Having dined at the Berkeley in the past, my wife and I anticipated a memorable anniversary dinner this past weekend. We began the meal with cocktails, which were good, despite the New York-scale $12 price tag for a martini. After ordering our meals, we were served dried-out rolls that were either stale or over- baked--not what we expected at this establishment. Next came miniscule salads we called "elf food" due to the "Honey I shrunk the food" portions. Our strip steaks were very flavorful, but again extremely small, and were accompanied by nearly microscopic portions of mashed potatoes and one broccolini spear. Still hungry, I ordered bread pudding, which was excellent but a bit stingy, but not as much so as the rest of the meal. The meal was pricey, which we expected, but what we did not expect was to leave feeling as though we needed to stop on the way home for a pizza or burger. We had also considered dining that evening at Fleming's or Ruth Chris, either of which would have cost about the same, but served, based on past experience, a much more satisfying meal. We don't expect to eat like lumberjacks at a restaurant of this ilk, but we don't want to leave hungry either, and we did. The Berkeley has cut corners too much, and won't be seeing us again. Then, to top off the experience, we got the key back to our valet-parked automobile, which was on the side street, and drove home. Unfortunately, I used my key, not my wife's, which we had provided to the valet, so we didn't find out until the next day that we were given the wrong key back--one that looked identical because it was for the same model car.
So, on Sunday, the Berekely had to send a driver to our home to return the key, and to retrieve the one belonging to whomever got stranded in Richmond that evening because they had our key instead of their own. Our anniversary turned out to be memorable after all--just not in a good way.
Pros: Tasty food
Cons: Not much of it