Winter openings and closings
The Boston Chowhounders have a great tradition of doing monthly threads keep track of soon-to-open and just-opened restaurants in the area. It was a great way for new and old hounds alike to get to know the restaurant scene in the area. I think it started as a seasonal thread before that got unmanageable, and then moved to a monthly thread.
So, what's new or about to go away this winter in the bay area?
It looks like Pastis is now open in Palo Alto, where Joanie's used to be on California Ave. They're doing French bistro style food and are run by the same people who run Joanie's.
No menu online yet, but they do have a twitter feed: http://twitter.com/pastispaloalto. Given my wife's love of cassoulet, we'll probably check it out soon.
There are so many openings around here that such topics wouldn't make a lot of sense, especially since openings have a way of being repeatedly postponed. On this board soon-to-open places usually get their own topics.
While I do agree with the others that the publications mentioned do a good job of keeping up with openings and closings, their focus is on San Francisco and not much outside the City limits. Also they're skewed towards the places that have publicists to send out press releases. I hope that we can hear more about new spots that haven't fed into the pre-opening hype machine yet and especially those located outside San Francisco.
I'll mention Babette Cafe that opened on Tuesday at the Berkeley Art Museum, serving breakfast, lunch, Ritual Coffee, and snacks thoughout the day. Joan Ellis of Augergine Catering is behind it. I met her three years ago at a Berkeley party where she served this apple tart. It was so gorgeous I took a photo of it.
I've not been to Babette myself, and probably won't until it has weekend hours, but I hope she will be baking there as well.
2625 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704