Tag Archives: Chez Panisse

Bites: T-Rex BBQ, Café Gratitude, Firebrand, more

Photo: T-Rex BBQ/Facebook
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Openings, closings

T-REX BBQ TEMPORARILY CLOSED We received several tips that West Berkeley’s T-Rex BBQ has closed. A sign posted on the door reads: “T Rex is closed for the near future due to management changes. We appreciate your patronage, and hope to see you again in the near future.” We confirmed with the restaurant owners that the closure is temporary. It will re-open this afternoon at 4 p.m. For now, T-Rex will only serve dinner on weeknights. It will remain open for brunch through dinner on Saturdays and Sundays. The restaurant, which serves an array of barbecue styles, had an ownership shuffle in 2012. The original owners, Haig and Cindy Krikorian, of the K2 restaurant group (Lalime’s), sold the business to Matt Sturm, of Fly Bar and Solstice in San Francisco. T-Rex BBQ is at 1300 10th St. (at Gilman Street), Berkeley.Continue reading »

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Oakland’s Bay Wolf restaurant closing after 40 years

Photo: Bay Wolf
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Bay Wolf, a destination restaurant in the East Bay for four decades, will close its doors for good on Sunday Aug. 30.

“It’s time,” said co-owner Michael Wild on Wednesday. “This was my life. It was everything, but when you’ve run a restaurant for 40 years, it’s time,” he said.

Wild, 75, opened the warm, wood-paneled restaurant in a Craftsman house on Piedmont Avenue with partners Michael Phelps, and Larry Goldman, also 75, on Sept. 21, 1975, three years after Chez Panisse opened in Berkeley. Like Alice Waters’ celebrated, and similarly styled, restaurant, Bay Wolf was known from the start for its locally sourced, seasonal menu.

“We did that together,” said Wild. “Focusing on local food was a given, given where we live.” The restaurateurs always aimed to source their food from within 100 miles, apart from the few times, “in the dead of winter,” when they’ve had to venture a little further. … Continue reading »

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Bites: OVO, Sequoia Diner, Mad Oak and more

OVO Tavern and Eatery. Photo: Kate Williams
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Openings, closings…

OVO COMES TO NORTH OAKLAND OVO, a.k.a. “Oakland’s Very Own Tavern and Eatery,” has softly opened on Martin Luther King Jr. Way in North Oakland. The new bar and restaurant is an official viewing spot for the Golden State Warriors playoff games while it continues to tweak its menu and operating hours. For now, OVO is open only from 4-9 p.m.; owner DeWayne DeGuzman aims to hold a grand opening party at the end of the month. The menu features simple bar food like tater tots, chicken wings and burgers. DeGuzman said OVO will eventually be open in the morning, with breakfast pastries from Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts and Mr. Espresso coffee. The bar has a modest selection of beers, with space for six rotating local microbrews, and a potent-sounding OVO punch (think rum and lots of fruit). OVO takes the place of Bottom of the Ninth Bar & Grill, which opened in 2013 after Looney’s BBQ closed. DeGuzman hopes the restaurant will be a lively community gathering space, and he plans on keeping the concept and menu adaptable to the changing neighborhood. “We’re going to keep it fresh, just like Oakland,” he said. Ovo is at 5319 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (between 53rd and 54th streets), Oakland. Continue reading »

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12 East Bay restaurants make Bauer’s Top 100

The Dock at Linden Street. Photo: The Dock at Linden Street
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Michael Bauer’s list of the top 100 Bay Area restaurants causes a stir each spring. The San Francisco Chronicle food critic has been producing the compilation of his favorite spots for the past 20 years. His choices are typically San Francisco-heavy, but they do include a growing number — 12 this year — of East Bay restaurants.

In a nod to the increasing relevance and excitement of the East Bay food scene, none of the spots cut from the list this year came from our the right side of the Bay.

The two new additions to the East Bay list are both restaurants from James Syhabout. Bauer praised The Dock at Linden Street for its “uncanny skill for matching food to beer” and “unexpected” food combinations. He especially likes Syhabout’s crisp fried cranberry beans, curried lamb riblets with lime pickled chutney, and Caesar popcorn (“the best thing since caramel corn”).  … Continue reading »

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Bites: Continental Club, Wolfhound Bar, more

West Oakland's Continental Club has a new owner, and may be re-opening its doors soon. Photo: Google maps
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Openings, closings

CONTINENTAL CLUB COULD BE GETTING A FRESH START The Continental Club, an iconic West Oakland music venue and comedy club, was once host to countless jazz and blues stars in the 1960s. It was originally opened as a gumbo restaurant in 1947 by owners Curtis and Ross Christy; by the 1950s, the brothers had added a live music component to the restaurant, calling it Ramboogie. In 1961, the duo renovated and expanded the club. From then on, the space was known as the Continental Club. Situated on 12th Street in the Prescott neighborhood of West Oakland, the club fell onto hard times in the 1970s and never seemed to recover. Comedian Pharaoh bought the club in 2010, but shuttered it a few years later. Now, it seems that the club has changed hands once again. New owner Magnolia Entertainment has applied for a liquor license for an eating establishment, which is now pending. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more. The Continental Club is at 1658 12th St. (at Campbell Street), Oakland.Continue reading »

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Bites: PieTisserie, Kitchener Snack Bar, more

Jaynelle St. John (center) held a grand opening for her pie shop, PieTisserie, on Valentine's Day. Photo: PieTisserie
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Openings, closings…

PIETISSERIE SHOP HOLDS GRAND OPENING Oakland pie maven Jaynelle St. John held a grand opening celebration for her standalone shop in the Grand Lake district this past Saturday. PieTisserie specializes in unique pies, such as mojito custard and chocolate cream pretzel. St. John has been selling her pies for the last five years, but has moved her operation around Oakland; most recently she sold pies out of Nido, near Jack London Square, and she has also made appearances at Swan’s Marketplace in Old Oakland, and Kitchenette in San Francisco. Since parting with Nido in August 2013, St. John has been working on opening her retail space while selling her pies through her website and Munchery. PieTisserie, complete with its pie window, is at 1605 2nd Ave. (at Foothill Boulevard), Oakland. Connect with the bakery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Le Bateau Ivre hopes loan will kickstart revival

Le Bateau Ivre is still struggling, despite raising about $13,000 from an Indiegogo campaign. Photo: Naomi Nishihara
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By Naomi Nishihara

Le Bateau Ivre (The Drunken Boat) a French restaurant, bar and coffeehouse in an 1898 home on Telegraph Avenue, has witnessed decades of first dates since it opened in 1972. But after the recession, its co-founder’s death and dwindling foot traffic, the fabled Berkeley hangout is losing money and struggling to survive in a changing landscape.

Owner Arlene Giordano, who founded the restaurant 43 years ago with her late husband, Thomas Cooper, launched an Indiegogo campaign in September, hoping to crowd fund $60,000 to pay bills, replace kitchen appliances and get the business back on its feet. But the campaign, which ended in November, raised less than one-quarter of her target. Now Giordano is seeking a small business loan from the city to keep her restaurant alive. … Continue reading »

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Chez Panisse chef’s ‘Twelve Recipes’ teaches basics

Bean gratin from "Twelve Recipes" by Cal Peternell. Photo: Ed Anderson
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When I was in college and in my 20s and I called my mom at a non-designated time, she usually knew it was because I had hit a bump in the kitchen. No greeting, just, “What are you making?” If she got a call from me while at work, it was either an emergency – which it never was – or I had inevitably gotten stumped while following a recipe.

A lot has changed since then. Not only did I grow up, but I have also become way more confident in the kitchen. And now there’s this new thing, ready to answer all of my culinary questions. Before there was the Internet and before there was Google, there was my mother.

It’s for this reason that I could really relate to the goal of Cal Peternell, chef at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse and author of “Twelve Recipes.” When Peternell’s eldest son headed off to college, he realized that his children hadn’t picked up on his cooking skills by osmosis. He was afraid his son would be no better off than any other student; that once his days of dorm living were over, he’d be eating packaged ramen every night. As hard as it was for Peternell to accept it, being the son of a chef doesn’t automatically make one a good cook.  … Continue reading »

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5 local cookbooks that will make great holiday gifts

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The front table of Mrs. Dalloway’s bookstore on College Avenue in Berkeley is brimming with cookbooks, a sure sign of the holiday season. Many publishers release cookbooks in October so they have time to build enough buzz to make them a must-have on every foodies’ holiday gift list.

A number of high-profile cooks and food writers released books this year, including a third tome from the popular Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi called Plenty More; How to Cook Everything Fast by Mark Bittman; and the ever-popular Joy of Cooking.

All good cookbooks, to be sure. But what is out there to buy for the devoted locavore? How about narrowing that down to authors with an East Bay connection?

Below are Nosh’s holiday gift recommendations: five fabulous cookbooks featuring local chefs or cooks with East Bay connections. And, as with much of the food in the East Bay, it begins at Chez Panisse.

Mention “Berkeleyside Nosh” at Mrs Dalloway’s and you’ll receive a 10% discount on any of these books!Continue reading »

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Chefs, Chez Panisse alums, enjoy sourcing by barter

Russell Moore, co-owner of Camino:     Photo: courtesy Russell Moore
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When Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain say their produce at Camino Restaurant is locally grown, not many diners realize how literally they mean it.

While many of the vegetables and fruit used at the popular Oakland restaurant come from local farmers markets, some of the herbs and produce on Camino’s plates and in its cocktails are grown just half a mile away, in a garden by a couple who don’t farm for a living, but do it as a hobby. Their payment: eating regularly at the restaurant.

And, while it is unusual for Tim Drew and Christine Hwang to grow what Moore asks them to — both in the nature of the relationship and in its scope — for many East Bay residents the barter system seems to be alive and well. A side benefit? The goodwill that ensues from an exchange without money, and the friendships it forges. … Continue reading »

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Video: 36 hours in Berkeley, California

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This week, the New York Times turned its attention to Berkeley for its regular “36 Hours in…” series. It’s not the first time the city has been viewed through this lens. It was also featured in 2003.

This time, however, they also created a video to give readers a sense of life in the city (scroll down to watch it).

Many favorite local businesses and organizations are featured it the video and the accompanying article, including the Tilden Steam Train, the Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley’s Hearst swimming pool, Alchemy Collective, La Botella Republic, Cheese Board Collective, Chez Panisse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Comal, Ici, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Ippuku, Elmwood Café, Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore, and the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association. (Prizefighter cocktail bar also sneaked in, although it is actually in Emeryville.) … Continue reading »

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New restaurants Iyasare, Nido in Chronicle’s Top 100

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The phone at Iyasare Restaurant on Fourth Street in Berkeley started to ring a bit more urgently on Friday. Word had leaked out that the Japanese restaurant had been named to the San Francisco Chronicle’s list of top 100 restaurants – one of 20 new places on the list.

It’s already hard to get Friday or Saturday night reservations at Iyasare, a 50-seat restaurant opened by chef Shotaro Kamio and general manager Niall Cantwell just five months ago. When the Top 100 list is published on Sunday (an online version is available now for subscribers) the demand may be even stronger. … Continue reading »

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Just 1 Berkeley restaurant on Top 100 Places to Eat list

Pizza from Cheese Board
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Berkeley may be a foodie’s idea of heaven, but just one of the city’s restaurants made it into a recently released Top 100 restaurants in the country ranking — and it’s not the one you probably thought of first.

Move over Chez Panisse, it’s Cheese Board‘s sought-after pizza that puts the collective in the no. 16 spot in the Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. list compiled for the first time by Yelp.

The list is is something of a riposte to more elevated rankings like the Michelin Guide, in that it is based on the views of the ordinary man or woman on the street rather than food critics. … Continue reading »

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