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468 19th St. (Telegraph Ave.) Send to Phone
510-893-0174 | Menu
The bold tastes of Spain meet upstart East Bay innovation.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Dinner Wed.-Mon., Brunch Sun.

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Duende Restaurant Review

: Chef Paul Canales, formerly of Oliveto, drew upon his father's Catalan heritage to create Duende, a popular, darkly lit restaurant serving Iberian classics (fragrant paella, hefty albóndigas) and innovations (goat's milk cheese brûlée, sunchoke-stuffed canalones), and a jumpin' upstairs jazz club. Echoes of Italy, Morocco, Turkey and Spain's other sunny, sea-bound neighbors pervade such pintxos (small plates) as saffron-kissed swordfish escabèche and plump, tender-crisp buñuelos (shrimp-mango donuts). Earthy dishes include sweet botifarra sausages and pebrots farcits (lamb-and-currant-stuffed piquillos). Canales isn't offal-phobic: his frequently shifting menus always include pork trotters, cheeks, tongues and ears, lending an "I dare you" aspect to dining here. Along with an extensive wine list that is an education in itself, exotic cocktails include the Buried Mirror, made with mezcal, Oloroso sherry and pineapple gomme syrup. Authenticity rings through even to the tiniest touches: Meyer lemon marmalade atop rabbit pâté; Mahón cheese with smooth, fruity membrillo; blood oranges flanking ultra-light flan. Spanish inspired brunches with a full menu and cocktail specials are offered on Sundays.

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