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birthday dinner in the east bay?

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Both my birthday and my significant other's are coming up in the next week and a half, and I'm looking for a new East Bay place to try in celebration. Doesn't have to be superfancy (and in fact if it's not, it's better) but quality and ambience are still important to me, because we're young and don't get to eat out every day. Good drink menu would be a big incentive.

Places we've gone for a special night out and liked or loved include Nizza la Bella, A Cote, Bay Wolf, Millennium, Pomelo (though these two are not in East Bay, obviously), La Note, Uzen, Chaya, Locanda Olmo...and just about every Korean BBQ place on Telegraph. :)

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  1. other places include Dona Tomas, Soi 4, La Taza, Kirala, all the usual suspects. We'd love to try something different -- that's why I'm coming to you hounds!

    2 Replies
    1. re: pockyjunkie

      Have you been to Pizziaolo? It qualifies as a place with quality, fun ambiance, good food and drink.

    2. I am a huge fan of Dopo on Piedmont Ave. Fairly simple menu but always has been very good when I have been there. There usually is a wait but they will take reservations for groups of 5+

      4 Replies
      1. re: drewblack

        I love the food at Dopo, but I think Pizzaiolo has the edge on Dopo in this case for a convivial atmosphere and drink service (Dopo has a good wine list, but Pizzaiolo has a good wine list, beer on tap, and a full bar).

        1. re: Morton the Mousse

          I agree. Love the food at Dopo but Pizzaiolo's a better fit for the request.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            thanks, everyone! Pizzaiolo sounds like a very good option (been by lots, but never tried). I know pizza will go over well with the SO, too.

            1. re: pockyjunkie

              They take reservations after 3pm. I strongly suggest you make them.
              Enjoy.