"Interview with Paul Canales," Tracey Taylor, Berkeleyside

With Duende, chef Paul Canales breaks free

By Tracey Taylor

Paul Canales, who has just opened Duende in Uptown Oakland after working for 15 years at Oliveto. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Paul Canales, who opened his new restaurant and bodega Duende in Uptown Oakland last week, admits to having been more than ready to embark on his new venture. Canales was at the venerable Oliveto in Rockridge for 15 years — he joined as an intern and left as Executive Chef — and he loved it there. But, even before he handed in his notice in 2010, he had been fantasizing for months about a different cuisine, a different aesthetic — in fact an altogether different approach.

He was drawn to small plates and Spanish food, mainly because of his heritage — his father was raised in the Basque region — and partly because his passion for Italian food had run its course.

- See more at: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2013/01/24/with-new-restaurant-duende-paul-canales-is-free/

"First Look at Duende Cocktails," Maggie Hoffman, Serious Eats

First Look: All the Cocktails at Duende, Oakland, CA

By Maggie Hoffman

Note: First Looks give previews of new drinks and menus we're curious about. Since they are arranged photo shoots and interviews with bars and restaurants, we do not make critical evaluations or recommendations.

Chef Paul Canales' new Oakland restaurant/music venue/cafe/wine shop has a striking location across the street from the gorgeous Fox Theater—but the interior of the space is just as striking, high-ceilinged and crisscrossed with industrial beams, layered with murals created by local artists. There will be live music in the mezzanine—this week they'll be featuring the Nels Cline Singers—but our focus, as usual, was to check out the drinks.

Duende's head bartender Troy Bayless walked us through each one—the list takes advantage of the restaurant's extensive sherry selection, though not every cocktail is a sherry drink. Bayless reminded us that sherry cocktails aren't some new trend—instead, they're a nod toward classicism. "With sherry, we're harkening back to traditional 19th century cocktails and punches." (In addition to the cocktail list, there's large-format punch on the way, promises Bayless.)

- See more at: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/01/first-look-sherry-cocktails-duende-oakland-canales-troy-bayless-best-bay-area-cocktail-bars.html

"Duende Opens in Oakland," Paolo Lucchesi, SF Chronicle

Duende opens in Oakland

By Paolo Lucchesi

Paul Canales made his name cooking rustic Italian food at Oakland's Oliveto for 15 years. He left that restaurant a few years ago, and now he's opened Duende, his own Oakland project.

Duende is a stylish, ambitious Spanish restaurant located in the historic Floral Depot building in the shadow of the Fox Theater.

Actually, it's more than just a restaurant. In addition to a bar specializing in sherry cocktails, the two-story space features an all-day "bodega" selling coffee, churros and other light snacks, proprietary olive oil, and bottles of wine to drink at home or in the restaurant. Upstairs is a private event space that will double as a music venue.

But the main attraction is the restaurant. Along with general manager and partner Rocco Somazzi, Arcsine Architecture and a host of local artists, Canales has carved out a vibrant 84-seat dining room in the high-ceilinged space, the walls covered in colorful murals.

- See more at: http://www.sfgate.com/restaurants/article/Duende-opens-in-Oakland-4206383.php

"Best Tapas Restaurants in the US," Kate Parham, Travel & Leisure

Best Tapas Restaurants in the U.S.

17 of 22: Duende, Oakland, CA

Chef Paul Canales, beloved for his long-standing Italian restaurant Oliveto, takes on Spanish food, with some inspiration from his Basque grandfather, at Duende. Located in an Art Deco building in Oakland’s Uptown district, the industrial space fits a bodega and wine bar and a lounge and dining room.

- See more at: http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/best-tapas-restaurants-in-the-us/17