By Christina Mitchell

Bites is Berkeleyside Nosh’s round-up of restaurant, bar and food-related news in the East Bay. To stay up-to-speed with all that’s going on locally, read our daily Nosh Wire, and check out previous editions of Bites. We always love receiving food-related tips at

New: Grand Lake Kitchen. Photo: Christina Mitchell

Freshly served…

GRAND LAKE KITCHEN Chef David Wasem (Park Tavern, Balboa Café) and General Manager May Seto (Delfina, Pizzeria Delfina), who happen to be husband and wife, opened Grand Lake Kitchen last Wednesday. Serving “a mix of traditional deli fare and seasonally driven dishes,” along with beer and wine, it’s a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Grand Lake Kitchen, 576 Grand Avenue, Oakland, 510-922-9582. Monday to Saturday, 10:30am-7:30pm

TEA HERE NOW Former non-profit fundraiser and event planner Andrea Tyler opened Tea Here Now last week. Offering freshly steeped tea, a few different salads and Fat Bottom Bakery scones and cookies, it’s a place to go for breakfast or lunch. Or just for a snack. Tea Here Now, 1721 ½ Webster, Oakland 510-832-4832, Monday to Friday, 7:30am-3:30pm.

The CRO Café, recently opened in Temescal Alley. Photo: The CRO Café

THE CRO CAFE After serving coffee in front of Berkeley’s Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar for four months, Luigi Oldani has opened up The CRO Café in a cute little space in Temescal Alley. Sightglass coffee is served Fri – Mon, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CRO Café is at 5008 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, in one of the two cute alleys off Telegraph on 49th Street. Read our feature story, Coffee and doughnuts in Oakland’s Temescal Alley.

CATBIRD BREAKFAST CLUB Remember Berkeleyside’s story on pop-up Rogue Café? Grubstreet SF reports that Ciara Sanker, one of the Rogue Café’s co-founders, clearly still has a passion for pop-ups as she recently started Catbird Breakfast Club in her own garden. The menu changes weekly and includes dishes like Samfaina and marinated eggs, Soft Cooked Egg & Avocado on English Muffin with Ricotta, Marinated Beets and Watercress, and a Morning Bun with currants and pistachios. It’s a private event so the address is only available by request.

Coming soon…

Catch Romney Steele’s preserves and handpicked oysters at Oakland’s Kitchener pop-up. Photo: Willy Chen
Catch Romney Steele’s preserves and handpicked oysters at Oakland’s Kitchener pop-up. Photo: Willy Chen

THE COOK AND HER FARMER  Former Berkeleyside contributor Romney Steele is slated to open a café, oyster and wine bar called The Cook and Her Farmer next spring in Old Oakland’s Swan’s Market. Steele spent a year at a community-based farm near Marshall with business partner Steven Day (farmer, educator, and volunteer diver for the Alameda Sheriff Department) learning about oysters to prepare for the new restaurant. The cook and writer (My Nepenthe told the story of the Big Sur restaurant where she grew up) tells NOSH: “Food at the café will be simple and bountiful, reflecting my coastal upbringing, and will include ‘platter salads’ and some dishes with  southern influences (Steven grew up in Memphis).” Meantime, you can catch Steele and Day at Oakland’s twice-monthly pop-up Kitchener public market on Tuesdays, where they will be selling her handmade jams, pickles and preserves, as well as oysters.

Hawker Fare will be doing the dry run for James Syhabout’s planned new eatery Box and Bells. Photo: Hawker Fare
Hawker Fare will be doing the dry run for James Syhabout’s planned new eatery Box and Bells. Photo: Hawker Fare

BOX AND BELLS  Not content with earning the East Bay’s only Michelin star (for his minimalist Piedmont Avenue restaurant Commis), James Syhabout last year launched rice bowl shop Hawker Fare on Webster Street serving food like his grandmother made. Now he’s working on his third Oakland restaurant. According to Inside Scoop, Box and Bells will open soonish in the former Somerset space at 5912 College Avenue in Rockridge. Chef Benjamin Coe will run the kitchen. Syhabout plans to feature some of the dishes his team cooks for staff meals. That might include Country Style Pork Terrine with Grilled Soda Bread; Potato Boxty with Salt Cod and Herbs; or Fried Chicken with a Raw Oyster Mayonnaise. Sunday night pop-ups at Hawker Fare (which is usually closed on Sundays) will start in January to test out the new menu. Hawker Fare, 5912 College Ave, Oakland. [See our To Die For story on Kao Mun Gai at Hawker Fare.]

A16 OAKLAND It’s Rockridge’s moment in the spotlight as Syhabout isn’t the only one to be moving in with a hot-ticket project. Shelley Lindgren and Victoria Libin, co-owners of A16 and SPQR in San Francisco will be opening a restaurant in the space currently occupied by Hudson at 5356 College Ave. (Garibaldi’s and Marzano). Expect Neapolitan pizza, meatballs, and their much loved tripe, according to Inside Scoop, as well as lots of seafood. The new eatery is due in early 2013.

Miss Pearls: shuttering

LUNGOMARE Miss Pearl’s Jam House in Jack London Square was recently sold to Chef Chris Pastena of Oakland’s Chop Bar, Tom Henderson and Temoor Noor of Grand Tavern. Eater SF has the skinny on their plan, which is to take over the space in January and reopen on February 7 as Lungomare. The new restaurant will serve Northwestern Italian cuisine, specifically Tuscan and Ligurian, prepared with mostly local and some imported ingredients. There will also be cocktails and an all-Italian wine list, along with a café next door, which will serve coffee and pastries.

PARLIAMENT BAR Christopher Newell, Davina Dickens and Jason Bradford are planning to open Parliament Bar in a former retail space in Old Oakland, according to Grub Street. A café with sidewalk seating, from 6am to 3pm it will turn, Cinderalla-like, into a bar with dancing at night. Expected to launch in early 2013. Parliament Bar, 811 Washington Street, Oakland (at Eighth Street).

What else is going on…

There’s a Beaujolais Nouveau party at Kermit Lynch’s place in Berkeley on Nov. 17
There’s a Beaujolais Nouveau party at Kermit Lynch’s place in Berkeley on Nov. 17

BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU PARTY  The annual Beaujolais Nouveau Party at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants will include food prepared by Chef Christopher Lee, music by Baguette Quartette, and of course, wine. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants, 1605 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley (510-524-1524),
Saturday Nov. 17 11am-4pm.

CUBAN PIG ROAST  To raise money for a cultural exchange to Cuba with Bay Area chefs, educators and artists, Pizzaiolo will host a Cuban Pig Roast and Dance Party on Sunday Nov. 18, 5:00 p.m. There will also be a raffle and a cash bar with Agricole Rum drinks from St. George Spirits.  Tito y Su Son de Cuba will provide the live music. Pizzaiolo, 5008 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. Tickets: $20-$40.

Christina Mitchell is the founder of East Bay Dish.

Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant and bar openings and closings in the East Bay. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to 

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