October 30, 2008 2

Chez Panisse Cafe (Berkeley: Gourmet Ghetto)

By in 04: SF+Bay Area, Favorite Food Entries

On the way back to LA from our short getaway to Napa, we stopped by Berkeley to check out Alice Water‘s famous restaurant/cafe Chez Panisse for lunch. As some of you might know, Alice Waters is one of the most influential American chefs in the US in the 70s and Chez Panisse has the reputation of being the birthplace of “California cuisine” —  fusion cooking that uses fresh locally grown ingredients.

Chez PanisseIMG_4476
The restaurant is inside a cute wood craftsman bungalow. Downstairs is the restaurant which only open for dinner while upstair is the cheaper and more causal cafe. Their menu changes daily, the cafe menu offers a daily 3 courses for $35. Freda got the daily prix-fixe while I ordered a la carte. The menu looked interesting, it’s mainly comprise of hearty rustic French and Italian dishes.


I got the Cannard Farm Rocket and Figs with Persimmons and Pomegranate $10. It must be fig season as I see figs everywhere. Freda’s prix-frix: Garden Lettuce Salad. Both were fresh and seasoned nicely, delicious.


My entree: Liberty Farm Duck Leg Confit with shell beans, Pimientos, and Rosemary $20. Very good! The meat was tender and fresh. The shell bean sides were really delicious too, multi-flavor in every bites. Everything taste fresh. Hearty and satisfying.

Baked Farro Pasta with Chanterelle Mushrooms, leeks, and Thyme How can a simple baked pasta be this good! The pasta (made of Farro) has a nice nutty, grainy texture. The sauce is creamy but light like broth. The mushroom soaked up the flavors, it’s absolutely wonderful.

Concord Grape Sherbet with Moscato d’Asti and Langues de chat. Refreshing! Interesting plating though.

My boyfriend had dinner at the restaurant side before and he said it was amazing. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to try it someday in the future.

Chez Panisse cafe
1517 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 548-5049

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2 Responses to “Chez Panisse Cafe (Berkeley: Gourmet Ghetto)”

  1. seat says:

    The pimiento(?) appeals to me the most. Is it just pepper? The pasta looks interesting too. How far is this place to LA?

  2. bucket says:

    seat: 400 miles.