New Eats for the East Bay

Food news this season


The last few months have been busy ones for owners of local businesses, with three notable openings. If you’re looking for high-quality, gourmet-style pub food, prepared with fresh ingredients (by a chef with a background in fine dining, no less), look no further than Fins Sports Tap House & Grille in the former location of Gillary’s.

Owner Michael Ferreira and General Manager Stephen Conti teamed up with Chef Dan Hernandez, previously of Providence’s Capriccio and other high-end restaurants in Miami and Seattle, to create a menu that provides great food at a great value. Together, they’ve revamped the space as well as the menu, creating a bright space full of stainless steel furniture and décor that nods to the nautical, while the menu features affordable, healthful, gourmet riffs on bar food.

“We wanted healthier options for bar food. When I’d eat bar food, I’d find myself feeling bogged down after I was done. We wanted to make good food that didn’t leave you feeling heavy,” says Chef Hernandez.

With 32 taps serving craft beer, and big screen TVs, the space is ideal for sports lovers, who can sample burgers and sandwiches (priced between $7.99 and $9.99), entrée salads, the top-selling Grilled Swordfish in an Herb Butter Vermouth Sauce with Sautéed Spinach and Garlic Roasted Potatoes (for $20.99) or their grass fed Filet Mignon special for two people ($29.99 for two, $19.99 for a single serving).

Desserts have been a big hit, too, with Chef Hernandez’s love of camping coming into play with the creation of Fins Camp Fire S’mores, a dessert with melted chocolate, toast-your-own marshmallows and graham crackers ($3.99 per person or $9.99 for 4).

Mangia Pizza, the local chain founded in Brookline, Massachusetts ten years ago has opened in Barrington, and has quickly moved to help out with charitable work and fundraising in the area, including catering a YMCA fundraising event and hosting events to benefit the Barrington Christian Academy.

Mangia Pizza’s crust is made with whole wheat flour, milled to founder Steve Fenerjian’s specifications, resulting in a light, crispy crust, and ingredients are organic and locally-grown whenever possible.

Their menu features a number of signature pizzas, including the Tuscan – a pie without sauce, topped with shredded mozzarella, oven-roasted tomatoes and pesto; the Ma’s Garden featuring mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomato, garlic and broccoli; and The Big Mangia, a meaty, cheesy pie channeling a fast food staple (think “Big” and “M” and “special sauce”).

However, the most popular pie in the Barrington location is the Margherita. When asked about the pizza’s appeal, Manager Josh DiMauro says, “You can’t get anything like it anywhere else. With the whole wheat crust and the high-heat oven, the crust is crispy, and we use fresh, homemade sauce, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil.”

In addition to pizza, Mangia Pizza also offers appetizers, salads, pasta, calzones, sandwiches, wraps, wings and a Family Meal Deal Monday through Wednesday which includes your choice of two extra-large cheese pizzas and skinny fries, or one extra-large specialty pizza and skinny fries or a garden salad, all for $19.99. Soon, they’ll expand their menu to include more vegetarian and vegan options, as well as more gluten-free items. 

For ice cream lovers, your new local spot to satisfy your sweet tooth is Super Scoops, serving more than 30 varieties of Bliss Brothers Ice Cream, including Cowabunga Crunch, Moose Tracks and Graham Central Station, along with those perennial favorites Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla.

Featured dishes include their Root Beer Float, Brownie Sundaes and Banana Splits. They also offer soft serve ice cream and Italian ice for those who’d like a sweet, cold treat, but would prefer it not to include dairy products.