Oski snacks: UC Berkeley's football season kicks off at noon Saturday, and we know what that means. It's time to rustle up some suitable blue and gold snacks. We're not the only ones with Bears on the brain, because the Paragon at Berkeley's Claremont Hotel is offering up some opening weekend menu specials, including Bear-gers ($10) with a choice of blue or yellow cheese and Cal-tinis ($8, Stoli blueberry vodka, Cointreau, lemon juice, blueberries and a lemon twist). The Paragon is also home to Cal's live postgame radio broadcasts and the "Cal's Coaches Corner" broadcast on Monday nights. Details: 41 Tunnel Road; www.paragonrestaurant.com.
They're not the only ones waving Cal pom-poms, of course. The Five restaurant at the Hotel Shattuck is offering bear claws and breakfast bear-itos on game mornings, and Golden Bear cocktails ($5) and visiting team-inspired drinks later in the day. First up is the Wolf Pack Punch, a nod to Nevada. Details: 2086 Allston Way; www.five-berkeley.com.
P.S. Oski and the entire Cal marching band showed up to welcome Berkeley's new grilled cheese-centric eatery, the Melt, on Telegraph Avenue last week. Check out the extremely cute photo at www.facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.Food.Wine.
New toque in town: Meanwhile over in Lamorinda, Steve Jaramillo has taken over the executive chef reins at Metro Lafayette, as well as its sister restaurant on the other side of the Berkeley hills, Metro Montclair. Jaramillo hails from Lalime's in Berkeley, where he was their executive chef, and Fonda, which he helped open. Jaramillo's all about rustic cuisine, with an emphasis on local, organic and sustainable, humanely raised meats. Among his additions to the Metro menus: Happy Boy Farm heirloom tomato salad with Di Stefano burrata; baked poblano chile with corn, zucchini and goat cheese; and grilled wild king salmon with Brentwood corn succotash. Details: 3524 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette; www.metrolafayette.com.
Send your Bay Area restaurant tips to food editor Jackie Burrell, email@example.com.