Diablo Dish: Doors Open at Rooftop
New Taphouse to open in Lamorinda; new coffee shop for Danville; a new wine bar in Livermore; plus wine fests this weekend!
Rooftop Opens in Walnut Creek
The highly anticipated Rooftop restaurant is open!
Located on the top floor of 1500 Mount Diablo in Walnut Creek, Rooftop is an open-air restaurant that offers a stunning backdrop for enjoying New American cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. It is the second eatery to open in the eye-catching three-story building developed by Brain Hirahara at the corner of Main Street and Mount Diablo Boulevard. It is also home to Telefèric Barcelona, and will soon house Slice by Tony Gemignani pizzeria.
Rooftop is the project of Jim Telford, also owner of the popular Walnut Creek wine bar Residual Sugar. He tapped Slanted Door alum Justine Kelly to be his partner and serve as the executive chef of the restaurant. Chef Kelly’s resume includes stints competing on Iron Chef and cooking for President Clinton and the First Lady.
Telford tells Dish that Rooftop will be serving only dinner for the next few weeks, but lunch service will be added shortly. The menu showcases local ingredients in delightful dishes, such as crispy lamb meatballs, braised short ribs, and banana leaf-wrapped black cod. The food is mostly served family style, but small plates are available as well.
Call ahead for a reservation at this new hot spot. No need to worry about the weather forecast: The roof is retractable, so regardless of whether it rains or shines, you can still savor the food and admire the views of Mount Diablo with a cocktail in hand.
New Taphouse to open in Lafayette
Lamorinda Taphouse is moving into Lafayette. Aiming for a July opening, the Taphouse plans to pour unique and hard-to-find craft beers from small brewers across the country.
The Taphouse is being developed by a small group of local craft beer lovers, and will be moving into the former The Forge on Mt. Diablo Blvd. The ultimate vision of these beer lovers is to create a neighborhood family-friendly beer garden where everyone is welcome, even furry four-legged friends. The location also offers a space for live music as well as community events.
If you are more hungry than thirsty, The Taphouse will have a limited menu featuring small bites. Local Lafayette restaurants will also be fulfilling food orders in the space, and patrons can also bring in their own outside food.
Hours are not set at this time, but The Taphouse will be open seven days a week. Stay tuned for information as we head towards the summer opening.
Blue Gingko Goes Ramen
The Blue Gingko in Dublin closed for business last week, only to reopen as Ramen 16. While other Blue Gingko restaurants will stay the same, the new Ramen 16 will be serving Japanese ramen as well as authentic Japanese comfort foods.
Look for traditional favorites, such as pork gyoza and take-yaki, as well as more unusual dishes like the ramen burger, a traditional hamburger in every way other than the "bun" made out of ramen noodles.
Faz to Open Bakery and Coffee Bar
Danville-based Faz is celebrating its 25th anniversary by opening Faz Bakery & Coffee, just two blocks away from the original Faz establishment.
Chef-owner Faz Poursohi is originally from Soh, Iran, but he has been a longtime Danville resident. He has also been part of the Bay Area restaurant scene for more than 30 years, with restaurants in Sunnyvale, Pleasanton, Oakland, and Danville. Given the success of the original Faz, Danville was the ideal location to continue his legacy with the opening of Faz Bakery & Coffee.
Faz Bakery & Coffee will be located at 221 Hartz Avenue. The menu is still being finalized, but it will offer a selection of custom cakes, pastries created from local and seasonal fruits, homemade cookies, cupcakes, and Faz’s famous flat bread. It will also feature Illy coffee and espresso drinks.
No official opening date yet, but stay tuned for when you’ll be able to pick up that flatbread.
Pura Vida Opens in Livermore
Pura Vida, the former home of Winemakers Pourhouse, is now open. With a cosmetic remodel, new name and theme, and a menu change, Pura Vida is an entirely different venue from the former Pourhouse.
With traditional Latin American food, an extensive Sangria assortment, and live music, the soft opening had a line out the door. There will be a grand opening in May.
Wine and Italian in Dublin
Berevino is moving into the space formerly occupied by Tomatina in Dublin. Owners Sadaf Shaghasi and Omar Etemadi are in the middle of renovations on a new interior as well as an expanded patio. Once renovations wrap, they anticipate a post-Mother’s Day May 10 opening.
No strangers to the restaurant industry, Shaghasi and Etemadi are also the owners of Oasis in Pleasanton and Coco Cabana in Dublin. A big change from Mediterranean food and Latin tapas, Berevino will feature a full bar offering a happy hour. The restaurant will also offer an array of Italian wines, wine flights, and Italian cuisine.
Dole Pineapple Whip in Pleasanton
Good news, pineapple lovers! If you’ve been craving a Dole Pineapple Whip, the coveted Disneyland treat, you no longer have to wait in the Tiki Room line to make your craving complete.
Meadowlark Drive-Thru Dairy in Pleasanton started serving the crowd-pleasing pineapple-vanilla swirl last week and plans to continue serving until November. If the Tiki Room classic isn’t your first choice, strawberry and orange are also available.
Montclair Baking Sold
Original owner Cheryl Lew has sold Montclair Baking to Emily Buysse, a graduate of the Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco. Open since 1990, Montclair Baking will soon be renamed Batch Pastries. The bakery will feature cookies, cakes, morning items, and individual pastries, all created from local and seasonal ingredients.
Buysse and Lew also plan to co-write a cookbook or blog together, tentatively titled Passing the Whisk.
Late Night Pozole
If you’ve been hitting the drive-thru for a late night snack, Comal, on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, is about to shake up that habit.
Open seven days a week, Comal is serving “Late Night Pozole” for $10 every night beginning at 9 p.m. Late evening diners will be treated to a bowl of pozole rojo with pork, chiles, and hominy as well as a plate of garnishes. The soup can be enjoyed along with a can of Tecate or a michelada, which is a combination of beer mixed with lime juice and a variety of sauces, peppers, and spices.
In other Comal news, the restaurant’s ever-popular Oaxacan corn will be returning to the regular menu next week, in commemoration of its fourth anniversary and will be sticking around through the summer months. Think grilled California sweet corn garnished with chipotle aioli, fresh cilantro, and cotija cheese.
No more drive-thru.
Sabio Goes Green
Already sourcing virtually all of its produce locally, Sabio on Main in Pleasanton is working to further reduce its environmental footprint by being the first restaurant in downtown Pleasanton to participate in a pilot organics composting program.
Other restaurants could be following suit. As the Pleasanton City Council explores the possibility of a city-wide program for commercial businesses to recycle food scraps as well as organic materials, this pilot program could be permanently implemented.
Wine Fest Fun this Weekend
Keep your glass handy this weekend, April 30 and May 1, for the 2016 Livermore Wine Country Downtown Street Fest.
The largest street festival in the Tri-Valley is celebrating 25 years with craft brews, wine, food, entertainment, crafts, and shopping with more than 300 vendor booths in downtown Livermore.
Wine and beer tasting passes are available for purchase. Individual day wine passes are $35, while beer tasting passes are $25. The Rally Bus will be available to offer safe travel arrangements for all attendees.