No menu better embodies California cuisine then Alice Water’s Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Born out of her desire for a community to have access to locally grown foods, Water’s Chez Panisse has since set the standard for farm to table fare. It was restaurants like Chez Panisse that inspired the slow food movement 40 years ago and they continue to set the standard today. Having an opportunity to experience the 5 course prixe fix menu at Chez Panisse, I phoned to verify that the meal could be made 100% gluten free. Without hesitation, I was told these needs were to be easily accommodated as the menu consists almost entirely of organic, seasonal ingredients which are naturally free of gluten. Alas, I could not have been more impressed by the caliber of food. Each course was distinct and well thought out, yet tasted effortless. Two minor substitutions were needed for the five courses, I was served wild jasmine rice in place of handmade pasta, hardly a compromise once topped with the delicate morel mushroom cream sauce. Their homemade espresso ice cream drizzled in caramel sauce had to be served without a tiny sliver of cake. Although their prixe fix menu changes nightly, gluten free and vegetarian diets are always accommodated.
1517 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709-1598