Diablo Dish: From the Creators of Sauced Comes Plucked
Cook’s Seafood heads to Pleasanton; Canyon Club Brewery is hoppin’ up Moraga; Three East Bay food and drink specialists qualify as James Beard Award semifinalists; Livermore’s Range Life is close to opening; and more Dish.
San Ramon’s Crow Canyon Commons Gets Plucked
The owners of the four Northern California Sauced BBQ and Spirits restaurants are branching out in a new direction with Plucked Chicken and Beer, which will open up in the old Dickey’s Barbecue Pit site in Crow Canyon Commons this spring.
Unlike the familiar Sauced barbecue spots in Livermore and Walnut Creek, Plucked will be a counter-service restaurant serving chicken in a variety of styles. Expect sandwiches, salads, and other American-style chicken favorites in this new venture for Sauced owners Brenden Scanlan and Barrett Gomes.
Menlo Park’s Iconic Cook’s Seafood Expanding to Pleasanton
After 90 years, the owners of Cook’s Seafood decided to finally take the plunge and add a second location—and Pleasanton is the lucky town.
Cook’s specialty is fish and chips, but seafood lovers will find plenty more on the menu, as well as the opportunity to buy their own seafood in the adjoining market.
Expect the opening in Bernal Plaza this spring.
Canyon Club Brewery Will Enliven Sometimes-Sleepy Moraga
Back in the day, Orinda and Moraga residents thirsty for an adult beverage would head to the venerable Moraga Barn, but that longtime hangout (which was in business for nearly a century) became an office building in 1997.
So Canyon Club Brewery—in what used to be the World Savings building near the corner of Moraga Road and Moraga Way—will be a welcome addition for those looking for some convivial company. But of course, given the Lamorinda demographic, the Canyon Club Brewery will also be very family-friendly, with fire pits, picnic tables, and lots of outdoor seating.
The menu will offer the usual gastropub fare, and along with beer brewed on-site, there will be 15 taps featuring other local suds. Plans call for live music on occasion, but don’t make a reservation just yet—the hoped-for opening is late summer, though timelines are always shaky when it comes to major remodels.
Three East Bay Names on James Beard Foundation Award List
Considering there were 20,000 online entries for the 28th James Beard Foundation Awards, the fact that three East Bay food professionals qualified as semifinalists is pretty impressive.
Preeti Mistry of Emeryville’s Navi Kitchen (and the now-closed Juhu Beach Club) may be the most familiar name, but Reem Assil of Reem’s in Oakland was also nominated in the Best Chefs: West (California, Hawaii, and Nevada) category.
Plus, Lance Winters of St. George Spirits in Alameda was nominated in the Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional category. St. George Spirits is especially noted for its gin and offers tours and tastings—hint, hint; wink, wink.
The finalists in each of the 21 categories will be announced March 14, and the winners will be honored May 17 in Chicago. Fingers crossed!
Livermore’s Range Life Zeroes in on March Opening
The highly anticipated Range Life restaurant and market looks like it will open in middle or late March, in a renovated 19th century brick building on Railroad Avenue.
Chef Bill Niles lives in Livermore and plans to use local ingredients that will, according to the website, take “simple dishes to an elevated place.”
We can’t wait to see just how he does it.
Dean’s Is Done in Pleasanton
The usual combination of rising rents, labor costs, and increased overall expenses forced Dean’s Café—the 60-year-old breakfast favorite on Main Street in Pleasanton—to close on February 6.
Although a banner on Dean’s Yelp page says that the closing is only temporary and a reopening is slated for April 16, at this point, it’s more an Internet rumor than a promise that those ginormous omelets will soon reappear.
Chow Finally Opens in Oakland
After what seems like forever, the Oakland version of Chow—on Piedmont Avenue a couple blocks west of Commis—is finally open.
Like the Lafayette version, Oakland’s Chow will have a market, though it is much larger. And as with both the Lafayette and Danville iterations, the comfort food menu is the same.
The Pizza My Heart Empire Expands to San Ramon
The 24th Pizza My Heart—and the third in the East Bay—has opened in Crow Canyon Commons, Beyond the Creek reports. As with the Emeryville and Walnut Creek locations, don’t look for pasta or burgers, as Pizza My Heart is all about pizza.
Mexican Cocktail Class at Doña Tomas
There’s more to Mexican cocktails than just margaritas, and those who want to explore their options can sign up for Sunday’s 2 p.m. Mexican Brunch Cocktail Class at Doña Tomas in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood.
For $30, participants will learn how to make the mezcal-based Celorita, a Bloody Maria (a Bloody Mary made with tequila), and a rum-coffee-chocolate concoction called Coco Mocha.
Livermore Gears Up for Barrel Tasting Weekend, and Some Lucky Reader Will Go for Free
Yes, one of the benefits of being a faithful reader of Diablo Dish is the occasional freebie—and two tickets (worth $45 each) will be raffled off for the chance to sample wines from more than 30 Livermore Valley wineries. To win tickets to the March 10–11 Barrel Tasting Weekend, click here.
In addition to tastings, there will be Wine Country brunches, plus another way to win two free event tickets: Find five of the 15 hand-painted, one-of-a-kind barrels along the Painted Barrel Trail, and post a pic on social media with the hashtag #LVPaintedBarrels. A map of the trail and further details about the participating wineries are available on the Livermore Valley Wine Country website.