East Bay Express reports that a new restaurant with a whole animal focus (and a retail butcher shop!) is coming to North Oakland, and it’s called ~CLOVE & HOOF~. The new project comes from Analiesa Gosnell (previously a butcher at Cafe Rouge) and chef John Blevins (previously at Gather and Lalime’s). The shop will sell cuts of meat from responsibly raised whole animals that will be broken down in-house, while the restaurant will focus on lunch offerings. There will be about 24 seats for those wishing to dine in, but the focus is on takeout.
Sandwiches will be made utilizing lesser-known or challenging cuts of meat that are paired with housemade condiments. Blevins is also planning to install a smoker in the kitchen and has been studying charcuterie in France, so you’ll find both European-style offerings alongside dishes that are rooted in Southern barbecue traditions. One such dish is a pork confit stew with garlic sausage (smoked in-house), brisket ends, and Tarbais beans, which marries a cassoulet-style dish with American pork and beans. To start, they won’t be open for dinner, though there are plans to offer whole-animal dinners and prepared dishes to take home. Right now, the hope is to open in the fall, though there is still an extensive build-out to get through until the space is ready. 4001 Broadway at 40th St., Oakland.
In Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood, ~COMAL~’s owners John Paluska and Andrew Hoffman have been working with the city to get approval to open a new restaurant in Elmwood for months, and they’ve finally succeeded! The new place will be in a former garage that has been vacant since at least 2007, when an organization called the Elmwood Neighborhood Association blocked a different restaurant from moving in. The same group opposed the new project, as well, but after lots of community outreach and support from many others in the neighborhood, they got the green light. Berkeleyside Nosh has lots of details on the process, so check out their coverage for lots of great information.
They are still looking for a chef to run the kitchen at the new place (Comal’s Matt Gandin will stay where he is), but they’ve got the basic concept in place. It will be neighborhood-focused, “approachable and comfortable,” as Paluska says, with “Northern California” food, including flavors from Asian and Mediterranean cuisine. The space will seat 100, including 12 seats at the bar. Once they have a chef, more details will emerge about the food. They’re targeting an early 2015 opening. 2635 Ashby Ave. at College, Berkeley.
Berkeleyside Nosh reports that there is a new Thai place in town. ~GIIN THAI CANTEEN~ comes from the same people behind Gecko Gecko, and offers thai cuisine that is spicier, less sweet, and more flavorful than the average Thai-American options. The menu includes many Thai restaurant staples, including curry and pad Thai, as well as some more unusual choices, like a whole fried fish of the day and spicy sausage with sticky rice. 3278 Adeline St. at Alcatraz, Berkeley, 510-547-4446.