Next up, Gather at the David Brower Center opened this week in Berkeley. Reclaimed wood and other reused materials that were — yes — gathered from around the Bay Area make up the interior of honey and sand hues. Old Sonoma high school bleachers were turned into banquettes and tables; and lights over the bar were fashioned from recycled vodka bottles.
The restaurant is the brainchild of Bay Area food activists Ari Derfel and Eric Fenster, who eight years ago founded Back to Earth, an organic catering company. It features full, sit-down service, a separate bar, and an all-day cafe component with numerous to-go options.
Executive Chef Sean Baker has created a season-driven menu that’s 50 percent vegetarian. Non-vegetarians will revel in the house-cured charcuterie, crudo and meaty dishes such as pork cheeks with polenta and baby escarole.