Since the locally sourced, seasonal and very Californian restaurant Gather opened a year ago, I’d wanted to try their ultra-modern veg food. Until today, I hadn’t been able to either because of the budget or the ever-lengthy waiting list during dinnertime. Then the brilliant idea of going for lunch occurred to me, and the rest was gastronomic history.
From the building it lives in to the interior decor that screams "Napa County," Gather's conveys a rustic yet elegant vibe that makes me feel very comfortable.
The gloomy weather called for soup of the day, which was a Puree of Brassicas with creme fraiche and cilantro. With lots of pepper to compliment the spicy vegetables and the creamy drizzle to balance the heat, this hot soup hit spots I didn't know I had.
The lunch combo (11) included the soup and half a sandwich, which in my case was a Spicy Chickpea Summer Vegetable open face sandwich with Hen of the Woods, olives, chicory and Mozzarella. I got the cheese on the side in case it was too much, but ended up eating most of it. Though the sandwich didn't feature any unique flavors, it was the best healthy comfort food I could have asked for. Probably because every component, from the bread to the greens, were of utmost quality and freshness. My biggest complaint is that the dish was almost too salty, especially those mushrooms.
We completely wiped our plates, which were portioned perfectly. Gather’s the gem of Downtown Berkeley that makes delicious food that I feel good about eating, on all accounts. I’ve gotta get back there for the dinner menu, where they offer a vegan charcuterie among other curious delicacies.