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May 8, 2007 09:49 AM

Group dinner in Davis - must have pasta option [moved from San Francisco Bay Area board]

I organize a group dinner for about 12 people the evening before the Davis Double Century bike ride, which is next weekend. We've traditionally gone to Strings on Covell because it has pasta for those that do carbs before bike rides, the price is reasonable and the location and parking are both convenient. But, I'm always looking for an opportunity to try somewhere new!

After the event, and with a much smaller group, we've enjoyed going to Season's or Cafe Bernardo for dinner and then Ciocolat for dessert. Breakfast on Sunday is usually either Cafe Bernardo or Crepeville.

Not being from the Davis area, I would greatly appreciate suggestions for any other dining recommendations!

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    1. Davis isn't really a great pasta town, unfortunately.

      You might try Cafe Italia, on Richards right by I-80, across from In-N-Out. ( Their breakfast is popular, too.

      Cafe Bernardo and Seasons are both much better, and they both have pasta. Seasons could easily handle 12, but you should definitely make a reservation.

      Bistro 33 has a lovely outdoor patio, but I've never been impressed with the food or service. It's on my Avoid list. (


      There's also Fuzio -- not stellar, but not bad. It's in the shopping center with Borders at 1st and E streets. (


      Kathmandu on G Street serves Indian/Nepalese food. It's good, although it lacks atmosphere and the service can be really, really slow. (


      For my money, Seasons is the best place in town.

      1. Also, the Davis Wiki has a comprehensive list of restaurants in town.

        If asked, I'm happy to offer opnions on anything that jumps out at you.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mudster

          Thanks, Mudster, I just finished checking out the Davis Wiki site. It was a great resource both for my dining needs and something to share with a co-worker whose son will be attending UCD next year!

          I have to agree that Seasons is a step above any of the other options. Typically I have to be more conscious of the price when coordinating dinner for a group. But, I don't think their menu is unreasonably priced, especially for the quality.

          Where's your favorite breakfast spot? The day after the ride we're REALLY hungry!

          1. re: OnYerWheel

            I agree -- Seasons *seems* pricey, but it's really not considering the food.

            Honestly, I don't really eat breakfast out unless I'm travelling. A lot of people really like Cafe Bernardo -- it's good, but it's not the usual breakfast menu. Sorta California-ized. Cafe Italia is also very popular, but (IMO) over-priced. Portions are pretty big, though.

            Cindy's, on Chiles at Mace (not near downtown) has your standard coffee shop fare. Nothing fancy at all, but sometimes that's just what the doc ordered.

            If you don't mind the drive (or the bike ride, although it's too far for me!), Putah Creek Cafe in Winters is the best bet in the area. (

            [Edited to add: Have fun during the bike ride!]

            1. re: mudster

              If we forego the customary "group" breakfast on Sunday, then a trip to Winters would be a fun change. We've probably eaten at Cafe Bernardo for the past five years in a row. Winters would work especially well if we decide to return to So. Cal via San Francisco, and a decadent Sunday evening at the Slanted Door or some other noteworthy indulgence. Riding two hundred miles justifies eating ridiculous amounts for a couple of days!

              1. re: OnYerWheel

                I second all of mudster's recs, except Katmandu whose food has underwhelmed me on several visits.

                I would add that Delta of Venus and Crepeville also serve a decent breakfast. Delta's patio is lovely too. The breakfasts at Putah creek cafe are a lot better than anyplace in Davis though.

                I actually like Cafe Italia. It is very generic americanized italian, but when I want huge portions of spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna, its where I go. Pasta? is another option for pasta. I've never had anything there that knocked my socks off, but in my opinion its about the same level of price and quality as all of the pasta places mentioned above.

                Tazzina Bistro in Woodland is a fabulous resturant, and only a ten minute drive away. They usually have a pasta option. Prices are similar to seasons.

                Little Prague is a better bet for desert than ciocolat. Try their princess cake, its amazing.

                Have a great time!

                1. re: peashoot

                  I'll admit that I was not a fan of Kathmandu for the first couple years I lived here. It wasn't like the Indian restauarants I was used to in the city I moved from.

                  Now I have a single favorite dish, and I order it every time I go there. Love it. And their food at the Wed/Sat farmers' markets is also good.

                  So, maybe not a great recommendation for out-of-towners, since it takes some wearing-in.

                  Little Prauge is apparently being boycotted by a bunch of people because of poor behavior by the people who run it. It was always too expensive for me anyway, so it doesn't affect me. See the Wiki link I posted above, and the comments on Little Prague, for more details.

          1. re: melly

            Thanks for the suggestions! In an attempt to be sensitive to the budgets of the majority, I'll probably have to be satisfied with generic Italian food for dinner. But, I'm really looking forward to checking out Putah Creek Cafe on Sunday.

            Also, thanks melly for turning me on to VanillaGarlic. Great blog and I'll have to try some of the cupcake recipes!