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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).


      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.