After an exhausting day of walking around both sides of the bay, A and I looked for dinner in my usual stomping grounds, Downtown Berkeley. My first choice required too long of a wait, so we went down the street to Revival. In my experience, going to a runner up restaurant when the original one you wanted falls through will always result in slightly dismal outcomes. But their 100% organic and local menu seemed a noble endeavor, and I could finally say that I’ve been to that ritzy place on the corner that stands out like Shattuck Ave’s sore thumb.
A baguette that was constantly "revived" by the awesome waitstaff. They treat customers as warm as family.
The cornmeal crusted onion rings! (6) were ordered partly for the exclamation point at the end of their name. They win a blue ribbon for flavor and presentation--that's a homemade newspaper liner. The sweet onions complimented a satisfyingly salty crust, and together with the curry dip, it somehow tasted just like sour cream and onion chips. However, after half the portion I felt really sick. The onions hadn't been drained well so each bite was greasy, and a thick layer of oil float separated from the dip, making me wish more something spicy or sour instead, like ketchup.
I laid my bread craving to rest by ordering this brick oven flatbread with asparagus, artichoke, spring onion, carrot butter, and ricotta salata (12). Does it look like real food to you? The first thing that came to mind when I saw it was playdoh pizza. Wow, was this bland compared to the onion rings. I loved the combination of vegetables but they were steamed and completely unseasoned. The only hint of salt came from the ricotta, which was one of the more tolerable cheeses I've encountered. I was most excited about the carrot butter but it also needed a bit of salt and lots of pepper. If the toppings had been marinated and grilled, I think this would've been a great dish.