Looking for a place that welcomes bookworms and lovers of cocktails and espresso shakeratos and ricotta meatballs? There will be a light on for you at NORTH LIGHT, an all-day café and bookstore that morphs into a bar in the late afternoon and evening. You can come by for breakfast (soft-scrambled eggs and papas bravas sound good?) and a Turkish coffee, or salads and toasts for lunch (including some day drinking options), and nighttime brings a few more heftier plates, along with boozier drinks from bar manager Den Stephens, but you’ll also find a kid’s menu if you have any little ones. Well-selected wines, also on the list. I’m happy that we have chef Ronnie New back in the Bay Area, and he’s running the kitchen here.
Owners Dan Stone and Lee Smith have some amazing people choosing the selection of books they sell (oh, like the favorite books of Patti Smith and Rebecca Solnit), and there are also records that will be for sale, and will also be playing. Back patio, check. Sounds just like my sort of place. Open Tue-Sun 7am-12am. 4915 Telegraph Ave. at 49th St., Oakland.
If you’re a fan of cider or just want to learn more, you can head to REDFIELD, the East Bay’s first cider bar and bottle shop, which recently opened in Rockridge from wife-and-husband team Olivia Maki (Bi-Rite Market) and Mike Reis (Monk’s Kettle, Lagunitas Brewing Company). There are 16 beer and cider draft lines for by-the-glass bottle pours and tasting flights, plus 150 or so ciders. You can also get bottles and cans to go. You’ll also find wine and food, like sandwiches, salads, and small plates, influenced by the cuisine of great cider cultures. Open Sun-Thu 12pm-11pm and Fri-Sat 12pm-12am. 5815 College Ave. at Chabot, Oakland.
There’s a new sandwich and salad spot near UC campus with a focus on housemade, quality ingredients and affordable pricing called RED DOOR EATS, take a look at the menu here, which includes romesco roast beef and crunchy bird turkey with layered chips (my kind of sandwich). Open Mon-Sat 11am-8pm. 2282 Fulton St. at Bancroft, 510-709-0009.
Come in to North Light for a cocktail and dinner, and be surrounded by books and music. Photo: Savage Bureau.