Tag Archives: The Pasta Shop

Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XXXVII

Meats with sauerkraut (Boudin blanc; corned beef with parsley sauce). Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Openings, closings…

BOX AND BELLS This week’s biggest opening has to be James Syhabout’s latest restaurant, Box and Bells, in Rockridge. Berkeleyside Nosh wrote about a preview of the endeavor in February at one of Syhabout’s other Oakland restaurants, Hawker Fare. Syhabout is most known for being the only Michelin-starred chef in the East Bay for his Piedmont Avenue restaurant Commis. With Box and Bells, he said he aimed to offer the “things we like to eat as cooks that no one else is making. On our days off we want to spoil ourselves and indulge.” Added executive chief Benjamin Coe, at the preview, “This is the food that we eat after a long day at Commis.” According to Inside Scoop, Syhabout has been working on Box and Bells for more than a year: “It’s about getting back to basic cooking,” he told the San Francisco-based food news blog, which is run by the San Francisco Chronicle. Box and Bells is located at 5912 College Ave., the former location of Somerset. Items featured on the menu include fried chicken with raw oyster mayonnaise, sea scallops with spaetzle, blood pudding poutine, bone marrow with bagna cauda crust and more. The full food and drinks menus are available online. Check out the restaurant’s Twitter feed for updates.  … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XVIII

La Fable (brunch) by Nancy Rubin
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Bites is Berkeleyside Nosh’s round-up of restaurant, bar and food-related news in the East Bay. To stay up-to-speed with all that’s going on locally, read our daily Nosh Wire, and check out previous editions of Bites. We always love receiving food-related tips at nosh@berkeleyside.com.

Openings, closings…

Screen shot 2013-04-12 at 11.37.41 AMTRIBUNE TAVERN The hot restaurant opening of the week happened Wednesday with the arrival of another big Chris Pastena eatery in Oakland (he’s behind Chop Bar and Lungomare and has others up his sleeve). Tribune Tavern is housed in the former Oakland Tribune building at 401 13th St., at Franklin. A meat-centric gastropub menu is overseen by chef Huw Thornton, who most recently worked at the short-lived Locanda da Eva in Berkeley. Before that he was at A16 and SPQR in San Francisco. One early review was more than positive. Oaklavore called the restauran’ts trotter and cheek fritters “nothing short of amazing.” … Continue reading »

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Restaurants, delis embrace Passover feasts

Comal
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Passover, which begins this year at sundown on March 25, is the most widely celebrated of all the Jewish holidays — and, as with many Jewish holidays, food is at the heart of the festivities. However, preparing a seder, or ritual dinner, when you don’t have generations of Jewish Bubbes to learn from, or if you’re not that culinarily inclined, can seem like a daunting task — even if we have come a long way from keeping live carp in the bathtub. Which may be why restaurants, delis and specialty groceries are stepping in to help out.

Passover commemorates when Jews escaped slavery in ancient Egypt. And, given that the seder is customarily held on the first and second (of eight) nights, most synagogues or Jewish community centers hold their community seders on the second night, leaving many without a seder on the first. … Continue reading »

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In Oakland, two Italians craft pasta with a U.S. twist

samples of shapes, wheats and colors available at Baia Pasta
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Almost a year ago this week, Renato Sardo and Dario Barbone, compatriots from northwestern Italy, set up shop in Oakland’s burgeoning Jack London Square to make pasta. Not just any old pasta. Each of the twelve shapes produced by Baia Pasta — from the charming conchiglioni (“spinners”) to the traditional maccheroni — are made from organic American flours.

“The idea for the business started when I learned that many high quality dried pastas in Italy are made from American wheat,”said Renato Sardo as he stood in the Baia Pasta retail space that doubles as the production facility.

Hard durum wheat (as opposed to soft wheat, which has a lower protein content and is used for pie crusts and cakes) contributes that desirable toothiness in dried pasta cooked to al dente. Ground hard durum, also called semolina, remains their best seller. But Sardo and Barbone also experiment with other flours, such as spelt and kamut, grown organically in the areas surrounding the Rocky Mountain Range. They even make a rice-based noodle that appeals to the gluten-free crowd. … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new, what’s hot, what’s happening, VIII

Cupcakes via Christina Mitchell
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Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant and bar news in the East Bay. Got a tip or a scoop? Send it our way at nosh@berkeleyside.com. Bites is produced by Nosh in collaboration with Christina Mitchell, founder of East Bay Dish.

Freshly served…

NOODLES ON SHATTUCK A new noodle shop, Toss Noodle Bar, opened at 2272 Shattuck Ave. last Saturday. [It opened in the former space of Pin Toh, a Vietnamese and Thai restaurant, which had closed as of late December, according to reviews on Yelp.] The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) received an application in December for an on-sale beer and wine license, which was listed as approved on Jan. 29. Find Toss Noodle Bar on Facebook. [Hat tip: Downtown Berkeley Association]

CLAYPOT SPOT ON SAN PABLO A new restaurant by the name of “Claypot” appears to be making preparations to open at 2501 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley. The license application notice was just posted at the site Jan. 31, and reader Felipe Fernandez shared a photo of it with Berkeleyside.

PARK BURGER Chowhound has lots of info and opinions about Park Burger, which just opened last week. There are hot dogs, salads, shakes and, of course, burgers on the menu, plus beer and wine. Sounds like a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Open daily, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 4218 Park Blvd, Oakland; 510-479-1402. … Continue reading »

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Recently on NOSH: Africa pop-up, quince tart, food trucks

Mimosa-cupcakes-7
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Berkeleyside’s online food magazine NOSH, covering the East Bay, launched in November and publishes many stories every week on restaurant openings, ethnic food finds, news, chefs’ secrets, recipes, and much more. In case you missed them, here are some of the articles that have appeared there in the past few days:

Coming to Rockridge: Jules Thin Crust pizzeria The couple behind this new venture swear being directly opposite Zachary’s will work out just fine for everybody.

Off The Grid food truck market launches in Oakland Just weeks after Off The Grid closed up shop in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto it is making its debut in Oakland on Friday nights outside the Oakland Museum of California. … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new, what’s hot, what’s happening, III

Miss Ollie's big
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Bites is Berkeleyside Nosh’s round-up of restaurant, bar and food-related news in the East Bay. To stay up-to-speed with all that’s going on locally, read our daily Nosh Wire, and check out previous editions of Bites. We always love receiving food-related tips at nosh@berkeleyside.com.

Freshly served…

MISS OLLIE’S After months of build-out work, Miss Ollie’s opened last week in the former Jesso’s space on Washington Street in Oakland. Chef-owner Sarah Kirnon, formerly at San Francisco’s Front Porch and Oakland’s Hibiscus, named her new restaurant after her grandmother, and is serving Caribbean dishes including fried chicken, curry goat and plantains. Right now, it’s only open for lunch, Tuesday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with expanded hours soon. Miss Ollie’s, 901 Washington St., Oakland, 510-385-6188.

THE BUREAU Tablehopper alerts us to the fact that The Bureau just opened on Hollis Street in Emeryville. James Sansangasakun, owner of Summer Summer Thai across the street, brought on Edward Higgins (chef de cuisine at Quattro Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Palo Alto) to consult on the menu. There are burgers and sandwiches with global influences including the Chips n’ Salsa Burger (jalapeño, tortilla chips, roasted tomato salsa, lettuce, nacho cheese), and Tempura (fried rock shrimp patty with wasabi mayo served on a rice “bun”). The Bureau5800 Hollis St., Emeryville, 510-595-1000. … Continue reading »

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Gilman Street Gals cook up sweet treats in Westbrae

Another holiday favorite: Clarine's Florentines
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In a teeny tiny, dark commercial kitchen on a small shopping strip on Gilman Street in Berkeley’s Westbrae neighborhood, four full-time, female food artisans, and a few part-timers too, are turning out sweet baked goods that have earned them mad props in the Bay Area.

Think of these enterprising edible producers as the Gilman Street Gals. In the cast: Clarine Hardesty, of Clarine’s Florentines, who holds the lease to the kitchen, which is co-owned by Bob Kelso of Toot Sweets down the block. Joining her behind the stoves: seasoned wedding and specialty cake maker Carolyn Wong, whose signature style is simple, elegant, and artistic. Also in the mix is Anastasia Widiarsih, herself no slouch on the designer cake front, whose main focus these days at Indie Cakes & Pastries is baking scones, cookies, and cakes for wholesale café clients, including Saul’s Delicatessen + Restaurant. Relative newbie in the kitchen crew: Christine Falatico Frey of CiCi’s Italian Butterhorns; her sugary, buttery, cinnamon walnut cookies are featured holiday picks in the December issue of Diablo magazine – along with Clarine’s Florentines and June Taylor‘s christmas cake. … Continue reading »

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Alice Medrich’s sweet life

143_Bittersweet Decadence. deborah.jones
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Alice Medrich, the author, is best known for her high-end sweets cookbooks devoted to serious bakers and dessert makers, including the bestsellers Pure Dessert and Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate. Alice Medrich, the dessert chef and chocolatier, is best known for her influential and ahead-of-its time shop Cocolat. Medrich ran the store, opened on Shattuck Avenue in 1976, for 14 years.

In both careers Medrich earned a reputation for meticulous recipe testing, a commitment to quality ingredients, and originality in her elaborate baked goods.

So some may be surprised to learn that her eighth cookbook is about, well, the humble cookie. Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth-Cookies (Artisan Books, hardcover, $25.95) in fact. And, as is today’s norm for authors of new books, Medrich, 60, is even blogging about her latest work.

Medrich’s foray into food started in her early 20s with a hand-written recipe for the tiny cocoa-dusted chocolate truffles given to her by her Paris landlady in 1973. Truffles were virtually unheard of in America at the time.

She sold the pure bittersweet confections at the Pig-by-the-Tail Charcuterie (since replaced by The Cheese Board Collective, which has a memento to the shop’s past on display in the store). She also carried a sign and took orders for elaborate cakes and desserts that people could pick up at the end of the week. Sometimes, she says now, she needed all week to perfect the recipe. … Continue reading »

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Bay Area foodies talk the talk

joyce
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A group of the eminently interesting Bay Area food writers will discuss the future of food systems and farming this Saturday from 1-3pm at the Pasta Shop on Fourth Street.

Panelists for “Get Sharp! The Cutting Edge of Food” include Novella Carpenter (Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer), Joyce Goldstein — pictured above (Tapas: Sensational Small Plates from Spain), Mani Niall (Sweet! From Agave to Turbinado, Home Baking with Every Kind of Natural Sugar and Sweetener), … Continue reading »

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