(Shattuck between Cedar and Vine) Cesar is one of those fancy-pants restaurants in Berkeley in the so-called Gourmet Ghetto. I’ve been there twice now and was impressed both times. The food is California-ized Spanish tapas, and the menu rotates every little while (I’m not sure of the frequency). Highlights of my dining experiences have been the Venetian Martini, made with antica formula sweet vermouth, a dish with monkfish and mushrooms, and the croque senor (like a croque monsieur, only with spanish ham and cheese). If you’re looking to treat yourself or someone else out and want a somewhat noisy but delicious dining experience, try this place. They also have a large central table for small groups to share (and in theory meet each other, but I’ve never managed to sit there).


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