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Eccolo final week

Robert Lauriston Aug 17, 2009 03:15 PM

"Farewell dinners" start tonight. Dinners only this week, no lunch.

Monday: Homestyle cooking, featuring Chris Lee's grandmother Ethel's recipe for iron-skillet fried chicken, breaded pork chops, and chicken livers with polenta.

Tuesday: Handmade sausage extravaganza with a menu including traditional boudin blanc, garlic sausage, merguez, and other favorites.

Wednesday: Carlos Oliveria's Brazilian jazz trio, heirloom tomato gazpacho, paella, and other Iberian dishes.

Thursday: Farm dinner with Green String and Cannard Farms produce and meats.

Friday: Classic Italian menu with handmade pastas, spit-roasted suckling pig, and osso buco with saffron risotto.

Saturday: Chef Lee's favorite dishes including Provençal fish soup cooked over an open fire in the parking lot, steak frites, and Paine Farm squab.

1820 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

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    neu RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 18, 2009 02:29 AM

    beg to differ but - they had lunch today. and when i asked if they would have the same kind of soup (onion) tomorrow, i was told it would be different tomorrow.

    2 Replies
    1. re: neu
      Robert Lauriston RE: neu Aug 18, 2009 08:31 AM

      Thanks, I was just repeating what they told me last week.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        neu RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 19, 2009 06:50 AM

        As it turns out, Monday was Eccolo's last day for lunch after all. I think when I asked if the same soup would be served during Tuesday's lunch, I must have been misunderstood (maybe it was thought I had asked if the soup would be the same on Tuesday?). Anyway, anybody wanting to eat there needs to go at dinnertime.

    2. a
      abstractpoet RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 19, 2009 08:19 PM

      Wow, this is the first I heard that they were closing. Was it announced very suddenly? Wonder if it'd still be possible to get a reservation for one of these dinners. Tough call b/w roast suckling pig and steak frites...

      1 Reply
      1. re: abstractpoet
        Robert Lauriston RE: abstractpoet Aug 20, 2009 10:14 AM

        They announced it two weeks ago.

      2. nicedragonboy RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 19, 2009 08:37 PM

        i really wanna go for the friday menu. love me some spit-roasted suckling pig. mmm...

        3 Replies
        1. re: nicedragonboy
          tomatoaday RE: nicedragonboy Aug 20, 2009 09:33 AM

          I called yesterday and it sounds like they are already booked. I tap danced for a 6 pm res but if you don't have a slot yet, it might be too late for the suckling piggy.

          1. re: tomatoaday
            abstractpoet RE: tomatoaday Aug 20, 2009 11:17 AM

            Called last night and the best I was able to manage was a 9:30 for Friday. Hope they won't be out of pig by then...

            1. re: tomatoaday
              tomatoaday RE: tomatoaday Aug 24, 2009 11:56 AM

              We were disappointed in our dinner. The fried artichokes were good and the bruscetta was ok, nothing special. I was surprised at how skinny the slice of roast pork was but after tasting the over seasoned stuffing and barely there pork flesh, even a 4 ounce slice for $24 was too much. DC's roast chicken was dry and the truffle slices tasted like rubber. I know it is closed and this means nothing now but shoot, we were really surprised. 1 beer, 1 glass of wine, 2 apps and 2 entrees, with tax but before tip $84.

          2. AntarcticWidow RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 20, 2009 04:40 PM

            Had dinner these last night. Called ahead earlier in the day and left a voice message for reservations. Received a call mid-afternoon and my choices were 5:30pm, 8pm or later. We took the 8pm slot and showed up a few minutes early. The dining room was completely full and it did not appear they were taking walk-ins. If they were, it would have been a 90+ minute wait. We were seated on time and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. By 9:30 I noticed there were a couple of tables unseated.

            1. Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 30, 2009 09:35 AM

              Interesting piece in today's Chron by Eccolo's sous chef Samin Nosrat:


              I don't think they did such a great job of publicizing the happy hour and lower prices.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                Shane Greenwood RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 1, 2009 06:20 AM

                It's a sad story because they were so passionate about the food. Sounds like they were better at cooking than marketing and PR. The, "if we build it they will come" marketing plan is naive but amazingly common. I love places like this, but Eccolo was never really on my radar. I rarely heard anything about it, good or bad, except for the occasional mention on CH. Unfortunately, just having that concept is not enough to get noticed in the bay area because the local/sustainable idea is more common now. I hope they regroup and get someone to help with the business, they sound like great people.

                1. re: Shane Greenwood
                  Bryan Gros RE: Shane Greenwood Sep 1, 2009 03:34 PM

                  I don't know what it was either, but you're right. I just never really thought of that place. I was thinking it was location, but no, I know Cafe Rouge, I like Cafe Rouge. Even the name. When someone would occasionally mention Eccolo, I would have to ask "Where is that? I've heard of that..." and then "oh yea, the place on 4th".
                  It is always a mystery why some places make it and others don't.

                2. re: Robert Lauriston
                  JasmineG RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 1, 2009 05:32 PM

                  Yeah, reading that article was the first I had heard of a happy hour or lower prices.

                3. e
                  ernie in berkeley RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 16, 2009 04:38 PM

                  Chris Lee will be cooking bouillabaise at the Kermit Lynch Provence party, Saturday 9/19 in the Kermit Lynch parking lot.


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