December 8, 2011

Berkeley: Origen: a Farm to Fork Restaurant (CLOSED); restaurant review

pizza at Origen: a Farm to Fork Restaurant in Berkeley, California
80 North

Origen: a Farm to Fork Restaurant  

CLOSED  2826 Telegraph Ave./Oregon St., (510) 848-9200. L Tu-F, D Tu-Sun; $$.

The restaurant’s name is a Catalan word meaning “from the source.” The locally-sourced menu at Origen: a Farm to Fork Restaurant changes daily and features international flavors, Catalan influences, and a small plates presentation. Chef-owner Trace Leighton says, “We do large flavors on small plates.” My meal began with a stiff 50’s-style “freight & salvage” highball made with Redemption rye, Chartreuse, and Carpano. It took the edge off. My companion and I ordered everything to share: really good potatoes bravas with aioli, pan-fried baby Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and aged sherry vinegar, a silky wilted spinach salad with beets and pecans (it definitely wasn’t wilted, but was still very good). We enjoyed a highly-seasoned, spicy paella--one variety is available each day--with shrimp, pistachios, and squash; it had a creamy consistency like a risotto. Room remained for just a few slices of the tasty Basque chorizo pizza made in a wood-fired brick oven and so most of it went home with us (it measured 9 inches and featured a soft, fluffy, chewy crust). Many items can be prepared vegan by request. A five-course prix fixe menu with optional wine pairings changes daily. Desserts include homey bread pudding, a scrumptious butterscotch-pecan blondie, and assorted artisan cheeses. Polished wood paneling and accents by Berkeley Mills provide a warm decor, and some booths offer comfy seating. My favorite touch is the soft dish towels that are used as oversize napkins.

More things to do in Berkeley.

Way more things to do in Berkeley. 

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image ©2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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