EDIT: Sorry for the brief hiatus, a great woman once told me 'Sometimes life gets in the way' - Vanessa Kuroda.
://4001 Piedmont Ave,
Oakland, CA 94611-5208
Quick: Since lunch in a Parisian cafe with Julia Child is not happening for me anytime soon, Gregoire will have to do.
Full: French food is the epicenter of the foodie. It's full of beautiful creams, rich sauces, and fatty meats. It's complicated, full of pretension, and stuck up waiters. You have to order in a language you don't understand only so you can end up like this guy. (Please watch the intro...you'll love it).
Gregoire is none of these things. It's a cute little shack sized restaurant with only bar stool seating next to the kitchen and a table or bench outside (depending on Berkeley or Oakland). Every month is a new menu so you never get bored -- it's like opening a present on Christmas.
The menu is always full of rich meats and cheeses -- racks of lamb, chicken, and portobello mushroom (I told you, I think of mushroom as a meat veggie) all squished between loaves of pantofolina, focaccia, and wheat bread. The cheeses are all your favorites -- grueye and brie with a cheddar or provolone in a few. Lunch is the best deal -- only $8 dollars for a sandwich. Dinner is a much bigger undertaking -- I'd recommend only picking it up if you're planning on a cute picnic at home -- the restaurant setting hardly feels like a place you would sit down to eat "Grilled Harissa marinated lamb T-bone with Moroccan yogurt sauce." Mmmm fancy and affordable, my favorite.
And please, whatever you do, don't forget to order the potato puffs. These little babies might be the reason I am moving to the Bay. Think mashed potatoes inside of a potato pastry. See an image at The Potato Stories Blog. These heavenly jewels of brown might make you cry in the restaurant. Don't cry, Julia Child never cried.