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Best New Restaurant 

Digs Bistro

What is it about the wedge salad that can make one weep with joy? Maybe it's the lack of pretension, the delightful simplicity, the blissful blending of crispness, cream, and tang. Maybe it's the wry wink at a menu culture on steroids — what, no maché? — and the welcome return of a sturdy hunk of a lettuce long ostracized in favor of designer greens. It's best to ponder such questions while tucking into said salad, and there's no better place to pay homage to the iceberg than Digs Bistro — the new Berkeley eatery that makes eating out the pure and joyful pleasure it should be. After an illustrious run as an underground restaurant in Oakland, Digs emerged from the subterranean scene last fall. Specializing in organic seasonal dishes, chefs Justin Sconce and Heidi DiPippo take pride in using the best ingredients to make meals you actually recognize. That's not to say that the menu, which changes every three weeks, is unsophisticated. Hardly — unless you find items like the charcuterie plate, spring vegetable risotto cake, and chocolate walnut torte just so déclassé. No, what's happily missing here is the intimidation factor. At Digs you'll instead find a warm and intimate dining area complete with fireplace and polished zinc bar, excellent wine list, and charming servers — not to mention drool-worthy food. Tell your friends with kids about the "Parents Nite Out" on the first Monday of every month — wherein the kiddies are whisked away for a separate meal and supervised activities for a mere $10 a pop. Talk about weeping with joy.

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