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Review of Chez Panisse

Chez Panisse
Ranked #2 of 703 Restaurants in Berkeley
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
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
Gllendale, CA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2014

I have been cooking from Alice Waters' books for years. I find her recipes always spot on, simple ingredients and preparation, and they always turn out a fine meal. As say in comparison to The French Laundry, which to me is inaccessible mainly for the ingredients. I can't just pop out to the market for truffles. That is the beauty of Chez Panisse, it is not ostentatious, it is not snooty, it is not mind altering. It combines perfect ingredients harmoniously with other perfect ingredients simply and without a lot of fuss. It doesn't force the seasons or the exotic. It serves the best things available today. We ate in the downstairs restaurant which is lovely and decorated in an understated craftsman style. The menu is prix fixe, and varies nightly, so I won't elaborate on the details of the courses as they will certainly be different on another visit. Lets leave it at, each was better than good. The service was perfect also. What I went away with was the thought that a good home chef could make most of these courses, after trying and failing many times and using only the best ingredients available. Or just go to Chez Panisse again. Try her recipe for slow roast salmon in the oven. Perfection. But don't use anything other than great wild salmon or it is terrible.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank riddleGllendale_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,158 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco
Level Contributor
43 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Really nice meal”
Reviewed June 29, 2014

Four of us went to Chez Panisse for lunch on Saturday and had a really great meal. We went on-line and made a reservation and when we arrived, the table was ready for us. We ordered an entree pizza with wild nettles and used that for our starter. We ordered 2 Salmons, 1 Tunisian Meatballs and 1 Linguine w/ Clams. The pizza was really good. Very nice thin crust with the wild nettles and parmesan cheese worked together really well. The salmon was excellent as was the other 2 dishes. The dessert was phenomenal. We ordered the almond cake with strawberries and the apricot gallete with ice cream. Both desserts were an absolute hit!

The service was excellent. The wait staff was very attentive to refilling our water and clearing the dishes as we each finished.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Harlanc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
164 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“One of the 10 great French Restaurants in the World”
Reviewed June 27, 2014 via mobile

This is one of the 10 great French Restaurants in the world. The history of the farm-to-fork, California Cuisine, and organic ingredients movement can be traced to Alice Waters' Chez Panisse (chickpea pancake). The work of Alice waters is legendary and a story on to itself.

All ingredients are locally sourced and delicious. The service is impeccable. The commitment to authentically prepared French food extraordinary.

I ate in the second floor main dining room alone for lunch. I wanted to dine alone so that I could appreciate each of the five dishes I had. All were extraordinary. A table for one in this restaurant is as natural as asking for a fresh glass of water.

I will not rant about what I had except that it was an autumn menu. If you consider yourself a foodie or gourmet; this is the big leagues. Don't miss it.

Visited October 2013
Thank Pietro S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gastonia, North Carolina
Level Contributor
27 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Three desserts? Absolutely!”
Reviewed June 21, 2014

Since I don't get to the Bay Area more than once or twice a year, an old friend of mine who lives there and I went to the Café level of Chez Panisse for her early birthday. The rocket salad rocked, and the salmon was divine. It was the desserts that were most memorable for me, though. The apricot tart was so good that I discussed with our waiter whether or not I could get a piece back to NC on the red eye I was taking in a few hours for my husband. Alas, he just did not feel it would hold up, so I am longing to bring my husband with me on my next visit. I thought the top quality meal I had was well worth it!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank lltowery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
183 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“A birthday treat”
Reviewed June 15, 2014

Book way in advance. We ate in the cafe, very friendly service.
House wines excellent.best food I've eaten in San Francisco/Berkeley.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank AnnaLast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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