MONTCLAIR— Chowhaus is now open in the small enclave of Oakland known as Montclair, serving "upscale comfort food," in a neighborhood enviroment. Opened by husband-and-wife team Tracey Belock and Joe Schnell, the cozy spot is an answer to the dearth of interesting, family friendly dining options in the neighborhood. The couple, who lives nearby with their three children, have developed a menu that is on par with the San Francisco dining scene, offering house made charcuterie and smoked meats and dishes like blackened local cod with sauce gribiche and grilled Kobe bavette steak with salsa verde. A cocktail menu from Bar Agricole vet Craig Lane and coffee from Four Barrel Coffee round out the beverage offerings, ensuring that Oakland isn't missing out on anything good from the West Bay. They're open for breakfast and lunch on Tuesday-Friday and dinner on Tuesday-Saturday, plus weekend brunch. Hours vary.
LAUREL DISTRICT— Another husband-and-wife duo has opened a casual spot called Sequoia Diner in Oakland's Laurel District neighborhood, serving breakfast and lunch. Andrew Vennari and Sequoia Broderson both have East Bay pedigrees that include Duende and Camino, and plans to bring a new perspective to diner fare with a daily-changing menu that focuses on using fresh ingredients and making almost everything from scratch. Expect items like fresh biscuits and homemade jams, huevos rancheros and a patty melt on rye to grace the menu. They're open Wednesday-Sunday from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m.