Cafe Biere, Emeryville
Celebrated a friend's birthday last night at Cafe Biere, a little tavern on Adeline near 40th in Emeryville.
CB's shtick is Belgian ales, and they have a solid variety to choose from. They also feature Belgian-style ales from other parts of the world.
They have a small, but satisfying, menu. I would skip the pizza. Standouts included the mussels (in the cream sauce; better than the one with cherry tomatoes), the New Zealand lamb chops, the frito mixto with calamari, and the house-made potato chips. They also offer a cheese plate with generous portions of high-end cheeses.
As I understand it, CB is a ind of cousin restaurant to Cafe Cacao.
I got a chance to talk to the proprietor, a very friendly guy. He's still trying to figure out what he wants to do with CB -- he doesn't want it to become an obnoxiously overcrowded destination (like Monk's Kettle), but, clearly, he wants to do business.
Anyway, if you're looking for a friendly, low-key place to enjoy fine ales and good food, check out Biere.
3986 Adeline St, Emeryville, CA 94608
another positive vote for this place: low-key, good food, great beer.
both the "roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes" and "bacon, blue cheese, cream" mussels were good, but i have to agree that the latter stood out more. they came with grilled(?) bread with a great smoky flavor that was great for soaking up the sauce.
the fish stew had a thin but well-flavored, spicy tomato base.
the beer list was extensive and very reasonably priced (e.g. a chimay blue was only $6). it was also the only place around here that i've seen carry achel.
We went last night for beers after dinner. The beer list is great - wonderful variety and selection (particularly of the Belgians, but the American and other European selections were also good), and the prices are fair. The staff were very attentive and friendly. One of the tables was getting food, which looked (and smelled) good, and I would have tried some of the cheeses had I not just had dinner. Comparing it to the Trappist - the space is less elegant, but it is less cramped and less difficult to get attention or place an order. It was easy to hold a conversation with the other people at my table. We'll definitely go back.
re: Chuckles the Clone
It closed June 2008
That's a tough location. The new owner should be offering lunch if that place is going to make it ... especially saying he doesn't want it to be a destination ... yikes. That was one of the big Furenzu flaws ... don't know how it ended up, but when they did have lunch it was too pricey for the neighorhood.