Best Places to Eat in Berkeley, California (III)
Best Places to Eat in Berkeley, California: Bistro Liaison Restaurant – Classic French Cooking
Bistro Liaison offers traditional French cuisine from its well-positioned location on Shattuck Avenue, close to the Gourmet Ghetto, the university, and the Downtown / Arts District.
The guiding forces behind Bistro Liaison are chef proprietor Kenneth "Todd" Kniess and wife Natalie Kniess. The style at the restaurant is described as "French food for the soul." Another chef, chef Walter, prepares a salmon scallop souffle in the photos.
The emphasis is on fresh ingredients and seasonal possibilities. The menu has variety, ranging from bouillabaisse to vegetarian specialties. The restaurant is good enough to be rated by Michelin.
Consider beginning with a traditional French onion soup and then indulging in a pan-roasted Alaska halibut fillet.
Best Places to Eat in Berkeley, California: Build Pizzeria Roma – The East Bay’s best build-your own gourmet pizza experience
Build Pizzeria Roma is an upscale “create your own” thin-crust pizza restaurant on 2286 Shattuck Avenue, corner of Bancroft. Think fine dining rather than pizza-by-the-slice. Build is located in a light and airy loft-like space, with the pizza assembly in the center and a casual dining area on one side. A more formal and elegant fine dining section is on the other side. You might begin with a glass of wine and the bar bites menu as an appetizer. Twelve wines are available by the glass. The Truffle Arancini is a tasty appetizer choice. Arancini means “little oranges” in Italian. This delicious hot appetizer consists of truffle risotto, smoked mozzarella, and house-made tomato sauce. This appetizer name suggests the “Roma” part of the restaurant’s name. The proprietors feel that there are some ingredients and vision that only Italy can provide well. Other than the ingredients from Italy, the goal is Northern California fresh everything.
After wine and an appetizer, it’s time to get in line and build your own pizza. It’s possible to go with several named pizzas on a menu card and let the experts create and cook for you. It’s also possible to go through the line and build-from-scratch or take one of the themed pizzas and make alterations. I started with a pesto base, though tomato base and a white base are also possible. Then I added some veggies, such as grilled garlic cloves and multicolored bell peppers. For a protein, I added cubes of pork. Once you return to your table, the pizza will arrive soon. The large wood-fired ovens can bake a thin-cruster in about 90 seconds.