Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mid-Week Menu: German Sausages on the Waterfront, Barkada to Replace Remedy, and So Much Beer Coming to Berkeley

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our weekly roundup of East Bay food news.

1) For this week’s restaurant review, I visited Lungomare, the new Italian restaurant in Jack London Square opened by local restaurant impresario Chris Pastena of Chop Bar. But what about the other half of the Chop Bar tandem, chef-owner Lev Delany? Diablo Dish has an update from Delany about his own waterfront project, Brotzeit-Lokal (1000 Embarcadero), which is on track to open in early May. As previously reported, the restaurant’s focal points will be house-made German-style sausages — Delany, of all people, knows how to cure some pork — and Bavarian-style lagers. Check out a tentative menu here. Oh, and here’s a novel idea: Apparently, boaters will be able to access the restaurant by sea.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Uptown Kitchen and The Sound Room: Mixing Local Food Artisans and Jazz

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 7:00 AM

At The Sound Room (2147 Broadway), one of a handful of new jazz clubs to open in Oakland during the past several months, guests taking in a show need not settle for typical concert venue food — overpriced burgers and pasta dishes and such. Instead, dinner might feature crispy pork belly confit or a bountiful plate of seafood paella. For dessert, there might be too-pretty-to-eat artisanal cupcakes.

All of the food is provided by Uptown Kitchen (2145 Broadway), a commercial kitchen and food business incubator that’s located adjacent to the jazz club. Since the two ventures launched last fall, their collaboration — jazz on one side of the building, a rotating list of local food artisans on the other — has proved mutually beneficial and may provide an interesting new model for club owners and kitchen proprietors alike.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mid-Week Menu: China Village Almost Ready to Reopen, Caffe Venezia to Be Replaced by Pizza-and-Beer Spot, and Alameda Gets Another Food Truck Event

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our weekly roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Inside Scoop reports that the damage caused by the fire that broke out at Chez Panisse on March 8 is more severe than originally thought. According to a note on the restaurant's website, builders have determined that the top and bottom porches in front of the building will need to be removed and rebuilt: "This means there will be a more significant demolition project ahead of us than we had originally anticipated, as well as many structural repairs that affect both upstairs and down." As a result, the reopening of both the upstairs cafe and the formal downstairs dining room have been postponed indefinitely — initially, there had been speculation that the restaurant would begin accepting reservations as early as this week.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Starter Bakery's Colomba di Pasqua

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Celebrate Easter this year with the dove-shaped Italian Easter bread known as Colomba di Pasqua, courtesy of Oakland-based Starter Bakery. The cake-like bread is a close cousin to the better-known Italian holiday loaf pannetone, which is typically served during Christmas.

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Mama Tong's Recipe for Ji Tong (Black Chicken Herbal Soup)

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Here is a recipe for a classic Chinese soup that is traditionally served to a woman who has recently given birth, to restore her strength during the post-natal period. (Recipe courtesy of Jane Lin of Mama Tong, by way of Oakland: New Urban Eating.)

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New Urban Eating: Oakland’s Food Story, with Recipes

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 7:00 AM

A designer, a chef, and an ethnographer step into a bar …. That’s not the setup for some obscure academic joke. It’s the origin story for Oakland: New Urban Eating, an ambitious Oakland-centric cookbook project headed by Andrew Ellis, the aforementioned ethnographer. One night last August, Ellis and his friends, Ray Robinson (a personal chef for a local college fraternity) and Clint Walker (a designer), met for drinks at an Uptown bar, where they conceived the idea for a book that would tell the story of the Oakland food renaissance — from the perspective of the chefs, artisans, urban farmers, and food foragers who have spearheaded it.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mid-Week Menu: Chez Panisse Rebuilds, a New Owner for Ann’s Kitchen, and the Best Food Neighborhood in Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our weekly roundup of East Bay food news.

1) As reported earlier, a fire broke out at Chez Panisse (1517 Shattuck Ave.) early Friday morning, causing significant damage to the restaurant’s front porch, which is part of the downstairs dining room. According to Berkeleyside, Berkeley firefighters believe the fire started in the eight-by-twelve-foot area underneath the porch — although it appears likely that the cause of the fire was electrical in nature, as of this posting the case is still under investigation. Owner Alice Waters had originally estimated that the upstairs cafe section of the restaurant would be able to open in a little over a week — by March 23 — but that appears to have been pushed back until at least March 30, the Contra Costa Times reports. No timetable has been set for reopening the more formal downstairs dining room, which took the brunt of the damage.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Berkeley's Ann's Kitchen to Become 'Bleecker Street Bistro'

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Jason Kwon, chef-owner of Berkeley’s Joshu-ya Brasserie, has taken over Ann’s Kitchen (2498 Telegraph Ave.), the casual breakfast and brunch spot around the corner from his other restaurant.

Kwon said he’s been running Ann’s for about a month now without making any changes, though he did start a new initiative to donate 10 percent of the restaurant’s proceeds to Build Hope International, a Christian nonprofit based in Alameda. Sometime this summer Kwon plans to close Ann’s and reopen the restaurant as the Bleecker Street Bistro.

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For the Love of Shrub: INNA Jam’s Vinegary New Project

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM

On a recent Tuesday afternoon, I sat down with Dafna Kory, the proprietress of the Emeryville-based jam producer INNA Jam, to throw back a few shots of vinegar.

Well, that’s not exactly right. What Kory in fact set before me were several thimbles worth of shrub: a kind of syrup that she makes with equal parts vinegar, sugar, and fresh fruit. And though I did sip some of it straight up, mostly I drank it as Kory intended, mixed with seltzer water to create fruit-flavored sodas that struck a great balance between sweet and tart — as refreshing a cold beverage as one could hope for on a warm day.

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Kingston 11 to Bring Jerk Chicken, Jamaican Pride to Uptown Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 7:00 AM

The last we heard from Kingston 11, the jerk-chicken-and-reggae party was popping up every Friday and Saturday night at Berkeley’s Guerilla Cafe — shining a bright light, at least for those two evenings, on a food culture that is largely underrepresented in the Bay Area.

Now, the restaurant’s proprietors — Adrian Henderson, Nigel Jones, and Andre King — have found a permanent brick-and-mortar home in Uptown Oakland, at the former location of Off the Hook (2270 Telegraph Avenue).

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