Three year anniversary coming up Dec 1st in Berkeley/Oakland. Any ideas?
November 12, 2009 12:05 PM   Subscribe

I have a three year anniversary coming up on 12/01 and I want to make it extra wonderful. I will be in Berkeley/Oakland. Does MeFi have any great ideas?

She is vegetarian but will eat meat if it's grass fed and humanely raised. I am looking for theater/restaurant/event recommendations, as well as just the unique out-there things to do.

I have a couple of ideas, but find this community to be so resourceful I thought I would just put it out there!

Can you help?
posted by ghostpony to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Fleur de Lys is beautiful, romantic, with great food and a great vegetarian menu, and Hubert Keller is AWESOME. It's in SF though. Round here, there's of course Chez Panisse, Baywolf, and Oliveto. See what's going on at the Paramount theater or the Fox theater. There's a rose garden in Oakland, too, but I don't think it'll be in bloom. There's always something going on at Yoshi's. The beach at Alameda is where you can wade out for a 1/4 mile at low tide. For more, read this.
posted by dhn at 12:10 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding Chez Panisse
posted by gregr at 12:13 PM on November 12, 2009

Response by poster: Oh man, I called Chez Panisse on the 3rd of November to make a reservation and it was already booked. Arrggghhh!
posted by ghostpony at 12:20 PM on November 12, 2009

One of my favorite experiences in life thus far was a helicopter tour.
A quick google search brings up several companies that offer tours.
posted by at the crossroads at 12:23 PM on November 12, 2009

Have you considered BayWolf in Oakland or Lalimes in Berkeley? They are very good. I would personally recommend Soizic Bistro in Oakland.
posted by parmanparman at 12:48 PM on November 12, 2009

Consider À Côté in Rockridge.
posted by juliplease at 12:55 PM on November 12, 2009

If the weather is decent this place is beautiful.
posted by greensalsa at 1:19 PM on November 12, 2009

I've never had a bad meal at Townhouse, in Emeryville.
posted by deadmessenger at 1:29 PM on November 12, 2009

Citron in Rockridge is next to A Cote, and also very good.
posted by dhn at 1:33 PM on November 12, 2009

You will have a bit of a rain risk in December risk, but if you own some warm sweaters and can start before the sun sets, taking the gondola on Lake Merritt is wonderful and romantic fun (check out the video). You could follow it up with dinner at the new Lake Chalet where the gondola docks. Not super-amazing food, but decent pretty nice spot especially if you request a view.
posted by quarterframer at 1:57 PM on November 12, 2009

Ghostpony, was the Chez Panisse Cafe filled too?
posted by gregr at 2:56 PM on November 12, 2009

One night when we wanted to go to Chez Panisse but couldn't get in, they referred us to César, just down the street, which was very good. I ended up eating at Chez Panisse (upstairs) later, and I'd say they were in the same league, but I've only had one meal at each venue.

Good luck!
posted by tellumo at 3:27 PM on November 12, 2009

you should be able to get chez panisse upstairs.

Maybe you'd be interested in Dona Tomas, which is not as formal as baywolf, oliveto, etc, but is very good and interesting.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Skates on the berkeley marina yet. In terms of location not even chez panisse can beat that.
posted by Large Marge at 4:00 PM on November 12, 2009

Response by poster: You guys are the best! There are so many good ideas here.

I called back Chez Panisse and managed to score a table for 2 (how? I don't know). I can't resist dining at a place that has this kind of reputation (despite having so many others to choose from...I won't forget your recommendations). A friend of mine recently ate there and stole the menu because not only was the food unbelievable but the art on the menu was particularly wonderful to boot (and given that they update the menus daily, nobody would be missing this particular copy).

As for other things to do besides being wined and dined, I am definitely going to see if I can't swing by the Berkeley Rose Garden, and I am considering the Gondola (although the website seems to imply that you have to be Fabio to really fit in).

Keep the ideas coming!
posted by ghostpony at 4:30 PM on November 12, 2009

Congrats on the reservation score! The Berkeley Rose Garden is indeed lovely, though go during the day because it's up in the hills and gets fairly cold at night. The Morcom Rose Garden is in Oakland, and may be warmer, and it's near Lake Merritt, which is indeed lovely. There's lots of beauty in the East Bay! If you want something more off-beat, then hiking in Mt. Diablo has breathtaking views. If you want to be more luxuriously lazy, drive along Skyline Dr. in the Berkeley hills and watch the sun set. Go fly a kite at Cesar Chavez park in the Berkeley Marina. Lots to do, and congrats on the anniversary!
posted by dhn at 4:55 PM on November 12, 2009

Erm, I meant "go [to the Berkeley Rose Garden] during the day" to mean high sunshine hours, because around 3-4 pm, as the sun starts to go down, it gets cold in the Berkeley hills. But of course you wouldn't be going at night! So if you do end up watching the sun set on Skyline drive, dress warmly and bring blankets and maybe a thermos of hot cocoa. Love that.
posted by dhn at 4:58 PM on November 12, 2009

Just so you know, the rose garden (either one) may not be so swell in December, as most of the roses are going into dormancy at that time. However, the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden is a nice place to go pretty much all the time.

You'll probably have time to kill between sundown and dinner, a gondola ride might work then if you don't mind heading down to Oakland in the interim. You don't have to be Fabio- all kinds of scrubby Oaklanders drink at the Lake Chalet and take gondola rides (can't recommend the food at Lake Chalet at all). Dress warmly.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:48 PM on November 12, 2009

A helicopter tour is much sexier than a gondola ride. (I've been on both.)
posted by at the crossroads at 6:42 PM on November 12, 2009

Go to the Lawrence Hall of Science even if you don't go inside. It's right near the UC Botanical Garden, which is also neat.

But a nice romantic spot that's closer to where you'll be (though you won't be able to see the sunset from there) is Live Oak Park. You can do a really sweet 15-20 minute stroll. It's hard to find a picture that captures the experience. You start on one grassy area, pass down stairs and over this daylighted creek under some redwoods, then up onto another flat grassy area with really interesting trees. I find it quite satisfying to go down, under trees, then up and out into the sunshine again. It's about five blocks north of Chez Panisse, so it could even be a good way to pass 30-45 minutes if you're early for dinner.
posted by salvia at 7:37 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

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