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“Great Architecture Compliments a Nice Dining Experience”

Julia's at the Berkeley City Club
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Ranked #28 of 726 Restaurants in Berkeley
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: American, French, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Ellsworth Street
Transit: AC Transit, 1 mi. from Downtown berkeley BART
Description: Julia's at the Berkeley City Club is a French restaurant located in Berkeley, CA, led by Executive Chef, Fabrice Marcon. Our inspiration at Julia's begins with the bounty of seasonal produce and artisan products available to us in the Bay Area and highlighting those products with classic and modern techniques. Combined with our beautiful atmosphere and refined service, we look to create a memorable dining experience to all of our guests. Lunch: Tuesday - Friday, 11:30am - 2:00pm Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday, 5pm - 8:30pm Lounge Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 4:30pm - 8pm
Reviewed December 23, 2013

Recently three of us had a very pleasant dinner at Julia's at the Berkeley City Club before attending a Christmas concert on a Saturday evening. If you've ever been to Hearst Castle, you'll immediately see some similarities as Julia Morgan was the architect for both places. Situated a block South of the Berkeley campus on Durant, this is a very convenient location for visits around the campus as well as an interesting destination by itself. Architecture is a mixture of Spanish, Mission and Moorish influences seen in other designs by Ms. Morgan. As the restaurant opens at 5 (bar at 4:30), you can park on the street for about $2 (metering expires at 6) and stay put for the remainder of the evening. Just be there early so you don't have to hunt about.

Despite good reviews, we didn't have the very highest expectations as Julia's is a restaurant situated inside a club. These sometimes fall victim to budget constraints magnified by limited traffic. However, we were pleasantly surprised with the quality and presentation of the food. Their menu appears to change from time to time, but suffice to say they offer an interesting mix of California cuisine. We started off in the bar area enjoying bar appetizers and some bubbly. At the anointed time, we wandered into the adjacent dining room. Dinner appetizers consisted of beet salads and a small braised beef pasta plate. Our main courses included Sole, Tenderloin, and Duck. Everything was savory and nicely presented. Service was provided by three individuals who did not intrude, but were always there to help. Delivery of the food was timed nicely and reasonably quick. We shared a dessert with a mixture of chocolate offerings; it was very nicely presented and quite delicious. The wine list, while not huge, is priced lower than most restaurants and a good value so don't bring your own.

While you visit, take time to wander around the common areas of the club and enjoy the warm and engaging environment. Julia's presents a wonderful mixture of building design and very affordable food that should serve your dining experience quite well. Cheers!

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1  Thank WineEng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 - 93 of 109 reviews

Reviewed October 21, 2013

We had dinner on a thursday night and it was packed. After having tasted the food, we knew why. On top of that, the 2 waitresses that served us were really friendly.

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2  Thank Robert N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

Had dinner here last Saturday. Beautiful setting in a historic hotel. The staff were friendly, knowledgeable, and prompt. Food was cooked to order perfectly, seasoned perfectly and presented well. Prices were very reasonable, especially for the ambience and quality of the food. Wine list was not huge, but great selection and reasonably priced. Highly recommended !! Please get a reservation as they run a busy catering service at the hotel and turned away many walk-ups the night we were there.

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2  Thank OldRockKnucklehead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2013

I was in Berkeley only for 2 nights, and made every attempt to make it to this place, and finally got in for lunch!

Parking was a PAIN - they have a lot, BUT not for the restaurant guests. Street parking took 25 extra minutes!

Nothing fancy about the ambiance; doesn't do much in day light! The service was PAINFULLY SLOW- a couple of guests openly complained about waiting for 15-20 min before the waitstaff even approached them. And, only 5 tables were occupied. My wine showed up 15 min AFTER the request was initially placed, and a simple order of risotto took over 50 min to come out!

The food was DELICIOUS!!! Loved the risotto with hot bread and Pinot!

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1  Thank Shawnee40_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2013

What makes a perfect meal? Here we had amazing food, good service, pretty flowers and an exceptional historic setting. Now if only they'd give us comfortable chairs and enough light to read the menu! I know that it's an historic building and Julia Morgan did the lighting, but how about more light??? "Atmosphere" is one thing. This felt funereal.

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Thank nancyvictoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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