Chez Panisse opened its doors in 1971, started by Alice Waters and a band of idealistic friends. A neighborhood bistro named after a character in ... More
Chez Panisse Restaurant
Chez Panisse opened its doors in 1971, started by Alice Waters and a band of idealistic friends. A neighborhood bistro named after a character in Marcel Pagnol's 1930's trilogy of movies ('Marius,' 'Fanny,' and 'Cesar'), the Restaurant and Cafe are a homage to the sentiment, comedy and informality of these classic films. From the beginning, Alice and her partners tried to do things the way they would like them done at a dinner party at home. Through the years, Chez Panisse has stayed true to this original inspiration and is now part of the global Slow Food movement. Chez Panisse Restaurant, located downstairs, is open for dinner Monday through Saturday, by reservation only. The set menu changes every night, reflecting the season. Our produce, meat, poultry, and fish come from farms, ranches, and fisheries guided by principles of sustainability.
The only thing I liked about this restaurant was the ambiance. The food was awful and the service was the worst I have experienced in a very long time. This restaurant is so over rated, I can't begin to go into all the details of why. In short, its the biggest ripe off in Berkeley. Don't waste your time or money. Food portions are tiny and the help is rude. There are much better values in the city of Berkeley. Boycott this restaurant!!!!
The whole reservation process requiring calling immediately a month in advance, getting a constant busy signal, and then still getting a reservation pretty late at night is annoying. And then we still had to wait 15 minutes for our table. We also didn't realize that there is absolutely no choice on the menu, which is tough if you end up not liking what they serve that night. Yes the food is very fresh and in season, but the preparations aren't very imaginative or tasty. And the service is very attentive to the point of bordering on being pretentious.
This may be the most overrated restaurant in the Bay Area. The ambiance and decor was retro-70's, dated, and not consistent with the price point. The service was dis-interested, arrogant, and aloof. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that they automatically add a 17% service charge to the bill thereby removing any incentive for good service. The wine list was about as exciting as what you might find at Safeway. The food itself was good, but not nearly worth the price or consistent with the reputation.
I've only been three times but each time is a revelation. It's knd of like popping your ears; a visit to Chez Panisse resets your expectation with what quality ingredients and basic attention to detail can do for a simple meal. The staff are extremely knowledgeable but don't beat you over the head with it. Even though there are two nightly seatings, our party of six did not feal rushed.
Food was very good but, not the greatest. If you like a fixed menu and making a resevation a month in advance and dealing with a hostest who is doing you a favor then go ahead. Micheal Mena in the city was superior.
I finally made it to Chez Panisse after years in the bay area. The first time I went, we had the most excellent and fun waiter. I also had probably the most delectable onion rings, which I will never forget. It was a perfect experience that met all my expectations.
The second time I went, however, we had such an indifferent and uncaring waitress that it was hard to leave with all the warm fuzzies like the first time. Everyone else who served us, including the woman refilling our water glasses, were infinitely more warm. Everything else was great, although the chicken dish portion was overwhelming- especially if you are also fitting in drinks, appetizers, and dessert.
I still think it is a wonderful restaurant and look forward to many more delicious meals. But, I hope I never get that waitress again. (By the way, I was upstairs in the Cafe both times.)
If you are looking for inexpensive, yet cheery, lodging in central Berkeley, this place is made to order. The quaint,
three story hotel with its slight Victorian touches and friendly staff will make you feel welcome here. Located in ...
Few restaurants are known worldwide. Welcome to the jewel in Berkeley's culinary crown, the restaurant around which the famous Gourmet
Ghetto has grown. Alice Waters opened this restaurant in 1971 in the hopes of marrying the best in international ...
Originally built as a private women's clubhouse in 1928 then converted to a University sorority in the 1970s, this National
Register landmark became a hotel in the early 1990s. Designed by the famous Bay Area architect Walter T. Steilberg, ...
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