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Liaison Review (Longish)

Jeanne | Dec 12, 200412:05 AM

Liaison is on the corner of Hearst & Shattuck in Berkeley. I've often walked/driven by and my roommates & I decided to have lunch there today as a treat (end of the semester! only finals left...). They were serving brunch (Saturday & Sunday 10am - 3pm) and the menu, while brief had many tempting items including eggs benedict 11.75, pain perdux 8.75, a classic croque monsieur 8.95, etc. Simple items, but surprisingly difficult to find good versions in the area...
Water & a basket of bread (walnut and baguette with butter) was brought as soon as we sat down. We ordered a spinach salad 8.75, mussels 10.75, and pommes frites 4.00 to share. The pommes frites were wonderful. Crisp & delicious with the smooth garlic aioli, and still great even after they cooled off towards the end of the meal. The mussels were good but I detected some grit and the broth wasn't very tasty. I believe it was made with white wine, garlic, butter, and shallots. The salad was a generous heap of baby spinach leaves with several slices of ripe pear arranged around the rim of the dish, pecan halves, red seedless grape halves, chevre(? I don't remember), with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Desserts were all 6.50. We ordered a creme brulee and a mousse au chocolat. The creme brulee came in a very shallow ramekin and was perfectly scorched for a delicious contrast. It was wonderful. The mousse was served in a champagne flute which was a bit perplexing since the only spoons that were on the table were soup spoons. Fortunately the server quickly brought some long handled iced tea spoons. The mousse was excellent as well, with a fabulous raspberry puree lurking in the bottom of the glass.
The service here was good too! And I can be picky about service. When we told our server that we needed to be out in 45 minutes, she made sure that we would finish in plenty of time. Yet it never seemed like we were actually rushing to finish because she was so smooth and friendly.
Total for one salad, one entree, one side, and two desserts $46 with tax & tip. It doesn't seem like we ordered very much but believe me, we were totally satisfied. I'll definitely return, for dinner perhaps, or to try the regular lunch menu. Any particular recommendations?

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