Berkeley á la Carte with Phillipe– Menu 3: Pasta

Posted by philoniusphunk
2011.02.27 17:35 SERIALS/Berkeley á la Carte with Phillipe - 完 -
Once considered the poor man’s flour, the pasta is now thepinnacle of artistic expression in culinary arts. Coming in over 20 differentvarieties of noodles and 130 different officially classified categories, thisversatile dish is the focus of many prized restaurants in Berkeley. Here are afew to get you started.

Some terms to know as referenced in the article:

Antipasti- thefirst appetizer in Italian dishes, usually consisting of bread or lightassortment of cheeses and uncooked meats.

Insalate- Salad,as we know it.

Primi- the secondappetizer or first main dish, also known as the “first” part of a meal inItalian cuisine. This could end up being the only main dish, depending on how hungry you are.

Secondi- anothermain dish, usually without pasta noodles and purely meat.

Contorni- sidedishes to be eaten alongside the main dishes.

Dolce- dessert.


#1. Pasta Bene

Looking for cheap pasta? So is everyone else– and they’re atGypsy’s. But you know that Gypsy’s uses way too much canola oil and, if you’veever tipped the plate while eating, all the grease/oil/fat slides slowly to oneside. If you haven’t, you’ve just found a reason why Gypsy’s can be just asgross as McDonald’s.


So where to? Have no fear– Pasta Bene is here! Built not toolong ago, Pasta Bene emphasizes not so much the luxury of Italian dining, butthe minimalistic pasta dish. Clean and classy, this simplistic place aims to giveyou the pasta you want without the frills and expensive herbs.

To start, the bruschettaand garlic bread are readily madefor your dipping/crunching/mounting with pasta, and are very cheap. Crab cakes for $6, are a real bargainfor the taste. Those sticking with the common “spaghetti,” or bolognese,
willwant to go for the Pasta Bene, their flagship dish. For the secondi, you’ll want to get the carciofi e pollo and Chickenpiccata– chicken pasta for those inclined.
Crab ravioli is a special that rotates on often, and is widelyloved by the seafood lovers. For dessert, the tiramisu here is considered one of the best, surprisingly, atBerkeley for only $3. Don’t miss it.

All in all, clean, new, and cheap– this is the healthy,tasty alternative to the pasta hell we’ve come to know as Gypsy’s. Walk on overto telegraph and you’ll find this small delight waiting for your pasta-cravedtaste buds.

Address: 2565 Telegraph Ave.

Hours: Mon~Sun; 11am~10pm.

Price range: $5 special for lunch; $7~$16 dinner.

Reservation?: Not needed.

Information on Yelp

#2. Trattoria Corso


Located in one of the gourmet triangles in Berkeley (NorthBerkeley, along with 4th street and College), Trattoria Corso is anoffshoot of Wendy Brucker and Roscoe Skipper’s Rivoli Restaurant in Solanoavenue. Featuring a wide variety of dishes, this restaurant features recipesfrom the Corso district in Italy– the heart of Italy’s butchers and meateries.
If you’re a meat-loving person, you’ve come to the right place, at a reasonablebargain.

Antipasti should start with Burrata, house-pulled mozzarella. Couple it with a simple Mista salad or Radicchio, if you’re leaning towards a more adventurous vegetablemedley. For the
primi, tagliatelle alsugo mixes a beautiful blend of beef and pork, while the Linguini features baby octopus for theseafood lovers. Try the Pappardelle if you’re not feeling like a carnivore, the mushrooms are delicious and pop inyour mouth. Last but not least, the Gnocchiis rumored to be mouth-watering, Italian style dumplings a la the ravioli, butmore round in structure.



If you’ve got room for more, or are watching carbs fordinner, the Pollo al burro alla Sostanzais a pan-fried chicken breast that tastes absolutely fantastic. Words can’tdescribe how well it is fried, and its plumpness complemented by butter is likea naughty party in the mouth. Agnellolamb leg, and Branzino alla grigliais a whole bass that’s also satisfied numerous fish-eaters.

Pair these dishes with Patatearrosto, duck-fat fried Yukon potatoes. If so inclined, the Cavolfiore cauliflower is also a goodway to drain the carbs down.

Address: 1788 Shattuck Ave.

Hours: Sun~Thu, 5pm~9:30pm; Fri~Sat, 5pm~10pm

Price range: $14~30

Reservation?: Not needed– lots of room even during weekdays.

Information on Yelp

#3. Trattoria la Siciliana


Moving to another end of the food gourmet triangle istrattoria la siciliana– the pasta-maker of Sicily. Here, you’ll find a lot moreseafood-based dishes and pasta. It’s a bit cramped in here, so I highlyrecommend you grab the upper floor if you can.
This is an immensely popularplace so you’ll definitely want to grab the phone for a reservation beforetaking off. Also, don’t be put off if your dish seems a bit undercooked– it’sintentional in some dishes, to give it a hardier al dente flavor. Also be a bit adventurous– this place has anenormous menu, so don’t be intimidated by it.

Some recommendations are the antipasto alla Griglia, grilled eggplant with onion and redpeppers. Also try their rendition of the spring salad, Antipasto La Siciliana. Their anchovies are imported, so don’t miss the Caesar salad with anchovies.

For minimalists, try the cappellini in Brodo– angel hair pasta in chicken broth withparmigiano. Minestrone di Casa soupalso warms souls for cold, or rainy evening.

Linguini con Vongole featuresfresh clams, with your choice of either olive oil or tomato sauce– with freshlyprepared clams of course. Penne Arrabiatais a go-to for those loving spicier pastas, and the Gnocchi di Casa or di Normaare both fantastic for Gnocchi lovers. Their award-winning Penne al Pesto is prepared with fresh, creamy grated pesto, whilethe chef’s special recipe cracked crab Granchioall Insalata can be served in half or whole portions. The Spiedini all Griglia meatballs are alsoa delight in the mouth– for those who aren’t crazy about carbs. But these arejust some of my personal suggestions– I’d hope you give a few new dishes a try.

Make. A. Reservation. That’s the only way you will have ataste of this sliver of Sicily.

Address: 2993 College Ave.

Hours: Mon~Sun, 5pm~10pm

Price Range: $15~45

Reservation?: Mandatory.

Information on Yelp
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  1. i should definitely take someone to one of these places.. props for sharing your bucket places ><
  2. 한번 가봐야겠네요! ㅋㅋ 완전 맛있어보여요~
  3. 파스타베네 지날때마다 궁금했었는데 ! 꼭 가봐야겠네요!! 감사합니다.

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