Berkeley’s CORSO has made some changes, including signing on a new chef. Scott Eastman is now at the helm in the kitchen—he’s been there since they opened six years ago. They’ve replaced the kitchen’s large pizza oven with a special charcuterie cooler and a pasta cooker. The menu’s focus has shifted toward housemade pasta, whole animal butchery, and Bay Area style and products. Think Italian technique and inspiration, but with a California sense of adventure and maybe not so many rules—take a look at the new menu here. In addition to some new menu items, like a nightly butcher’s special cut of meat, yogurt-marinated rabbit, and extensive charcuterie choices, they’ve also acquired a full liquor license. The new cocktail list takes its inspiration from vintage cocktails, with Italian influence; take a look here. Hours are Sun-Mon 5pm-9pm, Tue-Thu 5pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-10pm. 1788 Shattuck Ave. at Delaware, Berkeley, 510-704-8004.
This Wednesday August 13th, catch a special Italian regional dinner at ~BOOT AND SHOE SERVICE~ from 5:30pm-10pm. Every month, a different region of Italy is highlighted, and this month it’s all about Campania. Their pizzas will still be available as usual, along with some regional appetizers, pasta, and main dishes. If you can’t make it this time around, next month’s dinner will be on Wednesday September 10th, featuring the flavors of Sicily. 3308 Grand Ave. at Elwood, 510-763-2668.
Oakland’s MONTCLAIR BISTRO is changing hands at the end of this month, according to a press release we received. After 10 years, chef and owner Henry Vortriede decided to sell the restaurant to Joe Schnell and Tracey Belock, who will be opening it as CHOWHAUS. Montclair Bistro’s last day of service will be on Monday August 25th, followed by a brief closure for remodeling. 6118 Medau Place at Moraga, Oakland, 510-482-8282.
As noted in the Scoop, the Future Bars crew have opened another location of Cask (their spirits and barware store), CASK ON COLLEGE, in the East Bay (near Rockridge). Cask on College also carries wine and beer, and look for tastings too. 3185 College Ave. at Alcatraz, Berkeley,
The new Corso. Photo by Harry Yuan.