Chef Dominique Crenn’s new project, ANTOINETTE, has opened at the historic and restored Claremont Club & Spa in Berkeley (it’s opening in the former Paragon). She partnered with the property to consult on and develop this ingredient-driven brasserie and brought on chef de cuisine Justin Mauz (he was most recently at Joël Robuchon at the Mansion in Las Vegas, and previously at Zahav and Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia, and L20 and Sixteen in Chicago).
On the menu (here’s an initial sample menu) you’ll note a modern take on French brasserie dishes with Northern California ingredients, including coq au vin with maitake mushrooms, Lyonnaise salad with Mangalitsa lardo, and salt-roasted parsnip barigoule with black trumpets, celery, and cardoons, plus large-format dishes to share, like a whole Liberty Farm duck off the rotisserie, and whole-roasted monkfish tail with bouillabaisse, couscous, and vadouvan. You can even partake in caviar service if you’re feeling flush. There are also some custom elements through their relationships with Firebrand Artisan Breads, Fieldwork Brewing Co., and Four Barrel Coffee.
The restaurant is currently open for dinner, and breakfast and lunch begin Thursday February 25th. Claremont Club and Spa, 41 Tunnel Rd. at Claremont, Berkeley, 510-843-3000.
We broke the news back in December that Michele Belotti, most recently at Ristobar in San Francisco, was opening his own project in Rockridge, BELOTTI RISTORANTE E BOTTEGA. Pasta fans, rejoice, because it’s now open, and with a pasta-heavy menu that features stuffed pastas like his trademark agnolotti, plus his mother’s casoncelli (he’s from Northern Italy), along with risotto, pappardelle, and some antipasti (including an elegant steak tartare), vegetable sides, and a couple of larger meaty dishes too (check out the menu here).
The 40-seat restaurant is casual, and you can even come by for fresh pasta you can take home and cook yourself (there are a few sauces too). Bonus: there’s full liquor, so if you want to unwind with a Negroni or Aperol soda, you can do that too, plus there will be a happy hour. The cocktail menu is a bit limited for the opening; look for more options soon. You can look at the cocktail and wine list here.
Hours for now are Mon, Wed-Thu 11am-10pm, Thu-Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 10am-11pm, and Sun 10am-9pm (closed Tue). Look for hours to shift as he gets a sense of what the neighborhood needs. 5403 College Ave. at Hudson, Oakland, 510-788-7890.
Fans of MARZANO in Glenview, which closed a couple of years ago, will be happy to hear it has returned (in the interim, The Growlers’ Arms was in the space, which closed last fall). Scoop reported some of the original team is back in place, including general manager Manna Tekie and chef Rob Holt, who bought the restaurant from owners Justin Hafen and John Hurley. Look for many of the original dishes to return as well, from pizzas to the roast chicken. 4214 Park Blvd. at Edgewood, Glenview, 510-479-1448.
We have previously mentioned the vegan deli coming to Berkeley, THE BUTCHER’S SON, and they have set a soft opening date of Monday February 22nd. They will be serving vegan sandwiches, salads, cheeses, and meats, plus espresso, coffee, bagels, croissants from the Vegan French Choco Croissant crew, cannoli, and a few other things (which will expand in time). Their Facebook page shows an array of creative nut-based cheeses they’re making, from feta to cotija to drunken goat, plus vegan beef bologna and roast beef—even smoked carrot lox. Hours will be 7am-3pm. 1914A University Ave. at MLK, Berkeley.
An uni dish at Antoinette. Photo courtesy of Antoinette.