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About Chez Panisse Restaurant
Established in 1971, Chez Panisse was opened in homage to the comedy and informality of classic Italian films with a character of the same name. In an effort to mimic a dinner party hosted at home, Chez Panisse pays great attention to detail and creates a unique four-course meal appropriate to the season and featuring fresh fine ingredients.
The menu changes daily and no two weeks have the same menu. Guests are invited to return often and try the new and exciting dishes Chez Panisse chefs create. Some possible menu items include duck leg with savoy cabbage, potato gnocchi with chanterelle mushrooms or sheep�s milk ricotta with chicories, walnuts persimmon and balsamico.
Berkeley, CA 94709
Californian, Organic, Mediterranean
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 8:45pm, Friday - Saturday: 6:00pm - 9:15pm
$50 and over
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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
Private Party Facilities:
The dining room can be reserved for private parties of up to 50 guests
Private Party Contact:
Jennifer Sherman: (510) 548-5066
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Celebrate Bastille Day with garlic, wine, and live French music.
Special fixed menu.
Chez Panisse Restaurant Ratings and Reviews
The food was very high quality, fresh, very local, and seasonal. Because of this, the dishes were all unique and full of a mix of flavors I had never tasted together. The service was excellent. We were a bit close to the next table over--perhaps they were just talking loudly. More expensive than I anticipated but if you have money to burn take yourself or a friend out for a delicious meal.
We have been eating at Chez Panisse since 1979, and it never fails to enchant us - from the beautiful décor, flowers, and care in the service to the exquisitely prepared food and presentation. Chez Panisse takes things to their utmost simplicity so you can taste the essential food - whether it be a perfect local fruit in season (such as the candied kumquats and their juice served with the chocolate tart) or a perfectly prepared shellfish (like the grilled shrimp still juicy but with a hint of the wood smoke from the grill and the lovely pickled beets and baby frisee that were served alongside). Many local chefs have come from this kitchen, but none can compare with their training ground - Chez Panisse. We came for my husband's 65th birthday - a special occasion, and this is the restaurant we most wanted to host our little celebration of his milestone.
Had a birthday dinner and the hostess and waiter was so accommodating !!! Got a birthday dessert and an extra glass of d'asti!!!!! The prix fix menu was great for me because they served beef that night; very tender and reduction was subtle yet had an umami tones to it. The gnocchi was heavenly light pillows of decadence.
Took a Swiss-French colleague with us and, as has always happened, he was suitably impressed. Excellent meal from beginning to end, relaxed but attentive service - never overbearing. Some courses were not as "petit portion" as they used to be but that was fine with the men of our group. Scallops were particularly delicious. Unusual but excellent wines too.
Glad to live in Berkeley, to be able to afford the best, and that after dining there quite often since 1974, it still is the best. Be there again n 21st March!
Good local organic food. Weak on innovation. And for the price , this is a special occasion restaurant only (We saw about 8 people celebrating birthdays). While we all love Alice and applaud her setting the standard, you can now find other more creative restaurants with local, organic food. And, while at the same or lower price-point, you can have some choice in your food selections.
I am always blown away by my dinners here. From the tiniest herb to the wine selection, CP chooses the best. This time my husband and I were treated to an excellent grilled grass-fed beef. The vegetable accompaniments were outstanding in their own right: celery root puree and a divine new onion fritter. The meal started with a unique aperitif made with Prosecco and wild fennel syrup. Crispy beets and persimmons made up a delicious fall salad with chicories. The third course of shellfish ravioli was served in an unexpected broth of Meyer lemon and tomato. Utterly delicious. The beef and vegetables followed. Finally, the jackpot of a chocolate dessert (although all of the CP desserts are amazing). This time we were served a bittersweet chocolate tart. The portions of all the courses were just right. The service was, as usual, very professional and suitably friendly. I especially like having tablecloths and space between tables to keep the noise level down. This is truly a treasure in our midst.
This is my favorite restaurant. Perfect, honest, sustainable, and the highest quality you can find. I have been dining here for 40 years and every meal is always a treat and a surprise. I never look at the menu before hand so I can enjoy the surprise element. The food isn't about the chef's ego with 10-12 itty bitty courses piled high and unrecognizable. And that kind of theatre is fun every so often - like every year or 2, but Chez Panisse is so true and honest and quality, quality, quality! I just can't say enough wonderful things about the whole Chez Panisse experience. Magnificent food, wine list, welcoming and very knowledgeable service and ambience. I can't wait to return. We live about 65 miles from Berkeley so it's a hike, but well worth it.
I'm slightly disappointed that I can find absolutely nothing to complain about vis-a-vis our recent trip to Chez Panisse. Everything was perfect. The dining room is gorgeous, elegant, and quiet. The service was almost invisible, and the staff were helpful, knowledgeable, and eager to answer questions. And the food? Ye gods, rarely have I eaten so well but so simply, and we've eaten at good restaurants all over the place. If you've never eaten there, go. Now.
Both the wife and I were looking for a place to enjoy some good food and reflect on our many blessings as our B-days had rolled around again when she suggested Chez Panisse. As luck would have it I was able to get a reservation and we were set. We were seated promptly after a brief visit to the cafe and bar upstairs for look around and glass of prosecco. The service was excellent and not over-bearing. Both the freshness and presentation of the meal was excellent.
I watched a program on TV about Alice Waters and have been wanting to come here ever since. I was so excited to finally get a reservation. Everything was so well thought out. The courses were perfectly prepared and seasoned. The flavors of everything went so well together. The service was great too! The wine our server recommended was amazing! We had such a great experience and can't wait to go back!
We had a wonderful time at Chez Panisse while visiting the Bay area. I had heard a lot about it so was very pleased to be able to get a booking. The food was all incredibly tasty and the service was warm and attentive without being overbearing. We had a lovely evening and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others
I have wanted to come here ever since I first read about it. Last year I managed to score a reservation for one at The French Laundry and now felt I should sample the delights of Chez Panisse.
You will not be disappointed how can you be. This is where it all started. But you don't get the feeling that they are resting on their laurels. The menu is of course local but tasty and interesting. Funny how when you don't get to choose it really isn't a hardship.
Service is smooth and old school but not a sign of any stuffiness or stiffness. I so wish that European ( back home) restaurants would try and copy this.
Anyway for a confirmed foodie like me this is an essential part of the Californian foodie pilgrimage.
Chez Panisse is the standard, in my mind, against which all other restaurants are compared. The care and expertise, the technique and high quality of work they bring to every dish I have eaten there is unmatched. The ambiance is soft, relaxed, comfortable and welcoming. The service is the same. And the food exceeds whatever superlatives others have written that one has read about the restaurant -- words cannot do full justice to the all the dimensions of perfection achieved. Every dish is memorable, with many special touches that make it special, but not so as to "elevate" it into some exotic, unmatchable recipe. Finally, they try to live up and exceed your standards, rather than challenge you to fit into theirs, another way in which they differ from many starred restaurants worldwide.
And you cannot get tired of the menu, since it changes every day. Don't worry about what's on it. No matter what it contains, even foods which, at first glance, one often thinks will not be inviting, or have not been at other places, my experience has been that all my reservations about the content of the meal are vanquished by the preparation, handling, and quality of cooking. And service people whose objective is to add whatever you need to make the meal even better and appropriate for you. Enjoy.
Our first visit to Chez Panisse was for a special occasion, and it was wonderful in every respect. The menu on our evening was perfect for us, as it emphasized ingredients that we like, it was varied, and everything was prepared perfectly. The service was friendly, professional, and attentive, and the meal had an understated choreography to it that we both appreciated. All in all, it couldn't have been better (really)! Thank you.
We had SO looked forward to eating here, but we could only get a table on a Monday evening, which is when the set menu is at it´s most frugal. The food was kind of okay, but not as spectacular as the price would suggest and we found ourselves wistfully wishing at least that we had been in the cafe where there is a free choice of what you eat (and you even pay less) and also checking out menus for the other days of the week and just wishing those options had been available to us. We had expected a very charming and perhaps more relaxed and Californian atmosphere, but it was in fact quite formal dining, which is fine. Only the food did not match it. It was homely and nice enough, but in the setting it seemed underwhelming and meagre. The service was kind and helpful and the food was, as mentioned not too shabby. But if you go and you can, hold out for a table over the weekend or go straight for the cafe. And make sure you do not read the menu of all those wonderful things that you can never have.
The food at chez panisse always approaches perfection. It should, given you will spend in one night the equivalent of some nations' annual per capita GDP - quite literally. The food is simple, prepared with care and skill. The wait staff, uncharacteristically ranged from attentive to entirely disinterested. The newly boisterous ambience suggested a drift of focus away from the experience of dining towrad the experience of being seen dining at such a deservedly iconic establishment.
built it up for my guests one of my two favorite restaurants very disappointed not tasty benu and gary danko better will try cafe next time as more choices and steve is there for the price and the long wait to get a reservation very disappointed and not happy when i left and got home;
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