Recs on Bay Wolf, Rivoli, Lalime's
I'm trying to organize a dinner for 8 people out in the East Bay. I'm deciding between Bay Wolf, Rivoli, and Lalime's. I hear all 3 are supposed to be great food-wise, warm service-wise, and fair to the wallet given the product so any additional insight that may give comparison points between them could be helpful.
Tida, forgive me if this is info you already have, but if not it may be helpful: all three have web sites.
Beyond that, I wish I could be of more help. I have been to all three and agree with your assessment re food, service, value, and they all do nice Mediterranean/California-style food, but I haven't been to any for a few years so I can't give you recent impressions. Lalime's is quite dedicated to seasonal ingredients and often has themed menus. The settings are all about equivalent in the casual-but-nice vein typical of Berkeley/Oakland places.
re: Caitlin McGrath
My favorite among the three is Lalime's. The meals I've had there have ranged from very good to sublime. I can't remember if you had a particular date in mind, but Lalime's is always offering intriguing special menus (listed on the website). Their "ordinary" menu also changes once every three weeks.
I went to Bay Wolf to celebrate after passing my qualifying exams (grad school) and while I enjoyed the app found my entree pretty dull. In fact I couldn't eat more than a few bites (but that was probably due to pregnancy-related appetite weirdness). Of course, Bay Wolf's menu changes month to month so this may not be a typical problem. I have one friend who swears that Bay Wolf's desserts are better than Lalime's. I think this was true the night we visited.
Rivoli is a really pleasant restaurant, but a notch down in quality from Lalime's or Bay Wolf, I think. The room is slightly less elegant, the food a little simpler.
Hope that's helpful,
re: Rachel Hope
Thanks to both of you guys. I think I'm going to go to Lalime's and will check out their current specialty menu on the website (no I didn't realize there was one). This was really helpful and I'm looking forward to my meal there. Will post once we go with anything great.
I haven't been recently, and when I recommended it here with fond memories and good word-of-mouth since (includong here), someone posted a very negative opinion. (If you do a search for Oliveto on the home page, you'll see it.)
Another option that's just up the block from Oliveto is Citron. It was aways very good when I was there (again not recent), and has been complented here pretty recently.