Berkeley >Food & Dining > Cesar
1515 Shattuck, Berkeley, CA | Directions 9470937.879661 -122.269036
Open daily from noon to midnight (kitchen closes at 11 p.m. on weekdays, 11:30 on weekends).
Neighborhoods: North Berkeley
Great Night Out – If you're looking for great food and equally great drinks, Cesars is the place. Yes, they are small dishes, but this is what tapas are! All are excellently prepared and very flavorful. The service has always been great and the servers are well informed. Fantastic wine list, something for everyone. It's a good place to begin your evening for appetizers and drinks. I haven't been disappointed yet.
Casual-yet-sleek – The place itself is small but not too intimate, (but who knows, I went during lunchtime). Daytime is pretty casual but I hear at night the place really kicks up. The portions are small: I would recommend a sandwich to fill yourself up in addition to any tapas. The tapas are very good. I think you can get them To Go..
Fine, authentic tapas – This gem of a restaurant in Berkeley has the feel of a modern treatment to a classic tapas approach. The selections are eclectic, unique, and delicious. Reccomend the bacon and scallop tapa. Balanced against an excellent wine list and olive appetizers, the decor is perfect for a cozy intellectual discussion without the chatter of laptops around you. My wife and I love this place and will continue to reccomend it.
All hail Cersar! – Right next door to the venerable Chez Panisse is this tapas wine bar. With a wine list as thick as a phone book, this restaurant is a destination for those looking for small bites to accompany a great bottle of wine. There's also a full bar for those less wine inclined. A must see experience in Berkeley.
So bad, Not enough words – As many reviewers have already stated, this place is horrible, although it seems swank and can come highly recommended. Chances are, the person doing the recommending is a regular. Whoever the maitre de knew, whoever was in a female-only group, or whoever was dressed in a certain manner was seated. My husband and I waited over an hour only to be overlooked again and again -- seemingly on purpose. Plus, as a Spanish ex-pat, I can vow that the tapas are nothing but UNAUTHENTIC.
Good food, too noisy... – Although the food is delish, though a bit overpriced, it is hard to have a conversation in sucha small and overcrowded space. Its a place to avoid on weekends if you want to have an actual conversation.
Not Worthy to be Chez Panisse's Neighbor – If their lunch service is any indication, Cesar needs work on its timing. Like us, there were other guests waiting for menus or for plates to be cleared. The food is good, but I was surprised that these were your run-of-the-mill tapas. I found the pickled anchovies to be the most authentic and flavorful of our selections. Roasted potatoes with aioli, smoked salmon with caper berries, and tomato-avocado salad are nice, but ho-hum. Where are the lemon-scented almonds, salt cod cazuela, and the flavors of a real tapas bar?
too little, too late – My husband and I went here after having a wonderful evening at Chez Panisse. We wanted to extend an already wonderful date. We should have gone to bed early. We were treated in a rude manner, are drinks took forever to arrive, and our bill was wrong. Everything but the rudeness I could excuse. The contrast between ourt experience at Chez Panisse and Cesars was stark.
By far The Best – This is by far the best tapas restaurant I have been to in the states. The preparations are creative while still remaining true to the Spanish tapas tradition. Flavors are fresh and the dishes are never overwrought. The wine / liquor list is a pleasure to order from. (Try one of the liquor flights to get some experience tasting new stuff). The service is friendly -- I don't know what some of these other reviewers are talking about. Everybody always treats me great there. In short, I love it and if you have any taste you will too.
SOUR IS RIGHT! – I really wish I didn't have to write this. I am an avid fan of eating out. I have lived in San Francisco for 10 years, and before that in New York. I am used to good food, good service, and in return, I am used to leaving a great tip. Unfortunetly, at this establishment, my expectations fell dramticly short. I'll keep it short but not sweet- Service: rude and incompetent; food: decent, not great; ambiance: attempting coolness, unoriginal; Wine: decent.
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