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Diablo Dish: Chef Shake-Up

Bowling in Concord; Off the Grid returns to Berkeley; and a celebrity chef tour.


Lark Creek and Yankee Pier Shake-Up

There’s a new chef at the helm of Lark Creek Walnut Creek. Michael Dunn, who was most recently the executive chef at Yankee Pier in Lafayette, has come full circle by returning to the restaurant he helped open 20 years ago.

The main staples will remain on the menu at Lark Creek, but look for new items that highlight seasonal ingredients and Dunn’s unique cooking style, which is best described as rustic California contemporary cuisine.

Don’t fret, Yankee Pier lovers. There are more lobster rolls in your future. Yankee Pier promoted from within, and former sous chef Michael Romak has taken over the executive chef position.

Though these two restaurants are going through changes, let’s hope that familiarity keeps my favorite Fuji apple and romaine salad on the menu at Lark Creek and the beloved lobster rolls on the menu at Yankee Pier.


True Food Kitchen Heads to Broadway Plaza

Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options abound at the new True Food Kitchen restaurant, which is slated to open in downtown Walnut Creek on October 18.

This full-service restaurant was created by Dr. Andrew Weil, who believes that “following an anti-inflammatory diet can help counteract the chronic inflammation that is a root cause of many serious diseases.” His “Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid” is largely based on vegetables, fruits, fish, and whole grains, but dairy is encouraged as well.

Weil’s Walnut Creek location will serve up seasonal dishes like chioggia beet bruschetta; lasagna Bolognese with house-made chicken sausage, spinach, and mushrooms; and butternut squash pizza with smoked onion, almond ricotta, and cranberries.

The best news about the “Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid” is that it includes dark chocolate at the top. In moderation, of course.


Pizza Antica to Open Another East Bay Locale

Get ready, pizza lovers! Pizza Antica is opening another location on West Prospect Avenue in Danville.

Slated to open on September 6, the Danville restaurant is the newest member of the Pizza Antica family, with other locations including Lafayette, Santana Row, and Mill Valley. The pizza joint uses local ingredients from family farmers, and strives to evoke the feeling of eating in a classic Roman pizzeria.

We’re counting down the days until the arugula salad with toy box melon, prosciutto, pickled onion, and balsamic is placed in front of us at the newly remodeled Danville location. Only six days to go!


Here Comes Dos Coyotes

Dos Coyotes Border Cafe has been busy setting up shop the last few weeks at its new Concord location in the Willows Shopping Center.

According to Beyond the Creek, Dos Coyotes will finally open later this week and start serving healthy Mexican and Southwestern food alongside killer margaritas. Expect a spacious dining area with fun décor and bright colors as well as a small patio.

We’re most excited about the fire-roasted corn quesadillas on the seasonal specials menu.

Let’s hope that opening date means tomorrow.


Round 1 Bowling and Amusement

Round 1 Bowling and Amusement Opens at Sunvalley

In other Concord news, the Sunvalley Shopping Center welcomed Round 1 Bowling and Amusement last Friday.

Located on the lower level of the mall, near JCPenney, the new 52,000-square-foot space features billiards, karaoke, arcade games, and 11 bowling lanes. Fun-seekers will also have access to darts and ping-pong as well as snacks, beer, and wine.

Round 1 is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Get ready to play!


More Sunvalley News

The Sunvalley Shopping Center also welcomed DAVIDsTEA, which is located on the upper level of the mall, near Macy’s. This is the company’s first East Bay location, and the space will offer more than 150 types of loose tea in addition to tea accessories and treats.

Keep an eye on the Sunvalley food court, too—Dojo Ramen Bar, a casual eatery featuring freshly made ramen, is set to open soon.

Stay tuned.


Off the Grid Returns to Berkeley

If you enjoy getting grub from food trucks, then we have some good news for you: Off the Grid is coming back to Berkeley, according to Berkeleyside.

Starting Sunday, September 11, Off the Grid is back at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park. Attendees can enjoy food from eight food trucks, beverages, and live music between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vendors include Smoke’s Poutine, Canasta, and Lexie’s Custard, but the lineup will rotate each week.

Berkeley has dabbled in the food-truck market before, and this will be the fourth time Off the Grid has opened a hub in the city.

Let’s hope it is successful this time around!



Duchess Coming to Rockridge

A new pub is set to open in the booming Rockridge neighborhood next month.

Duchess takes the concept of comfort food to a whole new level, serving rustic-refined, California-inspired pub fare that caters to a wide variety of diners. Picture a menu designed for everyone from early-risers looking for a morning pastry to working professional looking for lunch or after-work cocktails.

I’ll need to throw a coin in the air to decide whether I’m getting the sourdough waffles in the morning or the bacon- and mozzarella-stuffed meatballs later in the day. And a slice of the olive oil citrus bundt cake or a salted brown butter chocolate chip cookie is sure to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Duchess will open its doors the week of September 26 on College Avenue, so get ready to dine at the pub for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.


Berkeley Pizza with a Brooklyn Vibe

An authentic Neapolitan pizzeria is heading to the East Bay. According to SF Eater, Lucia’s will open in September in the space next to Comal.

Lucia’s will offer 50 sprouted-grain dough pizzas daily as well as charcuterie, mozzarella en carrozza, and vegan items, all sourced from the restaurant’s own Oakland garden plot and local farmers. Save room for dessert—Lucia’s will also offer soft-serve gelato.

Expect the pizzeria to have a Brooklyn vibe with an open, very white space and concrete floors.

Stay tuned as we close in on the exact opening date.


James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour

James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour

The James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour is headed to The Peasant and The Pear in Danville.

On Wednesday, September 14, The Peasant and The Pear will host a special champagne reception and five-course dinner with cocktails and hand-selected wines.

Chefs include Bruce Kalman, a Food Network show winner and owner of Union in Pasadena; Tim Wood from Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel; Joshua Schwartz from Del Dotto Winery in St. Helena; Tu David Phu from Feastly in San Francisco; and Manny Hinojosa from Bacardi USA.

Tickets cost $175 per person and are available now. Call The Peasant and The Pear to learn more.

Happy Hour Bar & Bites at
The Cooperage

Monday through Friday
3pm – 5:30pm


This isn’t your typical happy hour. This quintessential neighborhood spot offers high-quality craft cocktails on tap and tasty bites. Menu features: $10 cocktails on tap, $5 select beer & wine, $1 oysters, $7 bacon cheeseburger sliders, $7 crispy beer battered shrimp sliders, $9 sashimi-grade ahi tuna tartare. 

32 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette
​Reservations: www.thecooperagelafayette.com or 925.298.5915

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