Back in January, the Inside Scoop mentioned chef Edward Higgins—a New York import who worked very closely with chef Marco Canora of Hearth and Insieme for years, and is currently at Quattro at the Four Seasons Palo Alto—would be opening his own project, ~BAIA~ in Oakland. After checking up on the project and exchanging emails with him last week, I learned the location in Old Oakland was finito, and now he’s due to open the restaurant in an undisclosed location in Mission Bay.
Personally, I am very excited about the concept, which will be modern Sicilian (his grandmother is Sicilian). Nope, there really isn’t much Sicilian cooking in this town—he’s looking forward to showcasing the unique ingredients and flavors of Sicilian dishes, while using our fantastic local seafood. The 49-seat space will be designed to be simple, warm, and relaxing—Higgins wants it to be a place where people can find a “calming respite” from urban life over some small plates and wine. The location will be light-filled, and since the layout is almost the same as the originally planned-for Oakland location, he’ll be able to move ahead with the already approved architectural plans. It’s a new space, however, so the opening probably won’t happen until spring 2012. I’ll keep you posted on the actual address and more in coming months. In the meantime, he will continue working at Quattro at the Four Seasons Palo Alto.
Chef Edward Higgins.