Great brunch place for girl afternoon , Berkeley Playhousr around the corner, great to have small plate options for sharing
Took extended family to dinner - there were 7 of us. We literally sat at the table for 20 minutes before I flagged down the hostess and asked for water. Another 20 minutes before the manager appeared to take our drink order. Yet another 10 minutes before we saw our waiter. After taking our orders, he never came back unless we literally flagged him down. No one filled our glasses, or checked in on our meal. The service was abysmal and I will never return.
The service was the worst I have ever had. We were forgotten about for over an hour. Impossible to get any drinks and when our meals finally arrived mine was severely undercooked. I alerted our server when he asked how the meal was and all I got back was a tremendous amount of attitude. After that the server paid no attention to us and never said one more word besides flopping the bill down on our table. Never ever going back and will warn friends to not patronize.
Absolutely fantastic wine list and a thoughtful, authentic menu. The service was warm, knowledgeable, and attentive. I highly recommend this gem!
Unfortunately kind of meh... The food all came out at random times, we had six guests and by the time the final person got their meal most of us had finished our food, every person got a plate fifteen minutes apart so eating was very disorganized. The meat was overcooked and the only thing that stood out was the pasta. I really wanted to like it, the space is lovely and the menu had promise, but unfortunately, they missed the mark.
We've eaten at Donato & Co twice now and both times had a very good experience. The first time we shared the grilled branzino--excellent. Perfectly done. Also shared the Cacio e Pepe pasta, a couple of small side dishes (the bell peppers and the mista salad). No complaints about anything (and I have a reputation for being picky!). Also: Excellent service! Second time there we had the Pollo, the linguini with Manila clams and shared a couple other things. All good. Loved the simple grilled eggplant side. Plus: my martini was perfectly made, exactly to my specifications. So, I have no idea why there are some rather negative reviews scattered among the others. We're DEFINITELY going back....Last but not least: Like at Oliveto and a few other East Bay restaurants, they have a hidden sound/acoustic system that makes it so you can actually have a pleasant conversation, even when the restaurant is full, without having to shout. This is of utmost important to me and my friends: We like to be able to converse comfortably without strain or stress.
Apps were great, but every entree we had was just a little bland and definitely not worth the price
Service was terrible. No one approached us for 15 minutes after we were seated. Service continued to b slow. Food late also.
Fantastic service and good food. Was perfect for a larger party.
Love the ambiance and the food is very good. great for dinner before a show, a quiet twosome or a fund group.
What a disappointment. Waiters ignored us, food was mediocre at best. They filleted our fish but left all the bones in making it inedible. This was a return visit for me but it was so bad this time I won’t return
We have eaten there several times. We usually order several of the smaller plates instead of the main course items so we can experience more different tastes. They seem to all be at least good and many very good. The wine by the glass list has some interesting choices mostly Italian. The prices are quite reasonable and, with the tall ceiling, the sound level is very conducive to conversations. We would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a tasteful and relaxed dinner with a good staff.
Always beautifully prepared food. Loved the pizza. Beautiful selection of wine.
Wonderful food, attentive staff, beautiful dining room. Highly recommend!
Nice place for a meal. Slow service was an issue but perhaps because we were in a hurry. Planned for 1.5 hours for dinner for 3 and had to track down the check at the 2 hour mark so we could make it our show. Ordered the special, pork loin. It was very fatty so I couldn’t eat it, but they did appologize and took it off the bill. The food was very “foodie” oriented so if that’s your gig this’s a place for you.
we love Donato & Co. It's noise system is fantastic --you can hear the person you talk to, the rest is ambient. Terrific food, presentation, service, design of space. The dishes were imaginative and beatifully prepared, and tasted wonderful.
surprisingly excellent Italian food with flair: try the Arancini, which are better than any I had in Sicily. and the oxtail ravioli were--again--surprisingly tasty. The poached ling cod was served in sauce with just the right hint of tarragon. Be aware that the entree portions are quite large. The closely supervised kitchen delivered terrific food.
I read some good reviews of Donato & Co. so decided to give it a try. Brunch for 4 on a Sunday. The inside is very spacious, with high ceilings and black and white photos of Italy on the walls. Looking at the exterior of the restaurant I had thought it might be hot and/or affected by street noise. None of that was true, even with the door open. It’s very serene. Beautiful linen napkins, comfortable seating. I had the Spaghettini. These are thicker than regular spaghetti and served al sentence. The puttanesca sauce was divine. My husband got tomato salad with the most divine ricotta. He also loves bed the ravioli with oxtail stuffing. Our friends both had the frittata. The dessert was amazing! There is a full bar though we stuck to coffee and iced tea. The price is exceptional for the level of food and ambiance. We will definitely return!
My family and I enjoyed a very nice dinner celebrating my mother's birthday. The dishes were very appealingly presented on the plate, and overall the food tasted good, if not perhaps outstanding. The appetizer portions were somewhat on the small side, but the main dishes were generally sufficient. The waiter was extremely attentive and his demeanor was very pleasant. I think we would like to return, perhaps to try brunch.
Donato&co is a great addition to the rockridge food scene. Great food, creative drinks, fun atmosphere.
Excellent meal with delicious selections, including vegetarian options. The waitstaff offered attentive yet quiet service, the ambiance was casual and comfortable, fit for business or personal occasions, and plus there are fair prices. This is a gem.
This was our third trip to Donato and Co and we brought several friends who had never been, because we wanted to show it off! After a rough start, I spoke to the waiter about how disappointed I was that we had no acknowledgement for 20 minutes, and no drinks until 40 minutes after we sat down. To their credit, the manager came right over and the rest of the night, the service was impeccable. The food was outstanding as always, and we especially loved the seasonal updates on the menu. Even with the rocky start, the way the staff went above and beyond for the rest of the meal, and the high quality food means we will be back.
Very inventive and creative food, REALLY amazing ingredients. Not every dish was a home run - but with good ingredients nothing was bad.
Ambiance - eh, felt like a Cheesecake Factory. Fun lighting fixtures, but the room was huge. If the same food was in a smaller spot, I would recommend this to friends.
Fantastic Italian food and great service in a beautiful room where you can hear your table mates. Uovo salad was amazing, starring the panko-crusted deep-fried egg. Loved the ox-tail ravioli. Semifreddo dessert delighted the palate!
Dishes can be ordered in half portions if you want go for primi and secondi courses as you would in Italy. Or if you want to have a lighter meal without sacrificing all the flavors.
The have a cutting-edge sound system that’s the equivalent of Bose noise-canceling headphones. So great to be in a lively room full of people enjoying their conversations without shouting over each other.
The owners are true gentlemen, warm and welcoming from a greeting of “buena sera” at the door to conversations about Italy, dishes, wine, etc.
Food was ok. Nothing really exceptional. Somethings didn't really make sense like the frilly, red leaf lettuce salad with a crispy egg. Lettuce was tough and a bit unpleasant. I like al dente pasta but what I had was too al dente. Good cocktails.
Wonderful birthday dinner. This restaurant is so warm and welcoming with a beautiful interior and delicious northern Italian food. The people make you feel taken care of throughout the dinner, despite being busy.
Great spot. Delicious food. Wonderful staff.
Donato's food is always good
Great place for casual dining or business meal.
Food was excellent. Waitstaff worked together to deliver everything on point. Best espresso I've had since trip to Italy. Enjoy!
Wine & Beer were good. What the waiter (working Bartender that Eve) told us and what appeared at the table were different. We were surprised at how awful the presentation of food was. My chicken meal came first, then gave my husband Ravioli when he ordered Risotto. They gave him his risotto when I was already well into my meal. The Risotto plate was unappealing and looked haphazardly put together - very disappointing and that dish was NOT good and totally lacking in texture & taste of Risotto ( as in slight crunch to the Arborio rice, creamy, & flavorful as the dish should be). My husband always orders risotto wherever we go, and this dish did NOT make the grade of what Risotto should taste like.
I was told my chicken dish was going to be a "small" chicken, and the waiter even put his hands up to show (fingers touching/wrists touching) us how small (like a capon)....what I got was 2 separate pieces - legs, NOT a whole little baby chicken....why would he tell us something different?
The appetizer of fried shrimp (the waiter said there would be 6 of them, we got only 3) and vegs. The vegs. were so greasy and frankly "unrecognizable" as to what they were. The gave us a tiny dish with some dipping sauce but it was so small, we had to ask for more....the shrimp were great but the rest was disgusting!
One of the waiters (not the original one) told us "Well, what do you expect for $11 - (the dish was $13) which was not the best answer to give to new patrons on their Anniversary Dinner.
While we gently complained about our disappointment, and they did take off some items from the bill, we did not stay for dessert (why bother?) we WILL NEVER GO BACK HERE - WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT IT WAS!
I now have to agree with some of those bad reviews I read, which I discounted as most reviews were good.
There are so many restaurants in Berkeley, much better. Too bad. We didn't let it ruin our Special Occasion though.
We both felt that COMMUNICATION was a BIG PROBLEM AT DONATO'S & CO.
Great neighborhood restaurant. Great food and value. Excellent cocktails.
Went for a birthday lunch. Sevice and food was excellent.
My third visit and I was still very, very pleased! I will definitely be back again and again and again! Still have more items in the menu to try.
Great food, great service, great atmosphere, and truly gracious front and back of the house staff. Exquisite Chef!
Veniero's warm greetings are absolutely welcoming!
Such a shame! We were so looking forward to it after a year of living abroad. Always loved the design of the place. Our waitor was very friendly and efficient as well.
The food, however, was such a disappointment. The bread was cold in the middle, crumbly and tasteless dispite being told it came out of the oven. The thin toasts used for the chicken pate (which was decent) was like cardboard. With so many great bakeries in the east bay, this should not happen.
The pasta lacked flavor. The steak was not anything special. The calamari was perfectly cooked, but lacked flavor. They need a better chef or better quality control. The risotto balls were bland as well.
As a neighbor, we would love to see it succeed. But we’ll wait until the food reviews get better and more constant. In the meantime, we will go to wood tavern, A16, Belotti, and so many other possibilities.
I will simply sum it up in two words . . .
I will be back!
I like Donato and Company. I was glad to see they had changed up the menu since I was last there. It was all very enjoyable.
I have been here numerous times and it always consistently good!
Interesting cocktails, and the Salumi plate of restaurant cured sausages was outstanding. The Seabass with some of the best we have ever had. Excellent service and the owner stopped by and graciously inquired how our evening was going. We will be back.
Food was delicious, great service. Relatively quiet for such a large space