May 9, 2010

Berkeley: Gather; restaurant review

80 North

see update, February 13, 2015

Gather  2200 Oxford St./Allston, (510) 809-0400. L M-F, Sat-SunBr, D daily; $$. Reservations advised.

The wide open interior here couldn’t be more welcoming, and, indeed, is the perfect place for diners to gather. The hard wood chair seats can be harsh, but comfortable banquette seating lines the curved outer wall and everyone gets a good view of something-- the room, the open kitchen, and/or the sidewalk activity. Counter seating is also an option, and an outdoor patio is available in warm weather. Sand and honey-hued colors blend with re-used leather and rough-hewn woods and blend with reclaimed wood and other materials that have literally been “gathered” from around the Bay Area. A former water tank from Marin County has been turned into tables, counters and a door; bleachers from a Sonoma high school are now banquettes and tables; and bar lights have been crafted from recycled vodka bottles. Carefully sourced local seasonal farm fare dominates the 50/50 vegetarian-vegan/omnivore menu; gluten-free items are also listed. In addition to fussy items such as a mushroom bruschetta topped with a heavenly leek-cashew sauce, and a tasty vegan “charcuterie” (a sampler of five salads served on a wooden plank), a simple burger and fries is also an option. A full bar focuses on organic spirits and cocktails plus biodynamic wines. Do try the honey-soaked Bee Sting cocktail, but don’t ask for Peet’s coffee—it isn’t all organic, so the coffee served here is Thanksgiving from Fort Bragg.

More things to do in Berkeley.

Way more thing to do in Berkeley. 

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image courtesy of venue

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