Starting early next year, it will be a lot easier to stay awake in Palo Alto. Peninsula coffee drinkers have already started counting down the days after Blue Bottle Coffee's recent announcement that the Oakland-based "third wave" coffee roaster will be opening a branch in the currently- under-construction Survey Monkey Building downtown across from the Caltrain station. The design is expected to be full of concrete and open space, loosely inspired by Eero Saarinen's acclaimed TWA terminal, and clock in around 35 seats. Twin espresso machines will be complemented by a drip bar and the company's famed iced coffee program. Casual bites revolve around breakfast items and pastries including waffles, toast, poached eggs and sesame absinthe cigars. The building is slated to be finished in February and Blue Bottle expects to be pulling espresso shots soon after. Sorry, laptop users, it's looking highly unlikely they will cave in and provide Wi-Fi.
Continuing with upcoming news, acclaimed San Francisco chef George Morrone has signed on to be executive chef of the new Gusto in San Carlos next month. Morrone has cooked a series of guest chef dinners for the restaurant Locanda Positano over the past six months. Now he's officially partnering with owner Enzo Rosano and the two will transform Locanda Positano's casual sister establishment, Limone, into the more ambitious and upscale Gusto. In addition to a menu mostly of small plates, Morrone's iconic tuna tartare is expected to appear in San Carlos as well. 619 Laurel St., San Carlos; (650) 486-1479.
The Laurel Street dining surge continues with a new sushi spot. Ryu Sushi Bistro has opened its doors and is now serving spicy scallop rolls and real crab nigiri. The tidy space features almost bare white walls, wooden chairs and straw awnings over the windows. There is also a two-table outdoor patio. While the extensive menu covers the Japanese cuisine spectrum with soba, udon, teriyaki, sashimi and tempura, the real excitement lies in the unique roll creations. Root on your sports teams with the Giants roll and the 49ers roll, the latter an eel and avocado roll covered with salmon. 1201 Laurel St., San Carlos; (650) 508-8800.
Just in time for the San Mateo County coast's beautiful fog-free time of year, Montara Café & Bakery is now open and baking fresh pastries and croissants each morning. With the owners' backgrounds from Iceland and Hawaii, the menu truly spans the globe. With your coffee, breakfast can be chilaquiles; Icelandic pönnukökur (crepes with jam, butter and whipped cream); or the hearty island favorite loco moco, a grass-fed beef patty covered with two eggs, mushroom gravy and sauteed onions. At lunch inside the charming red building, enjoy the goat cheese quesadilla or pretend to be on Kauai with the Aloha banh mi, a version of the Vietnamese classic with shredded Kalua pork and Sriracha sauce. 1408 Main St., Montara; (650) 728-1188.