February 26, 2024

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Diablo Dish: Via del Corso Debuts in Berkeley | Diablo Dish

Courtesy of Via del Corso.png

Via del Corso, the Rebirth of Corso, Is Up and Running

Corso was a north Berkeley staple for its Italian menu and high quality, and when it closed in November, its devoted clientele was devastated. But Peter Chastain—of the shuttered Prima in Walnut Creek—took over, and now the Delaware and Shattuck site is serving classic Italian dishes once again under the moniker Via del Corso as of Wednesday, June 16.

True to his word, Chastain has kept some of Corso’s most popular dishes, including pollo alla Sostranza, Mary’s chicken breast basted in brown butter with lemon, and the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, which will be a grilled 20-ounce Painted Hills prime porterhouse steak. He’s rounded out the menu with staples from across Italy: fried arancini rice balls filled with meat ragu and Pamigiano; a salad with tuna conserve and Cannellini beans; cannelloni with fresh pasta stuffed with spinach and ricotta; and a grilled pork rib chop topped with salsa verde.

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Oko Pop-Ups Will Preview Upscale African Restaurant

Usually Diablo Dish items are pretty straightforward: restaurant openings, special deals for an upcoming holiday, etc. This one, however, will take some patience to sort out.

First, we have The Bussdown, which is a pan-African soul food take-out and delivery-only restaurant in Oakland Food Hall (on 12th Street near International Boulevard). Chefs Solomon Johnson and Mike Woods started the Bussdown in the middle of the pandemic, and it’s the seed for Oko.

While Oko won’t open until next year, Johnson and Woods will begin previews of the fine-dining experience on June 27 at the L12 Loft Space at 57th and International Boulevard. That location, not too far from the Oakland Coliseum, is not in the comfort zone of diners willing to spend $165 (for the 3 p.m. seating) or $185 (the 7 p.m. seating) per person. However, this is intentional, as it will help reveal unfamiliar parts of Oakland. And Oko is offering discounted Lyft rides to make it easier to attend.

The eight-course tasting menus will also include natural wine pairings, and the June 27th event is just the first in what’s planned as a monthly series. Each menu will be different (and in fact some of the menu will be so different it will be written in Swahili), and all will lead up to the opening of the brick-and-mortar Oko in 2022.

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Fathers Get Their Day—and Dads Like to Eat Out Too

It’s not like moms are the only ones who spend time in the kitchen these days, so this Sunday is a chance to let dad have a day off from the stove and enjoy a meal he doesn’t have to cook.

Black Angus: Apparently anticipating the warm weekend, Black Angus will open at 11 a.m. on Father’s Day (the open East Bay locations are Brentwood and San Lorenzo), with a special menu that includes prime rib and lobster on the same plate and some moonshine lemonade. In addition, diners will receive a coupon worth $15 off on any future $50 or more purchase.

Eureka!: A special $40 prix fixe Father’s Day menu is on offer, as well as a Tour of Kentucky whiskey sampler at both the Berkeley and Concord outlets.

Horn Barbecue: It’s a weekend celebration at Oakland’s Horn Barbecue, with a Crawfish Boil on Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m., and then a new special on the big day itself: smoked turkey legs. But as always with Horn Barbecue, plan ahead or expect to wait.

Jessie and Laurent: The Bay Area meal-delivery company will bring a Father’s Day feast for four directly to your door, with ribs, potato salad, truffle corn, and cookie dough.

Patxi’s Pizza: Buy one regular pizza and a 10-inch thin-crust is yours for just $10—and dessert pizzas (which I’m still trying to wrap my head around) are only $3 at the Dublin, Lafayette, and Livermore locations.

Benvenuti Ristorante Settles in For Summer With Wednesday Special

Though some will focus on the three-course, $35 prix fixe available every Wednesday, others will want to zero in on the new—and just $8—Melondrama cocktail, with vodka, watermelon, lime, and mint at Walnut Creek Italian spot Benvenuti Ristorante.