OUTSTANDING IN THE FIELD Outstanding in the Field, the farm-dinner series that has inspired pop-up supper clubs across the country, is landing close by. It will do two dinners at East Bay Farms this year. On Saturday, June 15, Sibella Kraus, founder of the SF Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, will be hosting a dinner at one of her projects: the Sunol AgPark, an 18-acre farm managed by Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE). Guest chef will be Guillaume Bienaime of Portola Kitchen in Portola Valley. Start time: 4 p.m., $200 per person. The second OITF dinner will be on Sunday, June 30, at Knoll Farm, Brentwood, with guest chef Leif Hedendal, founder of the Dinner Discussion series. This is one of a few vegetarian events OITF does each year. Farmer Rick Knoll is a farming pioneer who has come up with some unusual and successful agricultural techniques that have gained recognition over the years, such as compost teas, minerals for the soil, and growing edible weeds. Start time: 4 p.m., $190 per person. Visit OITF for full information about the dinners.
PATHOS After more than a year under construction, chef Nicholas Eftimiou has unveiled digitalized plans for the interior of his new organic Greek restaurant, Pathos (above) which will be at 2430 Shattuck Ave., next door to Giovanni’s restaurant in downtown Berkeley. Pathos’ cuisine is slated to be “classic and casual, with delicious and affordable Greek staple dishes.” Writing on his blog, Eftimiou said that as a young adult he was struggling to find a career when his passion for food gave him the direction he needed. He went to culinary school and worked at a number of restaurants around the East Bay, he says, before deciding to open his own place. “It so happens that the location that I have chosen is a perfect match for this ideology of food,” Eftimiou wrote in the early days of construction for Pathos. “I have truly opened my soul and poured every ounce of creativity that I have within myself to make my dream come true.” No opening date yet but we’ll keep you posted.
HOMESTEAD Staying on Piedmont Avenue, East Bay Dish brings news of Homestead, which is getting ready to open soon in the former Zatis space. Co-owners Fred Sassen (Camino, Farallon) and his wife Elizabeth Sassen (Farallon and Waterbar) plan to make bread, charcuterie, pasta, cheese, ice cream, vinegar and preserves in house. Their seasonal menu will change frequently and could include starters ($9–14) like grilled asparagus with spicy coppa and preserved Meyer lemon.
TOGO’S Sandwich chain Togo’s, which reaches across the West Coast and has a successful location in Emeryville, is opening a new branch at 2172 Shattuck Ave. CEO Tony Gioia hopes it will be a convenient place for busy students to buy “big, fresh, meaty sandwiches,” but you’ll also find vegetarian sandwiches and salads. “Our roots, you know, from 40-plus years ago, are in the university scene,” Gioia said, referring to the first Togo’s location near San Jose State University. “We always wanted to be in Berkeley.” Gioia said they hope to open the Shattuck store in the first week of August.
BITTERSWEET As tipped by us last week, Bittersweet Café is opening its newest outpost at 2015 University Ave. in Berkeley by the middle of next week (they are currently in Rockridge and downtown Oakland). We caught up with co-owner Penelope Finnie who said that in addition to its signature hot chocolate and chocolate desserts, the café will serve sandwiches and salads. A little known secret about Bittersweet is that it makes all its own bread, yogurt, granola and pastries at its kitchen on Broadway in Oakland. The company also roasts its own coffee and has a bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturing facility. “We have always wanted to be in Berkeley,” said Finnie. Both she and her co-owner Diana Meckfessel live here. “It seemed like a perfect location with the rose garden in the back. So much is changing downtown so it will be fun to be a part of it.” The manager of the café managed the Magnolia Bakery in Los Angeles. Bittersweet is moving into the space once occupied by the New Amsterdam Café and right near Brasa, Chocolatier Blue and Slow.
What else is going on…
Recent Nosh stories (in case you missed them):
Broc Cellars: Urban winery with a singular vision
Swirl, sniff, slurp, swallow: learning to taste olive oil
Berkeley officials get closer to public parklet policy
Raising the bar in Oaktown: Cheers to Sidebar
Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant openings, happenings and closings in the East Bay. Some of these items will have first appeared in Berkeleyside’s Shop Talk column. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Berkeleyside NOSH on Twitter, and on Facebook.