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Restaurants & Bars 1

Cesar -- Berkeley

rachelhope | Feb 19, 199911:58 PM

Posting from Cesar, a tapas bar co-owned by Alice
Waters, right next door to Chez Panisse. Went to Cesar
this evening with 6 friends, and tried a good sampling
of their offerings. The restaurant is very
comfortable: bright but not glaring, busy but not too
amplified, relaxed but still sort of classy, people
well-dressed but plenty of kids about. The cocktail
list seemed nice, wines by the glass, beer, I had a Gin
martini with some sort of orange-colored Spanish
bitters which came to the table ice cold, very nice.
The food was all well-executed, but ... (there had to
be a but), there was an odd surfeit of paprika!! the
patatas with tomato and allioli were sprinkled with
paprika; the gambas had several heavy shakes of paprika
orangeing their shells; the fresh anchovies (yum yum)
came with a side of spicy olives, and can you guess the
spice? yes, paprika! even the garbanzos, which I didn't
actually try, looked suspisciously dark orange. I
think Cesar's menu changes, and this was my first
visit, so I don't know if they are always so liberal
with the paprika, but it was most strange -- especially
as P--- is a pretty strong spice that in the home
kitchen I use sparingly. Everything was very tasty
though, I will no doubt go back and I definitely
recommend it. Perhaps someone who has been can speak
to whether they had a similar experience?

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