Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Piedmont California Restaurants

Piedmont California Restaurants

These restaurants are all within a couple blocks of the Piedmont line. Of course there are fabulous and well-known restaurants--Chez Panisse, Oliveto, and so on--within a ten-minute drive of Piedmont's boundaries. But these are literally a short evening stroll away!

Organized thirty years ago, about the time of Chez Panisse's ascendance, BayWolf is the "other veteran East Bay restaurant with a Mediterranean bent and a democratic, hedonistic soul" says Saveur editor Colman Andrews. Like the owners of several area restaurants, BayWolf's owners produced a thoughtfully organized cookbook a couple years ago. JoJo's, next door, has similar "it's all about the food" roots.

Little Shin Shin
Little Shin Shin is a classic neighborhood Chinese joint--in an American sense. Oakland's Chinatown is more authentic than that of San Francisco, so you can find many specializing in various regional cuisines. But as you can see, Little Shin Shin has something extra. (Dopo, an intimate Italian restaurant owned by Chez Panisse alums, is located across the street.)

LoCoco's is run by the hip younger generation of its original owners. Like Little Shin Shin, LoCoco's specializes in the American interpretation of a Italian food, circa 1950. The straight-ahead Spaghetti and Meatballs is to die for.

Gregoire and Cesar
Gregoire and Cesar are both offshoots of core elements of Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto, and both have opened to great fanfare on Piedmont Avenue in the past few months. Gregoire offers impeccable take out--great roasted tuna sandwiches with aoli or remoulade--while Cesar specializes in tapas and a very energetic vibe.

Piedmont Grocery
It's six thirty and dinner's not ready. What's another take-out option? The newer take out area at the upscale Piedmont Grocery. Hot, cold, comfort food or ethnic specialty, Piedmont Grocery will have something for everyone in the family.

Arizmendi, our cooperatively owned bakery, illustrates the inevitable link between so many East Bay restaurants and Berkeley's "Gourmet Ghetto." Originally organized by the staff of the world-famous Cheese Board, Arizmendi brings its justly famous vegetarian pizza and fabulous baked goods to Lake Merritt's shores. Arizmendi too has produced a slick cookbook.

Lakeshore Avenue offers burritos, Chinese, ice cream, Italian, crepes, Peets, and more, but Mezze is a special Mediterranean hot spot.

Tree-Lined Streets Of Piedmont
And after all that food, it's time to head back to the tree-lined streets of Piedmont.

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