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Diablo Dish: Library on Main Adds a Page

Sauced to open next week; Piatti has a new prix fixe; free pizza at Slice House; and the holidays begin in Pleasanton.


Michele DuRye / Courtesy of Library on Main

Library on Main Writes a New—and Definitely Different—Chapter

“It’s a unique concept,” says chef Michele DuRye of her upcoming restaurant, Civil and Spice, which will open on the top floor of Library on Main, located at the corner of Main Street and Civic Drive in Walnut Creek.

DuRye plans to open the new restaurant within the next month. The eatery will serve spicy Asian food, which means that Civil and Spice will live up to the second half of its name. And that will make it more similar to DuRye’s former restaurant, Élevé, which she closed a few years ago to open Library on Main in the same location. (The building is the site of the city’s first library in 1916.)

Civil and Spice will be open by reservation only on Friday and Saturday nights. DuRye is excited about the reservations-only concept, as it will allow her to plan precisely how many meals she will be cooking so she can do her best possible work in the kitchen.

310 Eatery, the new pop-up restaurant at Library on Main, will stay downstairs for the next three to six months, at which point it may (or may not) be replaced by another, relatively short-term restaurant.


Photography by Eva Kolenko

Get Sauced in Walnut Creek

The third Sauced BBQ and Spirits outlet will open—at long last—on Monday, November 21, at 1410 Locust Street in Walnut Creek. That means Central Contra Costa County barbecue fans no longer have to trek to Livermore or Petaluma for the ribs, brisket, and other goodies that have made Sauced such a success.

There will be a full bar and a wide selection of beer and wine, but unlike Pyramid Alehouse, which occupied the site before, no beer will be brewed on the premises.


Peru Arrives in Concord

Lima’s long-awaited opening has finally happened. After unforeseen delays, the Peruvian restaurant opened yesterday in Todos Santos Plaza, adding yet another touch of ethnic flavor to Concord’s popular gathering spot. This is the second eatery by John Marquez, the chef/owner of Lafayette’s very popular Artisan Bistro. 

If you haven’t been to the plaza in a while, it’s worth checking out—it offers everything from Himalayan to Thai to Mexican to Italian, and everything in between.


Salvatore Ristorante to Become Benvenuti Before the New Year

Walnut Creek favorite Salvatore Ristorante closed in July to undergo an extensive renovation—so extensive, in fact, that it is changing its name to Benvenuti when it reopens.

As with most restaurant renovations, pinning down an exact grand reopening date is difficult (if not impossible), but the hope is to open in mid-December or by January 1 at the latest.

On the flip side, Beyond the Creek reports that Ottavio, another Walnut Creek Italian restaurant, has closed its doors permanently.


The Wheel Turns in Berkeley

Telegraph Avenue has a different look, as a very longtime fixture and another mainstay are both closing, according to Berkeleyside.

After six decades, Caffe Mediterraneum, a place in the lore of Beat poetry, will close—at least temporarily. The doors will shut November 30, and after an extensive renovation, the café will reopen in 2017. It’s possible that the name will be retained, but owner Craig Becker has transferred the lease of the iconic café, which is known as the home of the latte, to a group of restaurateurs.

And Smart Alec’s, which opened in 1996, will shut its doors on November 1 and be replaced by a branch of the six-year-old, San Francisco-based Super Duper Burger. Along with burgers (made with humanely raised beef), there will be dipped ice cream and traditional french fries. It might not be quite as healthy as Smart Alec’s, but it should be just as tasty. As usual, there will be a lot of remodeling taking place, so it may be some time before the doors open again.


Piatti’s Peripatetic Prix Fixe

Exploration is the theme of the new prix fixe menus at Danville’s Piatti. Every few weeks, the restaurant will offer a $45, four-course meal inspired by a region of Italy. Starting tomorrow, for example, the menu will reflect Emilia-Romagna, home to the cities of Bologna, Parma, and Modena. That means such goodies as Bolognese, Prosciutto de Parma, and Parmigiano-Reggiano will all be featured.

As any fan of Italian food knows, there’s a lot more where that came from, so this kind of exploration could continue for a while.


Restado Expands Its East Bay Recommendations

Restado, the restaurant recommendation app that was launched in Walnut Creek, has added restaurants in Oakland and Berkeley to its expanding list.

With Restado, people can suggest their favorite restaurants to friends—and if those friends follow the recommendation, both parties get part of the bill back. It’s a fun way to get rewarded for suggesting restaurants to friends and trying new places.

Whether you love the roasted bone marrow at alaMar Kitchen and Bar or the paella at Shakewell, you can tell your friends and earn cash back when they go.


Nat and Cody Gantz

Slice House Opens Its Patio—and Gives Away Pizza

Slice House has been open in Walnut Creek since May, but the official ribbon cutting—and opening of the new patio—will take place at noon tomorrow. Those who want to join in on the celebration will get a free slice of pizza and soda.

But make sure to get there by 1 p.m., or you’ll be too late to sample 12-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani’s gift to his customers.


Get in the Spirit in Pleasanton

The fourth annual Holiday Spirit Stroll in downtown Pleasanton will take place between 5 and 8 p.m. this Saturday, November 19—and don’t be surprised if you see some odd fashion choices. That’s because part of the fun is the Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest, and too many of us have more than a few options to select from.

Of course, revelers will also get to enjoy beer, wine, and cocktails from local breweries, wineries, and bars while perusing goods from 30 local merchants. Advance tickets cost $40. They can be purchased online at PleasantonDowntown.net or in person at Main Street Brewery and Studio Seven Arts. (If the event hasn’t sold out by Saturday, cash-only tickets can be had for $45.)


Does Thanksgiving Cooking Make You Crabby?

Those who want to relax the night before Thanksgiving might want to head to Homestead Restaurant in Oakland for its annual prix fixe Crab Feed next Wednesday. For $65 (which includes tip but not taxes), diners will get hot Dungeness crab in the shell with traditional accouterments, seasonal vegetables, and dessert. Reservations are recommended, as the Crab Feed sells out almost every year.


WiseGirl Wins at Gourmet East Bay 

Congratulations to Pleasant Hill's WiseGirl Ristorante Italiano and Cocktails, which was voted the best restaurant at this year's Gourmet East Bay event! Attendees loved the restaurant's rigatoni rapisardo featuring house-made sauce and Italian sausage. 

Got Dish? Send an email to dish@maildiablo.com. Or follow me on Twitter @DiabloDish.

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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