Tag Archives: Gioia Pizzeria

Berkeley’s Gioia Pizzeria gets its tables back

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Berkeleysider Neil Mishalov went by Gioia Pizzeria on Saturday and saw that the popular restaurant has gotten a quick serve restaurant license from Berkeley. The stools at the interior banquet, which were removed in late January, have returned, making it all that much easier to eat Gioia’s slices of formaggio, fungi, and other flavors.

Councilmember Laurie Capitelli stepped into the fray when it turned out that Gioia had been operating without the proper permits since its opening in 2004. (The issue prompted a significant response from readers when we reported it in early February with no less than 85 comments. This is, after all, Berkeleysiders’ favorite pizza joint in town.)

The restaurant actually hurt its own cause when it found out, for the owners applied for a much more difficult to obtain permit when all they needed to do was submit some standard paperwork to the Planning Department, said Capitelli. He helped sort things out. … Continue reading »

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No sitting to eat pizza at Berkeley’s Gioia, at least for now

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The marble counter at Gioia Pizzeria on Hopkins Avenue used to be crowded with people eating slices of formaggio or funghi pizza.

Not any more.

Now the counter is stacked high with black and white Gioia Pizzeria T-shirts and is verboten to customers.

In the last few weeks the pizzeria has had to stop offering patrons a place to eat their pizza pie. The restaurant, it turns out, did not have a permit for eating on site. And, before December, it did not even have a permit to operate as a take-out restaurant.

“The city of Berkeley has determined that we are to be a ‘to go’ only operation,” reads a sign perched on one of the counters. “Unfortunately, this means we may not provide seating of any kind, nor may we offer a counter at which our customers may stay and ‘dine in’ at. In addition we have been asked to remove our outside counter.” … Continue reading »

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Northbrae named one of nation’s Top 10 neighborhoods

Leafy streets, courtesy of mature trees such as these, are one of the attractions of Berkeley's Northbrae neighborhood. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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This week, the American Planning Association named Berkeley’s Northbrae neighborhood a Top 10 Great Neighborhood for 2011. In making its selection, the organization took into consideration views, unique features, engaged residents — and good planning, of course.

The ten winners — which included Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood and Birmingham, Alabama — exemplify, according to the APA, “exceptional character and highlight the role planners and planning play in creating communities of lasting value”:

Northbrae was singled out for its abundance of preserved views of the San Francisco Bay; garden suburb design with streets and footpaths that follow the contour of the hills and gracefully skirt outcroppings of magnificent volcanic rock; impressive public spaces and amenities; and engaged residents who have done much to restore and maintain the neighborhood.”

Developer Duncan McDuffie was the brains behind Northbrae. A conservationist who favored single-family houses on tree-lined streets in a park-like setting, his initial plans for the area were influenced by the local Chamber of Commerce’s proposal to move the state capitol to Berkeley. Stone pillars, streets named for California counties, and a majestic public circle with classical balustrade and fountain were all part of the package. Magnificent rocks and boulders were also part of the landscape’s attraction.

Speaking about the area, Berkeley’s District 5 councilmember Laurie Capitelli said: “The Northbrae neighborhood is an amazing place to live. The vision developed in the early 20th century has transitioned beautifully into the 21st: small-scale shopping districts, restored creeks, walkable amenities – schools, library, parks – and a street plan that augments and preserves the natural beauty of the Berkeley Hills and views of the San Francisco Bay.” … Continue reading »

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The best pizza in Berkeley? Our readers decided

Young customers enjoy the pizza at Emilia's Pizzeria, which came in fourth in the reader rankings
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Wow. Who knew Berkeley residents were so passionate about pizza? It’s right up there with free speech, free love, and free-range eggs — or so it seemed based on readers’ record responses to our request last week for their choice of the best pizza places in town.

Before we announce the winners of our, let’s face it, less-than scientific survey, a few caveats up front. Stunned by the sheer number of votes (over 220 comments including input on Facebook) we realized, after the fact, that we should have employed a poll counter. Next time. And, we’ll be sure to include a category for “other,” so you can weigh in with a pick not mentioned in the post.

Because it turned out, that despite writing in the story and later in the comment thread (several times) that the dozen pizza purveyors listed represented a sample of savory pies on offer here, many of our readers — including one rather irate pizzeria owner — read it as this site’s “best of” picks.

Privately, folks pointed out, too, that businesses left off that list may have been unfairly handicapped, a not unreasonable assumption, and it is duly noted.

So, we didn’t make it easy on you. And you didn’t make it easy on us. Some voted for more than one place. Some voted on Facebook or Twitter but not here. The crack accounting team at Berkeleyside opted to err on the side of generosity in tabulating results, including all favorable mentions in the count.

Many mentioned that a top pizza pick might vary depending on factors such as deep dish versus thin crust, East vs. West style, delivery, location, and omnivore/vegetarian/vegan options. Some argued that the pie produced at Cheese Board isn’t even pizza. (Where is the sauce? Potatoes and kale topping?) As one self-described pizza snob wrote: “While Cheeseboard is undeniably delicious, it’s not pizza.” … Continue reading »

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Where do you get the best pizza in Berkeley? You tell us

Cheeseboard Pizza straight from the oven. All photos: Christina Diaz
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Today this space is all about cheese. And crust. And toppings.

Got opinions about who turns out the best pizza in town? We know you do. So here’s your chance to share your pie picks with fellow readers.

That’s right folks, today, the Friday food column takes a break from regularly scheduled programming to poll readers about their pizza preferences. (The first in an occasional series where residents weigh in on their favorite foods found close to home.)

We know that for every die-hard devotee of Cheese Board pizza there’s an equally loyal Gioia fan to be found.

There’s pizza for all palates and pocketbooks here, whether you favor California-style, wood-fired pies pioneered by the  Chez Panisse crew (foraged greens and artisan goat cheese, anyone?), Brooklyn-inspired bites with trademark thin crusts and judicious use of ingredients, or the sloppy cheese slices popular among the campus crowd. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Samin Nosrat, ex-Eccolo and co-creator of the Pop-Up General Store

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Samin Nosrat is a veritable poster girl for the current trend (some would say necessity) of workplace reinvention.

Since the shuttering last summer of Eccolo, an acclaimed Italian eatery on 4th Street, that restaurant’s one-time sous chef now juggles an impressive number of part-time jobs in the culinary world.

Nosrat is the co-creator (along with former boss, Chris Lee, currently cooking in London) of the much buzzed about Pop-Up General Store, a fleeting food market … Continue reading »

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Neighborhood restaurants, part two

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Prompted by “the Bauer”‘s praise for Wood Tavern, reader Ira Serkes has his suggestions for restaurants that help give their neighborhoods “soul” and make for happy locals. Here’s his list — some of which stray slightly out of Berkeley proper, but who’s on border patrol?:

Cugini and Rivoli on Solano in Thousand Oaks/Albany Inn Kensington on The Arlington in Kensington Kensington Circus Pub on Colusa in Kensington Mama Lan’s and Lalime’sContinue reading »

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