Most Unique Salads 


Billie Calfo -- one of a trio of owners -- created Billie's Caesar Salad (with grilled chicken breast) at this cafe fronting Crooked Vine/Stony Ridge Winery. A fast, friendly, efficient waiter brings it out on a big square plate so as to facilitate aligning your meal with the edge of the table. The salad is on a bed of romaine, as opposed to simply being a bed of romaine. Creamy, tangy, oh, yeah sauce, and fresh fruit: Billie knows what goes. It could be apples and grapes, but there could be kiwi or apricots or kumquat. The chicken breast is grilled after you order, so it's fresh -- succulent slices of top o' the line bird with embedded peppers. The wine pour is generous (suggestion: Crooked Vine Viognier), and it comes with a crunchy baguette. The cafe's interior is decked out as a Tuscan village, which somehow doesn't come off as corny. If you eat out back by the bocce courts, you'll be treated to additional assemblages that run from whimsical to poignant.

Readers' Pick:
Cafe Intermezzo
2442 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, 510-849-4592

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