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Diablo Dish: Donato and Co. Brings Rustic Italian to Berkeley

Michelin Guide’s 2018 Bib Gourmand East Bay restaurants are in; Luna Tea Co. embraces Friday the 13th; Take One Pizza is heading to Walnut Creek; Oakland’s Agave Uptown celebrates a milestone; and more Dish.


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Nadia Andreini

Donato and Co. Opens Thursday in Berkeley

Taking over the space formerly occupied by The Advocate, Donato and Co. will bring its Italian flavors to the Elmwood district starting Thursday, October 12.

While the space itself hasn’t changed much, the owner of DESCO in downtown Oakland will emphasize rustic Italian fare with a contemporary, locally sourced twist.

Chefs Donato Scotti and Gianluca Guglielmi are steeped in the traditions of Italian cooking, and Scotti’s ability to keep customers happy is exemplified by the fact that Donato and Co. will be his fourth Northern California restaurant. (Donato Enoteca and CRU are in Redwood City.)

Donato and Co. will start out with just dinner service (starting at 5 p.m.), with lunch and brunch service to follow.

 

Concannon’s Underdog Wine Bar to Shut Down

The rumor has been floating around for a few weeks, and now it’s been confirmed: Underdog Wine Bar inside Concannon Vineyard in Livermore will close on October 28.

Located in the vineyard’s former barrel room, Underdog looks out on the expansive lawn at Concannon—always a favorite spot for picnics after wine tasting—and it was hard to ask for a better setting on a late Livermore afternoon.

There’s no word yet on what might replace Underdog, but the wine tasting experience at Concannon will not be effected.

 

Maggi Brown

Familiar Faces Dominate 2018 Michelin Bib Gourmand

Those restaurants that fall just short of earning a Michelin star—and are supposedly cheap enough that two courses and a glass of wine or a dessert will cost $40 or less—land on the annual Bib Gourmand list, which, considering how many quality restaurants there are in the Bay Area, is something special.

The Bay Area honorees are mostly found in San Francisco, but the East Bay has its fair share—though all but two are repeats from 2017.

The newcomers are Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen and Berkeley’s Tacos Sinaloa, and the only restaurant east of the Caldecott is once again Danville’s Thai House Restaurant.

Regardless, eating at one of these spots each month for the next 11 months would be a great way to sample some of the best East Bay cuisine, without having to rely on those always-uncertain Yelp reviews for guidance.

Albany
China Village

Berkeley
Comal
Corso
Ippuku
Great China
Tacos Sinaloa

Danville
Thai House Restaurant

Oakland
Brown Sugar Kitchen
Michel Bistro
Millennium Restaurant
Wood Tavern

 

Jenni Curtice

 

Livermore’s Luna Tea Gets Spooky on Friday the 13th

Luna Tea Co. owner Jenni Curtice claims this Friday is actually a lucky day, and she’s willing to tempt the fates with a special 6 to 9 p.m. event. The Candlelight Cocktail Party will feature tea cocktails, some special themed treats, and both rune and tarot readings. Of course, black attire is recommended.

For those who are superstitious enough to stay inside on Friday the 13th (blinds drawn and doors securely locked because you just never know), stopping by the Livermore tea shop on less dangerous days is also an option—and visitors will find that the menu has shifted to fit the season.

 

 

Lafayette’s Barranco Takes on Lunch

Starting November 1, Barranco—the new Peruvian restaurant on Mt. Diablo Boulevard (where Baja Fresh used to be) in Lafayette—will add lunch service from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Barranco is part of chef Carlos Altamirano’s rapidly expanding empire, which also includes Parada in Walnut Creek and Paradita Eatery in Public Market Emeryville.

 

The Greenery at Diablo Hills Now a Worthy 19th Hole

It’s been a long slog for the Greenery Restaurant, which has been serving diners at the Diablo Hills Golf Course from a tent and food truck since December of last year. But now the completely remodeled kitchen and dining room are finally back up to par (so to speak).

Offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the Greenery’s basic menu is still the same—with the addition of a few more items—but there’s a brand-new kitchen, longer bar, and outdoor patio, so there are plenty of changes to check out.

 

Alejandra Saragoza

Oakland’s Agave Uptown Rolling Into Year Two

Octavio Diaz has a lot to be excited about, as the Franklin Street restaurant is celebrating its one-year anniversary—among other things.

Other news includes a patio expansion that’s been in the works for about a month (heaters to arrive soon) and a special Día de los Muertos prix fixe meal starting Sunday, October 15, and running through the end of November.

The $30 special menu includes kabocha soup or Día de los Muertos salad, followed by turkey mole, carrot mashed potatoes, sunflower microgreens, and tortillas.

And that mole sauce is pretty special, too, featuring 20 ingredients from a secret family recipe (Mama’s not telling)—though it’s now for sale by the jar at the restaurant.

 

Take One Pizza Makes It Quick in Walnut Creek

Who has time to wait for a pizza to cook, especially when a movie is about to start?

That’s the challenge Take One Pizza will tackle once it opens on Locust Street, just a couple doors down from Century Theaters. Like Pieology, customers choose their toppings, and then the pizza is baked in an 800-degree oven, so it’s ready in about three minutes.

Of course, pizza is not a bad option for after a movie either, but sometimes that large popcorn (with butter, of course) and monstrous soda don’t leave much room.

 

Concord’s Whole Foods 365 Adds Next Level Burger and Urban Remedy

The smaller Whole Foods 365 store opening in Concord on December 6 is partnering with vegetarian burger specialist Next Level Burger, and organic and healthy food source Urban Remedy.

This is only the fifth Next Level Burger location and the ninth Urban Remedy shop (though Urban Remedy retail products are available at Whole Foods Markets).


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