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Great Views and Cuisine to Match at Limewood

Aug 14, 2017 11:20AM ● Published by Fran Miller

BY FRAN ENDICOTT MILLER

Million dollar views of San Francisco, craft cocktails, and regionally sourced seasonal cuisine. What’s not to love about Limewood Bar and Restaurant? Located at Berkeley’s iconic Claremont Club & Spa, a Fairmont Hotel, this vibrant yet low-key spot, a favorite of both locals and hotel guests, represents the best in Fairmont hospitality while echoing the vibe of the Bay Area. It’s elegant yet casual. Sophisticated yet approachable. It’s just the place for a late night martini, but equally apropos for a family dinner.  

Geometric brasserie-style black and white tile floors, a stamped tin ceiling, purple banquettes, pendant light fixtures, and a lively open kitchen combine to create a warm and welcoming environ. Add stunning views of San Francisco and the Bay, and Limewood would be a winner regardless of the delicious cocktails and food. And vice-versa. Chef Joseph Humphrey’s delicious cuisine would draw the crowds regardless of the expansive outdoor deck that offers a two bridge vista.

Humphrey brings a wealth of culinary experience to Limewood. A veteran of fine dining locales such as Auberge de Soleil, the Fifth Floor, Murray Circle, and The Restaurant at Meadowood, Humphrey also opened several restaurants in his role as corporate chef for Michael Mina. His relationships with noted sustainable farmers, ranchers, fisherman, bakers, and vintners is reflected in his menu items that highlight the best of Northern California. Start with a sampling of flavors from the canapé portion of the menu: warm Medjool dates stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in pancetta, fried, bite-sized eggplant rounds with avocado-green goddess dressing, and charred sugar snap peas with bagna cauda, for instance. Cheese and charcuterie plates offer a selection of local cheeses and artisan meats. Appetizers include oysters and a variety of fresh salads with creative ingredients.

Diners, no matter where seated, have their choice of the slightly more casual bar menu (burger, fried chicken club, chicken chopped salad, i.e.) and the restaurant menu with entrees such as wild king salmon, heritage pork porterhouse, or dry-aged, grass-fed beef rib eye. (Entrée prices are relatively moderate in comparison to other similar establishments with equally elevated cuisine.) Specialty cocktails ($14) include the Vista (Tito’s vodka, lime, cucumber, and ginger), the refreshing Splash Berries (Tito’s vodka, raspberry, thyme, lime and Elderflower liquor) and the Carmen (Pueblo Viejo Silver tequila, lemon, basil, and a hint of jalapeno for a slight kick.) A nice selection of wines includes a house version (Keenan) on tap by the glass, or small, medium, or large carafe.

Special events include the Monday-Friday 3:00-5:30pm Social Hour with half priced martinis and $1.50 oysters. And Humphrey has recently introduced the “Dining on the Deck” series (through November) featuring distinctive wine and spirits partners and four-course menus with pairings, held Wednesday nights from 7:00-11:00pm on the Limewood Deck. Upcoming events include: September 20:  Venge Vineyard with Kirk Venge. October 11: Scotch & Whiskey Dinner with master distillers from Ireland and Scotland. November 15: Grand Cru Champagne Vintage 2006. Each is $125 per person (with the exception of the November Grand Cru Champagne event at $250 per person) plus tax/gratuity. For reservations and more information, contact Shannon Reed at 510-549-8515 or shannon.reed@fairmont.com.

Whether for a special event, or dinner with your Cal student, Limewood provides an atmosphere suitable for every occasion, every age, and every state of mind, with menu and drink choices to match. And that view? It’s just icing on the flourless chocolate cake (with peanut butter mousse – yum.)

Limewood, 41 Tunnel Rd., Berkeley

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