Diablo Dish: March
Catch up on the latest food news!
Photo by Matthew L. // Yelp.com
The old Petar’s space in Lafayette will not remain vacant for long. Andrew McCormick, son of steak and seafood chain McCormick and Schmick’s co-founder Bill McCormick, is planning an American bar and grill for the space. A decade-long Lafayette resident, McCormick recently sold his interest in the popular San Francisco bar City Tavern, which he founded and ran for the past 17 years. To be called The Cooperage (named for the San Francisco bar where his parents first met), the restaurant will have a casual but upscale vibe (think Chow with linen napkins), with a separate full bar with TVs and a dining room looking over a large, open kitchen. The menu will be packed with American classics like oysters Rockefeller, potato skins, crab Louis salad, and plenty of steak and seafood entrées. “Something like a good-quality New York steak with baked potato and creamed spinach—you can’t really find that in Lafayette,” he says. McCormick is planning an extensive remodel, so look for an opening in late summer or early fall.
Does the pizza ever stop? Further proof that our taste buds are regressing to childhood (in a delicious way) comes with a never-ending parade of new high-end pizza spots around the East Bay. For thin crust, there’s wood-fired pies at The Forge and Lungomare in Jack London Square, Pizza Moda on University Avenue in Berkeley, and Benchmark Pizzeria in Kensington. Cheeseboard spin-off Sliver serves just one type of pizza per day, using seasonal ingredients, in downtown Berkeley; Pancoast offers New York–style pies in Walnut Creek; while Zachary’s debuted its latest deep-dish destination in Pleasant Hill. Speaking of deep dish, Little Star Pizza cofounder Jon Guhl is opening a similar concept in Oakland’s Grand Lake while Patxi’s Chicago Pizza is scheduled to open its second East Bay restaurant in downtown Livermore this April. Also, coming this spring is the Rockridge location of Danville’s Jules Thin Crust and Build Pizzeria, a Roman-style pizzeria where you’ll actually get to make your own pies, in downtown Berkeley. Whew!
Strizzi’s in Danville closed and will be replaced with another East Bay Italian spot. Michael and Sabrina Hughes will open up a second location of Baci Bistro and Bar, their casual fine-dining restaurant in Pleasanton. The Danville residents hope to debut the new spot by March 1.
Looks like Picán owner Michael LeBlanc’s plan to take over the long-shuttered Mudd’s Restaurant in San Ramon is off. According to reports, the city plans to sell the property to another bidder by the end of the year.
A couple of foodie events to look out for this month: The Berkeley Wine Festival at the Claremont Hotel & Spa debuts with a grand opening reception on March 16, followed by 10 consecutive Friday wine dinners, pairing food by new Meritage restaurant chef Scott Quinn with pours from primo Napa and Sonoma wineries such as Benziger, Silver Oak Cellars, and Frog’s Leap. If you’re looking for an excuse to head to San Francisco, Saint Mary’s College hosts a benefit for its creative writing program that same day across the bridge, featuring wine, hors d’oeuvres, and a discussion between chef Cindy Pawlcyn and food writer Samin Nosrat on the Language of Food.