One of the hazards of my job is that I never get to return to restauants I love as often as I'd like—it's always on to the next, the newest (I know, I'm sure you're ready to cry me a river). Such is the case with Bar Bambino, a spot I really like and where I often intend to go for a glass of wine and a panini or one of their wine-and-cheese classes. Well, while I've been busy meaning to go, the Bar Bambino team has been busy making other plans. Lots of them. The first big news from owner Christopher Losa is that they're expanding—to Oakland. The second business, Mia Filino, will be located in the new Jack London Square development and will be part retail space, part cafe—they'll have cheeses (aged to perfection in a 300-square-foot cheese cave), cured meats and beer and wine for you to take home, along with fondue, meat and cheese platters, antipasti and panini for you to enjoy onsite. The projected opening date is Spring 2010.
In the meantime, Bar Bambino's jumped on the lunch-time bandwagon, joining ranks with other boxed lunch peddlers (Kitchenette, American Box) to provide a $12 lunch set—panini, side salad, sweet treat and San Pellegrino soda—to go, available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. You can even call ahead and have your porchetta sammie ready and waiting. And, taking a page from the Boccalone folks, soon they'll be wheeling lunch to you in the basket of their Bar Bambino Box Bike. Clearly, it's time to revisit an old favorite.