Across the Bay Bridge, a fresh batch of Oakland restaurant openings is giving us serious hunger pangs.
Downtown dwellers should heed this call to gather round the table at a new spot in Swan's Marketplace “for honest foods” – The Cook & Her Farmer. Chef/owner Romney Steele works with oyster-shucker and co-owner Steven Day to create a menu that revolves around oysters, fries, fresh seafood, beer and wine. Day spent time in Marin County raising oysters in the famed Tomales Bay, earning him the title of “farmer,” and Steele is the author of two books that center around food, Plum Gorgeous and My Nepenthe. She grew up around food and hospitality as the granddaughter of Bill and Lolly Fassett – creators of Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur, which opened in 1949, and was a coastal draw for culterati and travelers for many years. 9th at Washington St.
The caffeine scene heats up near 12th Street with the arrival of High XII Cafe & Coffee, which serves Verve coffee and pastries from Starter Bakery. Lunch service of the fresh sandwich and salad variety is reportedly coming soon. Owner Abir Balat came up with the new concept after a fire gutted the site late last year. 1111 Franklin Street, Suite B
Brothy bowls of goodness can be found at Pho Thang Long, which has a spiffed up interior and new friendly and efficient management. It's not a fancy spot, but the eats are worth the hunt, with a special shout out to the fresh spring rolls and shakes. 2211 International Blvd.