Croissants from La PanotiQ. Photo: La PanotiQ/Facebook
Croissants from La PanotiQ Bakery and Café which has opened on College Avenue in the Elmwood . Photo: La PanotiQ/Facebook

Openings, closings…

LA PANOTIQ TO HOLD GRAND OPENING APRIL 1 Last month, we reported that the Elmwood location of La PanotiQ was getting close to opening.  It is now open for business in the space formerly occupied by Padi Restaurant, and before that — for many years — Holy Land, and is planning a grand opening celebration on April 1. As reported on Shop Talk, it is serving a selection of French-style sandwiches and salads (think Jambon-Fromage and Salade Niçoise), as well as cakes and pastries (croissants, pains au chocolat), and fresh bread (baguettes, rustic loaves and ciabatta, for example). There’s Bicycle Coffee, in espresso drinks and also in Nitro cold-brew form, as well as a selection of teas, both hot and iced.La PanotiQ is a family-owned bakery and café chain with several locations around the Bay Area. La PanotiQ Bakery Café is at 2965 College Ave. (at Ashby Avenue), Berkeley 94705. Connect with the bakery on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Photo: Preserved/Facebook

PRESERVED HAS NOW OPENED IN TEMESCAL Preserved, a store dedicated to DIY food preservation supplies, has opened a full brick-and-mortar location at 5032 Telegraph Ave. (at 51st Street). Owner Elizabeth Vecchiarelli was previously operating out of a 100-square-foot backyard on Oakland’s Piedmont Ave. Vecchiarelli first opened her shop when she moved to the Bay Area from Portland and had a hard time finding all of the supplies she needed for DIY food projects. The new 500-square-foot store certainly doesn’t lack for supplies. According to a profile in KQED’s Bay Area Bites, Preserved carries supplies for making just about anything: “sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented vegetables; jams, jellies and vinegars; sourdough and other breads; yogurt, cheese and butter; beer, cider and mead; kombucha, kefir, bitters and tinctures; soap, salves, and … things like old school food mills, mortars and pestles, and many sizes of strainers.” Preserved is at 5032 Telegraph Ave. (at 51st Street), Oakland. Connect with the store on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Grapefruit miso cupcakes from Angel Cakes. Photo: Angel Cakes/Facebook

ANGEL CAKES OPENS The custom-order cupcake business Angel Cakes opened its first retail location this week at 745 5th St. in Oakland, reports Inside Scoop. Angel Cakes is a small-batch bakery that bases its flavors on local, seasonal ingredients. Much of its ingredients are organic. Owner Jen Angel is a self-taught baker who founded the company in 2008. She writes on her website that “desserts are a creative outlet because although taste is of the utmost importance, design is a close second.” Angel Cakes makes standard, vegan and gluten-free cupcakes in a range of flavors from classic vanilla to olive oil and sea salt. Angel Cakes is at 745 5th St. (at Brush Street), Oakland. Connect with the bakery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Inca’s Palace. Photo: Eric Wong

INCA’S PALACE IN AT PACIFIC EAST MALL We received a tip this week that a new Peruvian restaurant and night club has opened in Richmond’s Pacific East Mall. Called Inca’s Palace, it has replaced Coriya Hot Pot City. Inca’s Palace serves an expansive menu of Peruvian classics using “carefully selected ingredients prepared by its expert chefs,” according to its website. Expect everything from grilled beef heart skewers and rotisserie chicken to a wide selection of ceviches. On weekend evenings, the restaurant transitions to night club mode and stays open until 2 a.m. Inca’s Palace showcases both international bands and local DJs. Inca’s Palace is in the Pacific East Mall at 3288 Pierce St., Ste. A105, Richmond. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.

Samantha and Alexandra Blatteis of Home Base Spirits. Photo: Home Base Spirits/Instagram

HOME BASE SPIRITS TO JACK LONDON SQUARE Slowly but surely, Oakland is growing its ranks of local distillers. The newest to join the field is Home Base Spirits, which is setting up shop in Jack London Square. Home Base was started by Samantha and Alexandra Blatteis, two sisters with experience in farming and whiskey distilling, respectively, according to a profile in the East Bay Express. Importantly, the Blatteis sisters will not personally be doing distilling at their facility. Instead, they are supervising the distillation process of local grains and botanicals at Sutherland Distillery in Livermore. They will then bring back distilled and aged spirits to their home base, where they will flavor some of the spirits with botanicals, bottle them, and sell them out. The reasoning for involving a second party has to do with the myriad (expensive) rules and regulations surrounding distilling in California. Eventually, they hope to use money raised through this venture to open a full distillery. For now, the expect a bourbon, a single malt American whiskey and an amaro to hit bar shelves in a few months. Connect with Home Base Spirits on Instagram.

BARREL ROOM ROCKRIDGE TEMPORARILY CLOSED The Rockridge location of The Barrel Room wine bar is undergoing a short renovation until the first week of April. The bar wrote in an email that upon reopening, The Barrel Room will be serving a paired-down food menu that will include “delicious small plates and bites in the place of our full-service menu. We will continue to emphasize hard to find, small production, terroir driven wines from around the world for the novice and the oenophile alike.” The Barrel Room also plans to offer a wider selection of wines for retail, weekly wine tastings, an educational series and a monthly wine club. The Barrel Room is at 5330 College Ave. (at Bryant Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the bar on Facebook and Twitter.

Dinners and events…

The wood oven at Benchmark Pizzeria. Photo: Fer Fernandez

FIELDWORK AND BENCHMARK PIZZERIA DINNER Next Thursday, Kensington’s Benchmark Pizzeria is hosting Berkeley’s Fieldwork Brewing Company for a special dinner. Fieldwork will be taking over all of the taps at Benchmark, and the brewers will be in house to talk about their beers. Benchmark will be serving its regular menu. Benchmark Pizzeria is at 1568 Oak View Ave. (at Colusa), Kensington. Connect with the pizzeria on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Connect with Fieldwork Brewing on Facebook and Twitter.

Takare Sake. Photo: Pete Rosos

HAROLD MCGEE TO TAKARA SAKE Food science writer Harold McGee will be visiting Berkeley’s Takara Sake Saturday. He will be giving a lecture on the effect of temperature on the beverage. According to the event listing, McGee will “describe what sensory scientists have learned about the effects of temperature on our senses of taste and smell, and then apply these findings to the appreciation of the major styles of sake.” Participants will get to taste sakes served at different temperatures to experience the science for themselves. Food will also be included. McGee is the author, most notably, of the reference book On Food & Cooking: The Science & Lore of the Kitchen. The event will take place from 3-6 p.m. in the Takara Sake tasting room. Tickets are $25-30Takara Sake is at 708 Addison St. (at Fourth Street), Berkeley. 

The Terrace Room in Oakland. Photo: Emilie Raguso

EASTER IN THE EAST BAY For all those planning to head out to eat for Easter this Sunday, there are plenty of options. In Albany, Café Eugene will host a brunch with special dishes like country fried rabbit with maple waffles and a “Spicy Hang Town Deviled Egg” with bacon and a fried oyster. In Oakland, alaMar will be serving a $35 prix fixe brunch including bananas foster French toast and a shrimp empanada. Reservations required. Miss Ollie’s is hosting a special Caribbean brunch buffet. The $30 meal will have two seatings — 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Reservations required. Lungomare is also hosting a buffet meal from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The $55 menu includes house-smoked salmon, ricotta-blueberry pancakes, and house-smoked ham. Likewise, The Terrace Room‘s $55 brunch includes all-you-can eat ham (honey-glazed), plus classics like poached salmon and made-to-order omelettes. District will include bottomless mimosas in its $35 brunch buffet. Sop up the booze with buttermilk pancakes, house-made spicy chicken sausage, and biscuits and sawmill gravy. KronnerBurger is also serving a special menu from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will include sticky buns, Betty’s biscuits, housemade English muffins, eggs with crab and caviar, dry-aged prime rib, Mangalitsa ham and crispy lamb neck. Later in the evening, Homestead will serve a $60 three-course Loire Valley-inspired dinner featuring an entrée of roasted leg of lamb accompanied by baby carrots, local asparagus and new potatoes.  For those who don’t want to brave the restaurant rush, Rockridge Market Hall is offering its annual Easter Menu of items to-go, including its hot cross buns and deviled eggs. Café Eugene is at 1175 Solano Ave. (at Stannage Avenue), Albany. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. alaMar is at 100 Grand Ave. (between Webster and Valdez Streets), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and InstagramMiss Ollie’s is at 901 Washington St. (at 9th Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook. Lungomare is at 1 Broadway (at Water Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and TwitterThe Terrace Room is at 1800 Madison St. (at Lakeside Drive), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter. District is at 827 Washington St. (at 9th Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and InstagramKronnerBurger is at 4063 Piedmont Ave. (at 41st Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and InstagramHomestead is at 4029 Piedmont Ave. (at 40th Street), Oakland. 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.

What else is going on…

Growler four-pack. Photo courtesy: Hopsy

HOPSY EXPANDS TO SAN FRANCISCO, ADDING SUBSCRIPTION Good news for the Albany-based growler delivery service — Hopsy has now expanded its delivery area to include San Francisco. It has also partnered with GrubMarket to deliver to the Peninsula, Marin County and Contra Costa County. For those of us who are already regular users of the service, Hopsy also plans to start a beer subscription service called HopsyBox. Subscribers will be able to receive regular shipments of four different growlettes at a 15% discount. Delivery frequency and taste preferences will both be customizable. Hopsy is at 1137 Solano Ave. (between Kains and Stannage avenues), Albany. Connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

COMMERCIAL DUNGENESS CRAB SEASON TO OPEN MARCH 26 Tomorrow, commercial fishing season for Dungeness crab will finally open. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife lifted prohibitions against fishing everywhere south of the Sonoma-Mendocino county line after state health officials determined the crabs “no longer pose a significant human health risk.” Crabbing is still banned starting at Mendocino county and moving north. Despite the lift of the fishing ban, the California Department of Public Health is still recommending that home cooks and restaurants alike take precautions when preparing the crab. They are telling consumers to not eat the internal organs and also recommend that all of the liquid used to cook the crabs be discarded. Dungeness season will still end June 30, making for a very short window of time for fishing.

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Kate Williams

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...