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If you were in Berkeley for one night,

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miss.chievious Feb 6, 2011 04:05 AM

and could not get a reservation at Chez Panisse, where would you go?

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Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

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  1. Ruth Lafler RE: miss.chievious Feb 6, 2011 07:53 AM

    Oakland. Seriously, although there are many good restaurants in Berkeley, the restaurant scene in Oakland is much more exciting these days.

    But it would help to know what kind of dining experience you're looking for -- something similar to Chez Panisse, or something more casual with delicious food. Oh, and when you said you couldn't get a reservation at Chez Panisse, did you try for a reservation for the Cafe at Chez Panisse as well?

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    Chez Panisse
    1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler
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      Michael Rodriguez RE: Ruth Lafler Feb 6, 2011 08:04 PM

      I think the Cafe is a pale imitation of the restaurant.

      1. re: Michael Rodriguez
        JasmineG RE: Michael Rodriguez Feb 6, 2011 09:06 PM

        I strongly disagree on both counts: it is neither an imitation of the Restaurant, nor a pale one. I have enjoyed my meals at the Cafe more than those downstairs, and I've seen that opinion shared by others here and elsewhere.

        1. re: JasmineG
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          lmnopm RE: JasmineG Feb 6, 2011 09:26 PM

          It is a totally different restaurant and different experience.

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      rosiella1 RE: miss.chievious Feb 6, 2011 08:16 AM

      I would try to get a counter seat at Commis... on the border of Oakland and Berkeley

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      Commis
      3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

      2 Replies
      1. re: rosiella1
        JasmineG RE: rosiella1 Feb 6, 2011 08:21 AM

        On the border? Commis is nowhere near the Oakland/Berkeley border, but I would definitely put it on the list, along with Pizzaiolo and Plum, other of the East Bay's best restaurants.

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        Pizzaiolo
        5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

        Commis
        3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

        1. re: rosiella1
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          lmnopm RE: rosiella1 Feb 6, 2011 08:22 AM

          You are all beating me to it!

          Berkeley proper? I'd consider Rivoli probably first. Otherwise, I'd be looking around Piedmont Ave. Don't forget to check CP within the week of your dinner, because there are frequently cancellations prior to the penalty period once the menu is posted, and you can, from time to time, get a short-notice reservation.

          The Commis counter? Yes and no - depends what kind of mood you want - if this is romantic "I want to look at you while we eat" dinner, then no.

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          Rivoli Restaurant
          1539 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

          Commis
          3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

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          scicchetti RE: miss.chievious Feb 6, 2011 08:21 AM

          Ippuku! a very cool izakaya on Center Street. Or Oakland.

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          Ippuku
          2130 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704

          1 Reply
          1. re: scicchetti
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            boris_qd RE: scicchetti Feb 6, 2011 08:28 AM

            I was also going to recommend Ippuku but worry that it's not really the "fancy" kind of food the poster is looking for. The atmosphere is relaxed (and smokey with sake soaked neighbors...) but if that works then I recommend it too!

            Conveniently located right by Berkeley BART.

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            Ippuku
            2130 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704

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            sundeck sue RE: miss.chievious Feb 6, 2011 09:48 AM

            My husband says (and this really IS on the Oakland/Berkeley border) Wood Tavern.

            As for me: if a less fancy restaurant would fit the bill, I'd agree w/ other post-ers that there are some uniquely great Asian choices in Berkeley.

            Mine would be China Village (and here we're talking the Albany/Berkeley border).

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            Wood Tavern
            6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

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              vulber RE: miss.chievious Feb 6, 2011 10:13 AM

              I went to Revival recently and very much feel it's the East Bay's equivalent of NOPA; the familiar farm to table comfort food, artisan cocktails, open kitchen, casual service...not as big or a spot for the latenight crowd though.

              3 Replies
              1. re: vulber
                bbulkow RE: vulber Feb 6, 2011 10:38 AM

                On the latenight side nothing beats Cesar Shattuck.

                I think my one-night pick would be Commis or Plum. I really like what Plum is doing. I would take either of those over CP, as well.

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                Commis
                3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                1. re: bbulkow
                  Robert Lauriston RE: bbulkow Feb 7, 2011 05:48 PM

                  There were recently a lot of staff changes at Cesar. Might be fine anyway, but I haven't seen any reports yet.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    bbulkow RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 7, 2011 08:52 PM

                    I was there about 4 weeks ago and had some great dishes. Since then, changes?

              2. m
                Michael Rodriguez RE: miss.chievious Feb 6, 2011 08:04 PM

                Oliveto.

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                Oliveto Cafe
                5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                2 Replies
                1. re: Michael Rodriguez
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                  lmnopm RE: Michael Rodriguez Feb 6, 2011 08:15 PM

                  It would be helpful if the OP described what sort of setting she wants - something similar to CP? or if all options are open if CP isn't available?

                  1. re: Michael Rodriguez
                    Melanie Wong RE: Michael Rodriguez Feb 6, 2011 08:38 PM

                    How has Oliveto changed after Paul Canales left?

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                    Oliveto Cafe
                    5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

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                    Bigos RE: miss.chievious Feb 6, 2011 09:17 PM

                    I would go to Bistro Liaison on Shattuck Ave. That restaurant rarely is mentioned here, but I appreciate their decent, sometimes brilliant French bistro food, great drinks, lively atmosphere and professional but not snotty or back slapping service.
                    http://www.liaisonbistro.com/

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                    Bistro Liaison
                    1849 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709

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                      meemster RE: miss.chievious Feb 7, 2011 01:01 PM

                      I would go to Corso, but it's hard to get a reservation there, too.

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                      Corso
                      1788 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: meemster
                        Robert Lauriston RE: meemster Feb 7, 2011 05:50 PM

                        It's not hard to get into Corso. I did a same-day res for a Friday night the other week, and I'm not sure any of the walk-ins had to wait all evening. If they did, it wasn't for long.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          oakjoan RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 14, 2011 09:30 PM

                          I'm writing this 7 months after Robert posted about it not being hard to get res at Corso.

                          I made res. for 5:30 on a Wednesday (agreed this is not exactly prime dining time) without any problem. I went with my sister and we both thought is was just fantastically good. We're going again with my husband and a friend at the beginning of October. I can't wait!

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