Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon and artist Michelle Vaughan went to Alice Waters' Chez Panisse and wrote about their "(not so) excellent" experience in length for the blog Berkeleyside:
But in the end we spent over $340 on dinner at Chez Panisse. I can certainly think of places where it’s possible to spend that kind of money on worse food, but I can also think of a lot of places where you get much more joy, professionalism and creativity... It’s not accessible; the food is not all that spectacular; and the overriding impression is of a past-its-prime institution trading on its name.
Among the criticisms: wine was misidentified both on the list and by the waiter as being Italian (actually Slovenian); the risotto was "more like a random pile of undercooked rice mixed up with light-brown liquid and the occasional lump of something seafoody"; and their waiter completely disappeared before the third course. Says Vaughan, who recognizes Alice Waters as a "very important as a food activist": "We walked out that night completely let down."
· Our (not so) excellent Chez Panisse adventure [Berkelyside]