Berkeley near downtown BART station
Looking for something good for dinner near Freight & Salvage/downtown Berkeley BART station that would allow us to get to the Freight by 8PM on a Thursday evening. Would prefer reasonably nice place with seating and wine. Casual is fine. Cuisine is not too important. Cost is not an issue.
Revival and Five worked well for me, pre a berkeley rep show. Five is a little louder, as a room, but dinner was expertly cooked, and inventive. The orzo / gouda mac and cheese with mushrooms came in a little skillet to stay warm, and was delghtful. Both the lamb and pork were great mains. They highlighted delta asparagus on the menu, adding it to about half of the dishes and having a soup special. The place is a little more formal. The wine list was simply OK, the by the glass list was short.
Revival is hipper. The menu reads a little less inventive, but the room is warmer, lower ceilings, I think would be quieter. We had desert there aprez show, and the deserts were quite good. The mini baked alaska was rather haunting, the rhubarb tart could have used a lot more rhubarb. They are specializing in drinks with a common table up front, so felt a little absinthe-ish. They claim to be "tail-to-snout, root-to-shoot", but I didn't quite see in the menu where they were using all of things. I saw french fries, those would be the roots, where were the potato stems and leaves? They had a few normal cuts of meat and fish - and they had some sausage - but where was the rest of the fish? I would expect fish soup or stew on the menu. They seem to mean "locavore" instead of "snout-to-tail".
According to the east-bay express article:
but I'm quite sure the oysters were from further away, and I really don't know where you can get wheat grown in quantity within 100 miles for their pizza and deserts. We're pretty lucky in other regards; I can imagine the rest of what I saw on their menu.
Next time, I would choose revival over five.
Both had smooth and strong service, no bobbles.
it depends what time you're getting there - if you can get to angeline's pretty close to when it opens, you can be in and out pretty quickly, if you get there later, the wait will be unbearable. ippuku is also fantastic, although more known for their shochu than sake. and i do really enjoy revival quite a bit - always reminded me of a smaller, regular-hours version of NOPA
If you want to preserve the musical motif, you might try the cafe at the Jazz School, which is along that stretch of Center Street (Berkeley's new Arts District). I haven't eaten there, but have been told it's quite good- I can attest that you're likely to run across some good music while there.