Tuesday, February 6, 2018

In the Wood to Bring Pizza and Drinks to the Elmwood

By Janelle Bitker
Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 10:20 AM

click to enlarge JANELLE BITKER
  • Janelle Bitker

The name of Elmwood’s upcoming gastropub has a few layers. In the Wood (2930 College Ave., Berkeley) general manager Ben Maniatis explained it’s a riff on “in the hood,” but also refers to the Elmwood and the restaurant’s wood-fired pizza oven.

The oven is a carryover the location’s previous restaurant, Cugini Manzone, and its former chef Gustavo Golindo has stayed on for In the Wood as well. Naturally, the interior is getting a healthy dose of wood accents as well.

The plan is to create a comfortable, lively spot — with a beer garden — to enjoy local brews, sustainable wine, and good food. The team hopes to open by next week.

“We feel like the neighborhood is starved for a little watering hole,” said Maniatis, who was most recently serving at Trabocco Kitchen and Cocktails in Alameda.

Open daily, In the Wood will specialize in “inventive, farmers’ market-driven pizza” with a thin crust, according to Maniatis. He’s tinkering with ideas like brunch pizza and salad pizza — something he tried in Los Angeles and swears by — as well as classics. The menu will also offer salads, sandwiches, and bar bites with gluten-free and vegan options. “With a gastropub, we can be very eclectic and basically have something for everyone,” Maniatis said.

The rest of the project team includes owners Richard Tapp and Michael Schwarzbart; bar program manager Travis Burns, also most recently at Trabocco; and pizza chef Phil Taddei, last seen at Alameda’s 1400 Bar & Grill.


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