Brooklyn's back: Think Clayton sandwich fans aren't excited about the return of Canesa's Brooklyn Deli? Fuhgeddaboudit! The family-run Italian sandwich shop is returning to Clayton, this time in a small building next to Skipolini's. Owner John Canesa closed the deli a year ago and has been helping supervise the Plate & Vine restaurant at the Concord Hilton. However, the Brooklyn native missed running his own place. So when a site at 6026 Main St., a few doors from the shop's former downtown Clayton location, opened up, he went for it. Canesa will be running the place with help from his wife, Priscilla, and father, John Sr. The menu will include such customer faves as the Meatball Parmesan, Vinny's Stromboli (an ode to Canesa's brother with ham, pepperoni, Genoa salami, provolone and sweet peppers) and the Godfather (prosciutto, sweet capicola and fresh mozzarella). The shop, due to open any day now, will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Details: 925-852-1650, www.facebook.com/canesasbrooklyndeli.

-- Tim O'Rourke, staff


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Hottest restaurants of the year: This has been a banner year for the Bay Area's dining scene, with scores of exciting new restaurant openings and several major makeovers that brought new life -- and new chefs, new decor and new menus -- to iconic dining establishments of yore. (Hello, Skates on the Bay!) Catch a glimpse of the 12 hottest bistros of 2012 at www.mercurynews.com/restaurants.

Rose Bowl red-iness: Aw, Cal fans, we don't mean to rub it in, but Southern California's Bluewater Grill is rolling out the appropriately red carpet for Stanford fans heading south for the Rose Bowl. Wear Cardinal duds or mention your passion for all things Stanford to get free clam chowder with your entree through Jan. 7, and enjoy extra happy hours during all five BCS bowl games. (Oski devotees doubtless will be enjoying extra-unhappy hours.) Details: www.bluewatergrill.com.

Send your Bay Area restaurant tips to food editor Jackie Burrell, jburrell@bayareanewsgroup.com.