We enjoy dining and drinking in downtown Berkeley as we always feel the good vibes and have had many lively discussions with the mix of foodies, students and Cal fans. Revival Bar & Kitchen located in an historic 1901 building with its Saloon/Bordello atmosphere is the perfect fit for the neighborhood. Executive Chef/Owner Amy Murray offers a seasonally inspired menu using locally sourced and mostly organic ingredients. They are proud of their close relationships with local producers, farmers, ranchers, coffee roasters and winemakers and Chef de Cuisine / Master Butcher Travis McConnell makes all of their Charcuterie, sausage and bacon in-house. There is a large bar area where Head Mixologist Nat Harry loves to create Modern Interpretations of classic cocktails. You can also have Premium Liquor Flights which is a great way to sample and decide side by side which you like best. We ordered cocktails and enjoyed James Bond’s classic “Shaken not Stirred” Vesper that went down easy and a perfectly refreshing Cosmopolitan.
Our first course was the Charcuterie Small Plate which included pork rillette, smoked duck breast, speck and a fabulous pork and pistachio pate. Next we loved the Roasted California Squid Flatbread made with anchovy, garlic and oregano pesto, squid ink aioli and pickled peppers. It was tasty but be advised that the squid ink will make you look like you have black lipstick on. Next we had a delicious and unique Sformatino made with spring onion, fennel, green garlic, and house made ricotta with arugula-fava salad and a pink peppercorn Meyer lemon vinaigrette. We highly recommend this dish. We also enjoyed the piping hot Roasted Turnip Soup with green garlic, chive blossom and crème fraiche which was subtle, silky and had excellent flavors. The entrees were both delicious and hearty portions. The McFarland Springs Trout with tarragon cream, grapefruit gastrique, toasted walnuts and braised chard was delicate, sweet and light. The Long & Bailey Farm Grilled Pork Chop with grilled artichokes, salt roasted fingerling potatoes and bourbon butter was extra tender and juicy. The Grilled Asparagus with sauce gribiche was some of the tastiest we’ve ever had and was an excellent side.
Revival Bar & Kitchen has an International Wine List with quite a few wines by the glass. We enjoyed the 2008 Spanish Lila Brut Cava with our starters and the 2010 Sonoma County Three Vineyard Stomping Girl Pinot Noir which paired perfectly with the pork chop.
We picked two perfect desserts. The Coconut Panna Cotta with Mango, passion fruit coulis, pistachio dust and a citrus tuile had a superior lemon taste. The Backyard Meyer lemon and Chocolate Mousse Cake with cocoa tangerine meringue, cocoa Chantilly, chocolate ganache and cocoa dust was just our style as it was rich yet light. An Old Codger Tawny Port and a Blue Bottle Coffee Espresso was the perfect finish to our excellent dinner. Revival Bar & Kitchen is a fun, lively and friendly place. It is close to the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and is perfect for pre or post show dinner or drinks. There is Live Music on Thursday nights and Special Events through the year. We look forward to returning soon.
By Carol & Joe Davis
Revival Bar & Kitchen
2102 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA. 94704