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Good place in Berkeley area w/out kids

Okay, so we have a rare treat--dinner without kids and a movie. Looking for a good place to eat, not necessarily an expensive or dressy place, just looking for a meal that won't disappoint. What's your favorite place to eat in Berkeley/Albany area?

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  1. Oliveto or Pizzaiolo.

    Though lots of people take their kids to Pizzaiolo, especially earlier in the evening.

    1. For fun spots in your neck of the woods, I like Fonda on Solano for small plates or Sea Salt on San Pablo near Dwight. I haven't been to Eccolo but it has been getting pretty good reviews. Have a great time!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cheesy Oysters

        Eccolo's similar to Oliveto in style and price, but not as polished.

      2. We go to Ajanta on Solano once or twice a month. Great indian food, warm service, and a cozy atmosphere.

        1. Fonda is really noisy and that, paradoxically, often leads to an intimate atmosphere by causing you to lean close to your dining partner. Plus, if you get there early, there are some tables that are very small and cozy. Sharing the small plates lends to even more intimacy. Same thing goes for Vanessa's.

          6 Degrees is very pleasant and more traditional and the lamb chops are wonderful. Nice service, too.

          1. My favorite combo is a movie at the Piedmont and then walk to Dopo.

            1. How much are you looking to spend, per person, including tax, tip and drinks?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Morton the Mousse

                I'm not too worried about the cost, just want a good meal.

              2. My favorite place to eat dinner in the Berkeley area is Pizzaiolo in North Oakland (Temescal). My second favorite place is Dopo in Piedmont.


                1. I forgot about the Dopo Piedmont Theater combo. I really enjoy Dopo. That is hard to beat.

                  1. We had a spectacular date night a few months ago by going to the Albany Twin Theater (on Solano) then around the corner to Nizza La Bella.

                    1. Lalime
                      Bay Wolf
                      oldies but still good

                      1. Dopo & movie works. So, too, does Lalime's, Oliveto's, Eccolo, Sea Salt, Pizzaiolo . . .

                        Fonda and Cesar -- precisely because, as someone else observed, the noise makes it oddly intimate.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: zin1953

                          If it's date night and you decide on Fonda, consider sitting upstairs in the
                          comfy seats overlooking the downstairs (hard to explain but just go up and
                          have a look when you get there). Much less hectic activity all around. They're
                          pretty great about getting you the seat you want even when it's totally
                          crazy, though you might have to wait a bit at the bar, which is not a bad
                          place to wait a bit.

                          Since no one else has, I'll throw Zax into the mix. it has a definite grown-up
                          feel without making you feel old. Or A Cote, which might give you a tiny
                          reminder of what life was like before the kids.

                          I'm not sure about Dopo? With their expansion they seem even more like
                          just a neighborhood pizza joint. It seems like you could head there even
                          with the kids.

                          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                            Lots of kids at Dopo earlier in the evening.

                            I wouldn't say "just a neighborhood pizza joint" given how great the other food is. We haven't even ordered pizza the last few visits.

                        2. What about Olivia?

                          I like the idea of walking from the theater, though.
                          Nizza La Bella/Albany
                          Anything near the Grand Lake theater?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Glencora

                            Yes, there's that new Di Bartolo place, I enjoyed it on my one visit.

                            1. re: Glencora

                              Holy Land is right around the corner from the Grand Lake.