Poetry would consist entirely of haikus and sonnets dedicated to cakes and cookies if poets didn't devour their idyllic subjects before having a chance to write. Today's Groupon says what meter and rhythm cannot: for $10, you get $20 worth of dessert and antipasti at Cioccolata Di Vino in North Berkeley.
Founder and chef Rebecca A. Bernstein operates Cioccolata di Vino with the belief that her delectable desserts and enticing antipasti taste particularly divine in a laid-back, warm setting that resembles a hammock made of cocoons. The soft lighting envelops patrons in a gracious embrace, where it's perfectly acceptable to stop by just for the blissful dessert menu. Choco-hounds flock to the succulent molten lava cake ($6.95), where a moist, spongy coating covers a warm liquid chocolate, generating a cocoa magma stream down Mt. Esophagus. Candy up your kisser with the award-winning, gooey chocolate-chip cookies (three for $3.95), which arrive packed with rich Callebaut Belgian chocolate and slivers of pecan. The light but feisty lemon tart ($6.95) is crowned with a fresh whipped cream, while the rich gelati and sorbetti ($4.95) rotate their flavors daily and their buckskin capes fortnightly.
The antipasti menu balances taste buds and inspires conversion to pro-pasti. A mainstay is the bruschetta di caprino ($6.95), a goat cheese with spicy tomato sauce sidekicked by a toasty house-made ciabatta bread. With each new day comes a new cracker-crust pizza, scrumptious pasta, and sizzling panini, providing an array of options for the indecisive.
Maintaining a cozy, friendly dining room helps foster conversation and scares stress banshees into a life of muffled stewardship. Rebecca makes frequent visits to each table to offer recommendations and ensure comfort. The charming ambience renders Cioccolata Di Vino an ideal venue for post-dinner sweets with a sweetheart or an unthreatening rendezvous point to discuss the threat of unfettered rendezvousing.
Cioccolata Di Vino has received ample press coverage since its opening in 2009. It has garnered favorable reviews from the East Bay Express and Vine Times magazine. Its chocolate-chip cookies were named the best by the East Bay Express, and the restaurant is currently competing for Best Desserts in CityVoter's Best of the Bay list. More than 70 Yelpers give Cioccolata Di Vino four stars, CityVoters give five, and 100% of seven Urbanspooners recommend it.
- These endorphin-rich treats compete for your attention with a fine selection of tarts, cakes, gelati, and truffles (plus antipasti and panini), but you can't go wrong with chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk (although that Coume del Mas Banyuls makes a mighty tasty lactose-free substitute). – East Bay Express
- Our server was friendly and knowledgeable and the plates were timed well enough apart that we didn't have to wait long. – Michelle Sieling, Vine Times
- Great food, better deserts [sic] and a relaxing atmosphere. – jgtam1996, CityVoter
1801 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, California 94709Get Directions