Bye-bye Borgo: After less than a year in Old Oakland, Borgo Italia has already closed its doors. On the upside, the space is being taken over by Desco, a seasonal, ingredient-driven Italian restaurant headed by Donato Scotti, the Italian-born exec chef and owner of Redwood City's Donato Enoteca. Desco means "dinner table" in the language of Julius Caesar, and Scotti's new place, due to open in late July or early August, will be serving fresh pasta, wood-fired pizza and regional Italian specialties, as well as cocktails and Italian bar snacks. The restaurant, whose design evokes a 1940s-era Italian cafe, will be open daily for lunch and dinner. Details: 499 Ninth St.
Hatching a Hutch: A few blocks away in Uptown, a new Southern-style restaurant has just opened near the Fox and Paramount theaters. The Hutch Bar & Kitchen is all about small plates (hushpuppies, anyone?), larger entrees (shrimp and grits, for example, and Rabbit Brunswick Stew) and Sunday suppers. Plus oysters and cocktails, including a Two Jacks Sazerac, Moon Julep (made with moonshine, of course) and the awesomely named, mezcal-based Heebie Jeebies. Details: 2022 Telegraph Ave.; hutchoakland.com.
Brunch cravings: Meanwhile out in tiny Port Costa, the charming Bull Valley Roadhouse has added weekend brunch service, with dishes such as a farmers market scramble with summer squash and goat cheese ($12), fried chicken and cheddar waffles ($18), and baked eggs with cream and arugula ($12). Brunch is served from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Details: 14 Canyon Lake Drive; bullvalleyroadhouse.com.
And in Oakland's Jack London Square, Bocanova chef and owner Rick Hackett has just introduced a "Bocaditos Brunch" menu, a Pan-American tapas approach to everyone's favorite weekend meal. Think sangria with small plates ($2 to $9), including ceviche, huevos rancheros, Red Flannel Hash and scrambled eggs with lamb chorizo. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends starting July 13. Details: 55 Webster St.; bocanova.com.
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