So I tried to make a reservation for dinner at Chez Panisse restaurant but they only take reservations exactly one month in advance and I was off by one day. Luckily, they also take reservation for their café which also does lunch. Comfortable arts and crafts style room with an open kitchen and also a patio. Alice Waters is credited as starting the whole California cuisine movement using fresh and local produce which, obviously, her restaurant does well. Menus change daily. We keep forgetting that portions are American-sized and the pizzette as an appetizer was meal-sized although that didn’t stop me from eating my entire entrée too. The pizza was cooked in the wood-burning oven before my eyes. All the ingredients used are supposed to be fresh, sustainable and ideally local. Service was again excellent. Quite a few wines available by the glass and, just like the French Laundry, Chez panisse also has their own specially-bottled wine from a local winery ( a very nice Zinfandel that I tried) as well as a chez Panisse blend of coffee. Great service and very good food – particularly for the price. I think even the prix-fixe for dinner at the Restaurant (as opposed to the café which is more casual and a la carte) is less than $100.
Appetizers $9-14, mains $19-22, desserts approx $9
17% gratuity included in the bill
Approx $140 for lunch for two including 3 glasses of wine and coffee
Chez Panisse Cafe
1517 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94709