Diablo Dish: Healthy Dining Times Two in Walnut Creek
Dr. Andrew Weil’s True Food Kitchen and Lemonade opening in Walnut Creek; Sauced gears up for a November opening; wine and dine in San Ramon; a winning cocktail; and a chocolate tasting.
It’s True, It’s True (Food)
Dr. Andrew Weil, noted medical guru and multimedia presence, is one of the guiding lights behind True Food Kitchen, which will open in Walnut Creek’s Broadway Plaza this weekend.
“First and foremost, the food is very, very tasty,” says Weil. “People are won over by the taste of the food—when they try it, they like it.” His favorites? His own recipes of spaghetti squash casserole and squash pie, and the red noodles with shrimp.
The True Food menu is designed to limit inflammation, which is believed to have negative impacts on short- and long-term health. “Diseases of aging now look as though they have common roots in inflammation,” says Weil.
While there aren’t too many carbs (which lead to inflammation) on the menu, True Food does offer some pastas and desserts. Weil says that properly cooked pasta isn’t that bad, and that it’s okay to occasionally indulge in dessert. While he believes Americans eat too much sugar, most of the excess comes from sweetened drinks, not a flourless chocolate cake.
A grand opening celebration is being planned for later this month.
Lemonade is gearing up for its Walnut Creek debut. The veggie-centric eatery near Broadway Plaza is having its grand opening tomorrow.
And the color scheme involves more than yellow. The California-focused, seasonally driven menu allows folks to mix and match flavors as well as colors on their plates. Choose from an array of salads, slow-cooked braised meats, artisanal sandwiches, and sides to pair with a glass of fresh lemonade.
Sauced Readying the Ribs in Walnut Creek
After months of renovation, Sauced BBQ and Spirits is set to open in downtown Walnut Creek in mid-November—maybe even earlier if all goes well.
Those who’ve been to the Livermore original know that means scrumptious barbecue in a hip setting with plenty of craft beer and weekend live music. The only difference at the new location (which used to house Pyramid Alehouse) will be the large patio, but otherwise, it will be just more of a good thing.
And in a way, it’s more of an old thing too, as the interior of the restaurant is made from wood that originates from a recycled California barn. Décor will be on display soon, and food is a-comin’, but don't expect a grand opening—one day soon, the doors will open, and the ribs will already be smokin’.
It’s Time for Pacific Standard
When the clock strikes 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Pacific Standard Taproom and Growler Station will open in downtown Berkeley on Center Street. Beer aficionados will revel in the 16 to 24 local brews on tap—most of which are directly from the highly regarded Half Moon Bay Brewing Company.
Pacific Standard is Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s first expansion, and brewmaster James Costa’s beers win awards just like clockwork.
A Green (Tea) Day
Not far from where the iconic Berkeley band got its start, drummer/multitasker Ali Roth is opening up a one-of-a-kind teahouse, the Blue Willow Teaspot, that pays tribute to the history, preparation, and consumption of tea.
The tea shop will softly open on Sunday. Roth has been wholesaling her teas for nearly a decade, but she always wanted a community-gathering place. Expect more than 50 teas and a traditional Japanese tearoom, where guests will be able to experience a bowl of ceremonial-grade matcha in the Omotesenke style. The shop will also offer pastries and locally roasted coffee.
And who knows? Billie Joe Armstrong has been living healthier lately, so he might just decide to drop in on his way to his old Gilman Street haunts.
Chim Chim Cher-ee at Orinda Theatre Square
Ryan Wehrenberg and Portia Basttistini of The Cooperage American Grille in Lafayette took first place at the Art of Mixology craft cocktail competition last Saturday by drawing inspiration from an unlikely source: Mary Poppins.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t associate the perfect governess with a vodka-based drink that smells like something out of the moors of England, but Wehrenberg (who won the first contest in 2014 and finished in second place last year) devised The Chimney Sweep to hit all five senses.
The glass starts by being atomized with Laphroaig whiskey, so the smoky smell complements the black liquid—and it goes down as smoothly as Dick Van Dyke’s song about chimney sweeps. Wehrenberg wants partakers to feel like they’re inside a chimney in 1880s London. Personally, I don't feel the need to immerse myself in the past quite that much, but after a few of these, my attitude might change.
So if you feel like traveling back in time, then by all means, give the following recipe a shot:
The Chimney Sweep
1.5oz Golden State Vodka
0.5oz Gentian Amaro
0.5oz lemon juice
2 dashes of Bitter Girl Bitters’ orange bitters
1 capsule of activated charcoal
(Yes, that's activated charcoal—but did you know activated charcoal helps your liver detoxify your body? So presumably, The Chimney Sweep lives up to its name by clearing out your liver while you drink. Who could ask for more?)
All Things Chocolate
Delve deep into the world of chocolate on Friday, when TCHO’s Chief Chocolate Maker Brad Kintzer hosts a chocolate lab at Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas.
Kintzer, who studied botany and worked on cacao plantations in Latin America, will offer an insider’s perspective on how cocoa is sourced—plus chocolate tastings.
Other speakers include former New York Times columnist and food writer Mark Bittman, and KQED Forum host Michael Krasny.
The ideas festival takes place on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Berkeley Rep and at Freight and Salvage.
Wine and Dine in San Ramon
The San Ramon Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual Wine and Dine event is this Saturday at the Crow Canyon Country Club. Spend an evening tasting wines, microbrews, and culinary creations while listening to live music.
Expect bites from an array of local restaurants, including Blackhawk Grille, Brass Door, Bridges Restaurant and Bar, Gianni’s Italian Bistro, Worth Ranch, and Zalla Kabob House. Eight Bridges Brewing will be one of the microbreweries pouring suds, while Enoteca 5 and Concannon Vineyard will be one of wineries offering tastes.
To see the complete list of wineries, breweries, and restaurants—and to purchase advance tickets—visit the San Ramon Valley Chamber of Commerce website.
Breakfast blues: Ruggie’s, a San Ramon breakfast haven, has closed after more than 30 years of serving pancakes, waffles, and omelets. It’s unclear what might be appearing next—we’ll keep you posted.
Changes at Theatre Square: We can't give you the scoop quite yet, but there are major changes coming to Table 24 in Orinda. We'll have all the details next week, so stay tuned.
New Vodka bar: Hangar 1 Vodka has opened a tasting room at its Alameda brewery. The new space has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, has several tasting areas, and is designed to hold more than 400 people. It can be rented out for parties. You can also sign up for a tour to see how Hangar 1 makes its fruit-focused premium vodka.