RÉVEILLE COMES TO BERKELEY Last Friday, San Francisco’s Café Réveille opened its first East Bay location in Berkeley just off the popular Fourth Street shopping district. The new café has both indoor and outdoor seating, and serves its own single-origin coffee drinks, as well as breakfast and lunch.
More than just a coffee shop, Réveille boasts a food menu worth checking out. Chef Juliet Orbach (whose food we loved when she cooked for Berkeley pop-up The Fareground) developed the menu for Réveille’s Lower Haight café across the bay, and it’s mirrored at the new Berkeley location.
Orbach’s sophisticated take on café eats showcase her penchant for California-Middle Eastern cuisine, with tons of fresh produce, pickles, merguez sausages and dishes like shakshuka appearing on the morning and afternoon menus. You’ll also find trendier dishes, like açaí and granola bowls, coconut chia pudding with nuts and fruit, but we are most excited by the hearty and nourishing egg dishes, salads and sandwiches where Orbach’s skills with building flavors with high-quality ingredients and flavorful seasonings really shine.
On weekends, Réveille offers brunch, and Orbach and café Danielle Paz said it’s possible they may expand their menu to serve dinner. For now, the hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Café Réveille is found in the building shared with Anthropologie and Paper Source, tucked behind these two stores, and is most accessible via Fifth Street or through the corridor off of Fourth Street. (h/t Eater). Café Réveille, 760 Hearst St. (at Fifth), Berkeley
FROM TOOT TO THAI Berkeley’s longtime bakery Toot Sweets (at 1277 Gilman St.) closed its doors last August, and we’ve continually received emails from readers wondering what was taking over for the sweet shop. Rumors swirled for a few months that Mariposa Baking Company was moving in, but in January, we received confirmation from a Mariposa representative that the gluten-free bakery decided not to pursue the space. Then, there were crickets… until now. We just got word about what’s possibly coming next. A proposal to convert the space from a quick serve food and café space into a full-service restaurant called Thai Corner was submitted to the city of Berkeley in February by Kobkul Oltmanns. According to the zoning proposal, Oltmanns plans to convert the 1,645-square-foot space into a Thai restaurant that will seat up to 48 people and will be open from 11 a.m. to 10.m. daily. We reached out to Oltmanns for more details, but had not heard a response at time of publication.
LA MARCHA WINE SHOP If you’re impressed with the wine list at Berkeley tapas spot La Marcha, you’ll be keenly interested in this bit of news: chef-owners Sergio Monleón and Emily Sarlatte are opening a new wine shop on San Pablo Avenue, just steps away from their popular Spanish restaurant. The duo playfully call the shop The Mile Limit, a reference to Prohibition Era legislation that banned liquor sales within a one-mile radius of UC Berkeley. Unlike the selection at La Marcha, which is focused on Spanish wines, The Mile Limit will offer bottles from around the world. Monleón told the East Bay Express that they plan to especially highlight wines from areas mostly underrepresented in the wine industry and at Bay Area bottle shops, as well as California wines from immigrant-owned wineries. They will also offer educational programming, for those who want to know a little more about what they’re drinking. The pair hope to open The Mile Limit as soon as late summer. The Mile Limit will be at 2040 San Pablo Ave. (near University), Berkeley
BERKELEY’S JAMES BEARD COOKBOOK AWARD WINNER Congrats to Samin Nosrat! The Berkeley resident, writer and former Chez Panisse chef just garnered a coveted James Beard Cookbook Award for her debut cookbook, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking. Nosrat’s book received much praise when it was released last year for breaking the conventions and expectations of a cookbook, and for being an approachable, informative and delightful read. More than just a mere recipe book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat also uses storytelling and visuals (by illustrator Wendy MacNaughton) to teach how to make the most of the four essential building blocks of a recipe — salt, fat, acid, and heat.
GOODBYE, OLD BROOKLYN IN ROCKRIDGE Old Brooklyn Bagel and Deli at 6000 College Ave. has closed. A sign at the location was posted on Monday, thanking the community for their support and asking fans to visit the shop’s café and bakery location at 2228 Broadway. Old Brooklyn is a locally owned operation, making fresh, handmade boiled bagels, as well as soups, salads, deli sandwiches and other café fare. It opened its College Avenue location in 2012, and followed up with the Uptown location in 2015. Old Brooklyn CEO Richard Le told Nosh that the company decided to close the Rockridge location “due to low gross sales,” which “dropped drastically” after the Safeway on College Avenue reopened in 2015, followed by Philz Coffee (opened in April 2015) and Ike’s Sandwiches (opened in April 2016). Le also cited increased rent, labor and food cost as reasons for why the company decided not to renew its lease.
PARK STREET TAVERN SOFT OPENS Over in Alameda, there’s a new full-service restaurant offering Italian, Greek and central Mediterranean fare. Park Street Tavern softly opened on April 21 with a limited menu and hours, but expanded to include dinner service last week. For now, the dinner menu has more of an Italian bent, with pastas and entrees like scallopini taking center stage. There are some Greek appetizers, like a trio of dips and loukaniko (a pork sausage flavored with fennel seeds), too, but it’s the bar food menu where you’ll find more Greek bites, like souvlaki, spanakopita, tyropita (filo dough pie stuffed with feta) and kolokithokeftedes (zucchini fritters). Park Street Tavern has a full bar serving beer, wine and cocktails. Park Street Tavern, 1901 Park St. (near Clement), Alameda
CINCO DE MAYO EATS For those who associate May 5 with a fiesta, there are several options for you to celebrate Mexican and Latin American culture in the East Bay this week — many involving tasty eats and refreshing drinks. Here are our top picks:
Chop Bar in Jack London Square is once again hosting Cinco de Mayo festivities. This year, Mexican fare and cocktails will take over the restaurant’s lunch and dinner menu for four days, Wednesday through Sunday. Eats include taco plates, tortas, and main dishes like PEI Mussels Yucateco (with jalapeño and ancho orange broth, served with garlic toast) and Mole Negro de Cola de Res (oxtail mole, served with rice, beans and housemade tortillas). We recommend going on Friday, when the restaurant will roast a whole goat for guests. Plates of the Guadalajara-style goat will be served with accompaniments of rice, beans, guacamole and tortillas. As for drinks, there will be six specials offered for the four day takeover, including an intriguing michelada, prepared with roasted asparagus, ancho chile, orange, lime, star anise, Worcestershire sauce, mezcal and Bohemia beer. Chop Bar, 247 Fourth St. (near Alice), Oakland
Oakland Fiesta Sin Fronteras presents the second annual Dining for Justice fundraiser, a Cinco de Mayo dining event that will take place over the entire weekend, from Friday to Sunday. More than 15 venues throughout the East Bay will offer special menu items and cocktails to raise funds for Centro Legal de la Raza and other organizations working with immigrant communities. Participating restaurants and bars include À Côté, alaMar, Bar Cesar, Calavera, Chop Bar (see above), Commonwealth, East End Pizza, El Huarache Azteca, Fonda, Grand Lake Kitchen, Lia Jia Asian Kitchen, Luka’s Taproom & Lounge, Lungomare, Make Westing, Nido, Tacos Sinaloa, The Port Bar and Uptown Night Club.
Julia’s Restaurant and Morgan’s Bar and Lounge at the Berkeley City Club is hosting two days of Cinco de Mayo feasting. Chef Fabrice Marcon will offer a special menu of Mexican dishes Friday and Saturday, offered a la carte at Julia’s and as tapas at Morgan’s. Menu highlights include grilled octopus with spicy pineapple purée and pickled green tomatoes; a tostada topped with Dungeness crab and mango avocado guacamole. There will also be cocktails like Flores Frescas, a refreshing drink made with Hibiscus tea, tequila, lime and hibiscus rosemary syrup. Julia’s Restaurant and Morgan’s Bar and Lounge , Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave., second fl. (between Dana and Ellsworth), Berkeley
Los Moles in Emeryville started celebrating Cinco de Mayo on Tuesday and will extend its special menu through Sunday. Today through Friday, Los Moles offers drink specials on beers, margaritas and shots. On Saturday and Sunday, it rolls out its famous all-you-can-eat buffet, featuring eight types of mole, a variety of meat dishes, pozole, menudo, housemade tortillas, beans, rice, salads, desserts and more. This little tidbit of info may be the deciding factor for when you plan your visit: a mariachi band will perform on Saturday at the restaurant, from 4-6 p.m. The restaurant opens daily at 9 a.m. Los Moles, 1320 65th St. (at Hollis), Emeryville
Cinco de Mayo festivities start in the early afternoon at Oakland Oaxacan restaurant Agave Uptown. Starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, the restaurant will come alive with live music performances, inviting in guests to enjoy food and drink specials. There will be several refreshing cocktails made with tequila and mezcal, including two margaritas and the herbaceous Los Niños Heroes, made with Silencio mezcal, cucumber, basil and agave nectar. Agave Uptown, 2135 Franklin St. (near 22nd), Oakland