THE BLEECKER BISTRO is now open in Berkeley, in the former Ann’s Kitchen space. The new spot is from chef Jason Kwan of Joshu-ya Brasserie, and this time around he’s offering American comfort food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Look for large portions and low prices, with menu items like eggs, omelets, and breakfast burritos in the morning, and burgers, sandwiches, and salads at lunch and dinner. For a full look at the menus, head here. All the sandwiches will be served on bread made daily in-house, and there are also plans in the works for wine and beer and live music in the evenings. Hours are 8am-8pm daily. 2498 Telegraph Ave. at Dwight, 510-548-8885.
Congrats to chef Eddie Blyden (Henry’s, Miss Pearl’s, The Alembic), who has a set of keys to his own place and will be opening a burger spot in the Rotunda Building on Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland. The location was formerly a Mediterranean place, Plaza Cafe, and prior to that it was a burger joint. He is going to be doing his own twist on a burger (look for a secret smoky seasoning and a pretty special bun), plus he plans to salute his past years in New York with a Coney Island frankfurter with gravy. Also being discussed: a chicken sandwich, catfish on Fridays, and fries with spicy ketchup and mango ketchup. As he proudly hooted to me on the phone, “We’re going to be doing some throwbacks, Miss Tablehopper!” Looking forward to it, chef Blyden! There will be some outdoor seating on the plaza, bonus. Look for a January opening—and a name soon as well. 300 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland.
Coming to Uptown Oakland in early 2014 is the new ALAMAR from chef Nelson German (previously of Supperclub). Diablo Dish first caught the story, and a recent press release shared more details. The restaurant is focused on seafood (the name means “to the sea” in Spanish), particularly on shellfish boils, including Dungeness crab and crawfish at dinner. At lunch, look for sandwiches, and a weekend brunch includes the the rather dangerous-sounding grilled cheese Benedict. Construction has just begun on the space, which seats 55 indoors with room for an additional 16 on the heated patio. 100 Grand Ave. at Valdez.
In mid-December, chef Fabio Dalle Vacche will be opening a new Italian restaurant in Jack London Square called CENTOUNO, according to East Bay Express and a press release. You’ll find Italian comfort food, served family style, including fresh pastas, a torta fritta, and a bistecca alla Fiorentina. Dalle Vacche’s mother is helping out with the menu, too, which is pretty freaking cute. The restaurant seats more than 100, and there is also a private dining room for up to 22 people. Look out for happy hour Mon-Fri from 4pm-6pm and Sat-Sun 5pm-7pm, with Italian-style sangria. The restaurant will be open daily 11am-11pm. 101 Broadway at Embarcadero West, 510-433-5030.
Chef Eddie Blyden. Photo from Facebook.