ALAMEDA -- An expanded menu. A new wine market. New services. And a new name. All of that in the same building at Central Avenue and Oak Street that had been known as Angela's Bistro.
On Monday, chef Saboor Zafari and his family, friends and partners threw a grand opening bash to celebrate the grand opening of Cellar Door Café. The festivities also benefitted the Alameda Food Bank and the Alameda County Community Food Bank.
The chef isn't going anywhere. He is still stirring up the culinary treats, but he and his partners have undertaken a new business model -- the first of its kind in the Bay Area, according to one of the managing partners, Roy Creekmore.
"We're putting lot things in place to make the business more attractive to people," he said. "It's a restaurant with a wine market attached. There will be Ipads available for people to look at the wine list, and to see photos and get all the information.
"We had a lot of requests from people who wanted to get their meals sooner so they could get to the movie in time. We have shortened the time and are showcasing a larger menu with more items."
Zafari is enthusiastic about the changes, which include serving lunch seven days a week.
"I'm really excited about this," he said. "I think people will really enjoy the new services and menu."
He said the menu will also continue to offer many dishes that have turned out to be customer favorites.
Among the new small-plates fare will be house-made rosemary bread wrapped in bacon and sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, pizzas, lobster poppers and meatball sliders.
The Alameda Vintners Club has a cooperative tasting room in the back of the restaurant. Carica Wines, Ehrenberg Cellars, R&B Cellars and Urbano Cellars are offering 100 different wines.
Wine flights include a wine from each winery. Customers will also be able to create their own flights and buy wines by the bottle, six-pack or case. Thursday and Sunday are free corkage days.
Barbara Brown of R&B Cellars said: "The result is superb wine with an approachable price tag."
"The dining experience will be more integrated with more small plates paired up with choices of wine," she said. "Today, people are asking for good wines to enjoy with small plates. The idea of having a salad, a full entrée and dessert is becoming passé. People are looking for more variety."