Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mid-Week Menu: Chef Departures at Picán and Hibiscus, New Organic in Oakland and Alameda, Gratitude Closure News

by Jesse Hirsch
Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, a weekly roundup of restaurant openings, chef arrivals and departures, and other nuggets of gossip from the East Bay dining scene.

1) What the Fork gets word of a new restaurant in East Oakland called Organic Choice (175 98th Ave.), and early Yelpers are (gasp) none too kind. This is apparently the first organic restaurant to locate deep in Oakland's District 7.

Cafe Q
  • Cafe Q

2) Alameda says: "Wait up guys, we have our own new organic cafe!" Get ready for breakfast-y fare from the tersely named Cafe Q (maybe the owners are Bond fanboys?)

3) National food-obsessive website Serious Eats gives some love to the New York-style pizza at dopo.

4) Our friends at Vegansaurus/Berkeleyside have more Cafe Gratitude news (because you can never get enough). In summary: The Berkeley location will remain open, while the branch in Oakland's Whole Foods will shutter on February 28.

5) Also from Berkeleyside, word of a fire last Thursday at Berkeley's Great China restaurant, with damage estimated at $700,000. Neighboring Razan's was not effected, contrary to early reports.

6) Chef Dean Dupuis is leaving soul food hotspot Picán at the end of the month for a gig in Atlantic City, and owner Michael LeBlanc is taking a trip to the South to scour up his replacement. Apparently former SF mayor Willie Brown hasn't heard about the shake-ups, and had a sour night at Picán last weekend.

7) The gang at Kingston 11 have pop-up company at Guerilla Cafe, with recent pop-ups from Desta Ethiopian and the Voluptuous Vegetarian and an upcoming one from Tagine Moroccan on February 16. Keep your eyes on the cafe's website for more upcoming events.

8) Inside Scoop brings word that chef Sarah Kirnon has left Hibiscus to open another Oakland restaurant called Miss Ollie's. Hibiscus has temporarily closed in mourning for a reboot.

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