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Feb 21, 2006 11:36 PM

Delicious food near Rockridge BART

  • f

Looking for some recs for a yummy, not too expensive restaurant within close walking distance of the Rockridge BART. Good for a first date.

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  1. m
    Morton the Mousse

    Cafe at Oliveto (not the more expensive restaurant upstairs)


    10 Replies
    1. re: Morton the Mousse

      The nice, heated, tent-like back patio of A Cote.
      No reservations. Can be crowded. Nice bookstore next
      door for hanging out it while waiting for a table (if it's
      that kind of date) or just suck down a few tasty Figoun
      cocktails at the bar (if you think it's that kind of date).

      Link: http://www.acoterestaurant.com/

      1. re: Antwerp
        Robert Lauriston

        A Cote's nice inside, too. Very reasonable prices for the quality of food. Great wines by the glass.

        Oliveto downstairs is another good choice.


      2. re: Morton the Mousse

        perhaps it is just me, but I would personally be a bit putoff to be taken to Oliveto downstairs on a first date. The food is good, but it just has too much of a crowded, coffee house feel to me; with little, crowded together tables. Too informal; too casual. I'd be much happier to be taken to A Cote under those circumstances: also casual, also good food, but I get the sense I am having a real meal in cozy surroundings....

        1. re: susancinsf

          It's not just you, I'm in full agreement.

          1. re: CH Addict

            I'll third that comment. The downstairs cafe feels too much like a staging area (people standing at the bar, loud talking, people with cell phones who have been banished from upstairs).

            And add that Oliveto upstairs doesn't HAVE to be $$$. Unless you have your heart set on meat from the wood oven (and who could blame you?) and wine, you could do very well. Three of us shared a salumi platter, two pastas, a meat dish, and were very full for under $30 each after tax and tip. I know the portions are small, but I found the sauces so rich and the polenta so filling that it really wasn't an issue.

            I did regret not getting dessert. So maybe Oliveto upstairs requires too much planning (don't order this, trying to stay within budget) for a first date, but I wouldn't write it off for future dates. Wherever you go, have fun!

            1. re: nooodles
              Robert Lauriston

              Upstairs at Oliveto is always quite expensive for me. Any fantasy about ordering like a reasonable person evaporates when I read the menu and see and smell the food going to other tables.

              1. re: nooodles

                Being on a rather tight budget, of late, I agree!
                I'd rather watch what I eat (and I don't think it takes a lot of planning, unless you're on a date) and eat really well, here. I find things get more out of hand at the small plates restaurants.
                I do plan to spend more for the Whole Hog Dinner.

                1. re: nooodles

                  Miss Nooodles, you are a pillar of restraint. I had either a late lunch or early dinner (can't remember) for 2 DOWNSTAIRS!! and it came to $100. That's w/ one glass of wine and no desserts. We had a soup, 2 pastas, still hungry so split a third pasta. Still left not entirely full. Looking at the web site, I don't know how we came to this total but I tend to over-tip. But man, those pastas were good (if small).

                  1. re: CH Addict
                    Robert Lauriston

                    Downstairs at Oliveto is not as much cheaper then upstairs as it used to be.

              2. re: susancinsf

                Walk on down to A Cote. You can get small plates, it's intimate but relaxed and I would say great for a first date.

            2. y'know, I'll bet the closest place that gets the most date action
              is Zachary's pizza. You don't mention if you're 19 years old and/or
              the idea of $40+ per person still seems insane.

              In that case, Zachary's and Filippo's will let you out for less than $30
              total and Soi 4, if you're careful, just a bit more.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jef
                Robert Lauriston

                I don't see a lot of couples at Zachary's when I walk by.

                For somebody on a student budget, the Downtown Berkeley BART station would be a much better place to meet. Ryowa Ramen, for example. Or Cha Ya.

              2. c
                Cyrus Farivar

                This is right in my hood, so I'm going to second the votes for À Côté.

                Otherwise, I'm a fan of The Hut when I'm in the mood for a semi-dingy bar with pool tables. :)

                1. These are all on College on the side of the BART station closer to Oakland: there's a restaurant that specializes in chocolate (romantic!), the Rockridge Cafe makes a great burger with Niman Ranch beef (they've been there since the early 70's), Pasta Pomodora - not bad, not great - BUT they have a nice outdoor seating area elevated above street level.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Niki Rothman

                    Rockridge Cafe is no longer open for dinner.

                  2. A Cote is very good indeed, and their wine list is well chosen and not overpriced. I had a glass of the 2002 Taschlerhof Sylvaner from Alto Adige there on Friday night and it was delicious. If you have room, try to order a cheese plate before dessert.

                    Pearl would be my other choice, but if you're not careful, it can get expensive as the portion sizes are small especially for the raw plates.

                    Link: http://www.pearloncollege.com/menu