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Most Playful Prix-Fixe Menu 

eVe

Anyone who buys into New York chef David Chang's proclamation that Bay Area cuisine is "figs on plates" should slide down to the Gourmet Gulch, where eVe's mix-n-match prix-fixe menu is sumptuous, playful, and caters to a range of wallet widths and appetites. ($25 buys two courses; add as many more as you like for $11 each.) Chef-couple Christopher and Veronica Laramie met while training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and their collective résumé has included work in Lyon, France; Miami; Chicago; and Denver. But their passion for fresh, seasonal ingredients led them to the East Bay, where they can source the majority of their ingredients by hand from local purveyors. Hopefully, they'll stay put, as they're taking local produce in exciting new directions: Recent appetizers have included a "Farm Egg" dressed with morels, pancetta, and popcorn; and a Caesar salad re-imagined as a chilled soup. At the other end of the menu, desserts are often accented with cocoa products from the Chocolatier Blue next door, which was opened by another pair of Chicago expats who followed their friends to Berkeley.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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