Diablo Dish: Social Bird Set to Land
Esin spinoff getting close in Lafayette; Happy Birthday Pastas Trattoria; ciao to Chow; fried chicken Mondays at Range Life; Lucia’s secures its pizzaiolo; and more Dish.
Lafayette Restaurant Flies the Coop—see it November 15
The Cooperage American Grille on Fiesta Square in Lafayette (across the street from Tutu’s Food and Drink, which used to be Chow) will unveil its new name and new look with a relaunch party November 15. Lamorinda stalwart Diamond Dave will supply the music that night, and The Coop will be raising funds for the Lazarex Cancer Foundation while showing off not only a new vision but also Lounge 32, situated in the back room.
New takes on restaurants are always worth checking out, and it’s great to see that, unlike others that simply folded their wings when times got tough, the Coop is still flying.
Social Bird Kitchen and Bar Should Come to Lafayette in Early December
Danville diners have flocked to Esin and Revel Kitchen and Bar, and soon Lamorinda residents won’t have to battle 680 to enjoy Esin and Curtis deCarion’s restaurants. Plans call for the Social Bird Kitchen and Bar to open in the remodeled Yankee Pier space on Lafayette’s Restaurant Row the first week of December—but of course, given the vagaries of construction, you never know.
Still, even some delays won’t push the opening back very far, so at worst, the Social Bird’s nest should be open for business before Christmas.
Pleasanton’s Pastas Trattoria Turns 20
Fans of longtime Pleasanton restaurant Pastas Trattoria can celebrate its 20th birthday with a special menu (through the end of November) that’s offered both at lunch and dinner at the intersection of Santa Rita and West Angela.
Owner Rick Ring also had a hand in the founding of Hap’s Steaks and Seafood, and both restaurants have survived thanks to their ability to adjust to the inevitable changes in the way the industry operates. More important, of course, is that the quality of the food keeps customers coming back for more.
The Chow Empire Ends With a Whimper
Tony Gulisano began with one Chow, in San Francisco, and eventually expanded to East Bay locations in Lafayette, Danville, and Oakland—but, after closing all its restaurants, Chow LLC has now filed for bankruptcy.
Of course, Tutu’s Food and Drink in La Fiesta Square in Lafayette is pretty much Chow with another name, but it’s now run by the Lafayette Restaurant Group and Steve Cortese, a developer who revamped La Fiesta Square more than a decade ago.
Regardless, the rise and fall of Chow—an immensely popular restaurant—is another reminder of how slim the profit margins are in this industry.
Italian Winemaker Gets a Showcase at Lafayette’s Locanda Positano
Castello Banfi has some serious winemaking history, as it’s located in Piedmont (the one in Italy, not in Oakland) at a vineyard that first started producing wines in 1860.
Lafayette’s Locanda Positano—a little off the beaten track on Brown Avenue—will offer a special five-course prix fixe meal with Castello Banfi wine pairings at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 12. And in addition, Castello’s Luciano Castiello will be there to discuss the wines and answer questions.
Livermore’s Range Life Tries to Brighten Up Mondays
This might be an impossible task, but every Monday, Range Life (on Railroad Avenue, just west of North Livermore) will offer a prix fixe fried chicken dinner that includes a 16-ounce Altamont Beer Works IPA and dessert for just $28.
It will still be Monday, sadly, but it’s worth a shot …
Some Import Ingredients, But Berkeley’s Lucia’s Has Imported a Chef
Award-winning pizzaiolo and Italy native Ernesto Palmieri has moved into the kitchen at Lucia’s on Shattuck Avenue and will bring his talent and expertise to the Lucia’s extensive pizza menu.
Also of note is that Lucia’s now has a full bar, along with a daily 5 to 6 p.m. Happy Hour, with a late-night version after 9 p.m. on weekends.
As Kneaded Bakery Feels the Need For More Hours and Items
San Leandro’s As Kneaded Bakery has carved out a slice of the crowded Bay Area bread market thanks to the talents of Iliana Imberman Berkowitz and now will add more hours and expand its menu.
From now on, As Kneaded Bakery, near Victoria Park, will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. And grab-and-go sandwiches will be available along with coffee and drinks from Proyecto Diaz Coffee.
A Dog’s Life Just Got a Little Sweeter—At Least in Alameda
Even though Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream has been around since 1941, it’s still on the cutting edge—for canines. Now dog walkers can stop by the Park Street location and not only get a cone for themselves but can also buy Little T’s Peanut Barker, a banana and peanut butter frozen yogurt suitable for a dog’s digestive system.
The unveiling of the new treat will take place Saturday, November 9 during a 2 to 4 p.m. celebration—and note that 50 cents from each sale of Little T’s Peanut Barker now and in the future will go the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter.
Sajj Mediterranean, Black Angus Steakhouse Deliver Veteran’s Day Specials
Lots of folks give thanks and thoughts to veterans on Veteran’s Day (November 11), but Sajj Mediterranean in San Ramon and Black Angus Steakhouse in Dublin are going one step further by giving them a free entrée. All locations of both chains will honor active-duty and veteran service members (with a military ID) with a free entrée Monday, November 11—and Black Angus is also offering an All-American Steak Plate for just $9.99 to any visitor.
Calavera’s Nod to Neta is a Special Monday Meal
“Neta” is a Mexican colloquialism meaning the real deal or the truth, and it also happens to be a mezcal producer that’s partially based in Oakland. And since Calavera is an Uptown Oakland staple, it makes sense for the two to combine Monday, November 11 for a four-course, $85 prix fixe Oaxacan experience.
And Mike Whipple of Neta Mezcal will be on hand as well to help diners and drinkers learn the truth about mezcal’s flavors and production.