East Bay Eats: Duck Confit, Roam Burgers and Italian Pasta
Two San Francisco hot spot eateries have opened new locations in the East Bay.
From SF to Oakland: The Barrel Room restaurant and wine bar just opened in Rockridge and is the latest project from proprietors and sommeliers Sarah Trubnick and Carolyn Johnson, who first opened The Barrel Room San Francisco in 2011. Chef Sam Paulding is heading up the kitchen and worked in the kitchen at Oliveto and Paulding & Co. before landing here. For comfy noshing with your vino, there’s Brie cheese wrapped in puff pastry with roasted grapes, duck wing drumettes confit with a spicy sweet glaze, and brandade with toasts. Larger plates cover meaty territory as well: porc aux pruneaux, duck confit cassoulet with Toulouse sausage (duck fans have lots to love here!), and boeuf Bourguignon croustades. There’s also a charcuterie sampler and happy hour, and sweet endings include crème brûlée and tartlet Tatin. In keeping with our seasonal and local traditions, the food menu is scheduled to change every eight weeks. 5330 College Ave., Oakland; (510) 655-1700.
La Fiesta Square in Lafayette is home to a new Roam Burgers, making it the third Bay Area location and first outside of San Francisco with the opening this week. Spirited gourmet bases are covered by the Roam concept: grass-fed beef burgers, free-range turkey, toothsome veggie burger, fries and crazy good Straus milkshakes in seven flavors. Fun menu note that adds definite variety: this is also the spot where you can dig in to an ostrich, elk or bison burger—the Tejano bison burger is dressed with pepper jack, jalapeño relish, avocado, and tomato. There is a decent salad selection and you can wash it all down with beer, wine, or locally sourced kombucha. Real estate watchers may note that Roam took over the spot where A.G. Ferrari Foods lived most recently. Roam is run by Josh Spiegelman and Lynn Gorfinkle. 23 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette.
Oakland's Jack London Square has an Italian comfort food gem with the opening of Centouno, from chef Fabio Dalle Vacche. The chef’s culinary outlook is sweetly inspired by time spent at his family's trattoria, located outside of Parma, Italy. He has worked locally on the opening of Borgo Italia restaurant in Oakland and consulted for restaurants in New York City. For those wondering if cooking still gets handed down through the generations still, this one’s got a sweet story: Fabio’s mother, Luigina, is helping with the Centouno debut menu and to (re)create the homey setting that is evocative of her own Italian kitchen.
The lunch and dinner eats here range from fresh pasta to more meaty options: torta fritta (aka gnocchi fritto); tigelle served with cured meats or cheeses; housemade potato gnocchi with a traditional pesto Genovese; and fresh taglietelle with Luigina’s ragu al Bolognese. For large plates, there’s one of our favorite all time travel dishes with the bistecca alla Fiorentina--a T-bone steak, cooked to order, and definitely large enough for two. Desserts are represented with lightly coated, deep fried apple rings or a refreshing lemon sorbet. Centouno’s wine list reflects California, Italy and the New World and all wines are offered by the glass—all the easier to taste and tempt. Carafe fun can be had with two locally produced reds: Centouno Vino della Casa Leggero, a light house red, or Vino Casa Corposo, which the full bodied house red option. Linden Street Brewery is nearby so you can rightly find those brews on tap here. 101 Broadway, Oakland; (510) 433-5030.