The East Bay continues to amass an enviable collection of restaurants that come with a pedigree. Restaurateur Doug Washington (Town Hall, Anchor & Hope, Grand Fare, Salt House) is planning a "homey Italian-American" restaurant in Oakland, just down the street from his other recent venture Grand Fare. The spacious new location at 1542 Broadway will be home to OK Falls, an homage to the agricultural region of Okanagan in British Columbia where much of Washington's family resides.
Executive Chef Rebecca Boice, previously of Zuni Cafe and Toast Kitchen + Bar, is heading up the kitchen. Expect a menu focused on Italian-American cooking, supported by local, seasonal California produce. Boice and Washington both come from Italian-American backgrounds, a key element in a project that is obviously very dear to Washington's heart. Cozy, hearty meals will be the centerpieces of the menu: dishes like lasagna, housemade Italian sausages with Sunday sauce and spaghetti will star alongside rustic dishes like chicken liver pâté and a yellowfin tuna conserva. On the beverage front, the cocktails will be curated by Jamal Robinson (Town Hall), and wines by wine and spirits director Haley Moor (Spruce, Bacar). The wine list will heavily Italian, but will include California and European regions as well.
In addition to a nostalgic menu that will tug at your heartstrings, the space promises to be a stunner. The center of the room will host a "cabin", a wood-shingled interior building that will double as a private dining room and art gallery. The main room will boast rustic exposed brick walls, vaulted ceilings and a skylight to shed natural light over the 90-seat dining area, 18-seat bar (and the cabin, of course). Right now opening is set for Spring 2015. 1542 Broadway, Oakland