Dinner in the East Bay
I have just relocated to the East Bay and am in search of good dinner spots in the area. I've heard that Temescal, Piedmont, Lake Merritt and Berkeley all have good restaurants but have only gotten recommendations for lunch (e.g. Bakesale Betty's). A friend is in town tomorrow and we are planning on going out to dinner in Oakland/Berkeley. Any suggestions for where we should go would be greatly appreciated!
Sunday nights. . .some places are closed on Sunday so be aware of that. I know that A Cote, Wood Tavern, Rivoli, are open and those are three restaurants that I can recommend without hesitation. Two others, Dopo and Pizzaiolo are closed but are excellent so if you are looking to go out another evening give them a try.
I second the recommendations that pastryqueen has. It would be best to get a reservation for all of these restaurants on OpenTable if you can to avoid waiting. Rivoli is a bit more formal (I feel) and quieter than the others mentioned. A Cote has a cool vibe, great bar and drink and awesome food. Wood Tavern I've only been to for lunch, but the food is definitely worth it. I would also add Cesar to the list for tapas if you're interested, they have a branch in Berkeley and one on Piedmont.
As for Dopo and Pizzaiolo, the pizzas are really the stars. Too bad they're not open on Sunday nights. Another good place is Bellanico on Park Blvd which isn't open either on Sundays, but the food is reasonably priced and tasty, and they have a great wine list, including lots of interesting wines by the glass and by half glasses.
I believe that Camino, Flora and Mono have all gotten mentions before, but I have not tried them, so cannot comment. Hope these suggestions help!
Wanted to add some recommendations, Uzen has really fresh sushi and sashimi but isn't open on Sundays, but Rikyu is also pretty good and has good sushi and IS open on Sundays. Both of these are on College.
I also just tried Girabaldi last night and it's a GREAT deal if you go between 5-7pm or 9pm-close for their happy hour deal at the bar. The deal is that they have certain cocktails for $5 and the whole bar menu is half off! We had their wood oven pizza for $6.50 and their burger for $6 and rabbit pate for $3.25 and salmon tartare for $4.50. The pizza's not as good as the pizza at Dopo or Pizzaiolo, but it's definitely worth the price and more. Will definitely go again for the great value and good atmosphere.
Wow that's good to know. A few months back a friend and I went into Garibaldis because A Coté had an hour wait. We got a table immediately. Unfortunately, the combination of that table being directly under a hard-blowing air conditioner vent, the refusal of the waiter to move us to any other table in the half-empty place except the one under the other gale force chiller, and the unbelievably stupid-expensive menu made us get up and head back to A Coté. There didn't seem to be any way at all to have a reasonable, light dinner for less than $60 per person.
This after-9pm deal might almost bring it back onto the radarscreen.
re: Chuckles the Clone
Yeah, A Cote is one of my favorite restaurants, that's why I've never thought of going to Garibaldi's when I'm in the area. However, the happy hour deal is definitely something to consider especially in a time like this when all the prices are going up instead of down. The service in the bar area seemed pretty nice and competent to me. Our total was about $31 including drinks and tax for two.
Places I've eaten at in the last few months and am eager to return to:
À Côté (dinner only, 7 days)
Anh Hong (lunch M-F, dinner 7 days)
Camino (dinner only, closed Tuesdays)
Cesar (on Piedmont; lunch through dinner, 7 days)
Chai Thai Noodles (lunch and dinner, 7 days)
Champa Garden* (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
Chez Panisse (lunch (upstairs only) and dinner, closed Sundays)
China Village* (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
Corso (lunch and dinner, 7 days)
Daimo (breakfast through late night, 7 days)
Dopo (lunch and dinner, closed Sundays)
Eccolo (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
El Huarache Azteca (breakfast through dinner, 7 days)
Flora (lunch and dinner, closed Sundays and Mondays)
Great China* (lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner 7 days)
Jayakarta* (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
Lanesplitter (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
Ohgane (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
Oliveto (dinner only, 7 days)
Pizzaiolo (dinner only, closed Sundays)
Sea Salt (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
Shanghai (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
T-Rex (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
Turkish Kitchen (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
Vik's (lunch through 6pm, closed Mondays)
Wood Tavern (lunch through dinner Mon.-Sat., dinner only Sun.)
*Hit-and-miss menus, be sure to read past reports so you order the good stuff.