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Recommendations for a Quality East Bay Meal

Johnnyman7 Sep 3, 2008 07:44 PM

Hi everybody,
My new wife and I are going on a four-day trip to the East Bay area to see Dave Matthews Band play at the Greek @ UC Berkeley. Both of us are alumni of UC Berkeley, but we havent been back in quite some time. Since then, we're certain that the dining scene has changed...and our willingness to pay for good food has gone up too. :-)

In any case, I'm looking to take her to a nice dinner on Thursday night (tomorrow). Any recommendations? We like high-quality, fresh food. We've been to Chez Panisse (downstairs) and it was good....not great. French Laundry ruined us for all future restaurants, I think.

Distance is not a constraint, so long as we're in the East Bay. We're staying in Walnut Creek, so anything from Oakland to Richmond to Walnut Creek is okay with us.

Thank you in advance!

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  1. JasmineG RE: Johnnyman7 Sep 3, 2008 08:03 PM

    Wood Tavern if you can get a reservation, or Dopo or Pizzaiolo, all in Oakland (Wood Tavern is on College on the Berkeley border). If you want to stay in Berkeley, Sea Salt is great.

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      Ridge RE: Johnnyman7 Sep 3, 2008 08:18 PM

      I haven’t been in ages but Cesar on Shattuck is usually quite good. Been meaning to go back.
      Sea Salt is very reliable.
      Ajanta has tasty Indian food

      1. m
        Michael Rodriguez RE: Johnnyman7 Sep 4, 2008 06:59 AM


        1. j
          Johnnyman7 RE: Johnnyman7 Sep 4, 2008 08:31 AM

          Thanks! All of those seem like good recommendations. I've heard good things about Olivetos....is it more like heavy, traditional Italian food, or a lighter version of it?

          Wood Tavern sounds nice also. Are they consistently good?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Johnnyman7
            Robert Lauriston RE: Johnnyman7 Sep 4, 2008 09:14 AM

            Oliveto's food is pretty traditional Italian, but generally it's not heavy like Italian-American food often is. Usually easy to get a reservation.

            Dopo's another excellent Italian place, chef worked at Oliveto for a long time. They don't take reservations.

            Wood Tavern's very consistent. Not a fancy place but great food. Might be hard to get a reservation on such short notice.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              Oliver Ranch RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 4, 2008 11:28 AM

              Agree with Robert on Wood Tavern and Oliveto. Wood Tavern is so good they even had me ordering a second plate of brussel sprouts. Though I wouldn't call the ambiance romantic, if that's what you're looking for.

              Will have to now try Dopo myself.

              Also, if you're on the west side of campus you want a quick, casual lunch, try Amanda's (Shattuck just off of University). Great effort in making quick service food that is made with real and wholesome ingredients.

          2. s
            slipson RE: Johnnyman7 Sep 4, 2008 08:38 AM

            Va da Vie and Prima in Walnut Creek and Postino in Lafayette are good choices close to where you will be staying. For lunch check out Bo's BBQ in Lafayette for great brisket. Chow in Lafayette is also enjoyable. Also consider getting some Dim Sum at Tin's Teahouse in Walnut Creek.

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