Diablo Dish: Afro-Latino Libations
Alamar Kitchen and Bar chef launching cocktail bar; spizzicheria coming to Berkeley; tuna belly burgers in Oakland; Dungeness crab season opens; Alborz Restaurant returns; New Year’s Eve dining options; and more Dish.
Sobre Mesa / Kevin Le
New Cocktail Bar Downtown
Oakland chef Nelson German is on a roll. Coming off the continued success of Alamar Kitchen and Bar and his collaboration with Daniel Patterson creating the menu at the soon-to-open Colors restaurant, German is planning to open a new downtown cocktail bar. Taking over the recently shuttered The Payback on Franklin Street, German’s Sobre Mesa will be an Afro-Latino lounge, specializing in tropical-leaning drinks and a dozen or so tapas. He’s hoping to open early next year.
Casa Barotti Will Bring Italian Street Food to Alcatraz and College
54 Mint Forno Italiano on Locust Street in Walnut Creek specializes in pizza and pastries, but owner Daniele Carsano’s new Berkeley venture—called Casa Barotti—will be both more casual and more authentic. The goal is to bring an Italian urban experience to a small space in Berkeley, with grab-and-go during the day and a community bar at night, with salami and aperitivos. The renovated spizzicheria should be open by mid-February.
Alborz Restaurant Will Return to Berkeley in 2020
After a nearly three-year absence, Alborz Restaurant—yes, the same one that’s on Mt. Diablo Boulevard in Walnut Creek—will return to Berkeley in 2020. The Persian restaurant will open at Allston Way and Oxford in addition to the ones in Walnut Creek and San Francisco.
SF Sushi Master Plans Oakland Burger Joint
Tuna belly burgers? Yes, please. Acclaimed San Francisco sushi chef Masa Sasaki is opening a new spot in uptown Oakland with a different, delicious focus. Taking over the former Hutch Bar and Kitchen on Telegraph Avenue, Sasaki’s Masabaga will specialize not in sushi but in burgers, specifically those made with American wagyu beef and most unusually, the fatty part of yellowfin tuna belly. It’ll be breaded in panko and served between two buns. The opening is tentatively scheduled for February.
Here’s an early Christmas present for Bay Area seafood lovers: The commercial Dungeness crab season is officially open! Walnut Creek Yacht Club anyone?
Start New Year’s Eve With a Good Meal … Or Finish it With One
For some, that nice dinner around 7 p.m. is just fueling up for the party to come; for others, it’s the celebratory highlight, followed by watching the ball drop in New York at 9 p.m. Regardless, what better way to finish 2019 than with a good meal?
54 Mint Forno Italiano: The Walnut Creek restaurant usually specializes in pizza, but for New Year’s Eve will offer a four-course, $75 prix fixe meal.
Commis: The East Bay’s only Michelin-starred restaurant—and it has two—will offer what is sure to be a special eight-course tasting menu for $225 (optional beverage pairing is extra). Last seating is at 9:30 p.m.
Telefèric Barcelona: Downtown Walnut Creek’s Telefèric Barcelona will have two dinner seatings (5 and 7:30 p.m.) for $125 per person ($70 for children). The menu is a la carte, and flamenco dancers will enliven the evening.
Cocina Hermanas and Danville Harvest: As these are owned by the same people and aren’t that far apart, it makes sense to list them together. Danville Harvest will have a $48 four-course and $68 six-course prix fixe (with optional wine pairing), which can be preceded or followed by tequila tastings at Cocina Hermanas ($29 to $106).
Range Life: A three-course prix fixe menu for $90 will be served from 5 to 10 p.m., but note that the Livermore hot spot’s regular menu will not be available.
Copper Spoon Cocktails and Kitchen: This Oakland restaurant will serve dinner from 5:30 to 10:30, and for an extra $20, diners can add tickets to comedy shows at 7 and 8:30 p.m.
Eve’s Waterfront: The party will start at Oakland’s Eve’s Waterfront at 8 p.m., and along with the food comes music and entertainment. The cost of the party is $69.
Homestead: There are two seatings with two prices—the 5 p.m. four-course meal is $115 and ends at 6:15 p.m., after which the five-course 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. second seating begins. The cost for that one is $140, and there is an optional wine pairing available for both. And those who stay until the new year arrives will receive a complimentary sparkling beverage.
Postino: Lafayette’s Postino will host a four-course prix fixe ($125) from 5 to 10 p.m.
Sabio on Main: Pleasanton’s Sabio on Main will serve a four-course tasting menu for $85, plus an optional wine pairing, from 4–9 p.m.
Lima: Concord’s Lima will be open until 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, serving its usual Peruvian menu.
The Peasant and The Pear: Danville’s the Peasant and the Pear will offer a four-course $85 prix fixe menu for dinner (5-11 p.m.), and for those who like to start the new year with breakfast, The Little Pear and The Peasant’s Courtyard will take care of you until 2:30 p.m.
Juanita and Maude: Albany’s Juanita and Maude will serve a five-course prix fixe—with menu favorites—for $100 plus a $30 wine pairing. In addition, Juanita and Maude will be open New Year’s Day starting a 5:30 with the regular menu.
Shakewell: Oakland’s Shakewell will have an a la carte menu from 5:30 to 10 p.m.