Tag Archives: Wood Tavern

Wood Tavern owners taking over Bay Wolf space

Photo: Bay Wolf
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Oakland’s iconic Bay Wolf space is not going to stay empty for long. The 40-year-old Piedmont Avenue restaurant, which closed Aug. 30, is going to be in the hands of another pair of well-known Oakland restaurateurs — Rich and Rebekah Wood.

The Woods, of course, own Rockridge’s Wood Tavern on the Oakland-Berkeley border, a favorite of neighborhood diners and critics — so popular in fact that snagging a table there can prove difficult. The couple — who also own sandwich spot Southie, next door to Wood Tavern, opened in 2011—  announced on Monday in the Mercury News that they were taking over the lease of the Bay Wolf space.

The Woods are following in the wake of a local culinary institution. Michael Wild opened the warm, wood-paneled Bay Wolf restaurant in a Craftsman house at 3853 Piedmont Ave. with partners Michael Phelps and Larry Goldman in September 1975, three years after Chez Panisse opened in Berkeley. Like Alice Waters’ celebrated, and similarly styled, restaurant, Bay Wolf was known from the start for its locally sourced, seasonal menu. … 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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Bites: Tia’s, Longbranch, Descanso, Plank and more

Dana Zumot, the new owner of Tia's, a cafe that has replaced Levant, which was only open a few weeks. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Openings, closings…

TIA’S A new café called Tia’s is set to open imminently at the spot once occupied by the short-lived Levant Organic Café on the corner of Kittredge and Oxford streets in downtown Berkeley. The owner, Dana Zumot, has previously worked as a restaurant manager and her love of cooking led her to open her own place at 2177 Kittredge St. Tia’s will be a casual café serving salads and panini sandwiches, as well as coffee and tea. With its location close to the Cal campus, and its light-filled atmosphere, Zumot is hoping Tia’s becomes a popular hang-out space. Telephone the café at 510-647-9863 to confirm it is open before venturing out. … Continue reading »

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Best burgers in the East Bay: Nosh readers call it

Burgers from TrueBurger on Grand Avenue in Oakland, which got the most votes among Noshers
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A while ago (OK, three months ago — what can we say? We got busy reporting other news), we asked readers who makes the best burger in the East Bay? The answers came in thick and fast: juicy grass-fed beef burgers oozing with cheese and bacon, nutritious veggie sliders accompanied by garlicky french fries, gourmet gluten-free or straight-up regular — there was no shortage of favorites.

The votes were scattered over nearly 50 burger purveyors, and there was little wiggle-room between the total tallies for each restaurant, which just goes to show how spoilt we are in the East Bay when it comes to that all-important decision: where to grab a superior burger right now.

So, with the understanding that this was a totally unscientific poll, and that everyone was a winner, we give you the most popular burgers as voted by Noshers — and we’ve also created a nifty interactive map with details about each spot, so you know where to head to try local favorites. … Continue reading »

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Nosh Talk: Rebecca Bernstein, Cioccolata di Vino

Curtis & Rebecca Redwine
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What is always in your refrigerator?
Laura Chenel Goat Cheese.

What do you cook up for a late night snack?
Spicy sautéed spinach.

Where/what do you eat on your day off?
Vietnamese take out from Hu’o’ng Trà.

Do you have a secret ‘junk food’ vice?
Movie theater nachos with extra extra jalapeños.

Any food you can’t stand?
Any junk food (nachos notwithstanding).

What is your fantasy ‘last meal?’
Fresh oysters on the half shell to start. Followed by housemade charcuterie (Wood Tavern-style) and cheeses. … Continue reading »

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Josh Thomsen gathers talent for Claremont wine fest

Josh Thomsen
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Josh Thomsen knew from a young age that he wanted to be a chef and credits his late father, Jerry, for sparking his culinary interest. His dad would put in a long day as a stockbroker, come home, go to the market, and then cook up a storm — making a mess, using every pot in the house, and turning out a delicious dinner.

The Culinary Institute of America grad has done his dad proud. Thomsen’s resumé includes stints at the French Laundry in Yountville, Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles, and The Lodge at Pebble Beach. He’s also worked in kitchens in big-buck Las Vegas venues like Tao Restaurant at the Venetian Resort, the Mansion at the MGM Grand Hotel, and the Michael Mina-owned Nobhill Tavern.

These days Thomsen, 40, is the executive chef at local landmark The Claremont Hotel, Club, and Spa, known for its regal white facade and killer views. Until recently, though, the hotel wasn’t exactly known as a destination dining experience. … Continue reading »

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Claremont’s Thomsen named a rising star

Chef Josh Thomsen of Meritage at the Claremont Hotel - Berkeley,
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Josh Thomsen (left), executive chef at the Claremont Hotel, has been named a rising star by online magazine StarChefs.com.

Thomsen joined the Claremont last year to oversee the transformation of its previous restaurant, Jordan’s, into the Meritage. He also oversees the Paragon Bar and Cafe. He worked at the world-renowned French Laundry in Yountville, as well as several restaurants in Las Vegas, including the Mansion at the MGM Grand Hotel and the Tao Restaurant, before coming to … Continue reading »

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Wood Tavern set to expand

Photo: Wood Tavern
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The immensely popular Wood Tavern restaurant (above) is planning to expand by scooping up the conveniently available next-door space recently vacated by Lulu Rae Confections.

SFoodie reports that Rich and Rebekah Wood, owners of the restaurant, which is located at 6317 College on the Oakland-Berkeley border, have applied for a permit to operate a spin-off eatery likely to focus on small plates, cheese and charcuterie platters.

Something tells us it will be packed from the moment … Continue reading »

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The 10 p.m. ‘I’m hungry’ dilemma

Sea Salt
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On Friday evening, after seeing the excellent Up in the Air, we were eager to get a bite to eat. Our problem: it was after 10 o’clock.

As much as I love the many food choices in Berkeley, it’s a decidedly early town. It’s mystifying to me that there are people happy to go to good restaurants at 5:30 in the afternoon. Even 7 p.m. feels early to me, but I’ve adapted to local mores. It may be … Continue reading »

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A ‘soul of the neighborhood’ restaurant

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The Chronicle’s Michael Bauer has the following to say today about Wood Tavern, a perennial favorite of many Berkeley and Oakland residents:

“Rich and Rebekah Wood, who formerly owned Frascati, decided to open nearer where they lived, and they’ve created a restaurant that stradles the Oakland/Berkeley border and is claimed by both sides. I’d move there just for the “Wicked Good” seafood stew and the Manhattans.”

Read his take on other restaurants that capture the soul of their … Continue reading »

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