1019 Camelia St., West Berkeley
Phone: (510) 917-0190
Status: Opening tomorrow
Diners with dietary restrictions are going to be head-over-heels for new restaurant Sanctuary Bistro, which debuts in Berkeley tomorrow. It comes from the husband-and-wife team of Barry Horton and Jennifer Jones Horton, who've run vegan catering outfit Local Love for the past five years. The couple, who met at eco-resort Stanford Inn by the Sea (where Horton cooked in the vegan on-site restaurant, Raven's), will continue to operate Local Love, but their goal is to attract not only vegan and gluten-free diners, but carnivores looking to try something healthy and new.
The menu offers creative takes on familiar dishes from around the globe, like spinach and caramelized-leek souffle, eggplant manicotti in marinara, and a crispy portobello mushroom with red beans, dirty rice, collard greens, and cornbread. Brunch options include gluten-free waffles (with an add-on of crispy tofu done in the style of fried chicken), tofu scrambles, and a gluten-free pancake stack with "mascarpone" and fruit. Almost all of the organic food will be sourced from within 150 miles, with the exception of coconut milk and bananas for Horton's signature bananas foster; the couple also plans to make all their own cashew cheese and cashew and coconut milk ice creams in-house. While the menu isn't raw, those diners can call a few days in advance for items that will cater to their needs. Menus are viewable here.
While the beer and wine license is still in the works, the restaurant plans to offer local, vegan and organic wines and local beer (they're also looking to import gluten-free beer from outside NorCal, as no brewers here make it). Kombucha on tap, Numi tea, and coffee from Oakland's Timeless are among the non-boozy beverage options. The bamboo-centric space hasn't been renovated much from its days as Sushi Banzai, in line with the couple's environmental beliefs; instead, they plan to donate 5 percent of each month's profits to an animal sanctuary.