Berkeley >Food & Dining > Cafe Rouge
1782 4th St, Berkeley, CA | Directions 9471037.870180 -122.300702
Mon - Sat: 11:30am - 3pm, Interim Menu Tue- Sat 3pm - 4:30 : Tue - Thu: 5:30pm - 9:30, Fri - Sat: 5:30pm - 10 Sun 5:00pm - 9:30 : Sun 10am - 2:30pm, Interim Menu 2:30pm - 4
Neighborhoods: Northwest Berkeley
Mediocre food and horrible service management – We were excited to enjoy our first brunch here in their outdoor area. While our server was helpful and nice, we ultimately left frustrated and disappointed. At first, we were seated promptly for our 11AM reservation slot. However, after we placed our order, we then sat there for 40 minutes and watched at least four other parties (2 to 4 people each)--who all were seated 5 to 20 minutes after we were--get their food orders. When our order did arrive at 11:57AM, our server unfortunately offered no apologies or explanations. We ordered a pancake and poached eggs with smoked salmon, which were not complicated items, plus some spicy potatoes and brussel sprouts on as sides. The total came to $43. What an unfortunate first (and last) impression. I guess making OpenTable reservations put you last in line for service at Rouge.
Always Wonderful – I'm appalled at some of the nasty reviews given for Cafe Rouge; my husband an I have been going there for years and have always had a lovely experience. The bartenders in particular are incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, and the food is always interesting and satisfying. The charcuterie plate is our favorite item on the menu. The menu changes often, and is always exciting. Wine list is great too.
HAIR IN FOOD – I had very high hopes for this ideally situated bistro in the middle of Fourth St, Berkeley. It has a great ambiance on a sunny weekend with outdoor seating. I had great expectations with the raspberry lemonade running $5 and the average main dish costing between $15-$20. I ordered the Steak Frites ($18, I could pay that much for a dinner entree in the city) and wine, my husband ordered spaghetti (which was fabulous) and one of three Belgium beers. The staff had not been educated on the beers and had no knowledge at all on any of the foreign beers served so when asked for a recommendation he merely gave a shrug. Anyway, my steak fritte arrived and it was fantastic! Cooked as ordered at medium with a side of pomme frittes. I was thoroughly enjoying my meal when I saw a HAIR!!! I'm not one to complain usually, but I took this opportunity to send it back. After half an hour of waiting (my husband already finished his meal) they served another Steak Frittes. No Hair this time, BUT it was overcooked. This was well done and dry. The first one having been perfect (save the stray hair) served as a point of reference so I was very disappointed. I finished what I could and discreetly mentioned to the server that again, the first meal had been delicious (despite the hair) but the replacement had been overcooked and not served as requested. I received an apology, but was disappointed to receive a bill for the full price of our meal. Not sure if it's a lot to expect that a restaurant would comp a meal that was served unacceptably wrong twice in a row. I'm sorely disappointed that such a promising meal went so awry and am sad to say that I could not trust going to this establishment again. This is the first time I've been so disturbed by a restaurant that I felt the need to write a review... It could have been such a pleasant experience, so I'm very frustrated..."
Worst service – I have never writen a review and signed up just to write this
BAD service - I'm still shocked at the rudness of the hostess.
The food was does not stand out at all there are thousands of way better places with way better food for less money and without being treated worse than poorly. We were there with a group of people and we all were shocked at the treatment that no one would ever deserve from a service industry.
A classy but casual Slow Food-movement bistro/meat counter with organic everything and a mesquite grill. – In Short
On a trendy, upscale stretch of 4th Street, this darling spot fits right in. Pates and sausages are made in-house, and they dry age the meats, all of which are antibiotic- and hormone-free. The California-centric menu changes every two weeks, but always includes options from the mesquite grill and a house-made charcuterie plate. Everything is paired with seasonal, sustainably-farmed ingredients. Even many wine options are biodynamic and organic.
Dissapointing – Service has deteriorated...while my lunch companions finished their meals today, I waited for over 1/2 hour for 6 oysters to be shucked. I finally cancelled, but there was no apology. I left hungry and $90 poorer. I am a regular customer who will never return.
Good Choice, Small Menu – We chose this restaurant last minute, so didn't get a chance to read the reviews- I probably may not have gone. Our experience was nice, but it is a loud place with lots of people. I didn't think the servers were rude, but thought the service may have been a little slow. Opentable comments include Birthday Dinner, but no one mentioned anything. The table next to us who declined to order for 30minutes while drinking, got mad when their $11 bar burgers didnt' come for a while (they looked delicious). The wines by the glass were well priced, my duck was great too, just wished that it had crispy skin. $7 for butterscotch pudding was expensive and just average. Sharing an appetizer/starter is the way to go because entrees are full sized. Overall it was a good last minute choice on Opentable 2hrs before dinner at 7pm.
this restaurant doesn't get the reputation it deserves – my mom and i stumbled on this restaurant accidentally when we were looking for a place to eat, so we weren't expecting much. but, we left more than satisfied - i've been back more times than i probably should, considering i'm supposed to be living on a student budget. i've been with meat eaters, pescatarians, and vegetarians and i don't think a single person has ever had anything bad to say about appetizers, dinners, or desserts. their soups and salads are particularly well done - creative and very tasty. great oyster selection, if you're into that. also a really fantastic and decently priced wine list, and usually an interesting cocktail menu to boot. last time i went i had a strawberry sangria concoction that probably can't really claim the name sangria but was delicious nonetheless. desserts are pretty fabulous as well - i'm still raving about a summer berry bread pudding i had there maybe 2 years ago. delicious.
the service can occassionally be spotty, and for some reason people love to bring their noisy children here, but the food (and the fact that you can get a table without a reservation, usually) makes up for it.
Rouge has it's good days, and it's bad. – There are a few long-term servers who seem to hate the customers, oh maybe they're nice to Kermit Lynch, but not very nice to me. Frankly, the poor service attitude isn't why I stopped eating in the dining room. But the main reason was because the menu just doesn't intrigue me anymore. The monthly changes rarely have anything that inspires me. And certain things, like the charcuterie appetizer, is so miserly a serving as to be an insult. On the other hand, they sometimes come up with marvelous appetizers, such as the Croque Mssr, every once in a while. But I like the place so much that I started doing the bar -- what a great idea! Robbie is terrific, the bartenders are terrific. You can order anything off the menu at the bar, and sit around and chat. The drinks are reasonably priced and well-made. It gets a little tight, but the regulars are all friendly and everyone makes room. This is a great place to go for cocktails, some freshly shucked oysters, maybe an appetizer, and a delicious bar burger. And you can turn your back to the dining room and ignore the snotty servers, too.
WORST PLACE TO BE IN BERKELEY – I HAVE NEVER LEFT A RESTAURANT BEFORE, AND HAVE NEVER BEEN TREATED THIS BADLY ANYWHERE, NOT EVEN IN PARIS!!!!!!
WE SAT FOR OVER AN HOUR TO GET OUR FOOD. AFTER 1 HOUR AND 20 MINUTES OF SITTING IN THE RESTAURANT WAITING FOR THE SALAD WE DECIDED TO LEAVE. WE HAD ALREADY SPOKEN TO THE HOSTESS AND THE WAITRESS ABOUT THE LONG WAIT AND LACK OF SERVICE. WHEN WE LEFT (AND PAID FOR THE SODAS AND SOUP WHICH CAME AFTER 35 MINUTES OF HAVING PLACED OUR ORDER) THE "OWNER/CHEF/MANAGER" RAN AFTER US IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET AND SCOLDED US FOR LEAVING!
WARNING: YOU MAY BE IGNORED AND THEN GET YELLED AT IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN AND FRIENDS.
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