Happy birthday, Julia: Several Bay Area restaurants are getting in on the Julia Child centennial celebration next month. San Francisco's RN74 is doing Child-inspired prix fixe lunches ($29) and dinners ($39) from Aug. 7-15, featuring some of her most iconic dishes, including navarin printanier and babas au rhum. At La Scene Cafe & Bar at San Francisco's Warwick Hotel, they're featuring "Julia du jour" dishes Aug. 13-17, and a four-course birthday dinner on Aug. 15. And plans are under way for special centennial events at Berkeley's Chez Panisse and San Francisco's Jardiniere as well.
Kudos and congrats: Wine Spectator magazine just announced its 2012 Restaurant Wine List Awards, with four of the 75 coveted "Grand Awards" going to U.S. restaurants. Among them: San Francisco's Acquerello and Big Sur's Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn. For the full list, go to www.winespectator.com or pick up the August issue.
Casual eats: Several new, casual eateries have opened in the East Bay this summer, including Stag's Lunchette in Uptown Oakland (362 17th St.). It's a cool little cafe with savory meatball sandwiches, grilled cheese with bacon chutney, and a sublime pastrami that routinely sells out.
Pleasanton just got its very own Extreme Pita, with grilled chicken, Thai beef and other wraps. It's celebrating the new digs in the
Meanwhile in Concord, Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que will be opening an outpost in Sunvalley mall later this year, and the news has left at least Concord reader and longtime Lucille's devotee Christy Smead absolutely ecstatic. Smead has been schlepping all the way to Rocklin for her barbecue fix. This will be the first Bay Area location for the Long Beach-based chain, which specializes in Southern-style barbecue as well as burgers, seafood and salads. Construction started last week, and the Lucille's crew hopes to open by Thanksgiving.
Send your Bay Area restaurant tips to food editor Jackie Burrell, firstname.lastname@example.org.