Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dinner at Lalime's, Berkeley

Last Sunday we enjoyed a very fine dinner at Lalime's in Berkeley, which I found thanks to the Internet. If you're ever at a loss for a place to try, Google, say, "Berkeley restaurants," and check out assorted listings. Then pick a few places that look interesting and Google their names specifically, using the Blog Search function. Lalime's had quite a few raves, and conveniently had a table for available at a good time, which I was able to discern and book via OpenTable.
We started with drinks (a mojito for me, natch!) and some lovely lemon and herb olives (nice and meaty), as well as some garlicky braised kale (forgot to shoot it) and hearty bread which one of my companions recognized came from Acme Bread Company (now that's a sign of a foodie!).
I opted for rack of lamb with a lemony gremolata, braised chard and polenta. I was not familiar with the term gremolata, which is a mixture of minced parsley, garlic and lemon peel. It's wonderfully tangy and really livened up the tender lamb (which was a perfectly done medium rare). I had no compunction about gnawing those bones clean! The chard was also very nice, but the polenta was disappointing. It was very greasy on the outside, and overcooked, so it failed to provide the right mild, smooth counterpoint to the rest of the dish. But the bread was a fine alternative.
Two of my companions opted for the petrale sole with brussels sprouts and buerre rouge. They said they liked the way it was prepared.
The fourth chose the pork chop with spaetzle and chard.
Dessert was a banana crepe with vanilla ice cream and pralines ...
... and an artfully presented fruit panna cotta with a chocolate macaroon and nougat.

The atmosphere was convivial, and we were tucked away in a corner of the upper level where we could converse without effort (though it was a titch cramped between our table and the next). The service was friendly, if a little flaky (I shouldn't have had to remind the waiter to bring more coffee at dessert time, or to use the credit card I'd handed him earlier in the evening). We didn't feel rushed though we were the last to leave.

Overall, Lalime's turned out to be a good choice for a delicious meal in pleasant surroundings with good company.


  1. Oh... my...
    That looks so good, you make me jealous! :D

    Hi, I'm a foodblogger who found your site on 101cookbooks a few months ago (in the comments section). I've been reading for a few months, but haven't been able to comment until now.
    I absolutely love your blog and look forward to reading every afternoon!

  2. Hi euphreana, thanks for commenting! I'm glad you like my blog. I'll definitely check out yours.

    I like your name.