Not "Ooo-Laa-Laa!" great but much better than okay.
La Rose is a lesser-known cute little bistro in Berkeley not far from more popular Berkeley eateries such as La Note, Venus and Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen. At close to 6PM, these famous Berkeley restaurants had over an hour wait for dinner.
Enrique and I found ourselves wandering the streets of Berkeley looking for a restaurant that would feed us.
Enter La Rose--
La Rose is a small, unpretentious casual bistro with friendly warm and friendly staff. Some of the staff are French and spoke French but far from th stereotype of the infamous French snootiness.
It was cozy and the signature red Parisian awning that was visible through the picture window makes one forget that they are in Berkeley. The decor was simple with French-themed faux prints that you will find sold at the Z Gallerie. La Rose is indeed a cute place to have a casual romantic dinner.
It seems to be popular among the older set.
VUEVE DE VERNAY BRUT, LOIRE VALLEY (FRANCE) $7
*Bright with fine bubbles, fresh on the nose, vibrant floral and fruit driven with clean citrus finish.
- As described, it was a nice bubbly for the price. It was cute that it was poured from the small bottle which was left on the table. I got 2 pours for $7.
FOIE GRAS WITH FRIED QUAIL EGG ON BRIOCHE AND APPLE $14
-Soon to be banned in CA and not willing to go into the politics of this delicacy, I took this opporutunity to eat it while I still can. I honestly had silkier and tastier foie gras. This was a little too firm for me but it was okay. The quail egg, apple and brioche complimented the foie gras.
SALADE DE CRAB $7
*Dungeness crab cake with lemon-caper tartar sauce & mixed green salad
-Enrique enjoyed his appetizer. There was a 50-50 crab and filler and he even got a little piece of crab shell. Good and reasonably priced.
MAGRET DE CANARD ROTI $22
*Duck Breast in honey-pepper sauce, asparagus, fried polenta & caramelized apple
-A very nice dish with well-structured sauce. The tender duck meats did not have even the slightest hint of gaminess and actually also very tasty. Overall a delicious meal except I wished the duck could have been "melt in your mouth" tender.
PETONCHLES POELES $23
*Pan seared Scallops with sherry wine sauce, parsnip puree & snap peas
-A simple dish but delicious perfectly seared scallops according to Enrique.
APPLE AND BLUEBERRY ROSSOLE (?) W/ HONEY AND ICE CREAM $6
2 darling little pies with apple and blueberry fillings, drizzled with honey and a side of vanilla ice cream. I almost licked the plate clean that Enrique asked if I wanted another one. I was tempted but I declined.
CHECK: $99 including tax and tip with 1 bubbly and 1 soda
La Rose is a hidden gem in Berkeley. Solidly good French food with warm unpretentious service in a cozy venue. Prices are very reasonable and portions are filling.
GOOD TO KNOW:
*BART-able (Berkeley BART).
*Call for reservations before you go.
*Service was friendly, attentive but very slow. This is a meal that is meant to be savored. Just load up on the complimentary warm bread with delicious cilantro dip.