Time for tea: There's one good thing about these endlessly rainy, blustery days. You couldn't have ordered better tea-drinking weather for the Bay Area for the opening of David's Tea in Burlingame. This contemporary tea shop, which had its start in Toronto, also won over a young clientele in New York and San Francisco with its array of more than 150 tea blends. Now steeping on the Peninsula are winter teas such as Cookie Dough (white tea leaves with cocoa peel, almonds, walnuts, caramel and chocolate chips); Alpine Punch (a spicy, caffeine-free rooibos with apple, cinnamon and ginger); and Chocolate Chili Chai (black tea with chocolate and ancho and Aleppo chilies). The shop also sells teapots, infusers, mugs and other paraphernalia. Details: 1400 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame. 650-558-8199; www.davidstea.com.
What's ahead: There's no winter slowdown on the new restaurant scene. Here's the early buzz: Al's Beef of Chicago is moving west. Its first California location will be in San Jose -- specifically, the Plant. A mid-January launch is planned. On the coast, Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen & Pisco Bar will become the on-site restaurant at the Pacifica Beach Hotel in January. In February, Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant, a huge new beer hall, will open on Villa Street in downtown Mountain View. The owners of the Flames Eatery & Bar are reconstructing the former E&O space in downtown San Jose into a Mediterranean/Greek concept restaurant. Expect an opening sometime in February; the name of the new venture is still being determined. Look for the Borkenhagen family to return to the downtown San Jose dining scene with a redesigned, revamped Eulipia in February. Even the name may change, we hear. Also in February, San Francisco-based Tacolicious will enter the Peninsula market with a Palo Alto location on Emerson Street near Hamilton Avenue. Paul Martin's American Grill will take over the former Crate & Barrel space at Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo in mid-2013. In July, Rok Steakhouse (formerly Rok Bistro) of Sunnyvale will expand to a second location, in San Jose's @First center at Highway 237.
Send South Bay and Peninsula restaurant tips to Linda Zavoral at firstname.lastname@example.org.