Gather: East Bay grub that’s organic but tastes good
When you hear either the word “Berkeley” or the word “organic”, two things come to mind, and they are the other of those words. Making that a good thing, Gather.
From two Bay Area “food activists”, Gather’s a 150-seat eatery that’s 100% committed to making organic, farm-to-table fresh grub that even normals will want to eat; the comfy space unsurprisingly features reclaimed everything, from chairs upholstered with worn leather, to the rugged reclaimed Douglas Fir bar, to hanging lamps that’re made of vodka bottles, possibly reclaimed from you. Smaller fare includes plates o’ house-cured charcuterie, cinnamon-braised lamb (with chicories, apple, yogurt, and mint), halibut crudo with crispy parsnips and Meyer lemon puree, plus grapefruit/chili-flanked raw abalone that’s smoked with nori seaweed, which tastes even better if you’re smoked with landweed. Full plates’re equally diverse, ranging from braised pork cheeks (with polenta, escarole, and bread crumbs), to pancetta pizza with guancile/oregano/fontinella cheese, to a fennel/fried onion vinaigrette poultry dish called “Young chicken under a brick”, which has heart, but just isn’t gonna grab rebounds over the older chicks.
Wash it all down with a bang-up list o’ specialty cocktails crafted from local spirits brands, like the Marin Sun Farms Pisco Suave, (with lemon, egg white, gum syrup, and bitters), or the Tres Copas Blanco Blood Orange Margarita. While Gather plans to serve three meals a day real soon, they’re launching with dinner service only, but that’s OK since the only thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “breakfast” and “lunch” is Croissant Pockets.