The Claremont Hotel & Resort has been purchased by the Fairmont hotel group and Richard Blum, the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein Photo: Paula Steele
San Francisco chef Dominique Crenn will be curating a new restaurant in the Claremont Club & Spa, which is now owned by Fairmont Hotels. Photo: Paula Steele

Openings, closings…

DOMINIQUE CRENN OPENING BRASSERIE AT CLAREMONT CLUB & SPA The San Francisco chef, who owns the two Michelin star Atelier Crenn and newly opened Petit Crenn, is in talks with Fairmont Hotels about opening a restaurant in the newly re-branded Claremont Club & Spa, formerly the Claremont Hotel. In a press statement released earlier this week, Fairmont Hotels said the restaurant will open in 2016 and will replace the Paragon. “Chef Dominique Crenn’s elegant neighborhood brasserie will serve a locally sourced seasonal menu, joining the hotel’s three other exceptional restaurants and lounges,” the company wrote. Inside Scoop got ahold of Crenn, who said that she has signed a preliminary contract, but has not finalized the agreement. Regardless, Crenn will not be in the kitchen of the new restaurant. She told Inside Scoop that she will be involved with the restaurant in “more of a curatorial or designer capacity.” Eater SF also spoke with Crenn, who told the website that the new restaurant will be called Antoinette, an “elegant, but casual” restaurant in the style of a French brasserie, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu will be based mostly around seafood and vegetable dishes, but will include meat. Many of the dishes will be large and designed to share, like a whole roasted fish or côte de boeuf. Petit Crenn wine director Courtney Humiston will consult on the largely French and California wine-focused drink menu. Crenn told Eater that she was attracted to Berkeley’s historic dining scene. “I love Berkeley,” she said. “This is where it all started, with Alice Waters and Chez Panisse. I want to be part of something special.” No more details for now, but we’ll keep you posted. Claremont Club & Spa is at 41 Tunnel Rd. (at Claremont Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the hotel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Firefighters fight a fire at the Mandarin Garden restaurant, in Berkeley, on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. Photo: David Yee ©2015
Firefighters fight a fire at the Mandarin Garden restaurant, in Berkeley, on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. Photo: David Yee ©2015

MANDARIN GARDEN DESTROYED IN FIRE We reported late last week on the Black Friday fire at downtown Berkeley’s Mandarin Garden restaurant. Two fires burned starting shortly after midnight Nov. 27. The first was appeared to be extinguished around 3 a.m. However, a second fire ignited around 5:15 a.m., which burned through the roof and gutted the restaurant. Luckily, no one was injured during the fire, and much of the fire damage was contained to Mandarin Garden. Neighboring Patel Credit Union and recently closed Ichiban restaurant did sustain substantial water damage. A new restaurant, Venus Café, had planned to open soon in the Ichiban location; the opening will now be delayed by at least a few months, owner Peter Kwong told NOSH. No word yet on the cause of the fire or the future of Mandarin Garden. We will keep you posted. Mandarin Garden was at 2025 Shattuck Ave. (at University), Berkeley. 

Recchiuti Confections in Rockridge. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
Recchiuti Confections in Rockridge. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

RECCHIUTI POPS UP IN ROCKRIDGE The popular San Francisco-based chocolatier is running a holiday pop-up shop in the former Cotton Basics store at 5540 College Ave. Recchiuti Confections will be running the pop-up for holiday shopping through the end of December and again in February for Valentines Day. The chocolate company was founded by Michael and Jacky Recchiuti in 1997, “with the idea that meticulously sourcing ingredients, hand-crafting confections in small batches and using traditional European techniques would make Recchiuti Confections a necessary indulgence and create an obsession for artisan chocolate nationwide,” according to the company website. Recchiuti Confections will be at 5540 College Ave. (at Lawton Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Butter, sugar and lemon crêpe from Brittany Crêpes and Galettes. Photo courtesy: Laurent Le Barbier
Butter, sugar and lemon crêpe from Brittany Crêpes and Galettes. Photo courtesy: Laurent Le Barbier

BRITTANY CRÊPES OPENING NEXT WEEK We last brought you news of a new crêperie headed to Berkeley in September. The restaurant, Brittany Crêpes, is set to open Thursday, Dec. 10 in the former Wrap N Roll location at 913 University Ave. Chef-owner Laurent Le Barbier has been running farmers market stands and a catering operation since 2006; this will be the company’s first brick-and-mortar location. Le Barbier learned how to make crêpes from his grandmother while living in the Northwest region of France. Moving into the brick-and-mortar location will allow Le Barbier to expand his menu from the relatively simple one he sells at farmers markets. On the menu will be traditional crêpes, both savory and sweet, including what sounds like an intriguing scallop and leek crêpe. Rounding out the menu will be a couple of vegetarian soups and, eventually, salads. Le Barbier will be sticking with seasonal fruits and vegetables for crêpe fillings, so don’t expect strawberries anytime soon. And while he doesn’t currently have any wild fillings planned for the menu, Le Barbier did tell NOSH: “There are no rules with crêpes. You can kind of do anything you want.” He said he will likely offer specials that are a bit more inventive to satisfy those diners looking for more than ham, cheese and egg. Brittany Crêpes will open only for dinner at first; Le Barbier plans to add brunch after a few weeks and a lunch menu if he sees demand for it. Brittany Crêpes will be at 913 University Ave. (at 7th Street), Berkeley.

What else is going on…

The newly designed interior of Daniel Patterson's Haven. Photo: Alanna Hale
The newly designed interior of Daniel Patterson’s Haven. Photo: Alanna Hale
Matt Brimer of Haven. Photo: Steven Krause
Matt Brimer of Haven. Photo: Steven Krause

HAVEN GETS A NEW CHEF The Daniel Patterson Group’s Haven restaurant has switched chefs once again. Matt Brimer is now in for Charlie Parker, who is moving to DPG’s newest joint, Afred’s Steakhouse. Brimer is a Southern California native who moved to San Francisco in 2002. He’s worked with Shakewell’s Jen Biesty at Bizou in San Francisco, as well as Maverick and Central Kitchen in the Mission District and Ame in the St. Regis. At Haven, Brimer will carry on Parker’s family-style menu and continue to advance the kitchen’s emphasis on house-made charcuterie, pickling, curing, fermenting and whole animal butchery. Brimer will be introducing new dishes, such as Wagyu beef with smoked potato pave, Scarlett turnips, new onions and yuzu kosho; smoked Mount Lassen trout rillette with horseradish, pickled beets, creme fraiche and dill; and brassicas with smoked egg yolk, bagna cauda and new onion soubise. Haven will continue to serve its menu in a prix fixe format; a $49 three-course meal is available Sundays through Thursdays and a $65 four-course menu is available Friday and Saturday. Haven is at 44 Webster St. (at Embarcadero West), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

The new Chez Panisse kitchen. Photo: Amanda Marsalis
Chez Panisse. Photo: Amanda Marsalis

ALSO IN CHEF SHUFFLES: JÉRÔME WAAG LEAVES CHEZ PANISSE Downstairs co-chef Jérȏme Waag has announced his departure from Berkeley’s Chez Panisse after close to 25 years at the restaurant. He’ll be moving to Tokyo to open a restaurant of his own, reported Tablehopper. While he has yet to choose a specific location for this new venture, he does plan to cook in the Chez Panisse style. He told Tablehopper that he is looking forward to adapting to the new environment and “to discover myself as a chef.” Waag’s last night will be Jan. 16, and then he will be replaced by Amy Dencler, who will be promoted to the co-chef position alongside Cal PeternellChez Panisse is at 1517 Shattuck Ave. (at Vine Street), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.

BLUE BOTTLE AND TARTINE MERGER OFF Earlier this spring, we announced the merger of Oakland-based Blue Bottle Coffee and San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery. This partnership has now fallen through, reported SF Gate. In a statement released by both parties, they said they “decided that remaining separate companies makes the most sense.” Both companies still plan to continue their expansions into national and international markets in Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo. We will not, however, get to purchase Tartine bread and pastries in East Bay Blue Bottle locations after all.

SF BEER WEEK SCHEDULE NOW LIVE The Bay Area’s annual week-long drink fest has officially launched its schedule. SF Beer Week will take place Jan. 22-31, 2016, with many events in the East Bay. Particularly fun local events include the seven-day brew at Woods Brewery starting Jan. 23, a “Mystery Flights” tasting at both Rosamunde locations (Old Oakland and Temescal) Jan. 24, Pinballs and Pints at the Pacific Pinball Museum Jan. 24, the Ballast Point brunch at Freehouse Jan. 26, a “wild beers” and “wild wines” tasting at Woods Brewery Jan. 28, Drake’s second-annual malt liquor release party Jan. 29, and a Belgian brunch with Cleophus Quealy at The Half Orange Jan. 31. More events will be added between now and the beginning of the festival. See the full listing here. Connect with SF Beer Week on Facebook and Twitter.

Calavera is a Mexican restaurant serving up dishes inspired by the Oaxacan region. Photo: Benjamin Seto
Calavera is hosting Telefèric Barcelona Dec. 6. Photo: Benjamin Seto

GET A TASTE OF TELEFÈRIC AT CALAVERA Telefèric Barcelona is getting ready to open its temple to tapas in Walnut Creek, but diners too eager to wait for the opening can get a taste of the new restaurant’s cooking at a preview dinner at Calavera this Sunday, Dec. 6. Telefèric chefs Oscar Cabezas, Rodrigo Vazquez and Patricio Dufoo, along with Calavera’s Christian Irabien, will cook a menu of pintxos and tapas, plus paired cocktails from the Calavera bar. Expect dishes such as a tuna tataki (crudo) with soy and “wasamole” sauce, Txistorra sausage with honey and Idiazabal cheese, wild mushroom and cabrales cheese croquetas, and Jamón Imberico served with toast and tomatoes. Teleféric will be at 1500 Mount Diablo Blvd. (at South Main Street), Walnut Creek. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and InstagramCalavera is at 2337 Broadway (between 23rd and 24th streets), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

21st Amendment founders at 2014 Repeal Day. Photo courtesy: 21st Amendment
Last year’s 21st Amendment Repeal Day celebration. Photo courtesy: 21st Amendment

THREE ‘REPEAL DAY’ PARTIES Dec. 5 marks the 82nd anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, and (at least) three local drinking establishments are celebrating in style. 21st Amendment in San Leandro is throwing a huge bash, complete with a marching band, a cigar lounge, a casino area benefitting charity, and (for parents) a family-friendly kid zone. Admission is free, with beer and 21st Amendment sausages for purchase. The event runs from noon until 6 p.m., and there’s a free shuttle from the San Leandro Bart station. In Oakland, Crooked City Cider is getting in on the celebration with a party at Two Mile Wines. This evening event will include music, snacks, wine, beer and (of course) cider, plus a first taste of “newly made booze” from Oakland Spirits Distillery. (Crooked City is also holding weekly pop-up events at Two Mile Wines most Friday evenings. It held its first event Nov. 27, and its next event will be Dec. 11.) Nearby, tiki bar Longitude is throwing a “rip-rollicking romp” that will include “throw-back pricing” on martinis and gunpowder “tea” punch, whatever that is. 21st Amendment is at 2010 Williams St. (near West Gate Parkway), San Leandro. Connect with the brewery on FacebookTwitter and InstagramTwo Mile Wines is at 477 25th Street, Oakland. Connect with the bar on Twitter. Connect with Crooked City Cider on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Longitude is at 347 14th St. (at Webster Street), Oakland. Connect with the bar on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

CLEOPHUS QUEALY TURNS ONE Also on Saturday in San Leandro, Cleophus Quealy is celebrating its first anniversary with bluegrass music, games, barbecue and beer. The day-long event will begin at noon. The brewery is also celebrating the release of “Sweet Henrietta,” a coffee milk stout featuring Highwire coffee. Cleophus Quealy is at 448 Hester St. (near Adams Avenue), San Leandro. Connect with the brewery on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Tequila-cured salmon at Comal. Photo: Matt Gandin
Tequila-cured salmon at Comal. Photo: Matt Gandin

HANUKKAH IN THE EAST BAY Hanukkah begins Dec. 6, and three East Bay restaurants are getting in on the game. Saul’s Deli in Berkeley is offering latkes to-go any day in December, plus entrèes and sides like prune- and beer-braised brisket, baked eggplant with pomegranate, matzo ball soup, babka, and black and white cookies. Hungry potato eaters take note: orders of two dozen or more latkes require at least 24 hours notice. Also in Berkeley, Comal is serving what has to be the most creatively named Hanukkah meal — “Oaxanukkah.” The $70 multi-course family-style dinner will include Mexican twists on classic Hanukkah dishes. Expect to eat tequila-cured salmon with avocado, endive, radish, and cilantro oil; potato-jalapeño latkes with creme and spiced apple salsa; braised ancho chile adobo brisket; and plenty of house-made tortillas. Oakland diners who wish to pick up their food can order from Rockridge Market Hall; the store will have latkes, chopped liver, matzoh ball soup, cheese blintzes, noodle kugel (savory and sweet), challah, smoked dish and more. Order between Dec. 4 and 7. Saul’s Delicatessen is at 1475 Shattuck Ave. (at Vine Street), Berkeley. Connect with the deli on Facebook and TwitterComal is at 2020 Shattuck Ave (between University Avenue and Addison Street). Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and TwitterRockridge Market Hall is at 5655 College Ave. (at Shafter Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the store on Facebook and Twitter.

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Kate Williams has been writing about food since 2009. After spending two years developing recipes for cookbooks at America’s Test Kitchen, she moved to Berkeley and began work as a freelance writer and...