small plates. But the basement-level tavern has decided to mix it up and try something new this weekend. On Sunday,  Nov. 19, from 11 am. to 2 p.m., it’s hosting a special ticketed brunch pop-up. A $40 ticket is all-inclusive, getting you both food and drinks. Blind Tiger is keeping a tight lip about what will be on the menu that afternoon, but promises that brunch “will be served in our family style setting and you’ll be treated to an interesting dining and imbibing experience.” Blind Tiger, 2600 Telegraph Ave. (at 27th),  Oakland

Pastrami hash at Clove & Hoof. Photo: Clove & Hoof Facebook

If you like to start your Sunday with a meaty, hearty meal, make your way over to Clove & Hoof, where you’ll find a brunch menu with comforting and filling items like pastrami hash, a fried pork chop Benedict, Pig Face Monte Cristo, chicken and waffles, biscuits and whatever else chef John Blevins has up his sleeve for the week. Wash it all down with a Bloody Mary or Michelada. Brunch is served starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays only. Clove & Hoof, 4001 Broadway St. (at 40th), Oakland

GOODBYE SALUMI As reported on Nosh last month, chef Chris Costentino and Mark Pastore’s salumi company Boccalone will offer the last of its tasty pig parts to East Bay fans before it closes for good. Pastore had hinted that there would be a one-day pop-up at its facilities in Oakland, where the final batches of Boccalone products would be for sale. Well, that day has come. Boccalone will sell salumi and a few other products at its Farewell Pop-Up event on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Boccalone, 1924 International Blvd. (between 19th and 20th avenues), Oakland

BIRD AND BUFFALO TO TEMESCAL Last week, Hoodline reported that a new restaurant called Bird and Buffalo will be taking over the space in Temescal last occupied by Rosamunde Sausage Grill, which closed this summer in August. As of now, there’s no word on what type of restaurant it will be, nor when it will open, but a permit filed with ABC promises there will be beer and wine. Once it opens, there’ll be a flock of “bird”-themed eateries on Telegraph, with Hawk & Pony on Telegraph at 43rd Street and the upcoming James Syhabout restaurant, Hawking Bird, that’ll be at the corner of Telegraph and 49th Street. Stayed tuned on Nosh; we’ll updates you on details as we get them. Bird and Buffalo will be at 4659 Telegraph Ave. (between 46th and 47th), Oakland


HOMESTEAD ANNUAL CRAB FEAST November is the harbinger of turkey on the table, but it’s also (usually) the time that crab lovers relish, especially during a good Dungeness season. For its fourth year, Homestead in Oakland is hosting two nights of crab dinners, served prix fixe family style. The Annual Dungeness Crab Feast happens on Nov. 21 and 22, the days just before Thanksgiving, to treat yourself before the madness of the holidays begins. For $65 a person ($32.50 for kids’ half-portion), diners will enjoy a meal of winter squash salad; Dungeness crab cooked in the fireplace with broccolini, smashed potatoes, Béarnaise sauce and heirloom chicory salad; and bittersweet chocolate mousse with peanut brittle and whipped crème fraîche. If one serving of crab doesn’t seem enough, you can order another half-crab for an additional $15. Homestead, 4029 Piedmont Ave. (between 40th and 41st), Oakland

Karen Solomon will teach a class on how to make Branston pickle at Preserved in Oakland. Photo courtesy of Preserved

HOLIDAY PICKLE-MAKING CLASS Don’t get yourself in a pickle by not having holiday gifts for your loved ones this season. Instead, make your own pickles and give them out as gifts. Karen Solomon, author of Jam It, Pickled It, Cure It and Asian Pickles will be leading a class at Preserved in Temescal on how to make Branston pickle, a sweet and tangy British chutney that goes well with cheeses, cold cuts and other meats, as well as in sandwiches. Solomon will not only share her recipe, but show you how to safely can the finished product. Attendees will go home with recipe guides and a few jars of class-made pickles. The class is $75. Gift Making: Epicurean Pickles takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Dec. 3, at Preserved, 5032 Telegraph Ave. (near 51st), Oakland

MO’ MOMOS PLEASE The Bay Area Hunsurians are hosting a benefit community cafe for the Tibetan Association of Northern California (TANC). For lunch and dinner, the cafe will be serving handmade Tibetan stuffed dumplings, or momos (8 pieces, beef or vegetarian), aloo dum (Nepali-style potatoes) and puri  (deep fried bread), jha nyarmo (sweet tea), and jha bhoja (salt tea). TANC Community Center, 5200 Huntington Ave. (near Napa), Richmond

NEW SEASONS OPENING ON HOLD If you’ve spent much time around Emeryville Public Market lately, you know it’s been a bit of a mess around there with construction of new developments and restructuring of the roads. Residents and business owners in the area have been waiting with bated breath for construction to be finished, as well as for the opening of New Seasons Market on Shellmound Street. The Portland-based grocery chain, which is comparable to Whole Foods, already has two locations in Northern California (in San Jose and Sunnyvale), but this, a 35,000 square foot store, will be its first in the East Bay. Unfortunately, The E’ville Eye reported on Nov. 8, that “unforeseen conditions” have led to delays of the 14.5 acre redevelopment project. Although New Seasons originally had its targeted opening for the second half of 2017, it will not open until 2018. As Nosh reported in 2015, the grocery store is considered to be the anchor for the redevelopment project, so this is a big set back. But, as a consolation, there are a couple of other new openings to look forward to next year in the Public Market, including a cocktail bar from Blush called The Public Bar (formerly, the Market Bar) and a second location for Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient, C CASA, a taqueria currently found at Napa’s Oxbow Market. New Seasons, 6201 Shellmound (at 62nd), Emeryville