Weekly Dish: The Restaurant Week Report
Restaurant weeks are firing on all burners in both Berkeley and Oakland.
Julia’s / Courtesy of Visit Berkeley
Hard to believe it’s only the third annual restaurant week in Berkeley, the city that created California cuisine but when you’re Berkeley, maybe you don’t need much in the way of culinary promotion? This year 27 restaurants are participating in Berkeley’s price-conscious, prix fixe fun. Here are some of my fave pics.
The elegant Julia’s inside the Berkeley City Club is featuring a tempting $30 prix fixe dinner menu with choice of poached Petrale sole or grilled flat iron steak as well as starter and dessert. Formerly the Berkeley Women’s Club designed by architect Julia Morgan, the City Club is sometimes called “the little mansion” by old-time Berkeley-ites. The name refers, of course, to the much bigger Julia Morgan-designed Hearst Castle in San Simeon. French chef Alaun Grimaud is manning the kitchen at Julia’s and he’s definitely worth checking out, or checking IN as the case may be. The Berkeley City Club is also a hotel!
I’m also really impressed by the freshness at Gaumenkitzel, a newish little German place on San Pablo that is offering a $20 three-course menu of turkey schnitzel or tofu and vegetables with a fabulous orange-butter sauce as well as salad or soup and dessert. Even if I was not married to a German, I think I’d love Gaumenkitzel, a nearly unpronounceable word that means “delight for the taste buds.”
Newbie Longbranch Saloon is also offering an innovative menu for Berkeley restaurant week. Most curious item: potted trotter (yes, we’re talking pigs feet! For more info and limited reservations, check out Berkeley Restaurant Week here.
Over in Oakland
I am thrilled with what Daniel Patterson’s Plum Bar and Restaurant is dishing up for restaurant week: darling and delicious pulled pork sliders with jalapeno slaw and smoked garlic bbq sauce (available only at lunch.) Even though it’s not on the restaurant week menu, I just had to try Plum’s now legendary sweet lemon charred kale salad. Yum.
More than 65 restaurants are participating in Oakland Restaurant Week, which goes until Sunday, January 25. It’s definitely time to dig into this delicious restaurant scene. The restaurants are offering pre-fixed menu options at $20, $30 and $40 per person for either lunch or dinner or both. For more info check out oaklandrestaurantweek.org.
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