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Berkeley - Chez Panisse


In less than 30 minutes, one can take the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) from SF to Berkeley, in the East Bay region. There, you can visit my alma mater and enjoy great food. There are many many good restaurants around but I only have one meal and I chose to go to Chez Panisse.

Opened by a lady, Alice Waters, who has always been an advocate for sound and sustainable agriculture, the restaurant still remains committed to that believe today.
The restaurant started out serving only one fix prix menu that changes daily. That has not changed either, but a more casual cafe opened much later, to offer an alternative to the restaurant. Located upstairs, the cafe offers à la carte menu for both lunch and dinner.

Knoll Farm rocket with artichokes and black olives crostini (US$9)
I wasn't expecting chopped olives on a thin toast. The olives were tasty, but it was far too much oil, good oil or not. But the greens, oh they were a revelation. I could taste each of the different leaves distinctly and they had little holes, a positive sign of organic farming methods.

Spicy Hog Island Clams cooked in the wood oven with pancetta, peas, garlic toast and saffron mayonnaise (US$18)
Plump, juicy, yummy.

Marinated beets and carrots with ginger and Monterey Bay sardines (US$10)
If beets tasted this good all the time, I want to have beets everyday. Seriously. I never tasted beets like that before. They were earthy, yet tasted very clean and light, all at once. Loved it. The sardines were also very very good. I want to eat ten of them!

Crimson rhubarb tart with candied orange ice cream (US$9.75)
The tart, at first sight, looked rustic and homemade. I know it sounds strange, but it exuded warmth and love and I just knew it would be good. The shell was very thin and partly soft, partly crunchy. I looked at the pinkish rhubarb and could not believe something so pretty could be oh-so-sour. Luckily we had the ice cream on the side. On its own, it was rather sweet and tasted like a big, frozen orange creamsicle. What is there not to like about cream and orange? It sure did complement the tarty rhubarb very nicely. I regretted having to share my dessert. Hahaha.

Chez Panisse Restaurant and Café
1517 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709-1516

Reservations taken up to 1 month in advance.

Comments

Weylin said…
OMG. So hungry now.
Dave said…
I love sardines when they are fresh, its so rare. I'm not a vegetable person at all, but I think I would like the beets.

LOVE the new M.Eats banner by the way!!!
M. said…
Wey, Dave: I know right?

Dave: Thanks for the compliment :)
Barista said…
Looks good. Hi Mia, Kelvin from "Walk of Food & Coffee". I stumbled unto some nice pictures that you took at Tomo Fine Dining. May I assemble some pictures into a photo collage and email to some foodies and some friends for a meal gathering in June? I'll need to ask for your permission to use your photos. Thank you. Please email me at maki_g10@hotmail.com or pop by my blog at http://ilovestarbucks.blogspot.com/ Regards, Kelvin

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