Mar 1, 2007

Like a Trip to Outer Space...

Fed up with homework and studying, the two hungry bears and the lazy tapir (along with another fellow creature) decided to venture to the land of hobos and fast cars--Shattuck--where Venus Restaurant awaited them. Known for its innovated Californian cuisine and delicious brunches (once you have a taste of their french toast, you can never look at any other french toast the same--I don't care if you think your momma's the best), Venus Restaurant had several delicious-sounding items on their dinner menu. We couldn't wait...
Unfortunately, we had no choice but to. There was a 15 minute wait so we shimmied over to Longs Drugs across the street where we did the usual (looked at gossip maggies and shook our heads over the latest antics of Lindsay Lohan). When we came back, we sat on the banister near the doorway we're we tried to take pictures. But the restaurant and customers weren't having any of our lovin'. We lost count of the nasty looks that came our way...
We may have looked happy but the growling in our bellies would soon consume any patience we had left.
CARBS and OIL and...CARBS! oh my! We happily consumed two plates of olive bread and crusty french bread.
As lovely as everything sounded, I was extremely disappointed to find that the online dinner menu didn't resemble the actual menu at all. Before, my saliva had started to sprint the moment I read "thick & juicy pork chop with german butterball mashed potatoes, apple-pear-quince chutney, and warm cabbage saute" online. At that moment, the crazies at PETA had been winning:I was an unwilling vegetarian--put off nearly all meat thanks to the creations offered by the Foothill DC. However, upon looking at the laminated menu I saw with dismay that there was nary a porkchop to be found (unless I looked down at my growing belly...)
However, the disappointment quickly faded upon noticing the words "Butternut squash gnocchi with roasted chestnuts, chanterelle mushrooms, spinach, and parmesan." Jenny and I both pounced on this. Jenny-a gnocchi virgin-seemed to enjoy the dish. I was instantly seduced by the little potato dumplings that instantly melted upon contact with my tongue. Alas, if only there was more. The size was more of an appetizer than an actual entree.
Lindsay and a special guest sprang for the "Roasted Rosie Chicken with mashed german butterballs, mushroom gravy, homemade biscuit, & swiss chard." The first thought that came into my head upon biting in the delicious flesh of this unfortunate bird was "MMHh tender!" Juicy and rich--it was everything that you could wish for in a chicken. started to taste like chinese-cooked chicken that you could buy for take-out at our local deli in Fremont.
The real winner was the biscuit. Buttery and light--I still dream about it sometimes.
At one point I ventured into the bathroom, where I was greeted with this. There are no words.
To top off the dinner, we ordered two servings of bread pudding with all sorts of citrisy-flavors that I have forgotten the names of. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the bread pudding at Crossroads dining commons more. Methinks bread pudding is just one of those things that taste better when they are simpler and not too gourmet.
All in all, despite its mini-disappointments, Venus was a nice escape for dinner. But I think I'll stick to the brunches from now on.

Venus Restaurant
2327 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA
(510) 540-5950

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