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Limewood Bar and Restaurant
We recently dined at the Limewood Bar and Restaurant and had the most wonderful experience. Limewood Bar and Restaurant is located within the historic Claremont Club and Spa in the Berkeley hills.
Whenever I recommend a restaurant, there is a certain sense of responsibility that I hold myself too. Since I have spent over 20 years working as a restaurant chef, I can be a bit picky on who I endorse. I have no qualms about telling everyone reading this article that Limewood Bar and Restaurant is an excellent choice for your next meal.
The sleek and stylish dining room has a spectacular view of the surrounding property and city. The floor plan is spacious and allows the foot traffic of the staff to flow seamlessly. The energy and refinement is what I look for in a classic Californian restaurant.
As a major food enthusiast, there are few things I enjoy more than an open kitchen. We were able to observe Chef Travis Spear expertly overseeing every aspect of the meals that were prepared by his staff. Every worker in the kitchen was on their A-game, working as a team, to prepare us an unforgettable dining experience.
The impressive bar menu has something for every kind of connoisseur. For anyone just looking to enjoy a good beer, they have several local brews on tap. The bar also offers a wide variety of cocktails, both classic and complex. The toasted barrel negroni was my personal favorite cocktail of the evening.
Living in Italy has only deepened our love for wine which is why we were delighted by the wine list. They stock an impressive selection of delicious wines. Whatever meal you decide on; they have a great wine to pair with it.
The food prepared by the staff was phenomenal. The menu has so many great options to satisfy every palette. Monday evenings, the restaurant offers a constantly evolving chef’s tasting menu that takes your taste buds on a culinary journey. We were lucky enough to visit the restaurant to experience the tasting menu first hand.
We began our decadent meal with a savory Bao Bun. It was prepared with crispy Duroc pork belly, sweet potato and apple slaw. The layering of flavors that were achieved in the pork was perfectly balanced with the tartness of the apple slaw. The texture and flavors of the dish is everything a Bao Bun should be.
Our second course was Coke Farms Baby Beets. Shaved fennel and beets were layered upon whipped goat cheese. The truffle vinaigrette added the perfect light perfume of truffle without being over-powering. The salad was garnished with fennel fronds and puffed quinoa which created an amazing contrast of textures.
The third course were palette cleansing Marin Miyagi Oysters. Serving proper oysters requires finesse and restraint in order to play with the natural brininess of oysters. The pink peppercorn and shallot mignonette, pickled carrot and grilled lemon made this a refreshing and cohesive single bite that was a perfect mid-meal cleanser.
The fourth course was a house-made Chestnut and Ricotta Tortelloni. Celery root, swiss chard and brown butter rounded out the flavors of this rich but well-balanced dish.
The carnivore in us made the fifth course the highlight of our meal. We enjoyed an 8 oz. Imperial Wagyu New York Strip. It was served with pomme puree, grilled caulilini and a red wine jus alongside Roasted Bone Marrow. The bone marrow was prepared with a garlic and herb gremolata. The steak was perfectly cooked and was both juicy and absolutely tender. The roasted bone marrow added richness that took this dish to a whole new level.
We were also served Smoked Hamachi Collar. The caramel glaze and smokiness of the fish was a sublime combination. The dish was rounded out with cilantro, shallots and pickled peppers. The acidity of the peppers made the flavors in the Hamachi pop in the most delicious way.
Our meal was concluded with a sampling of their Marcona Almond Chocolate Torte, Crème Brule and Pumpkin Mousse. We loved that every dessert was decadent without being too rich.
Limewood Bar and Restaurant offers so many delicious options, making the Monday night tasting menu the perfect sampling choice. We were impressed not only by the staff’s commitment to excellence but also with how welcome they made us feel.
Taste can be very subjective, since we all have different palettes. What is not subjective is the technique employed when executing various cuisine. I found the technique of the Chef and kitchen staff to be flawless. The passion of the kitchen team was evident in every bite. We highly recommend that you enjoy your next meal at the Limewood Bar and Restaurant in the beautiful Claremont Club and Spa.