Saw the plea from someone on the hugely long thread on Locanda da Eva (the one that started way before it opened, w/ lots of back-and-forth w/ Robert Lauriston) to start a new thread. Dinner there last night, first time. Lots to like. Like the decor (bright, whimsical). It was full and bustling, which was great to see. Service was first-rate.
The professional server helped me choose a lovely glass of wine for $6. That said, I thought $12 was pricey for a Carpano Antica on the rocks (nearly double Chez Panisse Cafe's price, which is, if I'm remembering right, $7). My husband, a lager-drinker, was delighted at the beer choices.
The kale pizza w/ lardo was quite good--well cooked, nice char, kale delicious--couldn't decide what I thought re the lardo--but it was reminiscent of Chez Panisse Cafe's nettle pizza and pizza w/ greens at Pizziaola--definitely a hit. Other posters had liked the trotter fritter, which we tried--interesting, tastey--not sure it worked w/ the cuke base, wasn't quite tied together. My husband had the calamari starter--not enough calamari, good but not terrific. He also had the chicken-pork-ricotta meatballs--which were again good but not brilliant and should have been served w/ a spoon for broth (we asked for one). He got the farro side, which seemed less than exciting.
He ended w/ the peanut butter ice cream, which, as a peanut butter guy, left him w/ a smile on his face. I got semolini cookies, which were quite nice.
Don't know how to do 2 1/2 stars in the ratings above, but that's about where we'd locate it. Enjoyed, but not wowed. Hoping it continues to get better. Can definitely imagine returning.
Locanda da Eva
2826 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705