Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our weekly roundup of East Bay food news.
1) Inside Scoop has the latest on James Syhabout’s new project in the just-shuttered Somerset space (5912 College Ave.). The restaurant will be called Box and Bells, and some menu ideas that Syhabout and chef Daniel Coe are bandying about include such curiosity-piquers as potato boxty (a kind of pancake, apparently) with salt cod and herbs, fried chicken with raw oyster mayonnaise (raw oyster whaaat??), and cote du boef with a fricassee of snails. According to Inside Scoop, there will be a series of preview dinners at Syhabout’s other spin-off, Hawker Fare, probably starting in January.
2) The culinary transformation of Jack London Square continues: Eater reports that Miss Pearl’s Restaurant and Lounge (1 Broadway) has been purchased by a team of investors headed by Chop Bar’s Chris Pastena and Tom Henderson (who is also partnering with Pastena on Tribune Tavern). They’ll take over the waterfront space in January, do a quick remodel, and reopen on February 7 as Lungomare — an Italian restaurant. Pastena told me the inspiration for the menu will be Cinque Terre, a coastal area in Northern Italy whose cuisine has a blend of Ligurian and Tuscan influences, and a mix of seafood and meat. In the meantime, Pastena said a chef has already been hired, but that s/he needs to give notice at his/her current place of employment before an official announcement can be made. Stay tuned.
- Sleek setup at Cro Cafe (photo courtesy of the cafe's website).
3) Also from Eater
: The CRO Cafe
has opened in Temescal Alley (near 49th and Telegraph). CRO was last seen doing weekend espresso service from a cart in front of Bartavelle, during the first few weeks of that restaurant’s build-out. The new alleyway kiosk will be open Friday to Monday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a super-streamlined menu
: No food per se, just Sightglass drip coffee and espresso drinks.
4) A Chowhound post
tipped me off to the fact that Spoon Korean Bistro
(933 Ashby Ave.) is now open for dinner, with new hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Co-owner Jessica Oh confirmed the extended hours and said the menu remains unchanged. But now you can grab a casual Korean meal prior to doing a grocery run Berkeley Bowl West right before closing time, when the lines are shortest.
5) For those of you who won’t be cooking this Thanksgiving, here are a couple of fancy takeout options: In Berkeley, Saul’s Deli (1475 Shattuck Ave.) is offering a BN Ranch heritage turkey dinner
(these are the turkeys Bill Niman
is raising in Bolinas) with all the trimmings for $17.75 a person. Whole turkeys and side dishes are also available a la carte. Meanwhile, in Livermore, Wente Vineyards (5050 Arroyo Rd.) is doing a complete family-style takeout dinner (with turkey
options, priced at $249 and $239 respectively) that serves six people.
6) Oliveto’s annual truffle dinners
are coming up next week, from Tuesday, November 13 to Friday, November 16. When I spoke to Oliveto owner Bob Klein for this week’s story about Community Grains
, he mentioned that he was off to Italy to procure this year’s batch of truffles — he might be on the hunt at this very moment. The menu for this year’s dinners is still forthcoming; here is last year’s menu
7) Let’s take a moment to geek out over some sweet food gadgetry: Umamimart
(the blog) takes a closer look at the soon-to-open Ramen Shop’s (5812 College Ave.) Richmen noodle-making machine, from a demo event the Ramen Shop owners held at the Umami Mart store (815 Broadway) in Old Oakland a few weeks ago.
8) Coming on the heels of the news about West Oakland’s new grocery store project
, People’s Community Market, Foods Co
(a subsidiary of the Kroger supermarket megachain) announced last week that it has broken ground on a new warehouse-style discount supermarket in East Oakland, at 10790 MacArthur Blvd. The Foods Co store in East Oakland will be huge
— 80,000 square feet, about as big as a mid-sized Costco — and is slated to open next summer.
9) Finally, in case you missed this week’s stories on hot soup for the under-the-weather crowd
and a local company's quest to reshape our image of whole grains
, well, you know what to do.Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I'll read ‘em all.