Roasted Chicken w/pine nut cranberry panzanella, garlic chips, arugula
Since opening last August, Local Cafe has become a popular, family-friendly, go-to spot for brunch and lunch on Piedmont Avenue. Evident by the consistent, loyal following packing the 30-seat restaurant week after week, Local Cafe has now decided to open its doors for an afternoon happy hour and weekend dinner service. We think that's a smart idea.
Started by first-time business owner, Megan Burke, this creative home cook, occasional caterer and insatiable restaurant-goer had a dream and passion of opening up a "welcoming, non-pretentious neighborhood gathering place with honest, nurturing food." One visit to Local Cafe, and you'll feel the vibe of the close-knit staff with a focus on community. The community effort was very vital to the success of Burke's vision and she "wanted to give people work that hadn't worked in a while". As a mother of two young girls, Burke envisioned a "good place with good food where kids can get loose." And speaking of kids, there's a chalkboard in the middle of the dining space where everyone can doodle and explore their creativity. Proving that talent starts at a young age in this family, the contemporary paintings adorning the walls are the works of Burke's 10-year old daughter, Natalie.
Now on to the food. The kitchen, from day one has been run by Executive Chef Jhon Gomez (Oliveto, A Cote') and Consulting Chef Colin Etezadi (Boot & Shoe Service, Camino, Pizzaiolo). From jams and pastries, to cheeses and wines, you'll find the persistent use of local purveyors (Inna Jam, Straus Family Creamery, Graffeo Coffee, Queen of Sheba Honey Farms, Donkey & Goat Wines, Tara's Organic Ice Cream) on the Local Cafe menu. Gomez has already built a fan base for his delectable daytime dishes such as the B.L.A. Sandwich with apple smoked bacon, lettuce, pickled shallots, and avocado ($9) and his Eggs Benedict with parma prosciutto and savoy spinach ($10). And starting just this past weekend, he debuted his dinner service.
Crispy pan-seared halibut, fava puree, dandelion greens
Expect to find a consistent, seasonally-inspired menu with a few daily specials. Local Cafe understands that customers fall in love with particular dishes and come back for their favorites. I can appreciate that. There's nothing like craving a dish you just tried, only to find out that you will never be able to order it again. Dinner items will include comforting, affordable plates such as the Pork and Beef Meatballs with crostini and red sauce ($11), Salads ($8-12) and entrees including a crispy Half-Roasted Chicken with seasonal vegetables ($15), and a Flat Iron Steak with grilled aspragus, celery root mash, and garlic drizzle ($16).
A California-centric wine list, and beer by the bottle from several local breweries (Linden Street, Sudwerk, Bear Republic Breweries) were chosen to pair well with the food. If you are in need, the staff will be happy to suggest items or pairings. There's also a walk-up counter for those looking for food on the go. Wherever you may be visiting from, a visit to Local Cafe' will have you too feeling just like one of their preferred locals.
4395 Piedmont Ave
(between Brandon St & Pleasant Valley Ave)
Oakland, CA 94611