Cafe Rouge, located in the heart of Berkeley's hoppin' 4th Street shopping district, is an East Bay institution. Foodies flock from far and wide for ... More
Cafe Rouge, located in the heart of Berkeley's hoppin' 4th Street shopping district, is an East Bay institution. Foodies flock from far and wide for treats as simple as a cheeseburger and as complex as a Mediterranean-style lamb shank entree. Menu items are rotated in and out of circulation every couple weeks, so expect to see new and exciting things every time you visit. Shellfish fans marvel at the massive oyster selection (officially celebrated at the weekly Oyster Wednesday party). Cafe Rouge is also well known for the quality of its meats, all of which come from the finest local and regional producers, and many of which are available for takeaway at the on-site Meat Market (where you'll also find all manner of cured meats, pates, terrines and sausages). See website for menus, wine lists and more.
HAIR IN FOOD!! (And still not comp'ed)
I had very high hopes for this ideally situated bistro in the middle of Fourth St, Berkeley. It has a great ambiance on a sunny weekend with outdoor seating. I had great expectations with the raspberry lemonade running $5 and the average main dish costing between $15-$20. I ordered the Steak Frites ($18, I could pay that much for a dinner entree in the city) and wine, my husband ordered spaghetti (which was fabulous) and one of three Belgium beers. The staff had not been educated on the beers and had no knowledge at all on any of the foreign beers served so when asked for a recommendation he merely gave a shrug. Anyway, my steak fritte arrived and it was fantastic! Cooked as ordered at medium with a side of pomme frittes. I was thoroughly enjoying my meal when I saw a HAIR!!! I'm not one to complain usually, but I took this opportunity to send it back. After half an hour of waiting (my husband already finished his meal) they served another Steak Frittes. No Hair this time, BUT it was overcooked. This was well done and dry. The first one having been perfect (save the stray hair) served as a point of reference so I was very disappointed. I finished what I could and discreetly mentioned to the server that again, the first meal had been delicious (despite the hair) but the replacement had been overcooked and not served as requested. I received an apology, but was disappointed to receive a bill for the full price of our meal. Not sure if it's a lot to expect that a restaurant would comp a meal that was served unacceptably wrong twice in a row. I'm sorely disappointed that such a promising meal went so awry and am sad to say that I could not trust going to this establishment again.
This is definately a place for meat eaters. My wife had the lamb, which was perfectly cooked and flavorful. I ordered sea bass, which was a bit dry. The appetizers were delicious and the service fantastic. A bit pricey, but a great place for a fancy dinner.
I was completely blown away by the Niman Ranch steak at Cafe Rouge. Medium rare indeed left the inside red as it should. The quality of the spicing, slightly seared perimiter, and awesomeness of the steak itself were, well, awesome. Vegetable dishes and salads were also perfectly done, very european and nothing overcooked.
Rouge is famous among my circle of friends as having high-end, sophisticated preparations for their meat dishes. I just took my family there for our family holiday dinner, and after talking up the restaurant as a great place for steaks, house-made sausage, with great european/california preparations, I was slightly worried the chefs wouldn't live up to the hype. They did, knocked it out of the park, so I'm going back there for lunch today before my in-laws head back out of town.
we were among the first to be seated at 530 pm sat eve.. yet food was luke warm when served, and after returning my salmon for heating, the plate was hot, the food luke warm.. the shepards pie was tasty, but the food cool, sauce hot..we did not have enough time to send em back again.