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“Plan ahead and savor each bite!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Chez Panisse

Chez Panisse
Ranked #2 of 695 Restaurants in Berkeley
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: French, American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Cedar Street
Transit: Downtown Berkeley BART station 7 blocks from Chez Panisse. AC Transit bus connection or taxi at BART station AC Transit bus connection or taxi at BART station
New Jersey
Level Contributor
64 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Plan ahead and savor each bite!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2013

Chez Panisse is amazing in decor and food! Each plate was a picture, perfectly prepared and served. We booked ahead for dinner about 3 weeks before our trip for a Thursday night reservation. The salad had very tasty herbs and slivered fennel which I had never experienced before. The halibut was cooked to perfection, and the squab was so delicious. The decor is timeless and very Frank Lloyd Wright with an open kitchen. This is a foodie's pilgrimage which will not disappoint.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank thegangof4inNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,134 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Draper, Utah
Level Contributor
42 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“cafe for unch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2013

Food was fresh and flavorful. We each had a salad as a start and they were both delicious. My wife had a wood fired clam dish and I had Moroccan lamb stew both again wonderful. We shared a profiteroles dessert. A bit expensive for lunch but worth the splurge. Service was perfect.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank krishill0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milano, Italy
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“If you have a European vision of food, stay clear”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2013

This restaurant is somehow like conceptual art: you can appreciate it only after someone explains *why* it is so good (see, e.g., Wikipedia).

The problem is that our taste has a very low-level connection with the brain, differently from our sight and hearing. As a result, the dull (euphemistically called "safe") cooking of Chez Panisse will be insignificant and boring for anyone interested in a real restaurant experience. I'm not talking about molecular gastronomy—I'm talking about a restaurant meal that you'll remember for a while (or for a life).

It's not a matter of price. If I paid 1/3 of the bill, still I would have walked out unhappy. Bad food is better than bland food. At least you feel something.

My opinion about the Michelin star come and gone? I think Michelin followed the fad for a while. And then finally someone noticed the food, here, isn't particularly good.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SebaMilano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
300 reviews
121 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“Fabulous lunch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2013

We were in Berkeley for a short weekend and took Bart from SFO. The restaurant was an easy 9 block walk just north of the Downtown Berkeley Bart station.We were seated on time for our reservation. The upstairs cafe is the only part open for lunch. The facility was very comfortable and had a Euro feel. The wood decor, open kitchen, and waiters in long black aprons complemented the menu. The menus are created daily. Service was prompt and attentive. We did not feel rushed but the turnover in the tables was quick and efficient which lead to a subtle hurried atmosphere. The food was excellent and the waiter answered all of our questions with great expertise. We did forget to ask about the Fromage de tete. (it is not cheese, look it up) The halibut was the best i ever tasted and the shell fish stew with rouille was excellent. We finished with Hachiya persimmon pudding with bourbon caramel..excellent.
In keeping with the Euro feeling, a 17% service charge was automatically included. We added extra, but be aware.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sheldon K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Elegant dining without being stuffy - Amazing dinner”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2013

Yes, you must plan ahead or be extraordinarily lucky. Intimate but comfortable dining room where you can see the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. Staff is professional, personable, and very knowledgeable. I'm not the most adventurous eater, so this was an expedition for me -- so glad I took the challenge because the reward was very tasty! We celebrated our anniversary on this first visit and will likely find many more occasions to celebrate at Chez Panisse.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 895CarolS895
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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