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Berkeley, CA: Join the Table at Adagia

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Located at the edge of the UC Berkeley, campus, Adagia is a delicious gem. Housed in what once was the Great Hall of Westminster Abbey, the minister used to entertain dignitaries and faculty. This historic landmark became Adagia’s home in 2005. The interior of the main dining room is wood paneled with a beautiful chandelier, long communal table and fireplace. The tables are made from reclaimed wood. It’s warm and friendly and the perfect place to share the local bounty. But on a recent sunny day, a colleague and I opted for the attractive patio to enjoy a seasonal lunch.

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The California-Mediterranean inspired cuisine uses only the freshest ingredients from nearby purveyors. Their mantra is “farm to fork” and they don’t miss. The wild arugula salad is served with kumquats, fennel, pepato cheese and lightly dressed with the house vinaigrette. The Delta asparagus salad incorporates halloumi cheese and watercress and is kicked up with espelette chilies. The special tuna carpaccio, served with fava beans and meyer lemon, is luscious. The Adagia chicken salad has large pieces of organic chicken on top of romaine hearts and comes with dried cranberries, walnuts, feta cheese and a tangy mustard dressing.

We bypassed the sandwiches and lamb burger and went straight for the grilled flatbread pizza. Loaded with herbed goat cheese, leeks, seasonal greens and wonderful garlic and olive oil, it hit the spot. The popular dessert choice is ice cream from Ici, a favorite shop down the street. Flavors that day included candied meyer lemon, salted caramel pistachio and passion fruit candied kumquat. Needless to say, we finished every morsel.

Adagia is one of those restaurants where you are already thinking about your next visit before you leave. If it’s fresh and local you’re after, try Adagia.

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