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Diablo Dish: Seasonal Changes at Danville Harvest

New chef and menu at Danville spot; cactus fruit tasting tour at Ruth Bancroft Garden and Nursery; Marshawn Lynch’s bar makeover; Contra Costa burger boom; strange brews in Oakland; Baby Café joins the Public Market Emeryville; and more Dish.


Danville Harvest Changes Chefs and Shifts Menu

No, Danville Harvest didn’t become the latest Brazilian steak house, but new chef Jonathan Sutton has tweaked the farm-to-table menu at the restaurant (just off Hartz Avenue on Church Street). Sustainably sourced ingredients and shifting seasonal availability will shape Sutton’s work in the kitchen, which he learned while working for Michael Mina and running his own Hillside Supper Club in San Francisco.


Ruth Bancroft Garden

Who knew? Cactus Has Fruit—and It’s Good to Eat

Such horticultural tidbits will be part of the fun at Walnut Creek’s Ruth Bancroft Garden and Nursery’s two fruit tasting tours on Saturday, October 19. Cactus and palm fruits will just be two of the edibles that Brian Kemble, the Garden Curator, will be highlighting.

Tickets for the 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. tour are $30 for members and $35 for non-members.


Hop Chef / Drake's Brewing Company

Hop Chef Returns to Drake’s Brewing

I admit it took me a while to put it together, but “Hop Chef” is a play on “Top Chef,” and it’s a brewing challenge set by Drake’s Brewing Co. that involves beer and odd ingredients.

The idea is this: 15 breweries are given a random ingredient—and we do mean random—and charged with coming up with a beer that will win over a collection of judges. So Alvarado Street Brewery, for example, is making a beer featuring Mission figs, and New Glory Craft Brewery will try to please the palate with an oyster-based beer.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door for the 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday event at 23rd and Broadway—adventurous taste buds recommended.


Burgers Wild in Contra Costa

Hidden behind work on a mini-plaza on North Main Street in Walnut Creek, BurgerLoft will soon add to the options for beef lovers. Pomegranate used to occupy the site, but the opening will have to wait until the dust settles from the construction.


Marshawn Lynch Returns to Television   

The ex-Seahawks and Raiders star running back has become something of a renaissance businessman upon his post-retirement return to the East Bay. One of Marshawn Lynch’s ventures was taking over soul food spot Scends Restaurant on San Pablo Avenue in Emeryville and reopening it as Rob Ben’s Restaurant.

Lynch agreed to have the restaurant featured on the Paramount Network’s reality TV show Bar Rescue, which focuses on remaking struggling bars. You can check out the results of the “Rescue” makeover—darker decor, bigger TVs for sports, and a more compact food menu—right now in person. But you’ll have to wait to see the transformation—and Lynch’s reaction to it—on television, as the episode won’t air until next year.


Empanadas for Lunch? The Damel Has You Covered

Uptown Oakland’s The Damel is now open for lunch Tuesday through Friday at 11 a.m. and for brunch on Sunday starting at 10 a.m. Though $4 empanadas are a main attraction, the globally inspired menu also includes South American and Senegalese sandwiches and Moroccan main courses.


Baby Café / The Public Market Emeryville

The Public Market Emeryville Welcomes Baby Café

The name is a little confusing, but the Baby Café, the latest addition to The Public Market Emeryville lineup, is a Hong Kong-style bistro that specializes in Chinese-inspired comfort food.

There are main dishes like Hainan chicken rice, but also snacks such as curry fish balls and popcorn chicken. And yes, there’s an extensive lineup of boba teas as well, adding even more Chinese flavor to the menu.

This is the sixth Baby Café—all are located in the East Bay—including spots in Oakland and Alameda.


Fort Point Beer Co. Will Plant a Flag in Rockridge

Fort Point Beer Co. is planning its first East Bay outpost in Rockridge where Trappist Provisions used to be (next to Cole Coffee), and if all goes well, the doors should open in mid-November.

Fort Point is San Francisco’s largest independent brewery, with its main taproom in the Ferry Building in the city. Now, however, the Rockridge location will join Black Sands Brewery and Mill Valley Beerworks in the growing Fort Point empire.


Benvenuti Ristorante Brings Italy to Walnut Creek

The wines of Domini Veneti (from the Valpolicella Classico area of Italy) will be featured in a five-course winemaker’s dinner at Benvenuti Ristorante at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 17. The $65 prix fixe meal will also bring Luca Bissoli from Domini Veneti to downtown Walnut Creek, who will discuss the wines and the winery with guests.


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