Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our weekly roundup of East Bay food news.
1) James Syhabout took to Instagram to announce the birth of his much-anticipated new gastropub Box & Bells (5912 College Ave., Oakland), which opens for dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. tonight, Inside Scoop reports. Syhabout told Scoop that the meat-centric menu that he and chef Benjamin Coe have put together will focus on the mastery of basic cooking techniques (“roasting, poaching, frying”) rather than high-tech modern embellishments. Let’s just say it isn’t a shy menu: Blood pudding poutine! Raw oyster mayonnaise! $65 aged prime cote de boef on the bone!
3) Great China’s reopening saga continues, as the Berkeley restaurant builds out its new space at 2190 Bancroft Way (the former Looney’s BBQ) after a kitchen fire shut down the original location early last year. The latest estimate for a reopening: mid- to late-November, which is really quite soon in the scheme of things. Fingers crossed.
4) On November 11, Oakland’s Grand Lake Kitchen (576 Grand Ave.) will launch its new weekday breakfast service, starting at 9 a.m. every day except Tuesday, when the restaurant is closed. Weekend brunch hours (which also start at 9 a.m.) will remain unchanged.
5) Tablehopper has the scoop on the exact (and previously undisclosed) Lakeshore neighborhood location for Shakewell, the highly anticipated Mediterranean restaurant from Top Chef alums Jen Biesty and Tim Nugent: 3407 Lakeshore Ave. — the current Mezze space. According to the Tablehopper preview, the build-out will begin on December 1, with a March 2014 expected opening date.
SpoonRocket food delivery service (as previously profiled by What the Fork), with its promise of $6 gourmet meals delivered to your door in a matter of minutes, will expand its delivery radius to include Oakland’s Downtown and Lake Merritt areas starting this Friday, November 1, from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. (!!!) every day.
7) Meanwhile, one of SpoonRocket’s San Francisco-based competitors, Munchery (another delivery service committed to “reinventing weeknight dinners”) just launched a bunch of new features, including a kids’ menu, sustainable packaging, and a new addition to the company’s stable of former fine-dining chefs — Gitane’s Bridget Batson. Munchery currently serves most of the East Bay, with same-day delivery for orders placed before 3 p.m.
8) One last news item on the food-delivery front: The Japanese catering company Peko Peko has launched a shidashi box delivery service: multi-platter boxed meals (five to ten dishes in the box, priced at $30 to $65 per person) delivered to your home or workplace, complete with stoneware, lacquer dishes, and chopsticks (Peko Peko picks these up the following day). Inquire at [email protected] for information about specific dishes or to place an order.
9) Holiday shoppers on the other side of the Bay will be happy to know that Oakland’s Japanese barware and teaware specialist Umami Mart (815 Broadway) is setting up a pop-up holiday market in San Francisco, starting on Friday, November 1, in the back section of The Perish Trust (728 Divisadero St.). The pop-up will be open Tuesday to Sunday every week, through December 24.
10) Oh how I love The Toast’s recent “Food Trolling With Mallory” series, wherein the author waxes hilarious on beloved foods that she happens to hate with the fire of a thousand suns. (Start with this epic takedown of that noted “trash food,” the common apple.) The headline for the latest entry — “Chipotle is Monstrous” — speaks for itself.
11) ICYMI, this week What the Fork took a look at Emeryville Public Market’s new Thursday night pop-up series, as well as a local edible wild plant expert’s new book project encouraging everyday foraging.
Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I’ll read ‘em all.