I'd heard (or read) here and there about Downtown, the new "upscale" restaurant in Shattuck - and decided to try it for lunch one day in early November 2001. Amazingly enough it wasn't too difficult to find parking about 1/2 a block from the restaurant (which is in the corner of Shattuck and Addison) - and the place was half empty at about 12 PM, when we got there (it got a bit busier, though).
The restaurant is pretty nice, the large room is very modernistic, with a lot of straight lines and high ceilings. There are individual tables and half booths (one side bench/one side chair). We got a table next to the window on the Shattuck side, which was open. This was a mild problem. It seems that at this time of day, lots of obnoxious Berkeley High teens leave campus for lunch and they find it amusing to try to annoy the restaurant patrons. One particularly horrible person tried to get his cigarette smoke to enter the restaurant! So if you go there during lunh, seat away from any open windows :)
Service was pretty good, we were immediately seated, bread and our dishes were brought at the appropriate time. They could have been quicker to take our check, and they didn't offer refills on my coke, however.
The lunch menu consists mostly of sandwiches, though there are also some seafood dishes (or maybe they were seafood sandwiches) and a pasta of the day. Sandwiches are all between $7 and $10, pasta is a little bit more. They also serve salads, soup and oysters.
We had the cheeseburger and the lamb sandwich. I ordered the cheeseburger medium, but it came medium-rare, no biggie as Mike ate that part :) I think it came with asiago cheese and tomato slices and lettuce on the side. It was *very* good, it didn't look like much but it was absolutely delicious. I'd order it again. It came with a choice of salad or french fries and I had the latter. The fries were very skinny and crispy and I thought they were pretty good as well.
The lamb sandwich, on the other hand, did not meet expectations. The meat was overwhelmed by the taste of the accompanying vegetables and bread, and the result was not too good. Mike liked the accompanying salad, however; he actually ate all of it.
I had a Pepsi with lunch, it was almost completely flat. For $2.50 it should have been better. I also just remembered that Mike ordered a glass of milk. It never came! I don't think they charged us for it, however.
Lunch came to about $24 after taxes and before tip.
We'll probably go again, as it's conveniently located and there aren't restaurants of the type in that part of downtown Berkeley.
2102 Shattuck Ave.
Have you visited Downtown and written a review of the place? If you have, e-mail me with the url and I may link to it!