New Italian gelato spot Caravaggio opens Saturday, Nov. 16, at 1797 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley. Photo: courtesy Caravaggio


CARAVAGGIO We brought you news in August that a new Italian gelateria was opening in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. Well it’s here: Caravaggio (pictured above), at 1797 Shattuck Ave. (just north of Delaware), is having its soft opening Saturday, Nov. 16, after also participating in A Taste of North Berkeley earlier this week. Co-owner Emiliano Cecchetti said there will be eight flavors to begin with, but expect sorbet and vegan options down the line. The ice cream is made to exacting standards in authentic Italian style and uses all natural ingredients. Look out for a fuller story on Caravaggio from us next week.

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THE BARREL ROOM  Sarah Trubnick and Carolyn Johnson, sommeliers and owners of San Francisco’s The Barrel Room, will open their second Barrel Room location in Rockridge on Dec. 5 (as tipped by us in July). The new wine bar, which took over the space from Multiple Threads at 5330 College Ave, will focus on small-production wines, rare world wines, and rotating themed flights. It will expand on the original’s bar bites program with a full small plates menu. Although the wine menu will be identical at both locations, the new East Bay space will be larger and offer a broader menu of entrees.

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COOKIEBAR For those who just can’t resist a good ice cream cookie sandwich, CookieBar opened recently in Alameda, according to East Bay Dish. On the menu: milkshakes, house-made waffle cones and made-to-order ice cream sandwiches. It’s a build-your-own concept: you choose a cookie (six types made by Pacific Cookie Company) and an ice cream (16 flavors from Thrifty Ice Cream), and it’s put together in a sandwich for $3.50. CookieBar is at 1606 Webster St., Alameda.

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PENROSE Charlie Hallowell, of Pizzaiolo and Boot & Shoe Service fame, is set to open his third Oakland restaurant, Penrose, Nov. 20. (Like many local food joints, it’s been a long time coming. We first heard news of the restaurant more than a year ago.) In the style of the moment, a wood-fired grill will cook most of the restaurant’s dishes (think Camino and Comal). On the menu, according to Inside Scoop SF: lamb tartare, beef carpaccio, oysters, “sashimi-esque” crudo, flatbreads, bone-in rib eye with chimichurri. Like Hallowell’s other spots, the bar will play a prominent role, with cocktails under the supervision of Cate Whalen. Penrose, 3311 Grand Ave.

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CUGINI MANZONE Giuseppe Manzone, along with his brother Michele and sister-in-law Leslie, is opening Cugini Manzone in the shuttered Fillipo’s space at 2930 College Ave. in the Elmwood. The owners have imported a wood-burning pizza oven from Italy and plan on using it to cook, from scratch, many Italian dishes, including “authentic” Italian pizzas, according to Giuseppe Manzone (see note on ubiquity of fires in restaurants, above). The brothers are two of the original owners of Cugini on Solano Ave. in Albany. They also opened Cugini in Orinda. “I can’t wait to start remodeling and putting the 3,000 lb pizza oven in,” said Giuseppe Manzone. “The oven is amazing to work with. It gets up to 800 degrees and and kisses the food with a smokey flavor.” Cugini Manzone is slated to open in late January and will be open daily for lunch and dinner, as well as a “spuntino” mid-afternoon menu.

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COPAN Copan has opened in the former Sura Korean Cuisine location at 4869 Telegraph Ave. Eddie Chu (pictured left) is looking forward to your patronage! Bibimbap rice bowls and Korean-Japanese fusion dishes are on the menu. The East Bay Express reported that the folks behind Korean BBQ restaurant Ohgane are also behind Copan. Eddie Joo, a 25-year-old chef who previously worked at New York’s Momofuku Noodle Bar is in the kitchen.

What else is going on…

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CRUSH AND MORE The Crush and More festival, organized annually by the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, this year goes beyond wine to include beer and food, as well as lots of other treats, all provided by local businesses. It takes place Sunday Nov. 17, from 3-6 p.m., at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel at the Berkeley Marina. There’s a beer garden with many local brewers, not to mention 10 wineries, three coffee companies, and more than 15 food vendors, as well as sake and tea. Crush is partnering with the Berkeley Food and Housing Project this year: Bring anything from its Wish List to Crush and you may be rewarded. Crush entrance is $25 and includes eight tasting tickets (additional tasting tickets will be sold at the event). Check out the vendors and buy tickets.

Recent Nosh stories (in case you missed them):

Berkeley raises funds for schools’ edible programs
Berkeley schools’ edible program faces challenges
Nosh on the town: Venga Paella in Oakland
Spotlight: Chef Lisa Murphy of Sosu Sauces
At a glance: Black Spring Coffee Company in Oakland

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

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...