Town Crier: Glenview district now has a taste of Merry Old England

MONTCLARION: Jan 2, 2014

It’s day two of the new year. How are those resolutions going? If one of your vows was to see and be seen, you’re in luck. We’re coming up on the fifth annual Oakland Restaurant Week on Jan. 15-25.

From A Cote to Z Cafe, some 75 eateries have special lunch and/or dinner menus at the prix-fixe of $20, $30 and $40. Here is the website:

One of the hot new arrivals is The Growlers’ Arms, 4214 Park Blvd. in the Glenview. Owners Séamus and Shelley Mulhall have turned the former Marzano into an English country restaurant and pub. Elegant but cozy, Winston Churchill would have loved the décor — the wood-beamed ceiling and smoked and stained glass — sitting next to the fire with a fine wine and a warm plate of bubble and squeak.

The Mulhalls float between tables, chatting with friends — old and new — and bringing out the occasional surprise, like warm potato salad with duck cracklings and a six-minute egg. “This is not your mother-in-law’s potato salad,” says Séamus. He’s right. The flavor profile is heavenly.

The menu is traditional English food sourced locally and prepared by seasoned chef Brian Ventura, who’s cooked at popular restaurants like A16, Insalata’s and Cavallo Point.

The other night, I had the wood-oven roasted trout, and my husband savored the bone-in pork chop with roasted Wickson apples. We’re still talking about it. The website is

Email bag: Speaking of restaurants, reader Michele Pred is putting out a plug for Metro, a restaurant she calls the hub of Montclair for her family and many friends. “It’s charming, great food, cozy and has amazing staff,” she writes, urging readers to support our local restaurants and shops.

Trail talk: Back in April, I wrote about a 485-year-old redwood tree in Oakland’s Leona Canyon. It’s a real challenge hiking to “the old survivor.” Some even call it a pilgrimage. But reader Jim Ryugo has a high-tech way of seeing it — by searching for Carl B. Munck Elementary School (11900 Campus Drive) on Google Earth. Zoom into the school, move your cursor to Redwood Road and you’ll see a photo Jim took of the tree — City Landmark LM80-134. “This is the easiest way to see the tree without leaving your desk,” he writes. Thank you, Jim!

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by email at or on the Web at


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