The place has been empty for about a year (remodeling etc. I assume), but the Trio Bistro on Grand Avenue is being replaced by a “gastropub” — Sidebar — that will showcase contemporary California cuisine. Has anyone ever heard of a gastropub before?
Sidebar opens Feb. 6, “providing the East Bay with an intriguing, urbane new dining option.” I hated to see the Trio Bistro go and I know the ladies of the bistro are not too happy about the whole thing. Anyway, here are the rest of the details about the new place…Sidebar will be located at 542 Grand Avenue in Oakland, California, across from Lake Merritt and near the Grand Lake Theatre. Lunch will be served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. On Friday and Saturday the bar will remain open until 11:30 p.m. On weekdays, a limited menu will be offered from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visit Sidebar on the Web at www.sidebar-oakland.com. Reservations are encouraged for lunch and are available on a limited basis for dinner. For information and reservations, call (510) 452-9500.
Zax (San Francisco and Berkeley) veterans and husband/wife team Chef Barbara Mulas and Pastry Chef Mark Drazek, with partner/co-owner Anne Marie Adrian working as the Front of the House Executive, will be serving modern, seasonal California cuisine. The menu will include numerous appetizer selections, plus daily specials, and, periodically, the acclaimed (a Zax holdover) Twice Baked Goat Cheese Soufflé.
Notable dinner dishes on the Sidebar opening menu will include Deviled Eggs with Dungeness crab and spicy mustard; Steamed P.E.I. Mussels with shallots, Pernod, cream and tarragon; a Fontina, Smoked Mozzarella and Provolone Panini with roasted peppers and basil pesto; Pork Chop, brined and double cut with a large cannelloni bean ragout; Oven Roasted Poussin with German Butterball Potato hash and a whole grain mustard jus; and Atlantic Cod Stew with sweet peppers, clams, sausage and thyme with roasted tomato fumé.
The restaurant will have a full bar and an international wine list with many selections available by the glass. Sidebar’s center-located bar will form the “hub” of the dining room and have seating on three sides.
Design highlights will include banquette and booth seating, an exhibition kitchen with counter seating, sidewalk seating in the spring, a family table and an autumn color scheme of turmeric, red and brown with touches of slate, all rich and full of texture.