Tag Archives: Comal

Bites: Genova Deli, People’s Café, The Wolf, more

Genova Delicatessen. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Openings, closings…

GENOVA DELI’S LAST DAY IS SATURDAY Get in for your Italian combo fix while you can, because Genova Delicatessen‘s last day will be April 30. “We are humbled by all the good wishes and love from the community and want to thank you for so many years of support,” wrote the deli’s owners on its website. The 90-year-old Italian deli in Oakland’s Temescal district had announced in February that it may be forced to close due to a rent dispute with its landlord. However, in a story in the San Jose Mercury News, co-owner David DeVincenzi’s wife Patti said that other rising costs were a bigger contributor in the decision to close. They didn’t want to be forced to raise prices. “The cost of doing business is to the point now where it became uncomfortable,” she said. David DeVincenzi told the San Francisco Chronicle that the family is working on finding a new location in Oakland, but was unwilling to hint at where that location may be. In the meantime, the Genova factory on Broadway, the Napa store, and the two Genova Deli locations in Walnut Creek (owned by another branch of the family) remain open. And, according to the Mercury News, the property owners at Temescal Plaza are looking for a new local deli operator to open in the space; property representative John Dobrovich said he hopes the new tenant will hire some of the former Genova employees. Genova Delicatessen is at 5095 Telegraph Ave. (between 49th and 51st streets), Oakland. Connect with the deli on Facebook.Continue reading »

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Bites: New Public Market tenants, La Crema, more

The redesigned entrance for Public Market Emeryville. Photo: courtesy Public Market Emeryville
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Openings, closings..

TWO NEW TENANTS ANNOUNCED FOR EMERYVILLE PUBLIC MARKET Slowly but surely, Emeryville’s Public Market is adding more new restaurants. Shiba Ramen and KoJa Kitchen are now both up and running, with We Sushi and Mayo & Mustard to follow later this spring. Now we hear that a new casual Peruvian café, Granja Eatery, will occupy a prime 1,500-square-foot space at the front entrance to the market. Granja Eatery is a project from chef Carlos Altamirano, who owns several restaurants and food trucks across the Bay Area. Altamirano will offer street food-style Peruvian food, and the restaurant will feature an open kitchen and a bar with beer, wine and sangria. He hopes to open this fall. Also headed to the market in July will be Oui Oui Macaron, a Daly City-based macaron company. It will be the first food purveyor to open in one of Public Market’s three shipping-container spaces. Public Market Emeryville is at 5959 Shellmound St., Emeryville.Continue reading »

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Bites: Mr. Dewie’s, Noodle Theory Provisions, more

Mr. Dewies. Photo: Eric Wong
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Openings, closings…

MR. DEWIE’S NOW SERVING NON-DAIRY ICE CREAM IN ALBANY Last fall, we got wind that Mr. Dewie’s, the cashew milk-based ice cream company, would be opening its first retail location on Albany’s Solano Avenue. We’re now happy to report that as of March 2, the ice cream shop is now open. Mr. Dewie’s is in the former Burger Depot location at 1116 Solano Ave., and it is currently serving around 12 different flavors of ice cream, including chocolate orange chip, caramel almond crunch and roasted cashew. Mr. Dewie’s also offers vegan baked goods and both vegan and non-vegan ice cream cones. (The later was a source of slight controversy; initially the cones at Mr. Dewie’s were not vegan, but after some cross-bay vegan guests inquired, owners Ari and Andrew Cohen have added the option.) Mr. Dewie’s is at 1116 Solano Ave. (at Kains Avenue), Albany. Connect with the company on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.
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The Advocate names new chef as Griffiths departs

John Griffitsh at The Advocate. Photo Frances Dinkelspiel
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Just seven months after it opened, Berkeley restaurant The Advocate, the sister restaurant to Comal, is losing its inaugural chef, John Griffiths.

Griffiths will be replaced by Michelin-starred chef Joseph Humphrey, whose credentials include stints as executive chef at Auberge du Soleil, The Restaurant at Meadowood and Murray Circle at Cavallo Point. More recently, Humphrey oversaw the kitchen for one year at the Farmer & The Fox at the Cairdean Estate in St. Helena. He left there in June 2015 to, he said at the time, pursue new opportunities closer to his home city of Oakland. Humphrey has also been a corporate chef at the Mina Group.

Griffiths, meanwhile, is moving to a new post at Bluestem, a Californian brasserie in San Francisco’s Union Square neighborhood. In a case of chef musical chairs, Bluestem’s current chef, Jeff Banker, only started there in September 2015.
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Bites: Antoinette, Temescal Brewing, Belotti, more

The dining room at the newly opened Antoinette Brasserie at the Claremont Hotel. Photo: Fairmont Group
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Openings, closings…

ANTOINETTE BRASSERIE AT CLAREMONT NOW OPEN Last week, we gave you an update on Antoinette, the new brasserie at the Claremont Hotel. The French restaurant, overseen by Michelin-starred Dominique Crenn, with Justin Mauz as executive chef, opened Tuesday. Eater SF has a photo gallery of the revamped former Paragon restaurant and bar. And Inside Scoop has the opening-night menu which leans traditional French — with foie gras and wine-based sauces much in evidence — and pricey. Among the starters: Warm Broccoli Velouté with Sea Urchin and Blood Orange ($18); Sweetbreads with Foie Gras, Dates, Baby Chicory, and Banyuls ($23); and Basil-fed Escargot with Champagne and Hazelnut Chartreuse ($18). Entrées include Coq au Vin with Pinot Noir Braise and Maitake ($29); Schmitz Ranch Prime Strip Steak with Celeriac Dauphinoise and Sauce Bordelaise ($60); Whole Roasted Monkfish Tail with Bouillabaisse, Cous Cous and Vadouven (serves 2-3, $95); and a whole Liberty Farms Rotisserie Duck with Abalone Mushroom, Foie Gras, Chou Rouge and Châteauneuf-du-Pape (serves 3-4, $200). A spokeswoman for the Fairmont Group, owners of the Claremont, said Thursday the team was reworking the menu, so what you see here might change. (The hotel’s other restaurant, the Meritage, offers a more down-to-earth dinner menu.) … Continue reading »

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East Bay Restaurant Week specials begin Thursday

Calavera is a Mexican restaurant serving up dishes inspired by the Oaxacan region. Photo: Benjamin Seto
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It’s that time again — time to revel in the prix fixe glory that is Restaurant Week.

In the East Bay, we get more than two weeks of specials between Oakland and Berkeley. Oakland’s Restaurant Week begins tomorrow, Jan. 14 and runs through Jan. 24. Berkeley’s event overlaps a bit, beginning on Jan. 21 and running through Jan. 31.

Participating restaurants offer prix fixe menu specials at lunch and/or dinner. Oakland menus will go for $20, $30, $40 or $50. Berkeley lunch menus will be priced at $20; dinners will be offered at $25 or $35. Menu lengths vary from restaurant to restaurant. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Hopsy, Itani Ramen, Super Juiced, holidays

Hopsy's storefront in Albany. Photo: Hopsy
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Openings, closings

HOPSY UP AND RUNNING IN ALBANY The first-ever beer growler delivery service and growler store launched yesterday in Albany. At its core, Hopsy provides a platform for customers to order draft beer from local breweries directly to their homes. The 10-strong opening brewery list includes Oakland’s Ale Industries, Alameda’s Alameda Island Brewing Co., San Leandro’s Cleophus Quealy, and San Francisco’s Magnolia Brewing. As of this week, the delivery service is only being offered to a limited group of customers who have signed on to the company’s waitlist. Hopsy will add more customers to its delivery list in two weeks. Those who don’t want to wait can purchase “growlettes” to-go from a limited selection of breweries at Hopsy’s store (1173 Solano Ave.). The store will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and all growlettes will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. It is closed on Wednesdays. Hopsy is at 1137 Solano Ave. (between Kains and Stannage avenues), Albany. Connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.Continue reading »

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Bites: Dominique Crenn, Chez Panisse, Recchiuti…

side view of the Claremont Resort & Spa
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Openings, closings…

DOMINIQUE CRENN OPENING BRASSERIE AT CLAREMONT CLUB & SPA The San Francisco chef, who owns the two Michelin star Atelier Crenn and newly opened Petit Crenn, is in talks with Fairmont Hotels about opening a restaurant in the newly re-branded Claremont Club & Spa, formerly the Claremont Hotel. In a press statement released earlier this week, Fairmont Hotels said the restaurant will open in 2016 and will replace the Paragon. “Chef Dominique Crenn’s elegant neighborhood brasserie will serve a locally sourced seasonal menu, joining the hotel’s three other exceptional restaurants and lounges,” the company wrote. Inside Scoop got ahold of Crenn, who said that she has signed a preliminary contract, but has not finalized the agreement. Regardless, Crenn will not be in the kitchen of the new restaurant. She told Inside Scoop that she will be involved with the restaurant in “more of a curatorial or designer capacity.” Eater SF also spoke with Crenn, who told the website that the new restaurant will be called Antoinette, an “elegant, but casual” restaurant in the style of a French brasserie, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu will be based mostly around seafood and vegetable dishes, but will include meat. Many of the dishes will be large and designed to share, like a whole roasted fish or côte de boeuf. Petit Crenn wine director Courtney Humiston will consult on the largely French and California wine-focused drink menu. Crenn told Eater that she was attracted to Berkeley’s historic dining scene. “I love Berkeley,” she said. “This is where it all started, with Alice Waters and Chez Panisse. I want to be part of something special.” No more details for now, but we’ll keep you posted. Claremont Club & Spa is at 41 Tunnel Rd. (at Claremont Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the hotel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Bites: Perdition closes, changes at Oliveto

Barbecue spread at Perdition Smokehouse. Photo: Perdition Smokehouse
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Openings, closings

PERDITION SMOKEHOUSE CLOSES SUDDENLY We were surprised to hear that Berkeley’s Perdition Smokehouse shuttered suddenly this week. While the barbecue itself wasn’t particularly memorable, Perdition did have one of the best tap lists around and an excellent outdoor patio on which to drink them. The East Bay Express had the scoop, but didn’t have many details on the reason for the closure. EBX speculated that the closure was likely tied to former chef Mike O’Brien’s decision to leave the company, which also includes The Trappist, The Trappist Provisions, and Mikkeler Bar in San Francisco, earlier this month. (O’Brien was the chef at both Perdition and Mikkeler.) A source close to the company also speculates that this split was the source of financial strain for the company, enough that it caused the restaurant to close. We have reached out to owner Chuck Stilphen, as well as O’Brien, but have yet to receive any comments on the closure. For now, though, we’ll just have to mourn the loss of that tap list. Continue reading »

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Cali cuisine meets Mediterranean at The Advocate

Blistered squid with padron peppers, yogurt, fried okra, muhammara, and cilantro ($13) at The Advocate. Photo: Benjamin Seto
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By Benjamin Seto/Focus:Snap:Eat

The story: The people behind the successful high-end Mexican restaurant Comal in downtown Berkeley branched out to the tiny Elmwood neighborhood with a splashy new restaurant called The Advocate. (How this name is supposed to make you think of food is beyond me.) Housed in the former Wright’s Garage building, the spacious dining room with wood-fire oven opened earlier this month. … Continue reading »

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8 top East Bay patios for enjoying an Indian Summer

Enjoying chips and salsa on Comal's pack patio. Photo: Comal
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September, the East Bay’s other summer, is almost upon is. While al fresco dining is a year-round option in our pocket of Northern California, these warm days and golden evenings are the perfect time to take advantage of some of the area’s outdoor dining and drinking spots. And, since El Niño is supposed to give us a long, wet winter (we hope!) it may be a while before patios seem appealing again. Below are eight of our favorite places, but we’re sure we missed a few — leave us a comment if you have a much-loved patio or garden that didn’t make our list. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Bucci’s and The Growlers’ Arms both closing

Calamari from Bucci's in Emeryville, which will serve its last dinner on Sept. 30. Photo: Bucci's/Facebook
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Openings, closings…

BUCCI’S TO CLOSE SEPT. 30 East Coast-syle Italian joint Bucci’s will have its last day of operation Sept. 30. The popular Emeryville restaurant has been in operation for nearly 30 years, serving up classics like spaghetti and meatballs, gnocchi, fried calamari and pizzas to a rapidly changing dining market. Co-owner Amelia Bucci told the Bay Area News Group that she and and the other owners have decided to retire. “[Co-owner] Paul [Camardo] and I are 70-plus, and we’ve been doing this a long time,” she said. “This is a good time to say goodbye.” The E’Ville Eye speculates that the closure also may be linked to the recent increase in Emeryville’s minimum wage. According to the Eye, Bucci’s had raised its prices and added a $2.50 per person service charge to accommodate increased wages. No word yet on what will be headed to the Bucci’s space next; however, its location near the new Branch Line bar, Prizefighter and Rotten City Pizza may likely prove to be a hot ticket for prospective bar and restaurant owners. Bucci’s is at 6121 Hollis St. (at Doyle Street), Emeryville.Continue reading »

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Dinner at Berkeley’s hot new spot The Advocate

The Advocate. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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If there’s one thing that the two guys behind downtown spot Comal know how to do, it’s create a buzzy restaurant. John Paluska and Andrew Hoffman held the second of two “friends and family” nights at their new, second Berkeley restaurant, The Advocate, in the city’s Elmwood neighborhood, on Thursday night. And already, you just know it’s going to be fun trying to get a table at this place once it opens to the public on Friday, Aug. 7.

Read more about The Advocate and Comal on Berkeleyside.

The 3,400-square foot space at 2635 Ashby Ave. — once part of the old Wright’s Garage — has been transformed into an airy, modern restaurant whose decor has echoes of Comal, but retains its own personality. It seats 100 comfortably with room for about 14 at the bar, where bar manager Matthew Campbell has concocted an intriguing menu of hand-crafted cocktails. Like Campbell, Corin Weihemuller, the new restaurant’s wine director, has come over from Comal to see the new restaurant bedded in. … Continue reading »

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