Friday, March 4, 2011

The Kitchen Sink: Cocktails, Cured meat, Cuban food

By Ellen Cushing
Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 1:53 PM

News, notes, and miscellany from this week in East Bay food and drink:

As we reported last week, Uptown is set to get a flurry of (well, three) new bars in the coming months. The first of those, Dogwood — a classy cocktail joint with an expansive menu of charcuterie-style snacks — officially opened this week, and the first assessments seem to be pretty positive: bloggeth Urban Daddy:

We think you’ll agree that more cocktail dens would do well to augment their bar with a designated meat counter. Especially one slicing up house-cured meats with a hand-cranked, Ferrari-red slicer. Until then, this spot should tide you over.
The Kitchen Sink stopped by at around 8 this Wednesday and the place was, indeed, fairly full. Blurry iPhone pics below!
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Elsewhere in Oakland, the Trib's Angela Woodall checks out Grand Lake's newest addition, a Cuban spot called Cana. Right now, it's sort of a Gregoire-esque classy takeout joint, but according to Eater, owner Daniel Brajkovich is also planning on opening a Cuban-inflected bar/live music venue in the space next door.

Uptown's much-loved Southern joint (and bourbon bar) Pican is expanding to San Ramon, according to Diablo Dish. Well, owner Michael LeBlanc has signed a lease, at least, though the new restaurant, currently called Heritage, likely won't be open until next year.

Meanwhile, Diablo Dish reports that the owners of San Francisco's (highly acclaimed) 54 Mint are opening another outpost in Concord.

Vegetarians, feel free to stop reading here: Oliveto's annual Whole Hog dinner series makes its triumphant return next week. Tablehopper took a look at the menu, and it appears to be a veritable explosion of saturated fats and awesomeness: items include pancetta-fried potatoes, a pork-trotter-and-fruit terrine, corned pork tongue (!), and, of course, much more. It's truly the most wonderful time of the year.

And finally, Temescal's Aunt Mary's Cafe — specifically, its legendary Bubble and Squeak dish— was featured on Monday's episode of the Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, which takes host/chef/bleach enthusiast Guy Fieri all over the US in search of the best diner food. (The Kitchen Sink trawled the interwebz for footage of the show and came up sadly empty-handed.)

Heard any interesting food news lately? Holler at us at Editor@EastBayExpress.com.

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