Tag Archives: Berkeley pizza

Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XXXIV

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Openings…

ARTICHOKE BASILLE’S PIZZA New York style pizza slices are coming to Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue neighborhood with the opening — before Halloween it is hoped — of Artichoke Basille’s Pizza at 2590 Durant Avenue, on the corner of Bowditch. Jim Trevor, who is helping open the new pizzeria, says it’s the first West Coast location for the group which has several New York branches — including three in Manhattan (one of which is pictured top), one at La Guardia airport, and another within a casino in Queens. Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, pizzaiolos, cousins and best friends, opened the first Artichoke Basille’s on 14th Street in New York City in 2008. They learned their trade at the family restaurant, Basille’s, in Staten Island. Such has been the taste for their pizzas that fans, according to the company, now include Keith Richards and Momofuku’s David Chang. Why Telegraph? “Not many places in the Bay Area have foot traffic like Telegraph Avenue,” said Trevor. And he adds: “College students can eat pizza morning, noon and night!”  … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Build Pizzeria in Berkeley

Build Pizzeria, Berkeley, CA, May 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore East Bay restaurants in photographs. This week we focus on Build Pizzeria Roma, at 2286 Shattuck Ave., in Berkeley. The creative toppings, stylish interior and attentive service made this a place we’d love to visit again. If you’ve tried the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. (Photos by Emilie Raguso.)  … Continue reading »

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Emilia’s pizza in Berkeley: Is it really to die for?

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In Berkeleyside Nosh’s regular “To Die For” column, Kate Williams looks at East Bay’s popular restaurants through the lens of a single, sought-after dish. Is the food is a bunch of hype, or is it in fact “to die for”?  

Pizza. The word inspires at once collective nods of approval and endless nit-picking. New York style or Neapolitan? Hipster or old-school? Coal or wood? Saucy or white? Deep dish or thin? Slices to-go or sliced at the table? One diner’s authentic experience is another’s blasphemy.

But amid the bickering, one thing most folks can agree on is that a well-made pizza (whatever that means) is a deeply satisfying experience. So satisfying, in fact, that many chefs have made it their life’s work to perfect their take on the form. These pizzaiolos create kitchen shrines to the trinity of dough, sauce, and cheese, and then ask customers to bend their own expectations of a pizzeria in order to churn out pies just so. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Pizza Moda in Berkeley

Pizza Moda. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore East Bay restaurants in photographs. This week we focus on Pizza Moda, at 1401 University Ave. in Berkeley. (Click to see the menu.) Ingredients are said to be local, organic and sustainable, and gluten-free pizzas are available for $2 extra. Every Wednesday, every bottle of wine costs $15. If you’ve tried the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. If you’d like to submit your own photo gallery for consideration from a meal you enjoyed, email nosh@berkeleyside.com for more information. You can also add photographs to our Flickr group. (Photos by Emilie Raguso.) … Continue reading »

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Sneak peek: Build, Berkeley’s ambitious new pizzeria

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It’s called Build because you will build your own pizzas there. It was nearly called A90 because that’s the name of the freeway that encircles Italy’s capital, and Roman pizza is what’s on the menu. The ambitious new restaurant that will open next weekend on Shattuck Avenue on the corner of Bancroft Way, is, like Gather and Comal before it, taking a chance that downtown Berkeley has an appetite for a buzzy, big-city eatery.

And the restaurant is just the start. Later this year, Build’s owners, Lisa Holt and David Shapiro, whose background is in hotel development, are planning to transform the property’s 8,000 sq ft basement — formerly Shattuck Down Low — into a happening underground culture club serving up drinks and food along with the comedy and music acts. … Continue reading »

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Zachary’s taps local talent for 30th anniversary

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Berkeley-born and raised designer Ian Ransley loves Zachary’s Pizza. Who in Berkeley doesn’t? But Ransley has found a way to graphically express his admiration for the famous deep-dish, Chicago-style pies — not once, but a dozen times.

First-inspired in 2005 by his then 7-year-old son, Dylan, Ransley has become a frequent entrant in the periodic contest that Zachary holds to design a poster for the walls of its four restaurants. And he has won the competition no less than 11 times. So, when 2013 rolled around and Zachary’s sought out someone to create a special look for their 30th anniversary T-shirt and related items, they naturally turned to Ransley, who came up with another eye-catching illustration. … Continue reading »

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Giovanni’s last stand: Family rallies to save restaurant

Giovanni's, the oldest restaurant on Shattuck Avenue, may have to close at the end of the month because of taxes owed to the IRS. The poster announcing a new movie inadvertently telegraphs the restaurant's situation. Photo: Ten Friedman
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By Ted Friedman

Giovanni Schipani, 81, has been fighting the past two years to save the restaurant he launched in 1962. Now, according to Anna Schipani, 63, the bookkeeper at Giovanni, “we could be boarded-up at the end of the month if we don’t pay back taxes to IRS.”

Giovanni, at 2420 Shattuck Ave., is “probably” the oldest restaurant on Shattuck, according to Steve Finacom, vice president of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Schipani, known as Johnny to friends, had been wildly successful in Berkeley’s flourishing south side restaurant scene, earning enough money from his first restaurant, Mr. Pizza, to buy a muffler shop and convert it to an upscale Italian family restaurant seating 200. … Continue reading »

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New Berkeley pizza spot has philanthropic goal

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New Berkeley restaurant Sliver opened its doors today on Center Street, proving that pizza joints never go out of fashion — as long as they prove their mettle, of course. The new spot comes hot on the heels of Kensington pizzeria Benchmark, which opened last summer, and will be followed by the arrival of Jules Thin Crust pizzeria in Rockridge in March, and a new flagship restaurant now to be called Build, that will focus on Roman-style pizza slated to open on Shattuck this year.

Three former Cheese Board alums  — Guillermo Willy Perez, Artemio Maldonado and Dwight Ferron — have put their hearts and souls into the new venture, and Sabá Ali is the general manager.

As tipped in Shop Talk, the restaurant takes over the space formerly occupied by Sportivo. The pizza of the day on opening day: wild mushrooms, onions and French goat cheese, with garlic, olives and fresh herbs. The salad was organic mixed greens with Romanitas, red bell peppers and red wine vinaigrette. … Continue reading »

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New Berkeley pizza spot Sliver has philanthropic goal

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New Berkeley restaurant Sliver opened its doors today on Center Street, proving that pizza joints never go out of fashion — as long as they prove their mettle, of course. The new spot comes hot on the heels of Kensington pizzeria Benchmark, which opened last summer, and will be followed by the arrival of Jules Thin Crust pizzeria in Rockridge in March, and a new flagship restaurant now to be called Build, that will focus on Roman-style pizza slated to open on Shattuck this year.

Three former Cheese Board alums  — Guillermo Willy Perez, Artemio Maldonado and Dwight Ferron — have put their hearts and souls into the new venture, and Sabá Ali is the general manager.

As tipped in Shop Talk, the restaurant takes over the space formerly occupied by Sportivo. The pizza of the day on opening day: wild mushrooms, onions and French goat cheese, with garlic, olives and fresh herbs. The salad was organic mixed greens with Romanitas, red bell peppers and red wine vinaigrette. … Continue reading »

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Benchmark: Wood-fired pizza comes to Kensington

Benchmark oven
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Benchmark Pizzeria quietly opened this summer on the Kensington-Berkeley border. The husband and wife team who run the restaurant come bearing impeccable credentials: Melissa and Peter Swanson met at Oliveto Café & Restaurant in Oakland in 1999. He worked there as a lead line cook before moving on to help Jon Smulewitz open Dopo on Piedmont Avenue, where he worked for six years. Melissa wrote about food the San Francisco Chronicle and Diablo Magazine, among others, and worked at Chez Panisse Café as a server before joining her husband in their new venture. Berkeleyside NOSH caught up with Melissa to see how the neighborhood restaurant is doing six months in.

Why a pizzeria?
Peter has always been passionate about pizza. At Dopo, he became affectionately known as “Pizza Pete” for his development of the dough recipe and nightly work on the pizza ovens. We’ve always envisioned opening a place together offering our favorite food. … Continue reading »

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New Roman-style pizzeria to open in Berkeley

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A hotel development and design group has chosen downtown Berkeley to launch its first restaurant, a high-end Roman-style pizzeria called A90. (Update, Jan. 2013: the restaurant has since been renamed Build.)

A90 will be located at 2286 Shattuck Avenue, on the corner of Bancroft Way. The space was most recently occupied by Indian restaurant Pasand Madras, next door to the recently shuttered Shattuck Down Low music club. Lisa Holt of DLS Hotels & Spas said work has begun on the building and they hope to be open by the spring.

DLS Hotels & Spas, whose projects include Milliken Creek Inn & Spa and Hotel Yountville, plans to replicate the A90 concept in other locations, both around the country and globally.

“Berkeley will be our flagship,” said Lisa Holt who is working on the launch in partnership with David Shapiro and the Rustic Restaurant Company.  … Continue reading »

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6 Berkeley restaurants snag Michelin Bib Gourmands

Comal by postcard PR
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Six Berkeley dining spots have been named Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants this year, including newcomer Comal.

Two names are missing this year from last year’s list of seven: Berkeley Thai House, on Channing Way, and eVe on University Avenue. Thai House is still going strong but eVe closed in late 2011 and came back under the same ownership last year as Peruvian rotisserie chicken joint Brasa.

The six restaurants are: Comal, Corso, Five, Gather, Ippuku, and Rivoli.

Michelin judges give the ‘Bib’ to restaurants that serve two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included). “Most importantly, they are the restaurants that the company’s inspectors frequent themselves,” Michelin said on its release. Michelin selected 70 such places for its 2013 San Francisco area guide which covers the entire Bay Area and wine country, down from 77 last year. … Continue reading »

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Chew on this: John Birdsall on Berkeley’s food scene

John Birdsall Photo: Roxanne Webber
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John Birdsall knows his way around the Bay Area’s best food trucks, noodle shops, and unpretentious taco stands. Currently a senior editor at Chow, he was previously the food editor at SF Weekly‘s SFoodie site, and has done two stints as food critic for the East Bay Express.

Along the way he’s penned his fair share of food stories with Berkeley roots, including a profile of Alice Waters for Gilt Taste and an article on the relevancy of Chez Panisse at 40, as well as restaurant reviews, and nods to new food artisans.

Birdsall has a reputation for insightful and stylish — if sometimes provocative — prose. In the flesh he’s soft-spoken and mild-mannered. A professional cook for some 17 years, he switched to the food scribe beat more than a decade ago and, for the record, says cooking for a living is even more all-consuming than food writing. … Continue reading »

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