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  • Venus - Berkeley

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Venus - Berkeley
Venus - Berkeley

Venus - Berkeley Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.venusrestaurant.net
  • Phone: (510) 540-5950
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 2:30pm; Saturday - Sunday: 8:00am - 2:15pm; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm, Saturday - Sunday: 11:30am - 2:15pm; Dinner: Thursday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Sundays & Mondays: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Organic, Californian
  • Executive Chef: Amy Murray
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Contact: Amy Murray (510) 540-5950
  • Special Events & Promotions: Every year Venus hosts a series of unique feasts to celebrate food, wine & the abundant local harvest of the Bay area. Our events include annual Valentine's Day & New Year's Eve parties, as well as seasonal wine tastings & Slow Food inspired dinners.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Bancroft
  • Public Transit: 3 Blocks South of Downtown Berkeley BART Station, more information at http://www.venusrestaurant.net
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking, UC Bancroft & Oxford Lots near by, more parking information at http://www.venusrestaurant.net
A word from Venus - Berkeley
Venus features the best of our local foodshed, from local farms, waters and ranches, served in warm and lovely style in the heart of Downtown Berkeley. A favorite dinner spot for theater goers, Venus devotes itself to local and organic purveyors, creating delicious Northern California style dishes. The wine list focuses on bio-dynamic, and sustainably farmed grapes, and a "New World" style of wine-making, where the fruit expresses itself. An open kitchen and banquette seating create a cozy vibe. Chef Amy Murray is a 15 year veteran of the organic, farm-to-table movement.

Menus are created each month to highlight the best of the season and evoke good appetites.

Venus also serves a unique brunch and lunch, and offers uncommonly good beer, wine and light cocktails.

We are happy to do small parties and buy outs, and tasty lunch catering.
Continued
Diner Reviews
  • "All our meals were good, though not great. Service was leisurely. We were surprised the calamari small plate consisted of a salad with a few pieces of calamari tossed in. We should have asked for a description before we ordered it. The sticky bread dessert was tasty and sweet."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "We had a birthday dinner at Venus this past Saturday night. As always, the food was fresh and clean and delicious. And the waitstaff super kind and friendly. We spend many of our birthdays at Venus."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "the veggies were delectable, and my salmon was awesome. pleased picky teen and foodie NYC parents...wonderful!!!!!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Really enjoyed our brunch at Venus. The food was delicious and service was friendly and fast. Great coffee too!"
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "We had a wonderful dinner. LOVED the peach & mozzarella salad"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "great food, and ambiance and friendly service. very willing to accommodate special requests and minor substitutions"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Venus has excellent food and terrific service. I would give it 5 starts but the space they're in is compact and a bit noisy."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "So-so food, distracted waitress. We were left waiting for our entrees with no follow-up despite having told her beforehand that had tickets to a show so we were on a tight timeframe."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "The restaurant has a delightfully cozy, quaint atmosphere, the waitress was pleasant and attentive, and the food was superb. I had the seared ahi tuna and was surprised at the large cut of ahi, but managed to finish the entire steak by myself - I love fish! Overall, it was a great date night with good company and excellet food."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "This is a great place for dinner before the play at Berkeley Rep. Food and service are great---no pressure even though it is a small place"
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "Great food & Great Service!!! Love their agua frescas and unique menu items"
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Had a great dinner at this small but wonderful restaurant. I was encouraged by the good reviews and interesting menu. Everything we ordered was delicious!"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We were hoping for a delicious meal but came away disappointed. The carrot soup with cumin was good but the remainder of the meal lacking in flavor and preparation. The butternut gnocchi had almost no butternut taste and was dense and overcooked. The veg curry was also lacking in flavor and overcooked. Hoped for a better meal, but....... "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "I had a great feeling when I walked into Venus, all the food looked and smelled wonderful and the place was packed. I had a reservation and waited for 15 minutes to get seated, which is fine. But then when my food came, one item had been forgotten, it took over an hour to get my food, while people around us were being served quickly and efficiently. I assume it was just one of those, "fall through the cracks moments". My friends gnocchi were dry and burnt, so she sent them back. Overall, I would try again but my first experience was disappointing."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Fish, ordered as medium rare main course, was very dry. Attentive waiter gave us another, but it was dry, too. We were surprised because the previous time the meal was excellent. Waiter was kind enough to reduce the bill, but still....."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "First off, not everything on the menu was available. My first choice in wine, an entree, a desert, and finally, a madera were all missing. It was sort of comical at the end. It was a nice place, vibrant crowd. I had a steak, it was a bit thiner than I'd have expected from the menu. If I were to guess, it's almost as if they've had a sudden loss of capitol. Let's hope they figure the problem out, as it really looks like a place that should be a hit, could be a hit, and was a hit in the recent past. It's my hope that my experience was an anomaly. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "The chicken was absolutely delicious w/ piri so plump and juicy and so big that I brought the extra home for dinner the next night along with the kale and potatoes. The lamb tagine was very good too. We also found the savory cheesecake a special treat. The place was noisy at 7:30pm by 8pm it had quietied down and our waitress pushed over an empty table. Service was great, offering more bread than we could eat and sending us home with a salad they forgot to write up. The prices are reasonable for the quality. Nice variety on the menu without being trendy; hence no deviled eggs-yeah."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "We loved our food at a recent dinner. But we had told them we were going to a play nearby so had to leave at a certain time. Our main courses arrived 20 minutes before we had to leave, after we'd been there over an hour. That meant we had to eat fast. Not so pleasant. But I'll go back, probably not before a play, though."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "We've only eaten here a few times but it's always good. We brought some vegetarian friends visiting from the Midwest and they were highly impressed with the unique and delicious offerings that suited their diet and we loved our seafood."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Great for brunch but dinner is horrible. Perhaps they have a bad chef at dinner. This was Our third and LAST dinner there and all three were bad."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Again, Venus is outta this world! Warm service, knowledgeable staff, interesting menu, very well executed food. Definitely will go back. Dessert (Chocolate with candied orange) was perfect. Only suggestion would be to refine Wines by the Glass! There are so many affordable, varied and coiffable options worth exploring. A little research could round out and bump up (into the stratosphere?) the already excellent experience!"
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Local, seasonal and always interesting and beatifully executed. Not too "out there." You'll find many things to try and enjoy"
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "The staff as very friendly and helpful and the food was excellent. The ambiance of the restaurant is warm and friendly. Doesn't feel like an upscale restaurant but the food definitely qualifies."
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "Nice menu options. Lamb kabob was really yummy and they had a great grilled corn special. We waited really long for the lamb tangine (was just ok), which we were splitting for our meal. Other tables that ordered after us got their meals first. "
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "I had walked by Venus myriad times and finally got a chance to eat here. Lovely asparagus and aioli appetizer, followed by perfectly cooked and presented swordfish. My honey loved his black bean soup and the lamb tagine. He even asked for a spoon so as not to leave behind and of the broth. The olive bread that arrived with my asparagus was delicious as well. I just wish I had room to try the cheese selection. Everything showing up at the tables around us looked pretty wonderful. Only downside is the tables being close together and the noise level. Since the folks at the table next to us were in a good mood too, it was a lovely dining experience. We will return. The wait staff could not have been nicer, or more professional. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Venus is a Berkeley gem great food, great service, great ambiance"
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "We often eat here before or after a concert in the neighborhood. There's something to please each if us, and they are good sbout serving us promptly enough that we never worry about being late for our concert. Pleasing and unusual combinations of flavors. "
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "Venus was highly recommended by a friend and did not disappoint. It is a small place with a good amount of seating but would recommend making reservations anyway. The savory cheesecake appetizer was amazing and the food was very good."
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "It cracked me up because I hung out there as a teenager when it was "The Egg Shop and Apple Press". Same brick walls and coffee shop feel. Definitely not sleek or chic! The best thing was the appetizer which was really a small cheese soufflé with some asparagus. Delicious! The main courses were fine but nothing to write home about. The service was very friendly and attentive. No hard alcohol. I would like to try their brunch sometime! It's very casual and one thing I fought was really tacky is the started putting ketchup bottles on the tables while we were still having dinner to prepare for the next day! "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Can't believe it's been here 13 years and I've never been. Really tasty and nice mix of vegan and carnivore options. Will definitely be back. Very convenient to theatre district. Small and intimate - as in your neighbor's will hear your conversation. But really well done on the food."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "I have no idea why people would stand around waiting to have brunch tightly so packed together that it is difficult to cut your food. This place was has placed its table so close together that it is not possible to get out from the booth without moving the table. Given this setup it is unsurprising that it is load. The breakfast food was generally bland. The service was bad, not attentive to refiling beverages or asking the normal questions. The result was sharing hot sauce with our neighbor, not the end of the world but easily avoided. Skip the wait for brunch go down the street to one of the many better places the food will be better and you will actually be able to hear the people you came to enjoy a meal with."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "The food was wonderful and service. I ate vegan and My friend had lamb and they both were great. Good to have a restaurant that accommodates both tastes."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "We really liked to food selections and the choices we made. Everything was well prepared and delicious.The wine list was brief but adequate, The services was exceptional. Even though it was noisy, we'll be back!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "A small restaurant with great and friendly servers. They went out of their way to be accommodating. Great small dishes as well as entrees. Very warm atmosphere where you feel welcomed and appreciated. Highly recommended!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "i have dined many times at venus and the experience has been superb--food, ambience, service, etc., but this last time they slipped on all levels. they were extremely apologetic and advised us confidentially that they had new help in the kitchen and they had not yet achieved the good operating level they (and their customers) were accustomed to. give venus time to "repair"--they're worth it."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Interesting and flavorful food. It was a Sunday night, and the place was packed. I will return again for lunch or breakfast. Try it out!"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "It appears to be a hole in the wall, but a great find. We got a 5:30 pm table on way to Berkeley for a Cal Performance event on Sun night. The staff greeted us with a warm welcome and understood our need to attend 7 pm event. We started with small plates of Sardine Marseilles (Japanese Pike) & Lamb Kofta Kebab along with their sake cocktails. For main course we enjoyed their two daily specials: Organic Lamb and Chicken Peri Peri. The proprietor surprised us with a 'on-the-house' spanish sampler. The staff who waited on us was super friendly. She took care of Cal Performance discount (10% off on entrée, I think) even before we asked. Overall a great experience and would definitely recommend it to our friends!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Thank you for a wonderful meal - thoroughly enjoyed by all in our party. The server was so helpful, catering beautifully with healthy foods for my restricted diet (grain free). We will be back (even though we're from San Francisco)."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We went here for a quick dinner before catching a show at the B. Rep. The service was great and the food very good I would go back. Only quibbles would be that it is a mighty small space and so feels a bit cramped. And the beer selection was minimal."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "One of my favorite breakfast places in Berkeley. Really good flapjacks /pancakes and specials."
    Dined on 3/16/2014