Tag Archives: Gather Restaurant

Bites: Farewell Zaki’s, hello High Peaks, Bole, more

Fayza and Ramzy Ayyad. Photo: Anna Mindess
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Openings, closings…

A SAD GOODBYE TO A LOCAL GEM Zaki Kabob House will reportedly shut its doors in Albany, at 1101 San Pablo Ave., on June 1. The restaurant was opened there by the Ayyad family in 2008, just north of the Berkeley border, “after years of enjoying delicious Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods on our family table.” Berkeleyside profiled the restaurant in 2013. We reported at that time that the business’ original landlord, “who supported them in making many improvements to the modest green building, recently passed away. His heirs plan to sell the building and are offering the family first option to buy — with a price tag of $700,000.” Zaki owners were unable to purchase the property, and have now lost their lease. The local favorite will be looking for a new location, and has announced new hours for its final days: Dinner will be served nightly from 5-9 p.m., but lunch will only be available Friday through Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. … Continue reading »

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Bites: ‘New Comal’ to Elmwood; Gogi Time comes to Telegraph Avenue

An early rendering of a new restaurant prosed for Ashby Avenue
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Openings, closings…

GREAT CHINA OPENS DEC. 16 The much anticipated opening of the ‘new’ Great China — the old one was shuttered by a fire in January 2012 — is happening Monday, Dec. 16, at 11:55 a.m. After opening day, the hours will be 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 5-10 p.m. for dinner, Monday through Sunday, according to beverage director Mark Yatabe. The alcohol license is still pending but is expected early in the new year, Yatabe said. The menu is largely unchanged but there are some additions, including a new dessert menu and tea program. Read our scoop on Great China’s comeback. Great China is at 2190 Bancroft Way (at Oxford), Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Ms Barstool: Mixing it up improv style at Gather

Gather
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Crowd-pleasing classics and improv behind the bar: Gather pulls it all together Several weeks ago, we were enjoying a cocktail at another East Bay establishment and engaging in conversation with the bar manager, when the gentleman on the next barstool chimed in. As it happens, this gentleman is a bar chef in his own right, and suggested we visit the bar at Gather in Berkeley. We discovered in the course of our discussion about cocktails and other important issues, that he used to be the star behind the bar at Hudson, a Rockridge favorite that closed a year or so ago. We filed away his suggestion, and finally made our way to Gather.

We visited on a Saturday evening, prior to an event at a local music venue. Once we let the host know we were just planning to visit the bar for cocktails, he directed us to the rear of the restaurant and promised us an enjoyable experience. The bar is cozy, with a small number of tables and barstools inside and a sheltered patio right outside. High shelves bordering the bar area contain jars of colorful pickled vegetables. … Continue reading »

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Nosh Talk: Hugh Groman, Phil’s Sliders

Hugh Groman
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Nosh Talk is a regular Q&A with an East Bay chef, restaurateur or food artisan, published on Berkeleyside Nosh, in which we snoop for inside intelligence…

What is always in your refrigerator?
Eggs, aged cheddar, orange juice, cranberry juice, and produce from our weekly Full Belly Farms delivery. But, honestly, there wouldn’t be any food in there at all if it weren’t for my husband. I work all the time and would probably just eat out if left to my own devices.

What do you cook up for a late night snack?
I love making a shake of frozen bananas, milk and unsweetened cocoa. It is a completely satisfying and guilt-free dessert.

Where/what do you eat on your day off?
I love to eat at Tacubaya on Fourth Street, or Venus in downton for a delicious brunch or dinner, or Cha Am for yummy Thai food, or Café Rouge, or Kitchen 388 in Oakland, or 900 Grayson for lunch. I love Gather. I love Kirin Chinese on Solano or Shen Hua on College. The house-fried wontons at both of those places are incredible. We just tried Potala which has vegan Tibetan food and it was delicious. Fentons is a lifelong family favorite. … 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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Three Squares benefit to help free cooking class program

Three Squares volunteers with Kitchen on Fire chef Olivier Said. Photo: Sarah Nelson
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For the past three years Sarah Nelson has run free cooking classes for low-income families under three different names. While working as a special projects coordinator for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market she brought the program then known as Operation Frontline to the Bay Area.

That effort, a national initiative sponsored by the nonprofit Share our Strength, changed its name to the more apt Cooking Matters in October 2010. Last August, when Nelson left the farmers’ market, she took the cooking class concept with her and now heads up the non-profit organization Three Squares, which is holding a fundraising brunch at UC Berkeley’s Pauley Ballroom this Sunday.

Name changes aside, the core concept of this program remains the same: six weeks of cooking instruction that focuses on kitchen skills, fresh foods, and meal planning for those in need. Three Squares is a lean operation: in addition to Nelson, 31, the staff includes three AmeriCorps members and relies on 400 volunteers to teach about 15 classes a week in the Bay Area, typically two each week in Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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5 Berkeley restaurants make it into Chronicle’s Top 100

Corso Trattoria: one of just five Berkeley restaurants to make it into the Chronicle's Top 100 list
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The Chronicle’s food writer Michael Bauer chose the same five Berkeley restaurants that made it into last year’s Top 100 for his 2012 selection.

The “Top 100 Restaurants” list, which was published yesterday, embraces Chez PanisseIppukuO ChaméRivoli and Corso Trattoria.

Ippuku, known to be favorite haunt of Chez Panisse owner Alice Waters, was a newcomer last year. Rivoli and Corso share the same owners: Wendy Brucker and Roscoe Skipper.

In all, the list, which is in its 17th year, has 15 new restaurants and has dropped the same number, and Bauer notes that a trend this year has been for chefs to embrace the concept of Californian cuisine. Chez Panisse calls itself Northern California/Mediterranean, even though its roots are decidedly French and its branding, with its old Marcel Pagnol movie clips, retains a Gallic flavor. Bauer reports that other Bay Area restaurants — including Solbar, Bar Agricole, Canteen, Gary Danko and Manresa — have switched their allegiance from American to Californian. … Continue reading »

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Filmmaker favors multiple dimensions, timeframes

Berkeley-based filmmaker Peter Chang likes breaking boundaries in his work, be it in space or time. His latest oeuvre, Deus Ex Homine, is a beautiful stereoscopic 3D motion-controlled time-lapse short film. In it, the camera sweeps around the Bay Area: taking in server farms in Silicon Valley, indoor gardens, Berkeley’s Gather Restaurant, and Oakland artist Jeremy Mayer at work building astonishingly lifelike robots out of old typewriter parts.

Chang, who majored in English at UC Berkeley and worked for many years as a photo-journalist, established his production company Cinefugue in San Francisco in 2006. He said it focuses on innovative uses of cutting-edge technology with themes related to humanity’s future and the young generation. A previous project, Lightscapes, a TV show for Discovery HD Theater, was the first television program to feature mostly time-lapse photography.

Chang says he likes to think of time-lapse photography as a “god’s eye” technique that compresses time. “It’s a way to get people thinking about the future, by making it seem as if time passes quickly. … Continue reading »

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7 Berkeley restaurants get value nod from Michelin

Ippuku2
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Seven Berkeley dining spots have been named Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants. The ‘Bib’ is bestowed to restaurants where the Michelin judges deem one can eat well for $40 or less (plus tax and tip), and Michelin selected 77 such places for its 2012 San Francisco area guide.

Ippuku, the Japanese dining spot on Center Street, received the accolade for the first time. The other six are: Corso, eVe, Five, Gather, Rivoli, and Thai House.

Ippuku serves traditional yakitori and a wide selection of the Japanese spirit shochu, and has found a loyal following since it opened in July 2010. Not long after its launch, Alice Waters told Berkeleyside that it was one of her favorite haunts. “I really don’t want to tell too many people about it because I don’t want the place to get too busy,” she said.

Michael Bauer included Ippuku in the Chronicle’s Top 100 restaurant list for 2011 and praised chef Christian Geideman for his grilling expertise, and his partner Paul Discoe, who designed the restaurant, for his mastery in carpentry. … Continue reading »

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Farm-to-fork tours spotlight local green businesses

Restaurant chefs at Five, Gather, and Revival will talk slow money and sustainable food at an upcoming green tour.
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Three years ago, Marissa LaMagna started Bay Area Green Tours, a nonprofit, shoestring operation now headquartered in the David Brower Center (and largely staffed by eager, eco-conscious, unpaid interns) because she wanted to showcase the best sustainable farms and food, buildings and businesses, energy practices and employment opportunities in Berkeley and beyond.

The green tour business with a biodiesel bus takes people from near and far to see for themselves and hear the stories behind successful sustainable enterprises … Continue reading »

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The humble grilled cheese sandwich takes center stage

GrilledCheesGuy's take on an American classic.
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Michael Davidson, 29, is a man with many skills: a scientist by day, he’s the guru of the grilled cheese sandwich by night — and on weekends too.

Davidson works in medical diagnostic development, he’s currently gathering data on women’s health for research studies for his employer, the pharmaceutical giant Roche. Away from his 9 to 5 job he morphs into the GrilledCheezGuy, cooking up his version of that classic American comfort food from a mobile cart, for which he’s … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

Were you a winner in our Caltopia raffle?

Baskets filled to the brim with gift certificates and pizza for a year from LaVal's
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The two days of Caltopia were quite a whirl for students, faculty and staff, as well as for exhibitors like Berkeleyside. From the tens of thousands who passed through the self-proclaimed “greatest days on planet Earth”, we were able to have conversations about local news with hundreds of people, we launched OneNews/Berkeleyside, our exciting new citizen journalism app, and we even found some potential new journalists.

But what about the Berkeleyside raffle? We partnered with a host of wonderful Berkeley businesses … Continue reading »

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