Diablo Dish: July
A star chef is announced for Walnut Creek’s Rooftop restaurant, Élevé in Walnut Creek will be replaced by Library on Main, and Sabio on Main plans to open in Pleasanton. Plus, there are indulgences aplenty at Jack’s Taps beer bar in Pleasant Hill, while Crafts Creamery delights Danville.
Crafts Creamery / Photo by Aimee R. Yelp.com
We now have word about one of the restaurants that will be going into the corner of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Main Street in Walnut Creek. The restaurant is called Rooftop, and manning the stoves will be long-time chef de cuisine Justine Kelly from S.F.’s The Slanted Door. Kelly, who will be executive chef and a partner at Rooftop, is an Iron Chef America alum as well as a former consultant at Port Costa’s Bull Valley Roadhouse. The plan is for American small plates and a late fall opening.
Big news from Élevé, the Vietnamese fusion restaurant in downtown Walnut Creek: Chef-owner Michele DuRye has decided to close the restaurant and open Library on Main, a reference to the Carnegie Library that was dedicated in 1916 at the restaurant’s location. The plan is to serve American fare mixed with global small plates, and to extend the bar program to include a much more extensive selection of wines, including wines on tap. Look for a late July opening.
Also in Walnut Creek, Izakaya Jun, an authentic Japanese restaurant, has opened on Locust Street. In addition to the requisite sushi offerings, the charming little eatery offers a wide range of superb yakitori grilled dishes, pickled and fermented ingredients, crunchy deep-fried items, and an extensive selection of high-end sakes.
In Pleasanton’s Pastime Plaza, Sabio on Main—an upcoming 98-seat place that will primarily serve small plates with a Spanish-Mediterranean influence—will be helmed by San Francisco chef Francis Hogan, formerly of Bluestem Brasserie. Hogan plans to create a sustainably sourced menu that will change on a daily basis. Expect dishes such as lamb meatballs with bulgur salad and house-made yogurt, a charcuterie program, and a vast selection of vegetable-centric dishes. Look for a late summer opening.
For fans of craft beer, Jack’s Taps, the bar attached to Jack’s Restaurant and Bar in downtown Pleasant Hill, is open. The intimate 850-square-foot space includes 20 beers on tap, big-screen televisions, and a generous bar.
In the ice-cream department, Crafts Creamery has opened in Danville. Using the same cryogenic method employed at Smitten, Crafts Creamery offers customers the choice of five different bases—premium, organic, low fat, coconut milk, and granita—in flavors that range from the usual suspects to Lucky Charms, salted caramel, and black sesame.
Bishop Ranch has just announced a partnership with San Rafael’s Moana Restaurant Group to create “a culinary hub” called Roundhouse Market, which will offer three fast-casual restaurants: a Mexican taqueria, an Italian pizzeria, and a gourmet sandwich and salad bar. There are also plans for an upscale restaurant that will also be open for dinner and a coffee bar. The quick-serve places are slated to open by the end of 2015, with the restaurant and coffee bar coming online in 2016.
Izzy’s Place in Alamo has closed, and has been replaced by Alamo Grill. General manager Mike Morecraft describes the restaurant as a neighborhood joint, with burgers, steaks, and chicken, as well as a pork rotisserie sandwich and a trio of ribs.