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Dinner for Ten (with Four Under Four) - Oakland/Berkeley

The Dive Sep 18, 2012 02:44 PM

I need to arrange for a dinner for a group of ten family members, with four attendees little children (under four), somewhere in Berkeley or Oakland. It is a special occasion, so the price is not the concern. And the kids will eat anything. Rather, I would like to find the place where we would be the least disruptive, but the best food. A place that would have a small separate room might be ideal. It would be at the early dinner hour (5:30). In the running are Pizzaiola (maybe more casual than I want) and A Cote (in the back), but I am drawing a blank on other places. I would like Haven, but not sure it would work wtih the kiddos. Thoughts? The guest of honor is not a big fan of Chinese, but otherwise open to any cuisine.

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  1. Ruth Lafler RE: The Dive Sep 19, 2012 09:24 AM

    Boca Nova -- it's big enough and lively enough that the kids won't be disruptive.

    I've heard tell that Chez Panisse Cafe does well with kids!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler
      The Dive RE: Ruth Lafler Sep 19, 2012 11:43 AM

      Boca Nova is promising - I forgot about it!

      One other requirement - we need a full bar. One of the guests does not drink wine or beer, only scotch.

    2. bbulkow RE: The Dive Sep 19, 2012 12:43 PM

      PICAN PICAN PICAN. Great food, special occasion feel, good alcohol, big enough.

      Better than those on the table - fancier than Bocanova, better food (I think).

      2 Replies
      1. re: bbulkow
        Ruth Lafler RE: bbulkow Sep 19, 2012 05:00 PM

        What do you think of the new chef at Pican?

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          bbulkow RE: Ruth Lafler Sep 20, 2012 08:05 AM

          I only ate under the new chef, so I don't have a comparison, but I liked my meal there a lot. More samples are required, although frankly the place is a little high-class for me, so I'm not sure when I'll get back.

          My last eat at Bocanova was maybe 2 years ago and while I liked it, I wasn't terribly impressed. My local source said the menu had changed right around then, fewer interesting dishes.

      2. r
        rccola RE: The Dive Sep 19, 2012 12:51 PM

        I do not know if they have scotch or you can bring your own, but Riva Cucina has a separate area they can draw drapes over and an outside courtyard should someone want to volunteer to take the kids out for a run around. Also easy parking and no recent shootings. =).

        1 Reply
        1. re: rccola
          Ruth Lafler RE: rccola Sep 19, 2012 04:58 PM

          I was thinking of that alcove at Riva Cucina as well. My family (including my six-year-old niece) enjoyed it.

        2. m
          milklady RE: The Dive Sep 20, 2012 10:17 PM

          I think the back room at Pizzaiolo would be great.

          1. The Dive RE: The Dive Oct 8, 2012 01:16 PM

            We ended up at Pizzaiola, which was just perfect for the event (I'm not sure why I was talking myself out of it). We sat inside, in the back room, with great access to the back patio and the bocci ball court. Worked out great. The kids are pretty adventurous eaters, but the restaurant still made a few orders of spaghetti with butter and cheese (actually very tasty). Great night.

            Arranged for a lunch at Boca Nova as well - worked great out on the patio. The menu was slightly more difficult to manuveur for some of the kids (the restaurant did make a cheese flatbread for them), but the mussels, beans and chips were big hits for the older ones. Great spot.

            1 Reply
            1. re: The Dive
              j
              jaiko RE: The Dive Oct 8, 2012 04:31 PM

              Thanks for reporting back! Glad to hear everything went well.

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