March 11, 2014

March 11, 2014
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The original Darling’s sign. Photo courtesy of Bar Dogwood.

Last year, Diablo Dish noted that ~BAR DOGWOOD~ in Oakland was going to be expanding into the space next door (which is along 17th Street and also around the corner, on Broadway), and now we have some details to share. Owner Alexeis Filipello is going to be calling it ~DARLING’S~, an homage to the space’s former existence as Darling’s Pharmacy in the 1920s (Filipello found this out after some research at the Hall of Records—most recently it was a jewelry store). The look will definitely be riffing on the pharmacy theme—Filipello plans to reuse some of the old pharmacy cabinets she found in the basement, as well as integrating tile, marble, and lots of wood. She is also having special brass lights made, and the bar is going to be custom made (look for some ornate metalwork and hand-cut glass).

Darling’s will primarily be used as a space for private events and overflow (there’s room for about 60), and will be open as a bar Thu-Sat. There will be housemade phosphates, lactarts, and other old-school soda jerk-inspired adult drinks. It will also have its own seasonal cocktail list. The spirits options are going to be a bit more limited than your usual bar lineup, although there will be a large selection of small-batch whiskeys, tequilas, and mezcals.

In order to create a walkway in between the bars, Dogwood’s meat counter is going to be ripped up and relocated to Darling’s. The menu will include even more house-cured meats, sandwiches, and more cold items, like salads and a new offering of crudos.

Filipello mentioned that once Darling’s is open, she plans to make both bars a technology-free zone and ban phone use. She says, “I’m tired of people not interacting. I want to have an atmosphere conducive to socializing. Sure, if you need to send a quick text, okay, but no more of people just staring at their phones.” To that, I say amen. Look for an opening in November or thereabouts. The entrance is at 1635 Broadway at 17th St., Oakland.

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The Berlinetta Lounge. Photo from Facebook.

On Thursday March 13th, Italian winemaker Luca Currado of Vietti wines in Piedmont will be at ~SPRUCE~. He’ll be serving a selection of his wines, available by the glass or paired with a tasting menu from chef John Madriaga. Reservations are encouraged, but bar and lounge seating will be held for walk-ins.

Wine lovers won’t want to miss this class with Bar Boulud’s Michael Madrigale, who is in town to teach a class on Sunday March 16th at ~18 REASONS~: What Sommeliers Drink When They’re Picking Up the Tab. The class is 3pm-5pm, $40 for 18 Reasons members, $50 for the general public.

~BERLINETTA LOUNGE~ is hosting a few wine events in the coming months, called Flights + Bites, with a new theme each month. On Tuesday March 18th, the theme is green wines (natural, eco-friendly, and biodynamic), with six pours including the 2010 Chateau Montelena cabernet sauvignon and 2012 Hartford Court Russian River pinot noir. Six bites will be paired with the wines, including a tombo tuna with artichokes, spring onions, and tonnato sauce, and a chicken liver tartine with blood orange and black truffle. On Tuesday April 15th, the theme is tax-season wines, and then on Thursday May 29th the lounge will welcome Greg Brewer (winemaker at Melville Winery and his own label, Brewer-Clifton), who will share his pours. The evenings run from 6pm-8pm and cost $25 per person; call 415-400-0554 for reservations. 417 Stockton St. at Bush, 415-400-0555.

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Wine tasting at Urban Legend Cellars at a past Passport to the East Bay Wineries. Photo from Facebook.

The sixth annual Passport to the East Bay Wineries is coming up on Saturday and Sunday March 15th and 16th. The event, which celebrates winemakers in the East Bay (it’s California’s largest urban winemaking region), takes you to 13 different wineries in Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, and Castro Valley, where you can taste wine from more than 20 producers. You’ll find live music, food pairings, and wines that include single varieties and unusual blends. Tickets are $40 per person for just Saturday, $65 for both days, and $10 for designated drivers. The event runs from 12pm-5pm both days; locations vary.

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