Diablo Dish: Meet Telefèric Barcelona’s Chef
Walnut Creek Restaurant Week is almost here; Fat Maddie’s Barrelhouse and Bistro arrives in August; from-scratch fare is coming to Livermore; Genuine Goodness is now open on Saturdays; and Oakland’s Terrace Room gets a new chef.
From Catalonia to California: Telefèric Barcelona’s Oscar Cabezas
Chef Oscar Cabezas opened Telefèric Barcelona with Xavi Padrosa just over a year ago in downtown Walnut Creek. We checked in with Cabezas to see how his Catalan cuisine is fitting in with Northern Californians.
Q: What brought you to Walnut Creek?
A: Brian Hirahara [the developer who owns the building that houses Telefèric Barcelona] came to our restaurant in Barcelona and made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. We were very lucky.
Q: With two successful restaurants in Spain, you must have had a pretty good idea of what you wanted to do here in Walnut Creek. Have you had to make many changes?
A: We’ve altered the seasoning a bit. In Spain, the food is more subdued; people here like more flavor. We’re learning.
When we started, Rodrigo Vazquez [my business partner] and I wanted to use ingredients we were familiar with, but I soon realized what was most important: I already had what I needed to deliver our message to our guests.
Q: What is that message?
A: When people come to Telefèric, I want them to dream that they are in Spain. I want to create memories.
Stop by the Spanish restaurant to get a taste of Cabezas’ authentic fare during Walnut Creek Restaurant Week, which kicks off on Sunday!
Walnut Creek Restaurant Week is Almost Here
There’s still time to make those reservations for Walnut Creek Restaurant Week, a celebration of the city’s vibrant and ever-growing culinary scene. The fun begins on April 23 and continues through April 30, giving foodies the chance to enjoy special meals at reduced prices at numerous downtown restaurants. It’s definitely worth the effort to go on OpenTable to reserve a spot or—for those who still prefer talking to a live person—to pick up the phone.
This year, 32 restaurants are in the mix, and nearly all of them are offering lunch and dinner deals. And the specials are, well, pretty spectacular: Each restaurant creates prix-fixe menus that cost $20, $30, or $40, which are excellent deals for various places like Corners Tavern, True Food Kitchen, or Va de Vi. Some restaurants are also offering a $10 prix-fixe lunch option, so lunch is even more affordable this year.
Restaurant Week organizers hope that diners will try new restaurants and cuisines throughout the week, especially since they won’t have to spend too much money to do so.
Regardless of where you want to go, just make sure to reserve a spot at your favorite restaurant—or at that place you’ve always wanted to try—sooner rather than later.
Fat Maddie’s Barrelhouse Opening in August
As many San Ramon diners already know, “Maddie” is the Stephanos family’s favorite goat, which is why Fat Maddie’s Grille bears her name. The farm-to-table restaurant has been a San Ramon hot spot for seven years, and now it is expanding to downtown Pleasant Hill. The Stephanos plan on opening Fat Maddie’s Barrelhouse and Bistro in August in the former Pasta Pomodoro space.
The Stephanos live on a farm near the base of Mount Diablo, so it’s not surprising that their existing fast-causal eatery features seasonal, farm-inspired fare made with local and organic ingredients. The sister restaurant in Pleasant Hill is expected to have a similar concept, offering a menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads, soups, and comfort food classics like fried chicken. An array of craft beers and wines will also be available.
We can’t wait to try it!
Monica’s Livermore Starting From Scratch
Made-from-scratch breakfast, lunch, and baked goods—plus beer and wine—will be arriving soon in downtown Livermore.
Monica’s Livermore is slated to open by July, featuring organic pastries and comfort foods like bacon and eggs, waffles, biscuits, burgers, and sandwiches. Everything from the condiments to the bread to the cupcakes will be made in-house daily, and there will be gluten-free and vegan options as well.
We think Monica’s is going to be a welcome addition to downtown Livermore’s up-and-coming restaurant scene.
Genuine Goodness Expands Its Hours
Since opening last August in the Orinda Village, Genuine Goodness has developed a solid reputation for its fresh salads, soups, baked goods, and smoothies—but owners Donna Pickthall and Diane Eames wanted to do a little more for their hometown of Orinda. So they decided to expand their hours, and their restaurant is now open on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Saturday menu will vary based on what’s available at the Orinda Farmers Market, but all the offerings will be truly fresh and local.
A New Look at the Terrace Room
The historic Terrace Room restaurant in Oakland has welcomed a new chef—and announced renovation plans for this summer.
New executive chef Jack Andrews has worked in restaurants spanning from Japan to New York to San Francisco, and he will continue the Terrace Room’s focus on New American cuisine while also adding his own personal touches to the menu.
And as part of the renovation, the waterfront eatery will soon get a large dance floor and new carpeting, light fixtures, window shades, chairs, and table tops—so the spectacular Lake Merritt views are bound to be even more enjoyable.
Concord’s Nighttime Farmers Market Starts Thursday
You always can get all the fresh produce you want every Tuesday morning in Concord, but starting Thursday, the nighttime edition will give commuters—and those who prefer a twilight experience—a chance to join in the fun at Todos Santos Plaza. The farmers market will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. and continue through October 26.