First Look at Lungomare, Opening Thursday in Oakland

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Oakland has been on fire since the new year (thankfully not literally) with the openings, with the debuts of Ramen Shop, Duende, and The Forge. Chris Pastena's latest project, Lungomare, in the former Miss Pearl's space in Jack London Square, is on deck for an opening this Thursday, February 7. The name means "waterfront" in Italian, and the remodeled restaurant takes full advantage of its estuary and bay views. The menu (which you can read here) is Italian-centric, and executive chef Craig DiFonzo, previously of Cantinetto Piero in Yountville, is doing intriguing sounding stuff like braised baby octopus with a chickpea cake; trofie (hand-rolled squiggle pasta) with arugula, pesto, and oven-dried tomato; and a Ligurian fish stew with mussels, clams, sea bass, fennel, tomato and kale. Also, there will be wood-fired pizza, and in addition to some meatier selections, he's doing a traditional Ligurian farinata, a cheese-less, farina-based pancake of sorts with rosemary, artichoke, and olives.

Pastena's partners in the venture are Tom Henderson and Temoor Noor, and Pastena and Henderson are also working together on Tribune Tavern, coming to the Tribune Tower building a little later this year. In Lungomare, Pastena is trying to evoke the feeling of dining on Italian waterfront promenades, but he also wants it to have a "uniquely local, Oakland feel."

With that in mind, there are a couple of Oakland-based vendors represented here too. Nearby Linden Street Brewery is brewing several custom beers for the restaurant, and there will be an adjacent coffee shop with its own window on Jack London Square filling a void in the immediate area for decent coffee open in the mornings, serving Roast Coffee and pastry. Customers are free to sit in the restaurant and enjoy their coffee as well.

They're taking reservations now for opening weekend, from February 7 to 10, when they'll be open for dinner only. Starting February 11, they'll be open all day, with breakfast in the caf, and lunch and dinner daily in the restaurant. There's a big bar and lounge, too, which will be open until 1:30 a.m. on weekends, with cocktails from bar manager Paul Christenson, most recently of nearby Haven. Also, like the newly opened Forge across the square, there's a large outdoor dining space here too, with 80 seats and plenty of heat lamps.

Lungomare - 1 Broadway, Oakland - 510-444-7171 - Open for dinner February 7 to 10 at 5:30 p.m. Regular hours: Lunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday; mid-day menu, 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; dinner, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. weeknights, and until 11 p.m. on weekends. Brunch served 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The caf will be open at 7 a.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. on weekends, serving coffee and pastry.

Earlier: Chop Bars Chris Pastena May Own Four More Restaurants By Next Year
Chop Bar Chef Chris Pastena Taking Over Miss Pearls, Will Reopen It as Lungomare