Gather Restaurant

By Carol & Joe Davis
Dining Detectives

Downtown Berkeley now has a great new restaurant that features seasonal farm fare and organic fruits and vegetables that are carefully sourced and thoughtfully prepared by Executive Chef Sean Baker who honed his culinary skills at Millennium. They serve Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in a comfortable environment which is very active and lively. The décor features tables made from reclaimed wood, recycled vodka bottles for lights and an open exhibition kitchen. The philosophy is 50/50 Vegetarian and Omnivore and includes Vegan offerings as well.

We started out with Organic Cocktails including a tasty CapRock Organic Vodka Martini. The Small Plates that we enjoyed included the Vegan Mushroom Bruschetta with morel mushrooms , leak cashew sauce, red dandelion greens and shaved spring onion and the Omnivore 28 month cured ham with grilled Castelfranco, marinated crescenza and cardoon-almond salsa. Both had subtle flavors and were neither too rich nor too salty.

We loved the Lindencroft Farm chili-chorizo Soup with red Russian kale chickpeas and cilantro. It had a wonderful broth. The Vegan "Charcuterie" looked and tasted excellent. The Shaved Asparagus with heirloom carrots, peas, chili oil, and mint was quite spicy. The Chickpea "pate" with grilled endive, young radishes and roasted King Trumpets was also a treat. The Salt roasted fingerling potatoes with roasted Hen of the Woods mushrooms, rabe leaves, spring onion butter and Spanish red spring garlic were excellent. The Roasted Beets with their tops included a walnut herb sauce which was excellent! The Fried Tofu Skin Bruschetta with avocado, spicy baby fennel escabeche was fabulous as well. The Entrée that we really enjoyed was the Pork Cheeks with caramelized onions and bacon with a green garlic fava bean puree. While dining, we also enjoyed visiting with our neighbors in this friendly setting.

We saved room for the desserts. We loved the Home made Ice Creams and Sorbets which were really luscious and had intense flavors! The Wine List features many Biodynamic, Organic and Sustainable grown wines. We enjoyed the 2007 Spot-On, Orsi Vineyards, Mendocino Pinot Blanc and the 2005 Old River, Ponderosa Vineyards, Sierra Foothills Cabernet Sauvignon.

Gather which has only been open since the beginning of the year was packed on the Thursday night that we dined. Featuring Vegetarian, Vegan and Omnivore fare with generous portions in a friendly upscale atmosphere in one of the Greenest buildings on the West Coast, makes Gather a great new dining destination! There is even reasonably priced parking underground in the Building.

Gather Restaurant
2200 Oxford Street @ Allston
Berkeley, CA. 94704


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