Gather Opens in Berkeley

| Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

There’s a message in that name. Gather, the new 148-seat restaurant in downtown Berkeley’s David Brower Center, signals the gathering of community and local ingredients as well as recycled materials for its construction and design.

Co-founders Ari Derfel (Back to Earth Organic Catering) and Eric Fenster brought vision to their values though Nicole Sillapere’s design, which includes an open kitchen, bar lights made from recycled vodka bottles, and tables and banquettes that give an old water tank a second life.

Also in line with the restaurant’s green focus, the offerings from executive chef Sean Baker (Millennium) are organic, with much of it vegetarian. Vegan and gluten-free choices are marked on the menu.

Look for red quinoa risotto with mushrooms and fennel, cinnamon-braised lamb with marinated chicories and apples, and a daily “pigs part” pizza. Desserts from Amy Pearce (also formerly of Millennium) include hazelnut streusel cake with huckleberry compote.

The accompanying organic and biodynamic beverage list was developed by Christie Dufault and Allison Evanow.

Gather, 2200 Oxford St. (at AllstonWay), Berkeley; (510) 809-0400 or Dinner nightly; breakfast and lunch to be added later. Full bar. Starters and small plates, $6.50-$14; entrees and pizzas, $12-$19; desserts, $6-$10.

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(Original Article)