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Restaurant Review: Dinner at Downtown (Berkeley)

Restaurant Review: Dinner at Downtown (Berkeley)

Lara |

Before we walked into Downtown, appropriately situated in downtown Berkeley, California, my mom whispered to me about the ambivalent recent reviews she’d read of the place. “Apparently the food is really good,” she said, “but we may be confronted with ‘surly’ or ‘inattentive’ service.”

Fortunately for us, this was not at all the case. Our server was excellent, always on hand when needed, and ready to inform.

We decided to share a bunch of small plates. We started with some patatas bravas, fried calamari, olives, and a few oysters. (Since we were belatedly celebrating my graduation and birthday and I guess our wedding, we had some sparkling too.)

The potatoes had a nice sweet smokiness, and the olives were firm and flavorful, mingling with citrus rind. The calamari was good, but I feel like calamari is rarely very exciting. (Someone, prove me wrong!)

A little later, we got seared scallops, which were perfectly cooked and melted in the mouth, as well as a summer risotto that was tasty but a little dull, a curried chickpea soup, and mushroom flatbread.

We were quite satisfied, but decided to squeeze in some dessert as well.

Mitch and my dad split the peaches in absinthe-tinged sauce in a pastry cup, and my mom and I shared a plum tart. I was impressed with the subtlety of both desserts—they really made the most of the fresh, ripe fruit.

All in all, I was delighted. Ending with a dessert this succulent, how could I not be?

I will return. You should try it too!