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Restaurants & Bars 39

Epicurious Garden -- What's going on here?

Andew | Mar 22, 200603:56 PM

Went to Epicurious Garden in Berkeley yesterday and today. Had the braised pork Socca yesterday (delicious) and two soops (black eye pea -- great -- and Italian wedding -- pretty good) and sushi today. Gelato both days.

But I'm just not sure what this is all about. It's a very high-end feel, not very Berkeley'ish. The cavier and fancy-dancy chocolate don't seem to fit in and the gelato was fine, but nothing unique (but I bet it's a hit anyway since it's really the only place like it in the area). The Taste restaurant and wine bar looks very high end. Today, there were a lot of high-heeled, well-to-do looking people walkling around and they stood out in Berkeley like a sore thumb -- investors?

So, who is their target audience? Locals? It seems too high-end for that. Tourists, locals from the Bay area? Perhaps, but is it worth coming all this way for a small, fancy food court? And where are they going to park and what else are they going to do?

Someone has put a lot of money into this place and I hope it works out for them. The outdoor back area is beautiful and great on a sunny day. The overall design of the space is beautiful, but again, a bit over the top. I think it can use more light inside and when crowded the thin space may get tough to navigate (and we were dragging our stroller through there too!). I live within walking distance so I may go get a Socca every now and then, and when my son is old enough he may drag us to gelato more than is healthy, but otherwise it's not that compelling.

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