Pompette - old Cafe Rouge space in Berkeley


Opened Thursday. Space largely unchanged. Nicer tables, banquette extended along the whole east wall.



If I’d realized there were no photos on Eater or whatever yet I’d have taken some pictures of the space. All the changes seemed like improvements.

Grilled mortadella, great idea, warm and smoky.

House rilette, very nice, and Fatted calf blood sausage, some of the best I’ve ever had, spicy and not sweet.

Broadbent Kentucky ham, sort of like saltier prosciutto, and Fatted Calf saucisson sec, very good.

Lamb belly fritters with a tart, herbal dipping sauce that was definitely not romesco. Never had anything like this before, nice way to treat that cut.

Maybe a third of the cavatelli, didn’t think to take a photo until we’d dug in.

I forgot to take a photo of the pork shoulder. We were too full to each much of it. The beans that came with it were exceptional, perfect creamy texture.

Baba au whiskey ($7), lots of super-fruity booze, turned out to be Old Granddad, of all things. Really good.

Walnut cake ($7), really good, light and not too sweet.

All the wines we had were tasty. Overall a great meal and a very satisfactory successor to Cafe Rouge. Our favorite server who was there four years ago was back so that was a special treat.


Some photos on Eater and Yelp:


Had another great meal last night. Rabbit compote, like confit only in broth / gelée instead of fat. Boules de picolat), a Roussillon meatball dish I’d never had before.

Moroccan-spiced lamb, larger portion than the photo suggests. The green is a cilantro sauce I haven’t had before. Two of those plus the appetizers and some bread was plenty for two so unfortunately we didn’t have room for the whole Besace de Berger.

I should have taken a photo of the wine list. Very hip selection of mostly French wines, including at least six Beaujolais! Had a bottle of Morgon and a Benevelli Freisa.

Pompette is definitely taking Cafe Rouge’s place in our regular rotation. Well, except when we’re craving steak or burgers.


Had a great late lunch sitting outside a couple of Sundays ago. I would happily have ordered anything from this menu, which is rare for me.

One of the five Beaujolais on the list.

watermelon salad with warm crunchy pork, great combination

Very good omelette, though not quite at the level of Petit Trois’s. Great fries, some of the best I’ve had ever.


For future reference.


They’ve increased the number of small plates so the dinner menu might work better for people who prefer to eat that way.


Pork rilettes ($7), delicious. As good as I’ve had in Paris. The real deal.

Monterey squid, chickpeas, kale? etc. ($13): very good, great combination.

Milk-braised meatballs and polenta ($13): delicious, never had anything like this before.

Roasted caulflower ($7): good char, great flavor, subtle seasonings. Solid dish.

I forgot to take pictures of the Petrale sole ($25), mussels ($17), or french fries ($7), which were all really good. The mussels had that classic French saffron-pastis flavor. There were enough fries for 4-6 people.

That was a whole lot of food for two, we didn’t have room for dessert. Drank a nice Vouvray Brut and a Morgon.


Had a late lunch from the happy hour menu the other day.

Fatted Calf salami nero, $8

goat cheese toast with beet and frisée salad, $7

“grilled” sandwich with Broadbent Kentucky ham & sheep cheese, $7

chickpea fritters with spicy cumin salt, $5

Everything was really good. The fritters would match really well with cocktails.