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 email@example.com. Bites is produced by Nosh in collaboration with Christina Mitchell, founder of East Bay Dish.
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.
FORGE Good news: Jack London Square’s newest restaurant opened this week. Forge is in a huge space around the corner from Bocanova and it specializes in wood-fired pizza. There were a few pre-opening parties to show off the new menu. The large bar basically guarantees a fun happy hour and it actually seems like a good place to watch the Super Bowl. Besides appetizers and pizza, there are other yummy sounding dishes on the menu like a pork meatball sandwich ($9) and a cheeseburger ($13). The potato skins ($8) sound interesting too — they’re wood-oven baked and topped with guanciale and “taleggio Cheez Wiz.” Whoa! See the menu. 66 Franklin, Oakland; 510-268-3200.
ANNIE’S Berkeley-based food company Annie’s is voluntarily recalling its homegrown frozen pizza. In its recall notice, Annie’s said the recall came about when it learned that a fine metal mesh screen failed at a third-party flour mill, and fragments of flexible metal mesh were found in the flour and pizza dough. “While no metal has been found in Annie’s finished product, as a precaution, Annie’s initiated this voluntary recall. There have been no consumer illnesses or injuries reported to date,” they wrote.
PHIL’S SLIDERS Phil’s Sliders at 2024 Shattuck Ave. has new outside seating — it was spotted by Berkeleysider Bill Newton who shot the photo to the right.
SUGAR CONE CAFE Lori Pottinger let us know that Sugar Cone Café at 303 Arlington Ave. at Amherst in Kensington closed at the end of December. “I understand the owners are hoping someone will reopen it,” she writes. “The note at the shop says it was too much for them (they have young kids). Its a great little place — hope someone steps in!”
LUNGOMARE Chris Pastena (Chop Bar) and Temoor Noor (Grand Tavern), along with partner Tom Henderson are busy putting the finishing touches on a new restaurant scheduled to open Thursday, Feb. 7. Moving into the former Miss Pearl’s Jam House space, Lungomare is the Italian word for “waterfront” or “promenade.” With Forge and now Lungomare, Jack London Square definitely leans more toward Italian these days. Executive Chef Craig DiFonzo, formerly of Cantinetto Piero in Yountville, has created a menu that features coastal cuisine from Liguria and Tuscany. Many of the ingredients will be sourced locally and much of the menu, including the pasta and cured meat, will be made in-house. There’s also an ambitious bar program (managed by Paul Christensen of Haven) planned with rare wines, housemade cocktail ingredients and even a custom beer made by Linden Street Brewery. The adjacent cafe will offer coffee, sandwiches and salads to go. One Broadway, Oakland; 510-444-7171.
What else is going on…
To celebrate the release of her new book, Ethiopian Pepper & Spice, Cafe Colucci owner Fetlework Tefferi is hosting two events in one day. The African American Museum & Library will have an Ancient Ethiopian cookware exhibit with honey wine and appetizers, and Cafe Colucci will introduce an Ethiopian Brunch sampler with dishes like inkulal firfir (scrambled eggs and jalapenos sauteed with clarified and seasoned butter) and kinche (cracked bulgur wheat served with honey). 659 14th St., Oakland. Saturday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.
MANRESA ALUMNI DINNER Haven is hosting a Manresa Alumni Dinner next week, according to Grub Street, and the menu looks pretty amazing: parsnip soup with pickled mustard, herbed quail egg, parsnip pastrami (via Zack Freatis); rock cod with a root vegetable soffrito and smoked egg yolk (John Paul Carmona); squid with pickled peppers, crispy olive, raw feta, mussel (Marty Cattaneo); quail with hedgehog mushroom, cabbage, grains (Johnny Madriga); beef, marrow, beef tendon, hearts of palm, carrot (Kim Alter); and a dessert involving chocolate and sunchokes (Berto Vallejos). 44 Webster St., Oakland; 510-663-4440. When: Monday, Feb. 4. Cost: $90, with an optional $40 wine pairing.
A COTE “Three of Italy’s greatest winemakers” will be making an appearance at À Côté next week. Giuseppe Russo of Girolamo Russo Winery in Etna, Sicily; Cristiano Garella of Tenute Sella Winery in Biella, Northern Piemonte and Sergio Germano of Ettore Germano Winery in Serralunga d’Alba, Piemonte. The winemakers will mingle and answer questions during dinner service. Chef Matthew Colgan will offer a special pairing menu in addition to the regular menu: rotolo di coniglio (rabbit roulade stuffed with rabbit sausage), cingiale al vino rosso (red wine braised wild boar over polenta with hazelnut gremolata) and porchetta (wood oven roasted pork with garlic-rosemary potatoes).
5478 College Ave, Oakland; 510-655-6469. Wednesday, Feb. 6.
VALENTINE’S DAY RESEARCH Coming up Feb. 9 is the annual “For the Love of Chocolate” tasting event at The Pasta Shop in Berkeley. The event is aimed to offer one-stop shopping for people searching for Valentine’s gifts. Free samples will be on hand from Bay Area chocolatiers Barlovento, Coco Delice, Clarine’s Florentines, Jade Chocolates, Nuubia Chocolat and Poco Dolce. There’s no charge to attend, or to taste. 1786 Fourth Street, Berkeley; 510-250-6004. Hours: Saturday, Feb. 9, 2-4 p.m.
CUPCAKES FOR A CAUSE And, finally, Christina Mitchell is training for the Oakland Half Marathon and fundraising for the Ella Baker Center. Sophia Chang of Kitchener graciously donated the use of her commercial kitchen, where Mitchell is going to teach a baking class, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Attendees will make four different cupcakes: Red Hots cupcakes, INNA jam berry cheesecake cupcakes, chocolate raspberry liqueur cupcakes and Drake’s Brewing Chocolate Stout cupcakes, because St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. Snacks donated by Muffin Revolution and Javi’s Cooking, and local wine donated by Rock Wall Wines and Stomping Girl Winery, are included, plus all the cupcakes you can eat. “Join us!” she writes. 372 24th St., Oakland. Sunday, Feb. 10, 5-8 p.m. Cost: $45.
Quick hits and tidbits…
- On Nosh, we feature Guest Chef in Rockridge; last week’s Artisan Box pop-up dinner; several noteworthy cookbooks; and two meat documentaries, one of which features Berkeley’s own The Local Butcher Shop.
- Tasting Table had a recent feature on Uptown Oakland, with a spotlight on Sweet Bar Bakery, Duende, Flora, Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe, Hopscotch, Make Westing and Cafe Van Kleef.
- Grub Street provided an update on Assemble, which may open in Richmond next month in a historic auto plant. Also in Richmond, says Grub Street, a new ramen spot called Men Oh was recently a critic’s pick. SF Weekly offers reviews of both Men Oh and Ramen Shop in Rockridge.
- Diablo Dish reviews Forge (“Really good stuff in my humble opinion”) and shares highlights from a “preview dinner” at The Claremont’s Meritage.
- Gov. Jerry Brown was spotted in Emeryville easting at Hot Italian, according to Grub Street. Also via Grub Street, Juhu Beach Club, in Temescal, is aiming to open March 1: “the menu will feature slider sizes of her pav bhaji sandwiches, several varieties of curry, spicy chicken wings, and something she’s calling Mom’s Guju Chili…”
- This week in the East Bay Express, Halftime Sports Bar “may be the greatest place to watch the Super Bowl”; City Slicker Farms breaks ground on the West Oakland Park and Urban Farm; and Luke Tsai looks at two new burger spots, as well as Preeti Mistry’s Juhu Beach Club, and The Cook and Her Farmer pop-up.
- On Friday, Off the Grid has its official launch at Lake Merritt, starting at 5 p.m.
- Inside Scoop SF notes a Chron feature on Brasa in Berkeley that says it’s a great spot for a bargain bite.
- If you’re looking for a reason to head into the city, 7×7 magazine recently published its new must-try dishes for 2013.
On the ABC tip…
IN OAKLAND Battambang has received a temporary beer and wine license; Hawker Fare and Lakeside Club recently were approved for their licenses as well. Venga Paella on Brush Street and Grand Avenue Thai Cuisine have applications pending.
IN RICHMOND What appears to be a new spot on Meeker Avenue, called Ole, received its license in January.
Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant and bar openings and closings in the East Bay. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Berkeleyside NOSH on Twitter, and on Facebook.
Some of these items may first have appeared in Shop Talk, Berkeleyside’s regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, email us with the details. Read previous Shop Talk columns here.