Tag Archives: Nosh on the town

Nosh on the town: Julia’s at Berkeley City Club

Julia's at Berkeley City Club. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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It’s not every day when you get to eat dinner in what feels like a castle.

But that’s the sensation you get when dining at Julia’s at Berkeley City Club. The restaurant, which opened in 2012, is hidden away on the second floor of the Julia Morgan-designed building. The dining room is a throwback to the days before wooden stools, communal tables and Edison lightbulbs became de rigueur — tables are large and covered with white tablecloths, chairs are cushioned, carpets muffle noise.

The menu, however, has modern touches. Executive chef Alaun Grimaud, who helped open the restaurant but left in 2015, is back in the kitchen, crafting modern California cuisine with strong French and Spanish influence. Of-the-moment dishes like burrata cheese with seasonal toppings and chicken liver terrine with pickled fruits appear alongside safer classics like New York strip steaks and fettuccini pasta.  … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: The Terrace Room

The Terrace Room in Oakland. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Situated in an historic art deco building overlooking Lake Merritt, The Terrace Room certainly gets points for its view. Half of its dining room has floor-to-ceiling windows, all the better to take in the panorama.

The restaurant, located in the Lake Merritt Hotel, brought in Louis Le Gassic as its new executive chef last December. Le Gassic is a self-taught chef who worked at Enzo’s Meat Market and in 1997, joined the team at the highly regarded Bay Wolf restaurant in Oakland. He later traveled in France, and then returned to the East Bay, where he now calls Berkeley his home. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Telefèric Barcelona

Telefèric Barcelona. Photo: Beth Thomas
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Telefèric Barcelona — which originated in Sant Cugat (a town north of Barcelona) in 1993, followed by a second spot in Barcelona itself in 1996 — opened its third outpost, its first U.S. location, in Walnut Creek last week. The buzzy, modern space on Mt Diablo Blvd, designed by Oakland architects Arcsine, focuses on pintxos (Basque snacks served on skewers), tapas and paella.

The restaurant group is owned and run by the Padrosa family, and Xavi Padrosa is on the ground overseeing the launch of the Bay Area outpost. (The name, by the way, is a nod to Barcelona’s famous Montjuïc cable car, or telefèric.)

Some of the dishes you can expect to find on the menu: Ma Première Foie (foie gras served with grilled apple, caramelized onion, and cherry jam); Pulpo Telefèric (wood grilled octopus with roasted potato cream and crispy bacon); Albóndigas “Lo Que Digas” (spiced chorizo meatballs with cuttlefish and sofrito, honey, and chocolate sauce); larger plates meant for sharing such Ham-On Jamón Ibérico Gran Reserva (40-month aged ham sourced from Ibérico pigs in Spain), and Paella Mediterránea (Spanish bomba ride, prawns, Monterey calamari, clams, mussels, soffrito de la casa). And for dessert: Crema Catalana, Churros con Chocolate and, striking an incongruous note, Cheesecake (Philly cream cheese with cookie crumble and market fruits). … Continue reading »

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NOSH on the town: Honor Kitchen & Cocktails

Honor Kitchen & Cocktails in Emeryville. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with NOSH as we explore the food and drink at Honor Kitchen & Cocktails in Emeryville. Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Brunch at Camino in Oakland

Poached eggs with chanterelle mushrooms, burdock and green garlic ($16). Brunch at Camino in February 2015. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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With Chef Russell Moore recently named as a semifinalist for James Beard’s “best chef of the west” award, it seemed like a good time to pop in and check out what Camino is up to, in addition to switching to a tip-free approach amid regional and national conversations about how to improve equitable conditions for restaurant workers. Nosh dropped by on a recent weekend to explore the Grand Avenue restaurant’s brunch options.

Most brunch offerings change regularly. Items on the menu in February included poached eggs with chanterelles, smoked quail and grilled rockfish. The restaurant regularly has special events on Mondays. Coming up in March, “Pozole Mondays” will highlight three-course meals featuring pozole baked in the Camino fireplace. The restaurant opened in 2008, and Chef Moore, a Chez Panisse alum, cooks nearly everything over fire. 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. (Read more in Nosh’s November feature.)

Camino is located at 3917 Grand Ave. in Oakland. The March 2015 brunch menu is online here. If you’ve sampled the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. (Photographs by Emilie Raguso) … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Galeto Brazilian Grill in Oakland

Galeto Brazilian Grill. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore the East Bay food scene in photographs. This week we focus on Galeto Brazilian Grill in Old Oakland. Galeto invited Nosh for a complimentary meal for two to see what it had to offer.

Galeto opened last summer and offers all-you-can-eat buffets for lunch ($18.95 on weekdays and $28.95 on Sundays) and dinner ($38.95). The Galeto menu showcases traditional Brazilian grilled meat with table-side carving service, a salad bar with a wide range of fresh options prepared in-house daily from scratch, as well as free-range organic chicken and signature pasta dishes. The 85-seat dining room was designed by Kibwe Dasie, and local restaurant-goers may recall that the space formerly housed LCX Noodle Bar and Le Cheval.

Galeto owner Eli Nascimento hired Chef Robson Barreto to run the kitchen. Barreto was born in Rio de Janeiro and, from an early age, helped prepare meals in his family’s restaurant. He also spent time at an Italian restaurant in southern Brazil where there is a large Italian community, which provided  some of the inspiration for his offerings at Galeto. He later studied culinary arts in various schools in Brazil, and specialized in Brazilian, Portuguese and Italian cooking. He worked at a range of venues in Brazil and, in America, on the East Coast, and also spent two years in Barcelona, Spain, where he attended the Escuela de Artes Culinárias. Locally, he worked previously at Espetus Churrascaria in San Francisco.

Galeto Brazilian Grill is located at 1019 Clay St. in Oakland. See the menu here.  If you’ve sampled the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. (Photographs by Emilie Raguso.) … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Townie in Berkeley

Mussels with chorizo and white wine, Townie in Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Diners have a cool, new option in Berkeley with the opening last month of Townie, at 1799 University Ave., in what was for decades Caffe Venezia until it closed last year. The interior has gotten a major overhaul and Chef Dana Ryan is at the helm of this small plates New American restaurant at Grant Street, not far from downtown Berkeley.

The menu is small, but features one hit after another, using seasonal ingredients and what the owners describe as “the highest quality meats and seafood.” Potato croquettes, the garlic cheese toast and the mussels with chorizo and white wine were some of the favorites during a recent meal. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Doukkala in Temescal

Doukkala, Oakland. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore the East Bay food scene in photographs. This week we focus on Doukkala in Oakland.

Owner Jamal Zahid has reimagined his Temescal restaurant space — which formerly was called Tanjia — under the leadership of a new chef who has recreated the menu to feature “Moroccan-inspired California cuisine.” Executive Chef Eric Lanvert has “deep roots” in the Bay Area, having worked at or owned a number of San Francisco restaurants, including Rue Saint Jacques and Cote Sud. Local, farm-fresh organic ingredients are the rule, and most dishes can be ordered as half- or full-sized portions. Chorizo-stuffed squid, mussels in saffron broth and day boat scallops were among the highlights during a pair of recent visits. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Sukho Thai in Rockridge

Sukho Thai, Oakland. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore the East Bay food scene in photographs. This week we focus on Sukho Thai in Oakland.

A relative newcomer to Rockridge, Sukho Thai is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, which already boasts many fantastic restaurants to choose from. Sukho Thai opened last fall several blocks south of the Rockridge BART station; those familiar with the neighborhood may recall the previous business, Pearl of Siam, which closed last June after 25 years.

Friendly service, cozy surroundings and outstanding flavors set this Thai restaurant a cut above many others in the area. The flavors pop, with the right amount of heat on the spicy dishes, a satisfying firmness in the cooked vegetables, and masterful seasonings that make each dish memorable. Portions are ample enough for leftovers, especially if your party is small and you want to try a few dishes. Save room for a sweet treat for dessert. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Great China in Berkeley

Great China in Berkeley, California. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore the East Bay food scene in photographs. This week we focus on Great China in downtown Berkeley.

Long considered among the best Chinese restaurants in the area, Great China opened in its current location in December after a fire closed its doors at its prior downtown Berkeley home. It took nearly two years to plan and complete the new space on Bancroft Way, which is large and modern, and has roughly 50% more space than before. Even with the increased space, lines are a common sight. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Duende in Uptown Oakland

Duende in Oakland. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore the East Bay food scene in photographs. This week we focus on Duende in Uptown Oakland.

Ever since Duende opened in January 2013, the restaurant has drawn crowds and won acclaim for its stylish digs, creative menu and professional service. Paul Canales, husband of Ici Ice Cream-owner Mary Canales, has created an impressive menu featuring small plates and Spanish food. Next door, diners can enjoy coffee, churros and a more limited menu during the day at a small, but beautifully appointed, bodega, which also features a selection of olive oils for purchase. (The bodega recently added lunch to its offerings.) Paul Caneles’ name is likely familiar to many East Bay diners for his 15 years at Oliveto restaurant on College Avenue, where he started as an intern and ended as executive chef. Upstairs at Duende, Canales has teamed up with Rocco Somazzi to bring an eclectic mix of musicians to an intimate performance space. Read more about Duende on Nosh.

Duende Restaurant & Bodega is located at 468 19th St. in Oakland. If you’ve sampled the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. (Photographs by Emilie Raguso.) … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Centouno in Jack London Square

Centouno. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore the East Bay food scene in photographs. This week we focus on Centouno in Oakland’s Jack London Square.

Owner Fabio Dalle Vacche has teamed up with his mother, Luigina Delfino — who’s been cooking for 40 years — to launch a cozy, rustic and stylish Italian restaurant on Broadway just north of Jack London Square. Dalle Vacche drew inspiration from his family’s trattoria, just outside Parma, Italy, and has state-side experience opening Borgo Italia in Old Oakland and consulting for restaurants in New York City. Dalle Vacche goes out of his way to make diners comfortable. Dishes are “an homage” to Delfino’s long culinary history, and reasonably priced to boot. Via the restaurant website, “Using only the best ingredients, her recipes are unassuming, delicious and served the way she does in her own kitchen. Not distracted by unneeded garnish, the food is rustic, cooked with love and speaks for itself.” See the initial menu here to get a sense of the offerings, but items do change.

Centouno, at 101 Broadway, at the Embarcadero in Oakland, opened in December, and Nosh was invited for a complimentary meal for two to try it out. If you’ve sampled the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. (Photographs by Emilie Raguso.) … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Vientian in Oakland

The nam kao appetizer — deep fried rice mixed with ground pork and coconut, served with lettuce and mint leaves — is not to be missed at Vientian Café in Oakland. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore the East Bay food scene in photographs. This week we focus on Vientian Café in East Oakland.

Vientian features a mix of Lao, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine at reasonable prices in a casual atmosphere. The combination of fresh, unique flavors at budget prices make this a neighborhood favorite, but also worth a special trip. Parking is easy. “Angel wings” and papaya salad are other menu favorites.  … Continue reading »

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