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What Our Customers Say

Cozy new gastropub In the Wood serves elevated American cuisine


In the Wood, a cozy gastropub located in Elmwood, opened Feb. 17, featuring a comprehensive menu including dishes such as wood-fired pizza and local beers and wines.


In launching the restaurant, In the Wood general manager Ben Maniatis said he envisioned local and fresh options on an “approachable menu with affordable prices.” Baja fish tacos, a burger served with sautéed shrimp and applewood bacon, and a pesto and goat cheese pizza are just a few of the dishes offered at the new restaurant.


The gastropub, which replaced the Italian restaurant Cugini Manzone at 2930 College Ave., offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options in an effort to build a menu of “elevated American cuisine” with “something for everyone.”


In the Wood server and UC Berkeley alumnus Greg Fredle described the restaurant as a “good spot with a nice vibe.”


Maniatis said he hopes that In the Wood will “liven up” and create a comfortable setting in Elmwood, which was the inspiration for the restaurant’s name. Maniatis added that customers have told him that the restaurant is “exactly what the neighborhood was looking for.”


Maniatis comes from a family of numerous UC Berkeley fans and alumni. He said that he sees In the Wood as a prime spot to watch sports games and to celebrate UC Berkeley game days.


Like the rest of the leadership team, Maniatis has a pizza named after him. His namesake, the Benito, features chicken, pesto, goat cheese and arugula.


Server and UC Berkeley alumna June Rosen said she feels that In the Wood is motivated to be a community-serving and charitable presence in the neighborhood.


“(It is) really cool that this place really supports local businesses. We get a lot of produce from the farmer’s markets,” Rosen said. “It’s great to show the importance of giving back to the community.”


Rosen said all of the restaurant’s beers come from the Bay Area, and the wines are from north of San Luis Obispo.


“The whole energy about (In the Wood) is special,” chef Phil Taddei said. “Everyone’s putting their whole heart and soul into this restaurant. It’s a place we all want to hang out in.”


He added that his favorite dish on the menu is the In the Wood Burger, which features bacon and caramelized onion jam, smoked gouda and arugula. His signature pizza is called the Big Philly Style.


In the Wood is open Monday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.


“I’m really happy with the staff I’ve hired,” Maniatis said. “It feels like family. If everyone enjoys their work and gets behind the food and loves it, I think people will love it.”


- Ella Smith

In the Wood to Bring Pizza and Drinks to the Elmwood


The name of Elmwood’s upcoming gastropub has a few layers. In the Wood (2930 College Ave., Berkeley) general manager Ben Maniatis explained it’s a riff on “in the hood,” but also refers to the Elmwood and the restaurant’s wood-fired pizza oven.


The oven is a carryover the location’s previous restaurant, Cugini Manzone, and its former chef Gustavo Golindo has stayed on for In the Wood as well. Naturally, the interior is getting a healthy dose of wood accents as well.


The plan is to create a comfortable, lively spot — with a beer garden — to enjoy local brews, sustainable wine, and good food. The team hopes to open by next week.


“We feel like the neighborhood is starved for a little watering hole,” said Maniatis, who was most recently serving at Trabocco Kitchen and Cocktails in Alameda.


Open daily, In the Wood will specialize in “inventive, farmers’ market-driven pizza” with a thin crust, according to Maniatis. He’s tinkering with ideas like brunch pizza and salad pizza — something he tried in Los Angeles and swears by — as well as classics. The menu will also offer salads, sandwiches, and bar bites with gluten-free and vegan options. “With a gastropub, we can be very eclectic and basically have something for everyone,” Maniatis said.


The rest of the project team includes owners Richard Tapp and Michael Schwarzbart; bar program manager Travis Burns, also most recently at Trabocco; and pizza chef Phil Taddei, last seen at Alameda’s 1400 Bar & Grill.




- Janelle Bitker

“Cozy spot with friendly service, good drinks, and tasty desserts.”


- Leah Lakes

“This is a great find. The best Pizza. Great salads. The kale salad is a must very yummy and creamy. My top of the list is the fish tacos. I have tried fish tacos around the world and these are on the top of my list. The owner Mike was there when we went in tonight. What a great guy. He is motivated to make this an outstanding restaurant. I enjoyed my waitress. She truly cared about our experience.”



- MD M.

“New owners retain same chef from Cugini Manzone along with a more diverse menu. Daily HH from 3-6pm with pizza and beer (house beer) for USD $14. Television can be seen from any angle provided that you're sports person. Wood-fired pizza is made with flour imported from Italy. The Mikey-Boy pizza is their signature recommended go-to if you're adventurous and not sure what to get. Service is attentive from water refill to grinding fresh peppers for your salad. The staff fulfill all my needs to the point that I left them alone until closing out my check. I end up getting pizza and beer deal adding a house salad of day. Let me say this, the salad was one of the best I had since being back from vegas. Walnuts were crunchy, pear slices juicy and crisp tossed with spring mix and feta cheese gave it that balance subtl taste. Mikey-Boy pizza is hand-tossed thin crust didn't blackened my fingers at all. Not a surprise. Sliced meatball embedded on sauce and gooey cheese gave it characteristics like marinara sandwich in a pizza form. This visit was to see if they can duplicate wood-fired pizza without sacrifices and they pass with flying colors. Big shout-out to Richard, Chris, and Mattie. Well done!"


- Albert L.







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