Locanda da Eva dinner
Saw the plea from someone on the hugely long thread on Locanda da Eva (the one that started way before it opened, w/ lots of back-and-forth w/ Robert Lauriston) to start a new thread. Dinner there last night, first time. Lots to like. Like the decor (bright, whimsical). It was full and bustling, which was great to see. Service was first-rate.
The professional server helped me choose a lovely glass of wine for $6. That said, I thought $12 was pricey for a Carpano Antica on the rocks (nearly double Chez Panisse Cafe's price, which is, if I'm remembering right, $7). My husband, a lager-drinker, was delighted at the beer choices.
The kale pizza w/ lardo was quite good--well cooked, nice char, kale delicious--couldn't decide what I thought re the lardo--but it was reminiscent of Chez Panisse Cafe's nettle pizza and pizza w/ greens at Pizziaola--definitely a hit. Other posters had liked the trotter fritter, which we tried--interesting, tastey--not sure it worked w/ the cuke base, wasn't quite tied together. My husband had the calamari starter--not enough calamari, good but not terrific. He also had the chicken-pork-ricotta meatballs--which were again good but not brilliant and should have been served w/ a spoon for broth (we asked for one). He got the farro side, which seemed less than exciting.
He ended w/ the peanut butter ice cream, which, as a peanut butter guy, left him w/ a smile on his face. I got semolini cookies, which were quite nice.
Don't know how to do 2 1/2 stars in the ratings above, but that's about where we'd locate it. Enjoyed, but not wowed. Hoping it continues to get better. Can definitely imagine returning.
Locanda da Eva
2826 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705
I finally got a chance to try out Locanda de Eva this week. A friend and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal and will return.
We each ordered a grapefruit-based cocktail (Shattuck Daisy, I believe) that was delicious and very strong.
We had a zucchini, squash blossom and ricotta pizza. It was fresh and enjoyable, but could have possibly used a bit more zip, like lemon.
We ordered all four of the vegetable sides (beets, broccollini with kohlrabi, fried cauliflower, and roasted root veggies/potatoes) and they were the star of the meal. I wish we had ordered the whole batch a second time! Each was so perfectly prepared and flavorful.
We had a special dessert, that was almond cake with creme anglaise, persimmons, sasparilla ice cream and baked apple sorbet. The ice creams were great, very flavorful and smooth. The cake tasted very doughy and under-baked. It had pieces of almonds in it, but no real almond flavor. It was soaked in the creme, so it was certainly tasty altogether, but the cake really lagged behind the rest of the dish.
All in all a delightful meal. We were seated in the middle of the restaurant (separate room from the bar), and it was pretty quiet on a Tuesday night so we could really hear each other. The service was great.
Someone invited me to dinner here last week. I loved the arugula and nectarine salad with creamy curls of ricotta salata. A special mixed mushroom pizza with robiola was good; I liked the crust more a little more done, as I discovered when I reheated the remaining slices in a hot skillet for lunch, which effectively baked it a bit more. Ahi tuna was oversalted. I enjoyed the toasted polenta cake with berries. As others have noted, service was helpful regarding wine.
We finally managed to get there tonight, and loved it! We shared a pizza with some delicious braised pork on it and a trio of the vegetables (the roasted carrots, the fried cauliflower, and the farro salad). DH had a glass of the Alto Adige chardonnay and I had a glass of the heavenly Sorelle Bronca prosecco. Everything was excellent. We ordered lightly because we had had a large lunch, so we're looking forward to going back when we can eat more heartily. We especially enjoyed the personal and detailed descriptions of the wines, and our server was very knowledgeable and attentive as well.
Had the griddled tongue last night and it was great! Have had the beets and ricotta a few times and they are super. The Gioia ricotta is really lovely. Lots of flavor and a beautiful, light texture. My father loved the trotter late last month, though I was not able to mooch any from him.
I went a little over a week ago, a party of five women, and sat in the front room at the table by the window. I was concerned that it would be too loud, but it was not. None of us had been there before, and we all loved it.
To start, the cocktail menu was fun, and our bartender took the time to come over and discuss options with us. She was very knowledgable and the cocktails were great. I wanted a manhattan, and she talked me into their version with prosecco, and I was happy she did. Later, the waiter helped us choose a very nice bottle of wine, but I didn't write down the name.
We decided that the menu looked so good that we would just order a bunch of items and share them all. We started with the beet salad, the calamaria, pork trotter fritters, and something else which I can't remember. I didn't like the prok trotters, but as fritters go, they were nicely done.
The we ordered rigatoni with the chicken and pork ragu, skirt steak, spareribs, chicken and ricotta meatballs, and the pizza with the sardines. I didn't try the ribs. The meatballs were wonderful, melt in your mouth tender. The rigatoni was tasty, but I guess I had expected more sauce, so I was disappointed. The skirt steak was perfect, and I wished I didn't have to share. I skipped the pizza, but the comments were generally favorable.
The highlight of the meal were the vegetables. We ordered all four, and I can't rave enough about how good they all were. I could have made a meal of just those (and some skirt steak!).
We managed to find room for dessert and ordered the panna cotta and the peanut butter concoction. Everything was really nice.
We all agreed that we would add this to the list of favorite restaurants. I look forward to going back and ordering my very own meal. It was fun to be able to order almost the whole menu, but I really want to go by myself and eat at the bar.
Service was great (we were probably a challenge, but the staff treated us very well) and the place was nice, though I never made it out of my seat. Parking on the street was easy on a Saturday night.
I recently returned after my first meal which was shortly after they opened. After my first visit I felt there was a lot of potential but some rough edges. After my latest visit many of the issues I encountered had been ironed out and I really enjoyed my meal. The service is very good, friendly and professional. Everyone was very accomodating and pleasant. The beet salad was very good and fresh tasting, the fresh ricotta was excellent. The margharita pizza was light, crispy and had fresh clean flavors. The ravioli again was very well done with a great combination of flavors and textures.
There was even a paper towel option in the restroom.
My only complaint is that some dishes can be a bit salty which was evident in the roasted pork spareribs.
Overall, a solid meal from start to finish and a place I will return to again.