Funny how even a "slow" week on the eastern side of the Bay translates to a hot new cocktail destination, Cal-Italian cuisine, and more Tanya Holland in the form of B-Side Baking Company.
Start with a drink at Darling's Elixirs, the brand-new expansion of beloved Uptown Oakland cocktail haunt, Bar Dogwood. The two spaces are connected, and Darling's features a soda jerk-inspired menu of small-batch spirits, phosphates, and lactates, plus some of the fare from Bar Dogwood. That includes Dogwood's stellar cheese and charcuterie selection, and their excellent grilled cheese sandwich. Right now, they're open Thursday to Saturday, and otherwise will be used as an overflow space for Bar Dogwood.
We can't get enough of Tanya Holland, the brilliant mind behind Brown Sugar Kitchen, so we were delighted to hear that she had transformed B-Side Barbecue into B-Side Baking Company. The revamped cafe will have a selection of sweet and savory pastries, pies galore, and sandwiches in the next few weeks (one of which promises to feature Brown Sugar Kitchen's fried chicken... oh, yes), and maybe even dinner service farther down the line. They've still got a full liquor license, too, so look out for beer, wine, Irish coffees and Bloody Marys.
Finally, stop by Parlour in Uptown Oakland, a just-opened Cal-Italian restaurant from the owners of next door Bar 355. Chef Jason Tuley, formerly at Gitane, is in charge — expect a seasonally-changing, locally-driven menu including wood-fired pizzas (toppings include foraged mushrooms with Cowgirl Creamery's Wagon Wheel cheese), and a selection of appetizers, salads, mains, and wood oven sides. We're definitely eying their versions of classic Italian dishes like porchetta di testa and ricotta agnolotti. Drink options include wine, beer, and a respectable craft cocktail program featuring house made syrups, bitters, and tonics.