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1782 Fourth St., Berkeley
Cuisine: Contemporary Mediterranean
Pluses: sophisticated cuisine in a casual atmosphere
Minuses: service is, at times, too casual
Overview: Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
The owner-cooks are alums of San Francisco's Zuni Cafe and it shows. Located in the heart of Fourth Street, where there are great shops: gardening stores to off-price outlets for gourmet china, the dining room is set in the heart of a bustling market. Just on the other side of some heavy velvet curtains, there are pasta, wine and produce venues. The look here is warehouse meets food court, with a display case in the restaurant offering housemade charcuterie. Grilled lamb chops and the rotisserie chicken are reason enough to go to Cafe Rouge. Be sure to order some of the house sausages or pates; with one of the many refreshing salads that change from time to time. Service is friendly, if a little spacey.