Summer Kitchen & Bakeshop

Pizza at Summer Kitchen. Photo: Summer Kitchen/Facebook
Pizza at Summer Kitchen. Photo: Summer Kitchen/Facebook

As soon as husband-and-wife team Charlene Reis (a former Chez Panisse pastry chef) and Paul Arenstam (Hotel Vitale and Americano in San Francisco) opened this bright, white-tiled Elmwood spot in 2009, it was a hit. While the seasonal menu changes little, the fare — salads, sandwiches and thin-crust pizzas from the real-fire oven — is of consistently excellent standard. Favorites include the apple-smoked bacon, avocado, Piquillo pepper, wild arugula and mustard-mayo sandwich; the kale caesar salad with acme sourdough croutons and Grana Padano cheese — be sure to add the kitchen’s famous crispy chicken for an extra $2 — and, from the dinner menu, the Bailey and Long braised pork shoulder with creamy polenta, chimichurri and herb salad. And don’t leave without trying a pastry — the lemon meringue cupcake perhaps? Bonus: Summer Kitchen fans include Steve Kerr on game days. Summer Kitchen & Bakeshop is at 2944 College Ave. (at Ashby), Berkeley.