Mid-Week Menu: A16 and A90 on the Way, and Kermit Lynch Turns Forty



Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our weekly roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Big news in Rockridge: Inside Scoop reports that San Francisco’s A16 will open a second location early next year in the space currently occupied by Hudson (5356 College Ave.). Rocky Maselli, who’s cooked mostly in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, will be the executive chef. The restaurant’s original Marina location is probably most well known for its Neapolitan pizza; co-owner Shelley Lindgren notes that the Oakland location will have a bit more of a seafood focus because of Maselli’s family ties to Puglia (the heel of Italy’s boot, as they say). Between this news, James Syhabout’s upcoming project at the former Somerset location, and the Chez Panisse-pedigreed Ramen Shop — well, that’s a lot of firepower coming to tony Rockridge.

2) Speaking of A16, say hello to A90: Inside Scoop has some additional details about the restaurant coming to 2286 Shattuck Ave. (whose lease demands may have helped nudge out the building’s downstairs tenant, the dance club Shattuck Down Low). The building’s new occupant will be a Roman-style pizzeria called A90 (named after the beltway that encircles Rome) that will be headed by pizzaiolo Brian Langevin, a Tony Gemignani disciple. So more pizza. That said, owners Lisa Holt and David Shapiro keep teasing with oblique statements promising a creative, individualized dining experience: “Something unique that has not been seen in the Northern California area at all.”

Tokyo PoBoy at FuseBOX (via Facebook).
  • Tokyo Po'Boy at FuseBOX (via Facebook).
3) In West Oakland, FuseBOX (2311A Magnolia St.) is now open on Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. — previously, the restaurant had been a Wednesday-to-Friday lunch operation only. Recent menu additions by Chef Sunhui Chang include a Lubbock Banh Mi (with marinated skirt steak) and a Tang Granita Creamsicle. Yes, that Tang. The restaurant will occasionally close on Saturdays (the owners’ daughter plays soccer), so check Facebook or call to make sure before you head over.

4) Meanwhile, over in Alameda, the owners of the Le Truc food truck has taken over the kitchen at the Rock Wall Wine Company (2301 Monarch St.), according to Diablo Dish. Visitors to the winery’s tasting room and outdoor deck can order from a full contemporary bistro menu — the same stuff they serve on the truck. Restaurant hours are 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday.

5) Almanac Beer is hosting a “Meet the Brewers” event at Oakland’s Beer Revolution (464 3rd St.) tonight, October 17, at 6 p.m. Almanac co-founders Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan will be pouring the brewery’s new California Table Beer Series and its limited-edition Fresh Hop Ale. Pastry chef Amy Brown (formerly of NOPA) will be on hand serving recipes from a new project called Marla Bakery. The menu for the night will include beer cheese and whey crackers, pulled pork and sauerkraut on a Parker House roll, smoked chocolate pot de creme with speculoos, and an assortment of cookies.

Kermit Lynch in Provence, circa 1980 (via Kermit Lynch),
  • Kermit Lynch in Provence, circa 1980 (via Kermit Lynch),
6) In other boozy news, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant (1605 San Pablo Ave.), the longtime Berkeley wine importer and retail store, will be celebrating its 40th anniversary next Saturday, October 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m, in the parking lot that the shop shares with Acme Bread and the soon-to-open Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar. The anniversary celebration is open to the public, with food and wines by the glass available for purchase à la carte. Here’s what chef Christopher Lee (formerly of Chez Panisse and Eccolo) will be serving: Fennel Sausage on Acme Deli Roll with Roasted Pepper, Capers, and Basil; Potato Salad with Cornichons, Celery, Chives, Aïoli; Marinated Sardine Toast; and Brandade Toast. All that will be served on a single plate — the price probably won’t be set until a few days before the anniversary.

7) SFoodie did a write-up of a neat food-related project that is currently raising funds via Kickstarter: The Berkeley-based Guerrilla Cartographers have put together and — if their campaign is successful — will print and distribute a crowdsourced “food atlas” that includes more than 60 maps. Included in Food: An Atlas are several maps of particular interest to those of us in the Bay Area — a map of Oakland taco trucks, for instance, and a map that traces the global distribution of California almonds.

8) Finally, lots of news already this week right here on What the Fork: Savor Oakland’s new walking food tour of Jack London Square, Argentinian empanadas, the (brief) return of Kasper’s Hot Dogs, and the sudden closure of Berkeley’s Holy Land.

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.