YOUNTVILLE — The French Laundry kitchen redesign is moving right along. Thomas Keller wanted the new kitchen to draw inspiration from the Louvre, and he called on Craig Dykers of Snøhetta architecture firm to design it, according to San Francisco magazine. Dykers, along with kitchen designer Tim Harrison of Harrison & Koellner, Berkeley architecture firm Envelope A+D, and Wright Constructing, expanded the kitchen by 25 percent, built offices, a wine cellar and a butchery and doubled the size of the courtyard. Dykers and his colleague Nic Rader also spent time in Keller’s Per Se kitchen in New York City to identify “pain points” like the pass of dishes from the cook to the chef to servers. Lookwise, they angled the ceilings to reduce noise and chose Dekton surfaces for a calmer environment. Diners will walk by the a glass wall of the kitchen as they enter the restaurant, which will officially start serving The French Laundry come spring.
BERKELEY — Ñora Cocina Española is going brick and mortar with La Marcha, set to open in Berkeley this October at 2026 San Pueblo Ave. Chefs Sergio Emilio Monleón and Emily Sarlatte are going for a “rustic” tapas and paella bar with tons of sherry. Restaurant Design Concepts is incorporating wood, bricks and terracotta into the space to match the food. Perhaps the best part will be the free tapas that come with drinks during early and late happy hours, just like at the best spots in Spain.
FREMONT — CREAM is very close to invading Fremont on Saturday, October 3, making it the fifth location in Alameda and 21st location overall. This one’s in The Block at Pacific Commons, and will be handing free ice cream sandwiches on opening day from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m. to celebrate.