Berkeley”s Cesar Espana Caters To New Spanish Tastes

MIcheal Estanislao

Dim lighting sets the mood, while a constant, exciting chatter fills the air over a gleaming glass of wine.
The bustling Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley is home to Cesar, the progressive Spanish, South and Central American restaurant.
Richard Mazzera, Dennis Lapuyade, and Stephen Singer are the conspirators of this restaurant and are formerly associated with the phenomenal Chez Panisse, a restaurant hailed as setting the standard of California cuisine.
Cesar has two locations. The other restaurant is located in the heart of Oakland, nestled on Piedmont Avenue. The Oakland branch has recently been directing its efforts to a more Latin American approach, with South and Central American influenced cooking known as Cesar Latino.
The Berkeley location stays rooted in its authentic Spanish cuisine – called Cesar Espana.
No Matter what approach, the San Francisco Chronicle has voted Cesar a top 100 restaurant in the Bay Area every year since the birth of the establishment.
One thing shared between both locations is Cesar’s unpredictable and delicious menu motivated by the talented Chef Maggie Pond, who juggles both restaurants.
Cesar emphasizes the experience of the customer by offering socially driven plates like tapas. A Spanish style of eating, tapas encompasses the concept of munching on small portions of food over a long period of time. The function is social in theory because people can enjoy conversing over a variety of different flavors.
With the accompaniment of a drink from Cesar’s generous full-bar, tapas-style is an ideal way to share food with friends.
A tapas dish to consider when available would be the Salt cod and potato cazuela, it’s a simple dish with an explosion of flavor; the fish and potato are cooked in such a way that gives it a dungeness crab type of flavor.
Another delicatable item is the Calabaza a la griega, which is a vegetable plate with roasted butternut squash, feta and mint. The roasted, earthy squash, salty feta and fresh mint marry so well together and complement each other.
Cesar also offers a variety of cured meats such as their jamon iberico, a 12 month air-dried ham, or the lomo embuchado, a dry-cured pork loin rubbed with paprika chorizo.
The only downside of eating Cesar is it is expensive, a tapas plate could cost as low as $8 and high as $14. However, you get what you pay for and more, with quality ingredients and freshly made food.
Cesar’s contemporary theme fills your peripherals, and the ambiance provides a comfortable group setting. Cesar’s consideration to specifics sets it apart from the rest. Just like the plates, the little things matter at Cesar’s.