More Mangia: Devotees of Danville's Mangia Mi, the charming little Italian place run by Chris Wilhelm, will have extra reason to rejoice. The Pleasanton native is opening a second one in his hometown -- and the soft opening is this weekend. The new space on Main Street is "amazing," Wilhelm says. "Polished concrete floors, crazy lighting and chandeliers. It's modern and contemporary but with some old features." The retro portion includes reclaimed wood in the 74-seat dining room and a painted brick-lined private dining room. There's a patio for the al fresco crowd, too. Expect to see plenty of signature Wilhelm fare: lasagna, gnocchi and other Italian classics done with seasonal, organic California ingredients. The Pleasanton place is at 234-B Main St. The Danville original is at 406 Hartz Ave.; mangia-mi.com.
More 'za: Meanwhile, Danville is getting a branch of The Forge, the wood-fired pizza place that's making waves in Oakland's Jack London Square. The new place will be opening at 345 Railroad Ave. More details to come. We're very much hoping they bring the same cocktail list to the new venture. The Devil's Slipper (tequila, hibiscus and agave) is irresistible.
Farm to fork: The restaurant scene in Oakland continues to flourish with the addition of Fred and Elizabeth Sassen's new farm-to-fork Homestead, which opens Wednesday on Piedmont Avenue, where its foodie neighbors include Cesar, Commis, Gregoire and Bay Wolf. The Sassen duo bring plenty of experience to the new venture. He was the executive sous chef at Farallon before moving to Oakland's Camino. She hails from Waterbar and Farallon. And the menu looks enticing: shaved zucchini salad with fried padron peppers ($11), grilled king salmon with marinated cucumbers and spicy fried pole beans ($24), chili-rubbed, slow-roasted pork with creamed corn and blistered tomatoes ($20), and ricotta fritters with chocolate-hazelnut sauce ($7) for dessert. Yum. Find them at 4029 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland and www.homesteadoakland.com.
Send your restaurant tips to food editor Jackie Burrell, firstname.lastname@example.org.