The East Bay’s best new restaurant doesn’t name-drop luxury ingredients or push the boundaries of modern gastronomy. No, what Homestead offers are quieter pleasures: sweet cherry tomatoes spiked with sherry vinegar; duck confit slow-cooked until the fat is seductively jiggly; thick slices of perfectly grilled rib eye kissed with a deep smokiness from the wood-fire hearth, where almost all of the food is cooked. True to the pioneer spirit evoked by the restaurant’s name, almost every single item on the menu — including the bread, ricotta, cured meats, and sea salt-flecked soft butter — is made from scratch in-house. Look out, Chez Panisse! Truly, this is Northern Californian cuisine at its finest. Don’t sleep on the restaurant’s morning coffee-and-doughnuts program, which is like breakfast and a show for food-lovers: a chance to munch on a house-made French cruller or savory bacon strata while you watch the chefs prep for dinner service.
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.Best New Restaurant