Elia Restaurant in Pleasanton

A monthly column dedicated to keeping you updated about new and upcoming dining places of interest in the East Bay.

Crescent Bistro – Pleasant Hill

Coming soon to downtown Pleasant Hill, in the space previously occupies by Fat Maddies, this lunch-and dinner eatery is from East Bay chef Bradley Zeller, formerly of such restaurants as Walnut Creek’s Va de Vi and Walnut Creek Yacht Club. They will specialize in locally sourced ingredients for their menu of snacks, small plates and greens. Among them, house-smoked wings, spicy jerk chicken skewers and a variety of salads and vegetable sides, from a beet salad to grilled baby carrots.

For lunch, Crescent Bistro will offer smoked salmon mousse and butternut squash arancini; sandwiches including smoked chicken, grilled cheese and tasso ham and cheese. For dinner, entrees may include grilled hanger steak, harissa-spiced pork tenderloin, pan-seared airline chicken breast, and linguine and clams. There’ll be craft cocktails and desserts, too, from a s’more pot de crème to strawberry buttermilk panna cotta.

Crescent Bistro is at 45 Crescent Drive, Pleasant Hill. Their website is at CrescentBistro.com.

Curry Pizza House – San Ramon

Curry chicken masala pizza and a slew of other Indian-inspired pies are coming to San Ramon. It’s not exactly a traditional Indian restaurant (or menu) but it certainly sounds like it should be worth a visit.

Founder Gursewak Gill, who opened his first of 11 shops in 2012 in Fremont, is known for his creative mix of pizzas, appetizers – hello, tandoori chicken wings – and sides using traditional Indian spices and flavors.

The curry chicken masala pizza melds curry sauce with cheese and a smattering of vegetables, while the palak paneer pizza combines pesto sauce with masala paneer, ginger and garlic. There’s also an aloo chaat pizza featuring house red sauce and marinated potatoes. You’ll also find a few traditional pies, including meat lovers, Hawaiian and veggie.

Originally from the state of Punjab, India, Gill moved to the United States in 1996 and put himself through Hayward’s Heald College by working as a truck driver. After receiving his degree in business administration, he continued his career in the trucking business with the intention of owning a trucking company. But on those long highway stretches, he found himself ruminating on ideas of a food business instead. And that’s how Curry Pizza House was born.

Curry Pizza House is at 12191 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon. Their website is at currypizzahouse.com.

Elia – Pleasanton

Are you craving  authentic Greek and Mediterranean food?

Elia, from co-owners Fatih Ulas and Mehmet Duygu, has opened on Main Street in the former Patio space across from Locanda Amalfi. The restaurant offers a menu of authentic Mediterranean dishes, a large and comprehensive wine list, including white and red wines from Greece, and a refined, modern dining room bathed in light.

Executive chef Duygu offers a dinner menu of 15 mezzes and 10 entrees, plus soups, salads and desserts. Look for a trio of dolmades; grilled oktapodaki with pickled purple potato and sundried tomatoes; keftedes, or lamb meatballs, with za’atar and garlic yogurt; filet mignon souvlaki; lamb shank ravioli and other mouthwatering dishes.

Elia is at 310A Main Street, Pleasanton. Their website is at EliaPleasanton.com.