When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in Oakland, CA. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market - to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.
Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of Oakland's leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.
If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!
At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in Oakland. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it's easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in Oakland, CA. We're proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We're here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.
Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:
There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That's why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.
Mediterranean countries include:
So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in Oakland,
what are we talking about?
Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.
This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.
If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in Oakland, CA, you won't want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!
Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it's no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.
This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It's best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party - you're almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.
We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason - this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in Oakland, CA.
Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That's because it's considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.
If there's one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.
Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you're looking to make some positive changes in your life, this "diet" is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.
So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?
It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures' foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!
Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:
Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.
In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke - especially women who were at high risk of having one.
First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery - we're always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.
Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It's refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.
Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn't have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.
Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don't start with meats and sweets.
They're tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.
Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.
Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.
Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you're essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That's great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.Free Estimate
This was a winter of record storms across California, including a series of atmospheric rivers that dumped incredible amounts of rain on the East Bay. Oakland experienced more than 18 inches of rain over just the first 23 days of this year, totaling over 69% of the annual average rainfall.A new city report documents the impact this winter’s storms had on public in...
This was a winter of record storms across California, including a series of atmospheric rivers that dumped incredible amounts of rain on the East Bay. Oakland experienced more than 18 inches of rain over just the first 23 days of this year, totaling over 69% of the annual average rainfall.
A new city report documents the impact this winter’s storms had on public infrastructure.
The Department of Public Transportation’s assessment focuses on landslides and washouts that led to road closures, and potholes that were created or grew in size during the storms in January 2023.
According to the report, the month-long storm event left a significant mark on the city and had workers scrambling to respond to a flurry of repair requests. Oakland activated its Emergency Operations Center to deal with the unusually large number of problems caused by the severe weather.
Six roads in the Oakland hills were damaged by excessive water that washed away soils and caused pavement to collapse, requiring permanent repair. And eight roads had to be closed because of problems like the massive sinkhole that popped up in front of the Oakland Zoo’s main entrance, and flooding that submerged part of 42nd Avenue.
Oakland residents reported in January 369 potholes and other roadway depressions through the city’s Oak311 app—the main place for residents to report downed trees, flooding, and landslides. These new requests were in addition to the approximately 1,000 outstanding requests for pothole repairs received via Oak311 in 2022.
The report documents only a fraction of the winter storms’ lasting damage. Atmospheric rivers continued to pummel the Bay Area throughout February and March, and have led to flooded highways, the displacement of residents of an East Oakland apartment building, and the death of a man who was living in a tent near Lake Merritt.
Winter storm damage isn’t a new occurrence. In 2017, the city received over $3 million in relief aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the California Office of Emergency Services to repair public infrastructure damaged by storms. And 2019 began with an atmospheric river event that resulted in 543 requests to Oak311 for pothole repairs.
This year’s report, however, recognizes the growing threat of climate change for the Bay Area, including more frequent and more intense atmospheric rivers. OakDOT staff wrote in the report that communities of color are affected the most by recent storms because “aging infrastructure” in lower income areas “is more susceptible to storm damage.”
City staff is working with the state and federal government to seek reimbursement for all eligible storm-related damages. The winter storm resulted in about $7 million in damages to public infrastructure. Public Works staff recommend the city establish a “Disaster Emergency Restoration Fund” to make needed repairs without waiting for federal aid to be processed.
Ricky Rodas is a member of the 2020 graduating class of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining The Oaklandside, he spent two years reporting on immigrant communities in the Bay Area as a reporter for the local news sites Oakland North, Mission Local, and Richmond Confidential. Rodas, who is Salvadoran American and bilingual, is on The Oaklandside team through a partnership with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.
Getty Images Oakland A's TV broadcaster Glen Kuiper has been suspended after he uttered a racial slur during the team's Friday evening broadcast in an apparent slip-up while discussing a visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. A spokesperson for NBC Sports California, which carries A's games, said on Saturday that Kuiper will be removed from the air while the incident is reviewed.The incident occurred...
Oakland A's TV broadcaster Glen Kuiper has been suspended after he uttered a racial slur during the team's Friday evening broadcast in an apparent slip-up while discussing a visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. A spokesperson for NBC Sports California, which carries A's games, said on Saturday that Kuiper will be removed from the air while the incident is reviewed.
The incident occurred during the pregame portion of the broadcast of the A's game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. At the time, Kuiper said: "We had a phenomenal day today. (N-word) league museum. And Arthur Bryant's Barbecue."
Video of the incident, which contains uncensored use of the offensive language, can be found here.
Later, in the sixth inning, Kuiper issued an on-air apology. Via The Athletic:
"A little bit earlier in the show, I said something, didn't come out quite the way I wanted it to," Kuiper said. "I just wanted to apologize if it sounded different than I meant it to be said. I just wanted to apologize for that."
The club issued a statement regarding the incident later that night:
The language used by Glen Kuiper during today’s pregame broadcast is unacceptable. The Oakland Athletics do not condone such language. We are working to address the situation.— Oakland A's Communications (@AthleticsPR) May 6, 2023
Later on Saturday, Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Museum, released his own statement:
My Official Statement on the Glen Kuiper incident is below. pic.twitter.com/txAmPH9ulI— Bob Kendrick (@nlbmprez) May 6, 2023
It's not yet certain what steps, if any, the club will take to address the matter. Other broadcasters in the past have been suspended or even terminated for similar incidents.
Kuiper, 59, has been the A's primary local-television broadcaster for the past 17 seasons.
The St. Louis Cardinals enter the second game of their home series against the Tigers in a state of cascading misery. They're a National League worst 10-23 at this writing, have lost seven in a row, and have dropped the opening game of all 11 series they've played in 2023. Coming off a 93-win season and a division title in 2022, all of that is more alarming than it sounds, and -- to be clear -- it sounds alarming in any context.
Growing out of this is what seems to be mutual frustrations between catcher Willson Contreras, the team's headline free-agent addition this past winter, and the team's manager, front office, and perhaps even pitching staff. Contreras, ankle deep into a five-year, $87.5 million pact with the Cardinals, has mostly delivered at the plate thus far in 2023, and he's also thrived at controlling the running game.
Even so, Contreras has started at catcher in just 23 of the team's 33 games, and he's increasingly seen DH duty. In a presumably related matter, the Cardinals on Saturday added a third catcher to the active roster when they called up Tres Barrera. That led to this:
Willson Contreras says he’s healthy and able to catch. Said his DHing is a “manager or front office decision.” He also said he was surprised to see Barrera called up but he’s excited for him, as a player.— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) May 6, 2023
Contreras tweaked his ankle sliding into third base during Friday night's eventual loss to Detroit, which may in part explain the current state of things. However, it's not hard to read frustration into Contreras' words. A large part of Contreras' value is that his bat is so special by the positional standards of catchers. As a DH, his bat becomes more ordinary because the offensive bar for adequacy as a DH is so much lower than it is for catcher, the most demanding of positions. As well, current backup catcher Andrew Knizner simply cannot hit major-league pitching at acceptable levels (career OPS+ of 62 and a slash line of .156/.206/.250 this season). Barrera, career OPS+ of 79, doesn't figure to be much better. DHing Contreras necessarily forces into the lineup such a thoroughly lacking bat, and adding to the roster a backup to the backup suggests more of that is in the offing.
Actually, more of that plus significant time in the outfield is in the offing:
The Cardinals aren’t just considering using Willson Contreras in the outfield. They will be. Contreras won’t catch much over the next couple of weeks. He’ll be used primarily as a DH and corner outfielder. More soon on @TheAthleticMLB— Katie Woo (@katiejwoo) May 6, 2023
Obviously, if Contreras' ankle were an issue, he wouldn't be asked to patrol the outfield grass. He's done so in the past, albeit in limited doses. For his career, he's logged 236 defensive innings at the outfield corners, with most of that coming in left. St. Louis this season has struggled to get good production from left, and compounding matters is that Tyler O'Neill is currently on the injured list with a lower back strain.
So, yes, there's need, but there's cause to believe that Contreras' defensive faculties -- or at least internal perceptions of them -- may also be playing a role. Right now, Statcast rates Contreras as a below-average pitch-framer this season (35th percentile and trending downward in recent games). As well, the struggles of Cardinal pitchers this season when in two-strike counts (they've managed to allow 20 two-strike home runs already in 2023) and the fact that they've fared better with Knizner as the battery mate, at least from an ERA standpoint, aren't helping.
Speaking of which, right-hander Jack Flaherty following his most recent start in which he hemorrhaged 10 earned runs in 2 1/3 innings against an Angels lineup that didn't have Mike Trout in it, said this (via Derrick Goold):
"Two-strike hits, whatever that comes down to. Whatever the hell we're doing as a staff is pretty bad. Way too many two-strike hits today. It was like 2-1 hit, bad count, falling behind. Even if we fell behind, got back in the count, made pitches to get to two strikes then had too many balls hit hard. That's frustrating, throughout our whole staff — throwing pitches that don't make sense."
Emphasis added. While Flaherty went on to cite his own inability to execute, the highlighted portion of the quote above certainly implies that he's displeased with pitch selection. If current frustrations from Cardinals fans are any guide -- not to wander into that particular cornucopia -- then Contreras is proving to be the most frequently cited culprit for the team's mound failures in putaway spots. Contreras is probably acutely aware of this, which may be why he also said this on Saturday:
#STLCards C Willson Contreras on talking to Yadier Molina: “(Molina) said he was watching the games and he said that we're not executing pitches. I'm not blaming anybody. I'm not pointing fingers at my pitchers because I'm on their side. But we just need to be better executing.”— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) May 6, 2023
Molina, of course, is the recently retired franchise catching legend and a likely future Hall of Famer, and marshaling his words as evidence for your case is indeed a powerful approach within the organization. It can also, however, be seen as a bit of a provocation or perhaps a somewhat withering response to Flaherty's own "bit of a provocation." However you characterize it, all of it suggests a rift among roles -- pitcher and catcher -- that can't afford such a thing.
Of course, pitchers are free to shake off the catcher, and from the outside it's impossible to know to what extent pitch mix and sequencing are scouting-report-driven or even suggested by the dugout or baseball-ops analysts. In addition to a new primary catcher, the Cardinals are also adjusting to a new pitching coach in Dusty Blake, who has been charged with improving the staff's abilities to miss bats and get strikeouts. It takes a while to adapt to all that newness, and the team's uncharacteristically awful start to the season doesn't aid such efforts.
For his part, manager Oli Marmol attempt to head off the perception that this is all a scape-goating of Contreras. Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Lynn Worthy, Marmol said Saturday:
"I want to be super clear. We're not losing ballgames because Willson Contreras is behind the plate. I want to be super clear on that. This is a guy that's putting in an amazing amount of work to be able to become more familiar with, one, our pitchers, but also how we do things."
Maybe it's premature to call all of this dysfunction, and maybe it all vaporizes once the Cardinals find a higher level in general. For now, however, it's a troubling bit of discord within a team that can't afford any of that right now.
The Oakland Athletics publicly denounced longtime broadcaster Glen Kuiper after he appeared to accidentally use a racial slur during a pregame show in Kansas City.In the segment, Kuiper appeared alongside former A's pitcher Dallas Braden and told the audience they visited the city's Negro League Museum earlier in the day. However, he seemed to trip over the word "Negro," and the result came out as a racial slur.Kuiper's words:"We had a phenomenal day today: N***** League Museum and Arthur Bryan...
The Oakland Athletics publicly denounced longtime broadcaster Glen Kuiper after he appeared to accidentally use a racial slur during a pregame show in Kansas City.
In the segment, Kuiper appeared alongside former A's pitcher Dallas Braden and told the audience they visited the city's Negro League Museum earlier in the day. However, he seemed to trip over the word "Negro," and the result came out as a racial slur.
"We had a phenomenal day today: N***** League Museum and Arthur Bryant's Barbecue."
You can see the clip itself here, with the warning of NSFW language.
Kuiper apologized on air during the sixth inning between the A's and Kansas City Royals, calling his language a verbal flub.
I’m not sure what was said, but #Athletics TV Broadcaster Glen Kuiper opened the 6th-inning with an on-air apology. pic.twitter.com/AZQVL3kuJG
— Joe Hughes (@VegasJoeHughes) May 6, 2023
"A little bit earlier in the show, I said something, didn't come out quite the way I wanted it to. I just wanted to apologize if it sounded different than I meant it to be said. As I said, I just wanted to apologize for that."
The slur had gone almost entirely unnoticed until that apology, after which some social media users went back and found the clip to share.
Soon after the game, a 12-8 Oakland win, the A's issued a statement via Twitter condemning Kuiper's language and saying they would address the situation.
The language used by Glen Kuiper during today’s pregame broadcast is unacceptable. The Oakland Athletics do not condone such language. We are working to address the situation.
— Oakland A's Communications (@AthleticsPR) May 6, 2023
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick released a statement Saturday explaining that he welcomed Kuiper to the museum Friday and that Kuiper was excited to be there.
Kendrick said the word uttered by Kuiper has "no place in our society." Kendrick added that doesn't know Kuiper's heart but preaches forgiveness.
My Official Statement on the Glen Kuiper incident is below. pic.twitter.com/txAmPH9ulI
— Bob Kendrick (@nlbmprez) May 6, 2023
The situation quickly received comparisons to the infamous Thom Brennaman incident of 2020, which also occurred in Kansas City. In that case, the then-Cincinnati Reds broadcaster was caught using a homophobic slur on air and was quickly suspended by his team — but not before he issued a hasty apology on the air.
The situations differ, however, in that Brennaman was caught on a hot mic, while Kuiper knew he was on air. Kuiper's language also seemed unintentional, while Brennaman admitted to knowing what he was saying.
Kuiper, a former minor-league baseball player and brother of San Francisco Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper, has been Oakland's play-by-play announcer since 2006.
Update: NBC Sports California has announced an indefinite suspension of A’s play-by-play announcer Glen Kupier. The station said in a statement Kupier will remain off the air until a review of what happened during Friday night’s broadcast is completed.An Oakland A’s baseball announcer apologized following the apparent use of a racial slur during Friday’s broadcast between the A’s and the Kansas City Royals.Play-by-play announcer Glen Kuiper, who is calling his 20th season ...
Update: NBC Sports California has announced an indefinite suspension of A’s play-by-play announcer Glen Kupier. The station said in a statement Kupier will remain off the air until a review of what happened during Friday night’s broadcast is completed.
An Oakland A’s baseball announcer apologized following the apparent use of a racial slur during Friday’s broadcast between the A’s and the Kansas City Royals.
Play-by-play announcer Glen Kuiper, who is calling his 20th season with the team, appeared to say a slur on the NBC Sports California broadcast after describing an apparent visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum before Friday’s game in Kansas City.
Kupier apologized before the start of the sixth inning.
“Welcome back to Kauffman Stadium. I just want to … a little earlier in the show, I said something that didn’t come out quite the way I wanted it to,” Kuiper said. “And I just wanted to apologize if it sounded different than I meant it to be said. And like I said, I just wanted to apologize for that.”
It appeared that Kuiper mispronounced the word “Negro,” making it sound instead like a slur.
The president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum revealed on Saturday he invited the longtime A’s broadcaster to the museum.
“I’m aware of the unfortunate slur made by Glen Kulper. I welcomed Glen to the NLBM yesterday and know how he was genuinely excited to be here,” said Bob Kendrick. “The word is painful and has no place in our society. And while I don’t pretend to know Glen’s heart I do know that my heart is one of forgiveness. I hope all of you will find it in yourselves to do the same!
The baseball franchise said Kuiper’s pre-game language was “unacceptable.”
“The Oakland Athletics do not condone such language. We are working to address the situation,” the statement said.
ItIt shouldn’t feel like a mirage to find an affordable restaurant serving freshly made pasta for under $20. But with inflation causing food prices to remain high, it sure does feel like a menu misprint to see a restaurant committed to keeping prices low. It’s not that chef Matt Solimano isn’t already aware of the high-priced food that proliferates across the Bay Area. He is. (And he understands why.) But with Sfizio opening in the Oakland neighborhood of Rockridge, he’s hoping to offer something different for locals:...
ItIt shouldn’t feel like a mirage to find an affordable restaurant serving freshly made pasta for under $20. But with inflation causing food prices to remain high, it sure does feel like a menu misprint to see a restaurant committed to keeping prices low. It’s not that chef Matt Solimano isn’t already aware of the high-priced food that proliferates across the Bay Area. He is. (And he understands why.) But with Sfizio opening in the Oakland neighborhood of Rockridge, he’s hoping to offer something different for locals: a restaurant that keeps affordability in mind but still offers a high-quality product, freshly made, with the seasonal ingredients for which California is known. “Noodle Theory mentioned it when they closed, they basically said, ‘If we have to charge $25 for a bowl of noodles, then it’s not worth running,’” Solimano says. “That’s not the restaurant we want, and so part of me wants to say, ‘Let’s see, let’s start low.’”
Sfizio made a name for itself during the pandemic as a fresh pasta pop-up that made its rounds through the East Bay, built not only on affordability but also Solimano’s pasta-making skills. Showing up at places including Way Station Brew, Ramen Shop, and Degrees Plato, the pop-up offered an assortment of pasta and starters throughout the seasons, such as a house-smoked steelhead salmon with little gems, creme fraiche, and chives, or the (now) fan-favorite meatballs served on a bed of spaghetti or in sandwich form. Still, despite the pop-up’s following, Solimano — having worked as a sous chef at Pizzaiolo, and at pop-up June’s Pizza, among other places — sought to open a permanent restaurant that served food on real plates, rather than in takeout containers with plastic silverware. The idea for Sfizio is in part inspired by chef Mike Easton’s Il Corvo in Seattle, which served $10 plates of pasta for lunch until its closure in 2020. Although Sfizio will be open for dinner only (and a smidge pricier than $10), the sentiment of affordability remains.
Having toured Sfizio over the last three years, and now with this new space, Solimano says he already has a feel for what works. Sfizio won’t have a sprawling menu, but that’s been Sfizio’s M.O. from the start. Food offerings will be a tight menu of three to four items each for starters and pastas, with a dessert or two to round things out. The ever-popular meatballs will be on the opening menu, as promised, but from there Solimano will roll with what’s coming into the farmer’s market. The operation will be casual, with diners ordering items at a front counter, then sitting down and having dishes brought out to the table.
To kick things off, expect starters such as grilled asparagus on a bed of romesco sauce with shavings of pecorino on top, or grilled squid tossed in a salsa negra sauce and plated with wilted scallions and fresh bites of purslane. On the pasta side, one dish features cavatappi folded into a vibrant green pesto sauce, with snap peas and green onion; bucatini is also featured on the starting menu, in a version of cacio e pepe, but starring fresh English peas. Solimano’s also been working on gluten-free pasta and landed on a version he likes, which will be a pasta substitution option on the menu at all times. Pastas will be priced at about $16, with one dish consistently clocking in at $10 (in this case, it’s the spaghetti option, tossed in a tomato sauce with basil and grana padano cheese, with the chance to add on the meatballs for $6 more).
Much like the food menu, the wine list will be brief, but continues Solimano’s credo of affordability, keeping drink offerings “short, succinct, and sweet,” he says. The wine list will focus on bottles from Italy, sold by the glass in the $8 to $12 range, such as a vermentino from Sardinia for $12, or a Chianti from Tuscany at $8.50. There will also be a couple of beer options — a lager from Wondrous Brewing, and an IPA from Cellarmaker — as well as three low-ABV options like the Bianco Spritz made with Berto bianco vermouth, prosecco, and thyme, or the Sfizio, a concoction made with Cardamaro vermouth amaro, mezzura, lime, and tonic water. On weekends, ahead of service, Sfizio will open from 3 to 5 p.m. for a happy hour, when drinks are served alongside complimentary snacks until dinner starts for the day.
The interior is updated from its former days as Noodle Theory Provision, which closed last fall, and is swathed in peach earth tones and accents of dark green. The green was initially a suggestion from Solimano’s wife, which proved to be an inspired choice — their trip to Italy in January proved the color combination a favorite throughout the places they visited. “I love how the color turned out, and it kind of reminds me of Italy in a super cheesy way,” Solimano says. There’s also the addition of industrial-looking light shades and brass lamps from Dorset Finds in Berkeley, as well as a plant or two to add a touch of greenery. It’s all about creating that environment that Solimano always saw himself serving pasta in. “When I was looking at places that I really enjoyed,” Solimano says, “I was drawn a lot to things that are more considered a cafe, I feel like they often have more of a bright, relaxed feel. And so that was something that I wanted to bring out, that sort of sunny day, chill music, hanging out, California vibes.”
Sfizio (6099 Claremont Avenue, Oakland) debuts Wednesday, May 10, and is open 5 to 10 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.