Diablo Dish: A New Year Full of New Eats
Diablo editors name their top dining destinations for the New Year; Food & Wine recognizes leading female chefs in Oakland; Tanya Holland will make a culinary appearance before Super Bowl LIII; and more Dish.
Most New Year’s resolutions are lists of things you really don’t want to do, from jogging a couple miles before work to keeping the bathrooms cleaner, but Diablo Dish is here to offer you a list of resolutions you will be more than happy to keep: Restaurants (both new and old) that are worth putting on your dining calendar.
To assemble all this guidance, we’ve widened our net to include contributions from others at Diablo who love to eat, et voila, a set of New Year’s resolutions that may not make you thinner but will definitely make you happier.
Ali Saragoza (Managing Editor): I’m a sucker for some good barbecue and mac and cheese, so Emeryville’s Pig in a Pickle is at the top of my list. And since I’m definitely not one to do Dry January, I plan on checking out Batch and Brine’s seasonal cocktails and enjoying a pint at Mike Hess Brewing in Walnut Creek and at Fieldwork Brewing Co.’s new spot in San Ramon.
Lauren Bonney (Associate Editor): I am absolutely dying to try traditional soba at Soba Ichi in West Oakland (the warmed version is perfect to stave off winter’s chill), as well as mochi muffins and waffles at Berkeley’s Third Culture Bakery—too intriguing not to eat one, right? And to quench my thirst, perhaps a miso or golden latte—with an accompanying grain bowl—from Cafe Umami. But if I feel like throwing my diet right out the window, I’ll hunker down with a giant plate of Homeroom mac’n’cheese any day.
Pete Crooks (Senior Editor): When Lafayette’s tiny VINO opened years ago, I heard very good things and called ahead to see if I could come in by myself for dinner. "Come now!” the owner told me. When I was arrived, I was turned away due to a line of couples, snaking out the door. In 2019, I vow to return and to eat by myself!
Virginia Shannon (Executive Editor): I want to go to Juanita and Maude more often. Its inspired menu, romantic setting, and creative libations—not to mention its location around the corner from the fantastic Albany Twin theater—makes it an ideal date-night destination.
Maggi and Me (Diablo Dish Writer): My wife Maggi and I touch a lot of bases during the course of the year, but we never seem to catch up.
In 2019, though, we’ve got to invest some time in two hot spots on the east side of the tunnel: The Veranda in Concord, with its plethora of places to eat and drink, and San Ramon’s new City Center, with The Slanted Door as the main attraction (so far). We could probably spend a month’s worth of our eating-out budget on each place, but there are always restaurants we want to get back to, such as Lafayette’s Rêve Bistro, Livermore’s Range Life, Oakland’s Teni East Kitchen, and Dana’s in Danville.
Still, we somehow have to carve out time for Sabio on Main in Pleasanton and the new Cocina Hermanas (there’s always room for good Mexican food) in Danville.
But before you set off on your own culinary adventures, pour a glass of wine, relax on the couch, and cue up an episode of the marvelous Chef’s Table on Netflix. There’s nothing like watching great chefs prepare great food to get you ready for a great night out at one of the many—too many, in fact—quality restaurants that are just a few miles from home.
Food & Wine Focuses on Female Chefs in Oakland
As part of its national recap of the 2018 culinary highlights, Food & Wine zeroed in on Oakland's dining scene to spotlight the ubiquitous Tanya Holland (Brown Sugar Kitchen), Nite Yun (Nyum Bai), Reem Assil (Dyafa and Reem’s California), and Brandi and Janice Dulce (FOB Kitchen). The five women were acknowledged for their entrepreneurial spirit and the outstanding quality of their food as part of America’s changing food scene.
There are many more women—and men (James Syhabout of Commis, C.D.P., and Hawking Bird; James Woodard of Smokin’ Woods BBQ; Keba Konte of Red Bay Coffee; the gang behind Ramen Shop)—doing wonderful things in kitchens all over the East Bay, but Food & Wine’s spotlight only emphasizes Oakland’s long overdue recognition.
Tanya Holland to Make an Appearance at Super Bowl LIII
As if she hasn't done enough already, Brown Sugar Kitchen restaurateur Tanya Holland will join a host of top chefs and former NFL players at Taste of the Super Bowl—a fundraising event to raise awareness of hunger in America on the Saturday (February 2) before the big game. OK, it's not really the Super Bowl, but it's close enough ...
Holland will represent the Oakland Raiders in the Kick Hunger Challenge and will be at one of the 32 food stations in the Cobb Galleria Center in Atlanta. Proceeds from Holland’s station will benefit the Alameda County Community Food Bank.